To celebrate the launch of a $39,000 black croc backpack to correspond with their achingly chic, totally refined pieces for The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen hosted an intimate cocktail party at Barneys last night. The design duo weren’t allowing interviews, letting their new range of bags speak for themselves. However, the lovely Simon Doonan and Amanda Brooks of Barneys were a bit chattier, luckily. Doonan told me his favorite in the collection was that croc backpack, but continued, “You know what’s great? This little rectangular one, there, that’s beautiful. You could put a revolver in there and some pills and just go crazy.” Amazing.
Doonan also sang praises for the designers, who he considers part of the Barney’s fam, “Mary-Kate and Ashley, they make the chicest clothes on earth. And they’re aesthetic is very, very sophisticated and very hip. It’s like a great marriage of hip sophistication that is amazing for girls their age. A lot of people in the design world, they don’t really hit their stride until they’re in their 30s or 40s, some of the top performers like Alber [Elbaz] just turned 50. But they’re young girls in their 20s and they have an incredibly evolved aesthetic,” the Creative Director at Large explains.
Fashion Director Amanda Brooks is also a fan of the collection, and the girls, explaining, “I think the bags are just the new classic bags. I think they’re bags you can buy and you carry season after season if you want to be deluxe. And at the same time, they’re drool inducing, but they’re not something you get sick of quickly. Bags are difficult, but it’s no surprise and it’s a great delight that they got it right on the first time.”
The collection of 9 bags is available at Barneys New York now and maintain the minimal chic aesthetic that The Row is synonymous with. Made of luxe materials including supple leather and more exotic skins of ostrich, alligator, and lizard, the bags include a messenger, metal frame, the aforementioned backpack and a day bag, which were on display on wooden shelves, lit like pieces of sculpture – priced at $4,700 -$39,000 that sounds about right.
All photos courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency