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To the delight of couples everywhere, Barneys on Madison Avenue has finally merged its men's and women's Co-ops and will unveil them on Friday. But WWD points out that the Co-op looks quite different than it did, say, during Simon Doonan's heyday: "Pillars painted with 'Boy Meets Girl at Co-op' are just about the only hint of whimsy on a floor that was once bathed in the cheeky stylings of former creative director Simon Doonan." They also note that Doonan hasn't seen the new Co-op floor yet. Uh oh.
The transformation feels reminiscent of that time when Mark Lee swapped out the famous red awnings for black ones. Inside, the new Co-op has "stark white" walls, a mosaic marble floor, and black steel fixtures. Lee adds: “Dennis [Friedman, Barneys creative director] and I felt very strongly that what we needed was a very clean, simple envelope for the product. We really intended it to be something timeless because the envelope contains the greatest brands and designers in the world and it’s constantly flowing and changing.” Well, it's definitely clean.
In addition to uniting the floors, there's now also a 30-seat restaurant called Genes@Co-op, located right in the middle of where the two sides intersect. If you think the placement sounds a little odd, here's how WWD describes it: "It's reminiscent of a corporate conference room with a single, rectangular communal table with a glass top under which are 30 computer screens—one for each place setting—that flow down the length of the table like a digital river." But don't worry, there's still a little bit of quirk left at Co-op: There are, after all, shoes displayed in glass accessories cases.
· Barneys Unveils Co-op's New Look [WWD, subscription req'd]
· The Co-Ops Will Be Merging Inside the Madison Avenue Barneys [Racked NY]
· "Barneys Is My Bodega": Scenes from a Retail Reinvention [Racked NY]