No doubt about it. Dennis Freedman had a tough act to follow. When Simon Doonan was Barneys New York’s creative director, he made the Upper East Side flagship’s windows a must-see destination. But Freedman countered with an impressive résumé of his own. W magazine’s founding creative director, he arrived courtesy of Barneys CEO Mark Lee, a longtime friend.
“My career has always been about collaboration,” Freedman says. “At W, it was mostly with photographers and editors. Here, I’m working with a visual display team as well as interior designers, architects, and artists, even scientists.”
About those window displays. Freedman makes them witty, surprising, and surreal, with a soupçon of danger. His takes on provocateurs such as musician Lady Gaga, shoe designer Christian Louboutin, and fashion editor Carine Roitfeld— while avoiding imagery that’s slick or high-tech. “I keep the technology simple but the execution complex,” he explains.
The windows change approximately every six weeks. “With the seasons or when we have new products,” he notes. Take a tour of the past year.