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Brief Published: 30 Oct 2017

Barneys ‘The Drop’ Taps Streetwear Scene

Tapping into the booming streetwear market (see our Spotlight Trend Sneakerheads Unboxed), American department store Barneys hosted a two-day retail experience in its Madison Avenue flagship in New York (October 28-29). ‘The Drop’ played into the sector’s complex shopping rituals, which are anchored around creating scarcity to generate buzz.

Launched with US streetwear e-magazine Highsnobiety, the initiative was devised to cater to the ‘drop-shopping’ modus operandi of streetwear brands – where limited editions are released to large queues of fans who are often looking to resell the items. It offered approximately 30 exclusive capsule collections by renowned names including Milan-headquartered Off-White and LA’s Stampd, as well as classic Korean sportswear label Fila and megabrand Gucci.

Using a tiered drop system to ramp up excitement, Barneys launched 15 key collections throughout the first day, with the remainder hitting on day two – with the added thrill of key designers such as Off-White’s creative director Virgil Abloh appearing on-site for Q&As and exclusive signings. It also ran a wider cultural programme featuring panel discussions with designers and streetwear influencers. DJ sets, food stalls and tattoo and piercing services closed the lifestyle-targeting loop.

Supporting sneaker addicts’ desire for premium shoe personalisation, the pop-up experience also featured customisation stations by Converse and a co-creation area by Farfetch-owned shoe brand Swear. For more, see Care Commerce & Glorification Hubs in Brands Harnessing the Hype. See Frenzy’s Phygital Drop-Zone App for more on retailers tapping into fomo (fear of missing out).