Amanda Brooks was the fashion director at Barneys for just a year. Then she quit. Her job was to oversee private labels, creating trend reports (which she would be informed by being an “it” street style girl herself and her friends. Mostly the job required going to fashion shows which she already was at being an “it” girl. Seems like a very sweet deal, right? She wasn’t overly qualified. She studied photography, sought mentors like Diane von Furstenburg, last worked for Tuleh and Hogan, a leather goods company, and wrote a fashion book published in 2009. She is 38. Solid but not incredibly impressive to warrant such a position.
An insightful quote from Thursday’s New York Times article from the blog Fashionista – ” We’ve always thought of Brooks as more of a Bergdorf girl.” You may recognize Brooks around fashion magazines as giving advice, sitting in front rows at fashion shows and being type casted as one of 3 girls in the industry with wardrobe pics for the season in different budgets. She reminds me of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Classic, classy, jock like former diver and athlete, and New York socialite. By comparison, Barneys is a place for designers like Alexander McQueen before he was McQueen. Mold fitting girls like Amanda who wear tweed and pastels don’t really identify with Barneys. It is a place for avant garde, not mainstream prepsters.
From an economic standpoint, an interesting note in the article cites Barnes has languished over the last 2 – 3 years while luxury retail has shot the moon. Since Brooks’ departure, Perry Capital, a big and well known private equity firm, took majority ownership.
Amanda is moving to Oxforshire, England to spend time in the country with her family. What? I cry foul. She got a job bigger than she was in at a store outside of her style range and quits in a year? Those positions are highly sought after and once in, people don’t jump unless something happens – you get pushed.