These are crazy times; that’s an understatement.
It can be challenging to get through the days at times, and yet somehow the weeks turn into months, and now it’s almost been a year since life changed so dramatically.
Let’s not mention the words ‘normal’ and ‘new’ – they’ve been overcooked in the relentless narrative of trying to see what the future might look like.
The simplest way of putting it is – nobody knows.
There is so much we can’t control about life at the moment, but we still can always control how we respond to what’s going on around us.
That doesn’t just go for individuals though, it’s the same for businesses and brands.
At Barneys, like everywhere else, we’ve had a lot of time to think.
We’ve thought about where we’ve been, we’ve considered where we are now, and we’ve pondered on what we want to try and be in the future.
We’ve done some good old soul searching, and yes, even brands can do that.
We’ve thought about what matters to us most and that is trying to be the most authentic and honest brand we can possibly be.
Yes, of course, we understand that we still run a business and commerce plays an essential part of that, and transactions between ourselves and our customers are our lifeblood, but that doesn’t mean that a transaction has to be purely financial.
We want to build relationships with our customers that go deeper than that.
We want to be a brand that stands for something and that makes our customers feel something.
At Barneys that has always been about uniqueness and individuality.
As a family business, we have a 40-year history of selling leather jackets, one of the most timeless and iconic items of clothing there is; we understand that people who wear leather jackets are already making a big statement about who they are and what they stand for. They are different, they think different, they stand out, they have edge, and a sense of rebellion.
So we want to be a brand that champions that uniqueness and individuality.
And while we understand that this may seem like lip service, because a lot of brands talk the talk but rarely walk it, and so we expect to be judged only by the fruits of our labours.
But, we know we can’t go back to the way things were before, and to be honest, we don’t really want to.
We want to take all the things we’ve learnt and realised during this pivotal point in life and we want to move forward with greater purpose and meaning.