Our latest campaign strips flashy seasonal trends and serves as a reminder of who we are: a forward-thinking destination for discovery, taste, and wit. A place where a diverse cross section of shoppers come motivated by the same desire: to be inspired and to leave with something truly special. By placing a pared-down image of the black Barneys bag around not only New York City but also other locations, including Paris, we’re giving our shoppers a subtle wink. We’re welcoming new ones. The bag is for anyone and everyone. What’s inside is just for you.

Barneys New York takes Paris.

The bag as we know it today dates back to the early ’80s, when Barneys transitioned from a mainly menswear store to a high-end fashion destination for women as well. Seeking to convey the change in business and the ethos of the brand, in 1981 the company tapped famed graphic designers Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar to redesign its logo. That’s when the apostrophe was eliminated and the words “New York” were added, forever transforming Barneys’ visual identity. The new logo appeared on the bag in the form of silver foil lettering against sturdy, embossed black paper. “The bag is emblematic of the spirit of our brand,” says Tom Kalenderian, EVP/GMM of Men’s and Home, who has been with Barneys for 40 years. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so is a glance at a Barneys bag. You instantly understand.”

Below, Barneys’ friends and shoppers share what that understanding means to them.

Daniella Vitale, CEO, Barneys New York
“My first purchase at Barneys was a pair of black suede kitten-heel sling-backs by Manolo Blahnik. I bought them for my engagement party 28 years ago, and I still have them. The black bag is so understated yet always signifies that the person carrying it is cool, tasteful, and a very fortunate shopper!”

Prabal Gurung, Fashion Designer
“My first Barneys purchase was a pair of Rick Owens high-tops. At the time, I was a struggling student who had just immigrated to the U.S. from Nepal and had scraped together every ounce of savings I had to afford them. Carrying the iconic black Barneys shopping bag out of the store made me feel empowered, seen, and like I had reached my American Dream.”

Glenda Bailey, Harper’s Bazaar Editor-in-Chief
“I’ve bought so many pieces at Barneys that spark joy and still make me feel good to this day. Anything found in a black bag is sure to be timely yet timeless.”

Marina Larroudé, Fashion Director, Barneys New York
“My first Barneys purchase was a Prada wedge sandal in red. I was still living in Brazil and came to New York with my parents and sister. On our first day in the city, we went to lunch at Freds, and then I bought the sandals. I wish Prada reissued them—they’d still be in style 20 years later.”

Matthew Mazzucca, Creative Director, Barneys New York
“The bag represents NYC. It’s intimidatingly welcoming. I actually didn’t feel ready to purchase from Barneys until I was 30—it was like I had graduated. The first thing I bought was an Acne x Snowden chambray shirt from a collab Barneys had done. I fell in love with the brand, seeing how designs were deeper than just clothes. Just recently I bought matte black Rimowa rolling luggage. Again, I felt like an adult moving on from shoving everything in a duffel bag like I’m still in college—although that’s fun, too!”

Mel Ottenberg, Stylist
“My first purchase at Barneys was a blue, plastic Helmut Lang button-down shirt. I was 18, and it was at the Barneys in Chelsea. It was a major shirt from a major Helmut collection. It cost $225! All the money I had. Buying this Helmut shirt made me feel like anything in my fashion future was possible. I still have it in storage. Plastic doesn’t breathe, and I was always sweating profusely in the club wearing that thing, but, man, I loved that shirt. And I really love the shopping bag. Who designed it? That person was a genius. This bag is NYC 100 percent, baby.”

Lisa Perry, Fashion Designer
“The Barneys bag is the epitome of the expression ‘less is more.’ It is the essence of the Barneys customer being minimal yet chic. And the logo is designed by one of the best graphic designers of our time, Ivan Chermayeff.”

Gianluca Isaia, CEO Isaia
“I bought one of my own ties as my first purchase for good luck and it has worked! To me, the iconic Barneys bag evokes a luxury message, while maintaining its own strong identity.”

Missy Rayder, Model

“The simple, chic black background that frames the Barneys logo represents everything that New York is: timeless, chic, modern, and cutting edge.”

Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador, Barneys New York
“I remember my first purchase vividly. In 1986 Jean Paul Gaultier was everything, and I bought a fab JPG jacket with shoulder pads and an elasticated waist. Sashay! Shantay! The black Barneys bag signifies taste, luxury, and general gorgeousness. You always know there is something eccentric and beautiful inside.”

Sue Kroll, Film Producer, Beverly Hills Shopper
“I use my Barneys bags for everything from carrying items to the office to transporting my dry cleaning! I associate the bag with bringing home items I would never see in other shops. I still remember falling in love with so many pieces: a beautiful embellished Dries Van Noten jacket, a gorgeous beaded cashmere sweater from L’Wren Scott, and my first Lanvin blouse when Alber Elbaz launched his first collection for the store.”

Sally Hershberger, Hairstylist
“The black bag is chic and totally iconic. As one of the original ‘influencers,’ I feel like Barneys New York stands for the ultimate cool. The black bag is synonymous with the trendsetting styles you can only find at Barneys.”

Tom Kalenderian, EVP/GMM of Men’s and Home, Barneys New York
“I started going to Barneys as a boy, because my dad was a customer. In the ’70s, when I graduated from college I was dying for an Armani suit. It was a huge indulgence for my dad to buy me one, but he agreed to. I wore it to my job interview at Barneys, and I still think it may have gotten me the position. I treasured the suit for many years before eventually donating it.”

Carole Shashona, Jewelry Designer
“The black shopping bag is so distinctive. The color represents pop culture: edgy yet classic. And, like the little black dress, there’s always hidden luxury on the inside.”

Quinn Ezralow, Beverly Hills Shopper and HOLA Board Member
“I’m on the board of Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), and we host a charity event with Barneys every October. One year, I had just bought the most gorgeous Barneys New York cashmere jacket and wore it to the event. So many people commented on it and then ended up buying it that night—with 20 percent of the proceeds going to HOLA! It’ll always stand out to me as one of my most important purchases, because that cause means so much to me. The Barneys bag just makes me smile because I know whatever is inside will be amazing. Nothing stays inside the bag for too long at my house!”

Derek Lam, Fashion Designer
“The Barneys black bag represents a certain stealthy, understated chic, with the Barneys logo in a subtly glamorous silver. It is the ultimate New York status symbol when it comes to style.”

Andrew Goetz, Malin + Goetz
“I made my first Barneys purchase in 1975—my bar mitzvah suit. It’s not easy to top a blue plaid bar mitzvah suit, but I’ve purchased many sweaters from Barneys over the years. The Barneys bag is a minimalist statement that serves as a wink and nod, acknowledging that one just purchased something fabulous.”

Marc Straussman, Executive Chef, Freds at Barneys New York
“The black shopping bag represents sophistication. I see the bag and think of a beautiful cashmere sweater or a paisley silk scarf. An Etro pocket square. I think of something that will last and my sons will want.”

Anonymous, Barneys Beverly Hills Shopper
“The black Barneys bag is iconic because you never know where the contents will go with you! I’ve bought shoes that have danced at weddings, dresses that have been worn at my kids’ birthdays, and bathing suits that have been on wonderful vacations with my family. I always look forward to walking out with my bags, ready for the next adventure!”

Sharon Taylor, Group Manager, Barneys Beverly Hills
“Purchases made from Barneys are always timeless. The Azzedine Alaïa leather biker jacket I purchased over 10 years ago is still my go-to piece. Another standout is my double-breasted Balmain classic blazer. It identifies empowered women for the 21st century.”

Moll Anderson, Author, Lifestyle Expert, Barneys Beverly Hills and Madison Shopper
“My first purchase was a black Alaïa raincoat in the late ’90s. I loved it so much that I took the tag off as soon as I bought it and wore it right out of the store. This coat was always something I aspired to have as a single mom, and when I finally had the ability to own one it was very exciting. When you see the Barneys bag you know something fabulous is about to happen. It doesn’t matter if there’s lipstick or clothing inside—there’s definitely something special.”

Sonya Benson, Personal Shopper, Barneys New York
“A black Barneys bag has always been iconic because it symbolizes being part of a cool club. When people see a Barneys bag they automatically want to know what high-fashion item is inside. My most special purchase over the years was my wedding dress. It will forever be the most important archived item in my closet. ”

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