Tonight was the Simon Doonan shoe event at Barney's New York and I was lucky enough to be invited to cover the event for the UFN blog.
I arrived a bit early to take some pictures and chat with Simon. I was greeted by the uber friendly staff as soon as I walked in. One of the sales associates, Kyle, gave me a quick tour and introduced me to several people (Thanks Kyle, you are a sweetie!).
Once Simon arrived, store manager Anne Smith introduced me to him and I was able to actually do a quick interview. He is very witty and ever so stylish in what he says and wears. I was definitely "schooled" on several fashion related people (see influences below) and terms. He would be a wonderful fashion sensei; "shoes on, shoes off". Teach me oh wise one! ;)
First off, I asked him who or what has influenced him as he is not only the Creative Director for Barney's but he still enjoys doing their window dressings (which is where he got his start). He states movies as a big influence for the Barney's ads and style. But states surrealism and fluxes as his inspiration for window displays. As far as people; Daphne Guinness and Diana Vreeland were two woman to add to the list of influences and names to know.
Fluxes you say? Well for those of us who do not know what that means I have looked it up for you: "Fluxus—a name taken from a Latin word meaning "to flow"—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is often described as intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins in a famous 1966 essay."
Simon's favorite part of his job is "absolutely still window displays" he cites they are very forgiving and he likes that. The least favorite part of his job used to be when he had to perform reviews and negotiate salaries for employees, etc. Thankfully he has moved away from that and focuses more on the creative side of things.
Then I brought up a serious question: how is Barney's is dealing with this sagging economy. Simon says they will be sending out a new mailer soon with the theme of "Dare to be Different". They want to remind people to be "fashion daredevils". Fashion is a form of expression and should be used that way. Barney's is all about self expression and that should be emphasized. Shoes are a great example for this as he feels they have become so "demented, crazy and fabulous". You really can express yourself just by the shoes you wear! "Shoes have become coo coo for cocoa cocoa puffs!" (I loved that statement!)
That leads us into the whole reason we were all there, the Simon Doonan shoe event.
It was a fun and energetic event. Many woman tried on shoes, myself included, and it's odd how a fabulous pair of shoes can get you chatting with random strangers... There were a lot of "Those are so beautiful" "I love those" "They were made for you" and so on... I had been eyeing the bright blue Manolo Blahnik that was in the Sex & the City movie ever since I arrived. I finally tried it on and actually got to jump up and down in it when my name was called as one of the 5 winners of the shoe drawing. I couldn't believe it!
The 5 winners were shown a list of 11 vendors with different dollar amounts. The 1st winner picked any shoe from one of the vendors, then the 2nd winner picked from the remaining and so on... I can't believe I was 3rd and was able to get the Christian Louboutin shoes. I had $1000 to spend on a pair and I picked the one I wanted with no hesitation.The selection of shoes there is extraordinary. It was basically a giant candy store!!
It was such a great event. Winner or no winner, I had a wonderful time and met some amazing people. Thank you Barneys and Simon for such a fun event.
Check out my pictures from the evening!