Fashion News Alert: Barney’s Bankruptcy, Victoria’s Secret’s First Transgender Model, and the 2020 Pirelli Calendar Conjures up Shakespeare’s Juliet


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Barneys New York, Inc has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on this past Tuesday.  The luxury department store chain is up for sale and filed for bankruptcy due to soaring rents and a decline in sales. The rent in its flagship Manhattan store increased from $16 million to $30 million.

Barneys will close stores in Chicago, Seattle, and Las Vegas, along with five smaller stores and seven Barneys Warehouse locations. The Madison Avenue store in NYC and four flagship stores will remain open. “Barneys New York Board and management team have taken decisive action by entering into a court-supervised process, which will provide the company the necessary tools to conduct a sale process, review our current leases and optimize our operations,” said Daniella Vitale, chief executive officer.

According to The New York Times, Barneys is currently looking for a buyer and there are several parties, that are not retailers, that have expressed interest. Barneys has listed $100 million to $500 million in liabilities and assets which was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

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Valentino Sampaio has a new gig

Amidst a decline in sales and growing criticism of the brand, Victoria’s Secret has hired its first transgender model.  Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio has signed a contract with Victoria’s Secret, confirmed her model management company Premier Model Management. Valentina Sampaio has appeared on the covers of Vogue Paris, Vogue Brasil, and Elle Mexico,

Victoria’s Secret has experienced a dramatic decline in sales as consumers have opted for less-expensive lingerie from retail competitors.  Also, the brand has come under intensive scrutiny due to comments from parent company’s L Brands’ marketing chief Ed Razek who stated that he would not hire plus size or transgender models for Victoria’s Secret’s annual, televised runway show. Razek announced his retirement from L Brands in an undated email to staff earlier this week.

“There are few with Ed’s passion and talent in this industry,” L Brands’ chief executive Les Wexner said in an accompanying note, as reported in “But I have faith in our incredible teams, talent and product, and I look forward to the future as we grow and change.”

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Backstage at the 2020 Pirelli calendar

Italian tire company, Pirelli, has released behind-the-scene images of its annual fashion calendar. Nine actressesEmma Watson, Kristen Stewart, Claire Foy, Mia Goth, Indya Moore, and Yara Shahidi, singers Chris Lee and Rosalia, and artist Stella Roversiportray a diverse, modern version of Shakespeare’s Juliet.

The ‘Looking for Juliet” 2020 Pirelli calendar was photographed by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Reversi.  “I am still searching for my Juliet and I will be searching all my life. Because Juliet is a dream,” said the photographer in a statement.

The Pirelli calendar has been published since the 1960s.  Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Sorrenti, Karl Lagerfeld, and duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, among many other photographers have photographed the iconic, annual calendar.

William S. Gooch



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