‘We Are Not Closed’: Barneys Pokes Fun at Bankruptcy With New Campaign

Barneys New York — which has always been known for its irreverent take on fashion — isn’t shying away from addressing its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The department store chain has rolled out a new campaign, “Dear Shopper,” to coincide with New York Fashion Week — and it directly addresses the furor surrounding the bankruptcy. The campaign, which is displayed in store windows and interiors of still-open locations in New York and other major cities, features signage painted in black-and-white text with droll sayings like: “Not Closed,” “The Emperor Has Clothes” and “Barneys Til I’m Dead.” (For the record, Barneys did shutter some units in Las Vegas, Chicago and Seattle as part of its restructuring as well as some warehouse locations and smaller concept stores.)


“Like a lot of us out there, we have had our share of financial struggles. But despite what you may have heard, Barneys is here to stay,” read the luxury retailer’s Instagram post introducing the campaign. “To buy, to behold, to splurge, to strut, to indulge, to look fabulous are basic human instincts — and sometimes, they can get us in trouble. Nevertheless, we are open for you. And this is not our last season.”

The campaign was created in conjunction with Thom Bettridge, editor-in-chief of the Highsnobiety streetwear blog, and Richard Turley, global executive creative director of ad agency Wieden+Kennedy and editorial director of Interview magazine.

After announcing its bankruptcy on Aug. 6, Barneys secured a lifeline the next day: a $218 million debtor-in-possession financing facility from Brigade Capital Management and B. Riley Financial. The retailer received final approval for the package last week, a step in its goal of finding a new buyer by October. It now has until Oct. 24 to find a buyer or face liquidation.

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