The world of fashion may have changed in innumerable ways over the past 20 years, but one thing has not: Designer Narciso Rodriguez’s commitment to the integrity of his designs. Season after season, the New York-based craftsman turns out collections of flawlessly tailored, elegantly draped, and meticulously edited pieces. With this season marking the 20th anniversary of Rodriguez’s eponymous line, Barneys is partnering with the designer to celebrate the fact that we’ve been together from the very beginning—we’ve carried every collection since his first.

“The simplicity and purity of Narciso’s collections transcend fashion, which is why he will always have a home here,” says Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale. “He is a designer’s designer, which is a true testament to his craft in our sometimes stylistically driven industry.” To celebrate his incredible accomplishments, we’ve partnered with Rodriguez on a series of projects: an exclusive capsule collection, stunning window installations at our Madison Avenue flagship, and not one, but two parties to celebrate him.

narciso rodriguez
NARCISO RODRIGUEZ Silk & Satin Georgette Gown
Taken from the runway of his Fall 2011 collection, this bias-cut gown puts a spin on Rodriguez’s love of the slip dress by modernizing elements from 1930s lingerie.
narciso rodriguez
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Rodriguez’s Fall 2003 collection drew inspiration from his gym and kickboxing and put an elevated spin on the sportswear vibe.

First up, the capsule, which serves as a collection of greatest hits from the last two decades of Rodriguez’s work. The nine styles rage from his Spring 2003 runway up through his Fall 2011 showing, and each has been recreated and rereleased only at Barneys. “Most of the pieces selected for the Barneys capsule collection were pieces that evolved from season to season until they became signature looks and then iconic pieces,” Rodriguez says. “At the same time, I realized these were pieces that had received a great reception when they were initially introduced.”

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NARCISO RODRIGUEZ Stretch-Silk Crepe Open-Back Gown
While Rodriguez originally designed this gown in black for his date to the Met Gala, Claire Daines, this red version graced the cover of Vogue in 2008, worn by Jennifer Aniston.
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Also from the Fall 2003 kickboxing-inspired collect, Rodriguez says of this style, “It spawned many children, this dress.” The wait is cut and seamed became a signature technique in subsequent collections.
narciso rodriguez
NARCISO RODRIGUEZ Silk Charmeuse Gown
By alternating the direction of the drape on this style from Spring 2011, Rodriguez was able to ensure that the silk clings to the body on the top of this gown but falls away from the body below the bust—a true technical feat.

In honor of the collection, Barneys’ visual team has created stunning window installations that are on view at our Madison Avenue flagship throughout the month of February. Drawing inspiration from the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic that Rodriguez has come to embody over his career, each of the windows features two of the dresses set into its own mirrored surrounding, allow the design to be viewed from all sides. Making these styles visible at street level dovetails with the fact that the streets of the city have always served as Rodriguez’ muse. “New York City has always been my greatest source of inspiration—the street life, the buildings, the people,” he tells us. “I never stop taking pictures of life in the city and using them to create.”

narciso rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez
Madison Avenue store windows will be dedicated to Rodriguez’ 20th Anniversary until March.

To show off both the windows and the collection, last night Barneys hosted a well-heel cadre of celebrities and fashion insiders for a buzz-worthy cocktail reception followed by a more intimate dinner at Freds Madison Avenue. The eclectic crowd included the likes of artist Cindy Sherman and actor Julianna Margulies, as well as members of the stylist set like Maria Cornejo, Tory Burch, and Barneys’ own Daniella Vitale and Simon Doonan.

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Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale and the man of the hour, Narciso Rodriguez
Narciso Rodriguez
Artist Cindy Sherman
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Rodriguez with actor Julianna Margulies
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Designer Maria Cornejo with Barneys’ own Simon Doonan

With all this looking back in admiration, we could help but take a moment to look forward. We asked Roriguez what we might expect from the next 20 years of his work, and his response was as confident as his deft hand at design. “I am as passionate about design as I was twenty years ago, and I don’t expect that to change during the next twenty years. Hopefully, I will continue to make things that are singular and well crafted. I want to evolve my sensibility as far as possible in every respect and to be remembered for creating modern classics and design that is personal, enduring, and has integrity.”

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