Barneys New York has become the latest luxury department store to enter the content creation game online. Joining brands like Saks, the hallowed New York house of luxury today launched The Window, a cultivated view into Barneys products, culture, and the personalities behind the scenes.
The site does a far better job of highlighting Barneys merchandise than many others of its kind — pieces like this one celebrate the new Balenciaga tote (available on Barneys.com of course) in a playful and original way, and a feature called “We Adore” runs across the bottom of every page with links to of-the-moment products (at typically exorbitant prices) that help depict the depth of Barneys’ offerings.
On the site right now is a typically witty feature by Simon Doonan, famed Barneys Creative Ambassador-At-Large, about his longstanding relationship with Alber Elbaz of Lanvin. There’s also an interview with notable photographer and contributor to Barneys’ new “Backstage” ad campaign, William Klein. The Window will feature regular columns like “The Pedestal,” which looks like it’s devoted to Barneys-related specials and exclusive products, and “On the Fly,” which focuses on cultural figures and people of interest in the fashion/luxury world.
The site is part of a larger push by new Barneys CEO Mark Lee to “makeover” the store and its image — a makeover that includes the hiring of Daniella Vitale as chief merchant and executive vice president, Dennis Freedman as creative director, and Amanda Brooks as fashion director. Lee also plans to renovate the main floor of the Madison Avenue store, which will be completed in early 2012, and he’s launched a new advertising campaign, “Backstage,” based on images taken during the last round of shows in New York and Europe.
The bottom line: The Window is yet another sign that major retailers have realized that content creation is the new integral part of marketing, and that launching editorial sites lets stores and brands tell stories about their products and offer customers an experience far more impactful than any pop-up ad.
Disclosure: The Window was created by digital media agency Group SJR, which also created TheHighLow. The two sites have no editorial relationship or overlap.