Luxury retailer Barneys New York recently released the very first issue of The Window, a print publication inspired by the popular editorial site of the same name that launched in 2011. You may be wondering, if the site is already so popular, why bother with a paper version? As Barneys COO Daniella Vitale commented, it was simply the next logical step in growing the brand. “The digital version of The Window has been one of the fastest growing and responsive platforms in our portfolio, so it was natural for us to put this successful narrative into print.”
We spoke with the man behind the mag, Barneys design director Edward Leida (or Eddie, as friends know him). To say Leida has an impressive résumé is an understatement. He was trained in graphic and industrial design and has designed (and redesigned) the likes of WWD, Town & Country, and W Magazine. Which means he’s only too aware that Barneys isn’t the first fashion brand to branch out into editorial (Mr Porter and COS recently did the same). Still, Leida insists that The Window will not only occupy a completely different space, but seems to suggest its in a league of its own.
“The Window doesn’t look like anything else, and neither does the way our store is designed or our selection of goods. So there is no model. There’s nothing out there that we’re modeling ourselves after. It’s its own unique brand through and through. There’s no editorial product, no catalog, no piece of collateral that exists that we look to for direction or inspiration. This is completely unique to the Barneys brand and we’re staking our own claim as we have historically.”
Just how different it is from other mags that blend shopping and editorial is something you can judge for yourself by picking up a copy on your next trip to the Barneys New York flagship (or by downloading it on the Barneys iPad app), but regardless of what you make of its editorial direction, not much can be said against Leida’s editorial design work. And beyond the pages of pretty products, some features we’re looking forward to in the first issue: an exclusive interview with girl crush Isabel Marant, a preview of the custom stationery app from luxe paper goods purveyor Conor, and a photographic journey of Panama captured by Barneys creative director, Dennis Freedman.