by Stephen Garner
Barneys New York Chelsea Flagship in 1989
Barneys New York Chelsea Flagship in 1989

Barneys New York is set to open its downtown New York flagship in the Chelsea neighborhood in mid-February in the space occupied by the original store that Barney Pressman opened in 1923. In honor of the February opening, the store has special New York tributes planned, including inaugural window displays featuring a Bruce Weber photo series, exclusive capsule collections from local favorites like Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler and more.

The 58,000-square-foot space, located on Seventh Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets, was designed by Steven Harris Architects and includes five floors anchored by a signature spiral staircase. The store will carry men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, footwear, and cosmetics. It will also house a personal shopping suite on the fourth floor, a branch of its uptown Freds restaurant (with its own unique menu) on the third floor, and in the basement, a beauty shop, apothecary, and an outpost of Blind Barber.

Barneys Chelsea location
A rendering of the spiral staircase at the new downtown Barneys New York flagship. Image courtesy of Steven Harris Architects.

In a previous statement made when the new store’s plans were announced, Barneys CEO Mark Lee said of the opening: “The opportunity to revitalize our presence with a state-of-the-art store on the same street where the company served customers for 75 years only enhances that plan. We believe the robust and growing downtown market is under penetrated in terms of a larger specialty retailer, and we look forward to serving these customers again with what we anticipate will be one of our most important stores.”

Barney Pressman opened his first store as a discount men’s shop in a 500- square- foot space on Seventh Avenue and 17th Street. Son Fred Pressman changed the business model to luxury apparel and led a major expansion in 1970 to take up the entire block on Seventh between 16th and 17th. Women’s apparel wasn’t added until the late 1970s and in 1986, another major expansion onto 17th Street added an additional 70,000 sq. ft. Barneys moved to its Madison Avenue and 61st Street flagship in 1993. The original Seventh Avenue store closed in 1997.

Barneys is currently represented in New York City by its Madison Avenue and 61st Street flagship, a store at 2151 Broadway in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and a store in Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue.

Barneys Chelsea
An illustration of the original Chelsea Store