Barney’s New York Revamps Their Windows With A Haute Collaboration

Barneys New York window display developed with Margaret Lee; photo by Tom Sibley

The worlds of fashion and art collide once again, and this time it’s for a haute display at Barney’s New York. The iconic department store has transformed their window displays into an art gallery in collaboration with New York based artist and curator Margaret Lee. In Lee’s first ever exhibit with Barney’s, she has taken over six store windows with what she has titled “Having It Both Ways.”

To capture the attention of passers-by Lee had to keep in mind the Barney’s target audience while grabbing the eye of the average New Yorker. Many of the windows depict eclectic and satirical takes that are signature to Lee’s style and this time used on domestic scenes. You can expect surrealist portrayals of what we know as a basic kitchen or bathroom. “I’m very interested in the consumer’s mind and what creates desire. Working with a store like Barneys is kind of an ideal venue for showcasing these ideas,” she explained to The Window.

“It’s been so nice getting my hands dirty, and it really brought me back to my sculpture days in a way that I wasn’t expecting,” she told The Window. “It became clear to me that the success of these windows was actually putting art in them, not just replicating things. The end result is not a scenic version of my art; the attention to detail is really there.”

Every aspect seen in the windows was an entirely collaborative effort between Lee and Barney’s. Touches like the watermelons you see are handcrafted and painted by Lee herself whilst the backdrops have been curated by Barney’s.

“Margaret is one of the most intelligent, insightful artists,” Dennis Freedman, one of Lee’s collaborators on the project and source of inspiration told The Window. “She’s very interested in objects and environments and has explored those ideas through her installation work. Her own practice has many parallels to the world of luxury consumerism. I knew she had the right sensibility to collaborate on a project like this.”

Barneys New York window display developed with Margaret Lee
Barneys New York window display developed with Margaret Lee
Barneys New York window display developed with Margaret Lee