Happy Holidays from Barneys New York!!!

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays! =)

Miraculous Jewelry

Mary Jo Pane, Miracle Icons Jewelry Designer

From Omaha to the Big Apple, Mary Jo Pane has taken her devotion and interest in spirituality and transformed it into a successful line of jewelry called Miracle Icons.  Using rare and beautiful saintly charms and beads, this self-taught jewelry designer and maker creates exclusive pieces not only for the public, but for her huge celebrity following as well. Get to know Mary Jo Pane as she chats with us about growing up in Nebraska, her journey to becoming a designer and spirituality as a whole.

Izabella M. de Souza: How did growing up in a Catholic household in Omaha, Nebraska shape your perception of spirituality as a whole?

Mary Jo Pane: My parents, especially my mom, were people of great faith.  Her strength inspired me and I feel that was a strong guide to my personal spirituality. I was blessed early on with a lot of friends of other faiths. They have helped me to look at spirituality in a different way. I personally feel spirituality is far more important than being “religious”.

I.D.: You describe your ideal client as “the spiritually evolved”. How can Miracle Icons contribute to someone’s spiritual evolution?

M.J.P.: Anytime you think about spirituality the evolution is happening. I have customers of all faiths and I am humbled by that, it means people get the message.

Miracle Icons

I.D.: You had worked in the fashion industry for several years prior to creating Miracle Icons. How did your previous experience in fashion come into play when designing your line?

M.J.P.: It gave me a great starting point as far as connections to the stores I wanted to be in, especially Barneys. Jay Bell, a men’s designer buyer at the time was working with me in a showroom and noticed my necklace, then referred me to the CO-OP buyers. To be in Barneys was a dream come true.  I think I danced down 5th Avenue after that first appointment. Additionally, all my prior work as a wholesale rep and a buyer before that provided me a great understanding of the business.

I.D.: How has living in New York City for the past several years influenced your inner-designer?

M.J.P.: Walking down the street I get inspired by what I see. This is such a great city for personal style.  I have followed people down the street to take photos of a bracelet or necklace I see that is interesting.  A detail on a building might inspire as well.

I.D.: You are a self taught jewelry maker and have described your ability to produce your handmade pieces as “innate”. Can you describe the process in creating your pieces and how your inherent talent has evolved?

M.J.P.: When I first started I knew nothing about making jewelry.  I have been lucky to work with some great people who supported me through this process.  Menswear designer Andrew Harmon was one of the best, asking me to make jewelry for one of his fashion shows.  He really taught me some things about working with sterling and seeing the concept in a different way.  I thank him to this day for that.  I have been mentored by one of the biggest jewelry suppliers in the city, who continues to help and guide me to this day. It is working with people like them, doing trunk shows and getting first hand feed back from customers that help me constantly evolve with my work.

I.D.: The charms and medals used in your collections are precious and often very rare. How do you come across such exclusive iconographic and decorative pieces?

M.J.P.: I mainly work with one dealer in Europe, and a few people in the states. My friends and family are constantly on the look for me.

I.D.: There are specific criteria you follow when creating your pieces. For example, I read that you only use an odd number of charms and medals on your pieces; and that if you have already used several masculine saints, you try to infuse some feminine energy with a female saint. Can you elaborate?

Miracle Icons

M.J.P.: Believe it or not every mix is personal to me, as far as shape and mix of saints.  I do pay attention to what goes on the piece. I think it’s important to embrace the female energy of Mary and female saints, as well as Sacred Heart and the male saints. I think the coolest part about the bracelets for example is that most of them are authentic Buddhist meditation beads.  I love the idea of marrying Eastern and Western beliefs.

I.D.: Miracle Icons has acquired quite the following in Hollywood. Some of your most famous clients include Halle Berry, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Anderson Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino, Angel Corella, Bruce Weber, Susan Sarandon and Jake Gyllenhaal, just to name a few. How has this tremendous popularity affected Miracle Icons?

M.J.P.: Having Bruce Springsteen on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing several necklaces certainly brought a lot of attention to Miracle Icons. Shortly after that cover came out I was lucky enough to meet him and give him a special necklace that I made.  He acted like I was the big deal, what a great moment that was! Of the people you mentioned only two were given pieces, the rest of them came to it on there own. Cool, rock stars, newsmen, ballet stars, and people like me.

I.D.: What can we expect from Miracle Icons in the future?

M.J.P.: Certainly a continuing of the look I have come to be known by and adding some color for spring and summer, starting to mix in some other spiritual symbols to make it a bit more ecumenical.

– Izabella M. de Souza, E-Commerce Copywriter

Finn

Finn is a collection of jewelry that any woman would appreciate. Featuring nautical, angelic and adorable creations enveloped in gold and beautiful gemstones, their jewelry celebrates everything that little girls (and grown up women who are still young at heart) love about being a child. Creators Candice Pool and Soraya Silchenstedt put their touch on all things glittered, and give women timeless pieces with chic elegance and, of course, style. Check out what Soraya thinks about diamonds still being a girl’s best friend and the world of Finn!

J.J. Much of your jewelry as a whimsy feel to it. Do you find inspiration from your childhood when thinking up your creations?
S.S. Of course, much of my inspiration is from my childhood.  For example, the first time I made the Love Knot Ring was when I was in third grade for a school project. Also, the Magic Wand Necklace is inspired by a toy glass wand I had as a little girl – it was filled with water, glitter and confetti.

Finn Black Diamond Love Knot Ring

Black Diamond Love Knot Ring

Finn Magic Wand Necklace

Magic Wand Necklace

J.J. The handmade movement is garnering attention in that consumers are becoming more inclined to shop handmade and support independent artisans. What was your experience?
S.S. It has always been important to me that while the jewelry is all handmade in New York, that Finn stays true to its refined quality.

J.J. Finn’s jewelry features classic shapes with an upscale, timeless feel… like the knot ring, but elevated to the next level by sapphires and diamonds. How to do you breathe new life into celebrated shapes and objects?
S.S. My favorite part of the process is turning simple objects into treasures.  For instance, taking a rabbit in honor of the 2011 Chinese New Year and covering the cotton tail with pave diamonds.

Finn Diamond Cotton Tail Rabbit Necklace

Diamond Cotton Tail Rabbit Necklace

J.J. It’s sometimes thought that jewelry has to be bold and big to make a statement. Do you agree?
S.S. Finn is personal and delicate jewelry, but its impact is bold.

J.J. Are diamonds still a girl’s best friend?
S.S. “Ask me that question a little later…” – True Romance

J.J. What should every woman have in her jewelry collection?
S.S. Something with personal significance.

J.J. Walk us through the fabrication of a piece. Do you start with sketches, then molds… How does a piece actually become created?
S.S. The process of creating the newest line of letter charm necklaces:

Finn Letters Sketch

Finn Pave Diamond Letters Necklace

J.J. Are there specific metals and gems that you favor over others?
S.S. Diamonds are a girls best friend!

J.J. What type of woman wears Finn?
S.S. We have found through experience that there truly is something in the collection for everyone.

J.J. What’s at the top of your holiday wish list?
S.S.:

 
 
 

 

Finn Black Diamond Angel Wings Earrings

Black Diamond Angel Wings Earrings

 

– Jennifer Jeffery, E-Commerce Copywriter

Holiday Foodies @ Fred’s

Fred's at Barneys New York

For some , shopping is a sport. And just like you wouldn’t run a marathon without putting some food in your body, I wouldn’t go shopping without being properly carbed up. Good thing Barneys has Fred’s… Just in case I’m feeling low on fuel, I can re-charge my shopping battery and nosh on some delicious food!

NY1 recently spoke to Fred’s Managing Director Mark Strausman! Watch the video here:
http://www.ny1.com/content/lets_eat/zagat/130090/zagat-restaurants–in-store-dining-offers-unique-experience

– Jennifer Jeffery, E-Commerce Copywriter

Finding The Right Holiday Look At Barneys New York’s Men’s Store

With all of the holiday festivities being hosted this season, men need fashionable options. Thinking about what to wear for that special occasion? Visit the Men’s Store at Barneys on Madison Avenue (or our other locations), where we can help suit you “just right”, accompanied with exceptional service.

A Black Tie Affair

Isaia Tuxedo

Hassib Shareef

Hassib Shareef and Carlos Martinez

Visit Men’s top floor professional Hassib Shareef (on Men’s 7) and he’ll guide you to our popular Isaia Tuxedo (at $3495). This gem from Naples is wool finished with a trim fit, natural shoulder and horizontal grosgrain silk lapels and trousers. An unforgettable evening is in store for you!

The Office Party

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Sport Jacket, Shirt and Pants
No lampshades in sight, just a comfortable yet smart outfit from the Ralph Lauren Purple Label Collection. It starts with an unconstructed grey cashmere sport jacket (at $2995) that Carlos Martinez (on Men’s 6) recommends layering with an open collar check sport shirt (at $295) and navy fine gauge cashmere cardigan (at $995). Finish off the look with a pair of cotton wide wale corduroy slacks in eggplant, and you’re on the fast track to looking sharp.

A Cool Night Out With Friends

Rag & Bone outfit, McClain Kitchens
Head up to Men’s 5/Co-Op and meet McClain Kitchens, who can set you up with a great fitting pair of black, dry coated Nudie jeans (at $180). Add a cotton, silver-grey button down shirt (at $275) and wool windowpane vest (at $229), both made in New York from Rag & Bone, and your look is almost complete. Top it off with a cotton red bow tie from Naked & Famous Denim that will add a festive touch (at $9) and set you apart from the group.

– Tim Ceci, Director – Men’s Store

Serious Eats Meet Beauty Treats

I had a chance to sit down and chat with  Kathy YL Chan, a NY foodie + Serious Eats writer (she writes for the “Sugar Rush” and ” Lunch for One” columns) + food blogger (A Passion for Food is one of the blogs I obsessively follow). She is also a faithful Barneys beauty customer at our Madison Ave.  store and Barneys.com

Hi Kathy! What are your thoughts on the Barneys holiday windows?

I love it! There’s no other windows  quite like this – very chef-centric and fun!

Do you have any favorite restaurants that are run by a chef in our windows?

I have a few – but I would have to say Otto by Mario Batali is a restaurant I visit at least 3 times week. I always sit at the bar and order a bunch of dishes. The bartenders are the best and the price is more than reasonable.

Otto by Mario Batali

I am a fan of your columns for Serious Eats – especially Sugar Rush! When you are taking a break from shopping at our Madison store, where would you recommend for a sweet bite nearby?

You can go to Francois Chocolate Bar on 63rd and Madison. I recommend the verrines, pastries, and loaf cakes.

Francois Chocolate Bar verrines, pastries, and loaf cakes

Now let’s talk about another passion we share – beauty products! Are there any staples you cannot live without?

I love Kiehl’s and am never without their lip balm and am obsessed with their musk EDT. Kiehl’s French rosewater is a gem, but they discontinued it! I’ve since replaced it with Jurlique’s Rose Water Balancing Mist! Recently, I tried the new Aesop deodorant – the musky and woody scent is lovely and the spray form makes it is easy to use – my boyfriend and I are both fans.

What are you getting your family as gifts for the holidays?

I already got the Aesop Tokyo set for my sister and the travel size Mason Pearson pocket brush for my grandmother. I haven’t decided what to get mom and dad – I like sets with multiple products, any suggestions?

I would recommend the Revive Art Bag with five great skincare products inside for your mother and the Molton Brown Black Pepper set for your father.

Fantastic, thanks…maybe I should pick up the Revive set for myself as well!

Thanks Kathy! And have a FOODIE HOLIDAY!

– Kate Sung, Assistant Buyer – Apothecary + Treatment

Bejeweled Ballerina

Jamie Swan in Black Swan

Ever since I first read a synopsis and heard Darren Aronosfsky was directing, I have been so excited for the Black Swan to come out. But recently, I heard the coolest news about the film yet- one of our amazing jewelers is dancing in it!

It turns out, before she became one of Barneys’ favorite jewelers, Jamie Wolf (pictured above) spent 10 years as a professional dancer for the New York City Ballet. Four years ago, she left the ballet to focus on her gorgeous jewelry collection, but when she was asked to perform as a dancer in the Black Swan, she jumped at the chance. Jamie said working on the film was an incredible experience, and that she loved having the opportunity to perform with her fellow dancers again. If that wasn’t enough, it seems Jamie has even found some new fans after her time on set – both of the film’s stars, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, have been seen wearing Jamie Wolf pieces, like the Bisou Ring and her white moonstone Aladdin earrings, while promoting the movie!

I caught up with Jamie just after she attended the Black Swan’s premiere, and while she (admittedly) might be a bit biased, she said the film is amazing! I can’t wait to go see it.*

*Fun fashion note: Jamie’s also raving about the amazing work that Rodarte did on designing the ballet costumes for the film. Apparently, the designers even spent a lot of time on set during the performances!

*Slightly embarrassing personal note: I admitted to Jamie that my current favorite ballet film is the classic guilty pleasure Center Stage, which I have seen an inexcusable number of times – turns out she danced in that, too!

Jamie Wolf is now back in jewelry-mode and off to preview her beautiful new collection at Barneys. Catch her trunk shows:

Beverly Hills
9570 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills CA 90212
December 4-9

Copley
660 Madison Avenue New York NY 10065
December 11

Madison Avenue
660 Madison Avenue New York NY 10065
December 17-18

For further information, visit our events page.

– Lauren Painter, Jewelry Buyer

Irene Neuwirth Trunk Show and Appearance Friday and Saturday!


Irene Neuwirth Trunk Show Invitation

 

I’m so excited to see Irene Neuwirth this Friday, December 10, and Saturday, December 11, at our Madison Avenue store!  She is an amazing designer and her new collection is absolutely gorgeous!!!

-Christine Morris, Buyer – Fine Jewelry

 

Enter To Win A Foodie Holiday Prize Package!

Foodie Contest

Enter to win a fantastic Foodie Holiday Prize Package from the  Food Network and Barneys New York by telling us what makes you the biggest foodie of them all! Leave comments below!

Also, check out the Food Network’sHoliday Central, filled with recipes and more!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/holiday-central/package/index.html

Barneys Staff Gift Ideas!

It seems like every year, my holiday shopping list grows. And with each passing holiday, my quest for unique gifts continues. Stuck on what to buy for family and friends on my shopping list, I turned to my fellow Barneys co-workers for inspiration and bright ideas!
– Jennifer Jeffery, E-Commerce Copywriter

For the  child who loves all things fun

Puffy Dragon Ride-On

Dawn Giarrizzo, Photo Studio Manager – Smart Gear Puffy Dragon Ride-On

For the woman who always has the chicest of holiday decorations

Prowling Cat Ornament
Sarah Welch, E-Commerce Copywriter – Jonathan Adler Prowling Cat Ornament

For the espresso addict in your life

Francis Francis X1 Iper Espresso Machine
Cindy Romano, Photographer – Illy Caffe Francis Francis X1 Iper Espresso Machine

For the guy who’s not afraid of color

Etro Shadow Plaid Sport Shirt

Frank Krumrie, Photographer – Etro Shadow Plaid Sport Shirt

For the “foodie” on your  holiday shopping list

Food Landscape

Matthew Albanese, Photographer – Harry N. Abrams Food Landscapes

For your favorite fashionista

Proenza Schouler Medium Colombian Mochilla PSJennifer Jeffery, E-Commerce Copywriter – Proenza Schouler Medium Colombian Mochilla PS1

Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia Magda Scarf

Izabella de Souza, E-Commerce Copywriter – Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia Magda Scarf

For the male jetsetter

Ernst Benz 307 Automatic Chronograph Watch

Patrick Cloutier, E-Commerce Copywriter –  Ernst Benz Koppel 307 Automatic Chronograph Watch

Nixon The 51-30 Chrono

Dylan Murray, Photographer – Nixon The 51-30 Chrono