Gucci vets arrive in droves to work at Barneys New York
Barneys New York, one of the leading high-end retailers, is making some serious changes to its corporate staff, which it hopes will revive growth and maintain its dominant position in the industry, according to Fashionologie
Chief Executive Officer Mark Lee, who was hired to the top leadership position in September, recently announced that he has hired his former Gucci colleague Daniella Vitale to head up women’s fashion, holding the title of chief merchant and replacing Judy Collinson.
Collinson, who had been with the New York-based retailer for 21 years, will abandon her post as executive vice president and general merchandise manager of Barneys’ Women’s Merchandising.
Also leaving is Julie Gilhart, an 18-year company veteran who most recently served as senior VP and women’s fashion director. This is all part of Barneys’ plans to change its luxe fashion offerings for 2011.
Lastly, Lee has tapped former Gucci VP of public relations Charlotte Blechman as Barney’s new SVP of marketing and communications.
Barneys New York is a chain of luxury department stores that owns large stores in New York, Beverly Hills, Calif., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas and Scottsdale, Ariz., and smaller stores in other locations across the United States.
Now in her new capacity, Vitale launched a search for a new fashion director for Barneys New York
’s women’s product line to further assist with bringing the brand into more of a simpler, mainstream capacity in lieu of pushing the envelope with fashion and design.
Tom Kalenderian, EVP and GMM for Barneys’ Men’s Merchandising, continues in his role and continues to report directly to Lee.
“Daniella is an outstanding leader and merchant and brings with her a lucrative 20-year career in the luxury retail space,” Lee said in a statement. “She will bring our women's and total Web business to even greater prominence. I am thrilled to work with her again.”
Vitale expressed excitement at the prospect of working with her former co-worker, stating how fortunate she feels to partner with him once again.
“Barneys is one of the most venerable retailers in luxury and I look forward to contributing to its continued success,” she said in a statement.
Blechman joined the company on Dec. 1, and will be responsible for leading the areas of advertising, marketing, public relations, events, CRM and visual presentation, reporting directly to Lee.
At Gucci, Blechman oversaw communication strategies for all events and operations with respect to the more than 50 retail locations operated by Gucci in North and South America.
She also served in a similar management capacity at Yves Saint Laurent where she assisted with branding YSL back to a modern audience.
“Charlotte will lead and leverage the tremendous communication potential Barney’s New York has across all touch points and I am very excited to have her as part of my team,” Lee said in a statement.
A Barneys representative speaking on background told WinmoEdge that because Blechman’s first day was this week, she’s still getting settled in and is unable to comment on any forward-looking inquiries.
He added that once Blechman has had a few months to adjust, she’ll have a better understanding of her plan for Barneys spring 2011 initiatives.
Our source added that there is very little information regarding this announcement pushed out since it has only been about 24 to 48 hours since the news was publicized.
Barneys New York internalizes its media buying and planning initiatives, which the company has carried out since 2005, according to The List database.
The Nielsen Company reported that Barneys New York spent about $9 million on national advertising efforts in 2009. The retailer spent about $3.7 million on local newspaper ads, about $2.04 million on national newspaper ads and about $1.06 million on outdoor ads.
Barney’s New York Inc.
575 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Chief Merchant & Executive Vice President
Chief Executive Officer