All the products that Barneys is selling at Lady Gaga’s Workshop on the fifth floor men’s store at their Madison Avenue flagship are based on the pop star’s childhood interests. “In a weird way, this whole project started with an hour-and-a-half talk about her childhood,” Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman told The Cut at a pre-opening party last night. “Her mother was the one who told us what books she read; what she liked to eat; all of her favorite things as a little girl. And that really was the beginning of how we started to come up with what we would make."
Freedman said that when Gaga saw the completed workshop earlier in the day, she was awed. “She was like a little girl with her mother in her dream store. She really was,” he said. “She just went around to every little shop, and I’m sure it reminded her of what it was like growing up, being a girl, and almost, like, walking into your own dream of how Christmas would be if you could walk into a wonderland filled with everything you kind of love.”
Barneys CEO Mark Lee explained that they decided to open Gaga’s workshop at midnight because the store wanted all the little monsters to have a chance to come. The workshop then stayed open all night, which is unprecedented in the store’s history. “Since 1923, that’s never happened before,” Lee said. He'd hatched the idea to collaborate with Gaga as soon as he took the job in September 2010. “I think the first week I sent a letter to Gaga and her manager, which I never thought they would say yes to,” he said. “Holiday is a big time for Barneys, and the company has done incredible things in the past, so I had that in mind,” Lee said. “But this is the biggest one. I never thought it would get this big,”