Howard Socol's Job at Barneys Is Very Special

Howard Socol with Donatella Versace and Anna Wintour. Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday Howard Socol resigned from his job as CEO of Barneys. Now the retailer has the enormous task of replacing him, which they'll do with the help of a search firm. His successor has veritably clown-size shoes to fill: Socol brought the company from bankruptcy to profitability and opened 21 stores in his roughly seven-year tenure. Also, running a luxury company like Barneys is a toughie not made easier by These Economic Times. Though everyone speculates Socol is departing because he disagrees with Barneys' new owner Istithmar's plans for global expansion, he told WWD that really, he just wants a little "me" time. Though it sounds like he will miss this very special job:

"This is a full-time, seven-day-a-week job. There are a lot of things I love to do. I plan to enjoy life, travel a lot, and expand my mental and physical capacities. There is a lot on my "'I want' list." Taking another job in retailing, said the 62-year-old Socol, is not on the list. "I have no inclination to do that."

…"This is a very special job," Socol continued. "It's all about creativity, energy, fashion. It's not about price. It's not about promotion. It's about the things that get a lot of retailers' juices going." Barneys is not so big so you can still be a merchant, Socol noted. "On this job, you can be a merchant, and a businessman. You can touch and feel the merchandise. You can touch and feel the people," he said.

No wonder everyone loves shopping there so much.

Finding the Right Fit: Barneys' Socol Quits, No Clear Successor [WWD]
Related: Breaking: Howard Socol Resigns From Barneys