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Barney's New York

Give Good Green

I love New York. I love New York even more when it’s in San Francisco. Barneys New York is the latest shopping destination to have newly rooted itself near our own Union Square. What used to be FAO Schwartz’s tower of toys that greeted us through the opening doors are now a six-floor of fashion mecca.

Barneys is one of the new forerunners who brings runway fashions to the masses and they’re no knock-offs. Its latest report is that green is the new black. “Give Good Green” is Barneys’ motto for this holiday season, as evident from a lobby display of a reindeer made with recycled materials to counters of catalogs and flyers that offer ideas for a “Green Holiday.”

Good Green Gifts for Him and Her range from $14 to $4,000. For him it could be a recycled glass goblet ($15-24) by The Green Glass Company. Or go the high end, which requires more green, by selecting a 100 tree charm ($4,000) by jewelry designer, Linda Lee Johnson or a custom bike ($3,950) made by Billionaire Boys Club. Gifts are either environmentally conscious or organically made. Else part of the proceeds benefits a charity.

I come here to shop not only for the holidays but to walk through a museum of fashions that allow me to touch. Shopping at Barneys is a dizzying visit with big historical fashion names such as Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Balenciaga. There is an enviable roster of current runway stars which include Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Proenza Schouler. Barneys also has a Co-op division on Floors 4 and 5 which feature primarily contemporary sportswear and denim. Names include 3.1 Phillip Lim, 7 For All Mankind and True Religion.

Currently Barneys is having a sale so I am able to find high fashion at not so high prices. Starting on the 6th floor I make a mental note of all the custom tailoring and accessories before I make my way down the winding staircase to the men’s Co-op division. Although it’s not on sale I find the black tee with skull print ($185) by Alexander McQueen quite edgy without being cliché. On my last visit, trenches and sweaters by Alexander McQueen were marked down.

Down another flight of stairs I come to a wonderful display of denim assembled like a Christmas tree on the fourth floor. Nearby I am ecstatic to see that Kate Moss Top Shop is hanging on one rack but unfortunately it is just one rack. Her latest designs centers on sequins and anything metallic. There’s an accessory counter where I find a wonderfully constructed hat ($360) in berry blue and red by Brenda Lynn.

Floors 2 and 3 are my favorites. White pleated gowns by Givenchy, plum Grecian dresses by Derek Lam and soft fur coats by Azzedine Alaia are all on display. Designer shoes are just one floor below where you can find on sale pink ballerina flats by Marc Jacobs and patent leather heels by Givenchy. Not to be missed are heels with magnificent bows by Christian Louboutin and patent ankle boots by Miu Miu which are on my list: Gifts For Me.

Ground level is all about the accessories. There are antique jewelry and watches as well as designer bags. Sharon Khazzam’s 18k gold world pendant with white and pink diamonds is set at a worldly price of $9,100 of which part of the proceeds benefit a nonprofit foundation.

Lower level is somewhat a mishmash of things which include more accessories such as hats, bags and hosiery. There is a beauty area featuring fragrances, skincare and selected cosmetic lines. There are even coffee table books and Fornasetti plates or pillows for the home.

Each floor has something to covet, gift or treat but I think the Tootsie Roll tree with Dum Dum lollipop decorations ($145) is the tastiest reward to shopping six floors of green gift goodies. And what’s more, I’m saving a jet fuel ride to New York to boot.

Barney's New York
77 O’Farrell Street
Cross: Stockton Street
SF, CA 94108

Sunday: 11am - 6pm
Monday: 10am - 7pm
Tuesday: 10am - 7pm
Wednesday: 10am - 7pm
Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm