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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”