After Stefano Tonchi was hired as editor-in-chief of W, the title's then-creative director, Dennis Freedman, was one of the first top staffers to depart in April after almost two decades at the magazine. Barneys announced today that Freedman will come aboard as creative director beginning January 17. Few details on the appointment are available, but he replaces Simon Doonan. However, Doonan, who is essentially the face of the chain, will stay on, having been promoted to "creative ambassador-at-large," once again prompting the question of why fashion companies (ahem, Chanel) prefer to title people "ambassadors" above all other nouns.
A press release explains:
In his new role, Mr. Doonan will continue to be a key media spokesperson for the company, will continue to contribute to special window projects, will host special events with customers and media, and will serve as roving ambassador with links to all creative and communication areas including social media.
...In his new role, Mr. Freedman will be responsible for the overall creative direction of Barneys New York, including the Co-Op and Barneys.com, providing leadership in the areas of all photographic and video images, graphic design, store design and image, and visual merchandising. Mr. Freedman will also serve as creative curator of the Barneys New York windows, engaging various artists, designers, and creative collaborators including Simon Doonan for a constantly evolving mix of style influencers.
Freedman's appointment comes amid a slew of staffing changes at the retailer since Mark Lee took the helm as CEO. Though Julie Gilhart has been dismissed as fashion director — without a consolation ambassadorship — her role is yet to be filled.