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Barneys’ Fall Line


After the cocktail party, the team heads over to the not-yet-open-to-the-public Crown restaurant, on East 81st, for dinner. As dessert is cleared, Doonan and Freedman wander out to hail two of the taxis racing up Madison Avenue. But Freedman is quickly distracted. “What is this?” It’s a window full of beautifully lit Venetian glass in periwinkle and dusty rose and cherry red—it’s the uptown outpost of De Vera, the extraordinarily high-end Crosby Street curiosities shop. “That is vintage glass!” he exclaims and presses his face close to the window, craning to see each bit. “Amazing.”

On the corner is Vilebrequin, maker of the popular, expensive French swim trunks. Both men immediately go silent, Hawaiian prints reflecting in the pupils of their eyes. They’re studying the patterns, the display, the angles of the light, and then they begin to debate the merits of the various swim trunks Barneys currently has for sale. “Elastic can give you that little … ” Doonan gestures to his midsection as if to indicate some male version of a muffin top.

“You’ve got to try the Orlebar Brown” trunks, Freedman says. “No pooch!”

“No pooch!” Doonan agrees, and then he smiles. “We’re retailers,” he says. “All we’re ever really thinking is, are you being served?”


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