Can Barneys tap into ‘drop’ culture?
In a partnership with Highsnobiety, the streetwear publication, Barneys is launching “thedrop@barneys,” a two-day event highlighting 30 exclusive capsule collection and product “drops” — or limited-edition launches — at its Madison Avenue flagship in New York City.
The event builds on the popularity of drop culture, which uses a scarcity model to stoke demand. The trend was pioneered in the U.S. by skatewear brand Supreme, which often collaborates with other brands on limited releases. Hyped on social media and streetwear blogs, the releases often sell out immediately and appear later on eBay at much higher prices.
Drops have become more common in recent years with buzz around limited-edition sneakers, including Kanye West’s Yeezy line with Adidas, Nike’s Air Jordan and Vans’ many designer collaborations. Target and H&M have both found success with limited-edition designer capsules.
Thedrop@barneys, also taking place on Barneys.com, will feature more than 80 designers and vendors who will be participating over the weekend. The event will feature more than 40 in-store activations, including an appearance by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, the lead MC of The Roots, the hip hop group and house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; as well as custom hat orders from Nick Fouquet, Converse chain-stitching customization, SWEAR shoe customization, as well as celebrity tattoo artists and ear piercers.
Those interested in attending will have to register beforehand.
Said Daniella Vitale, CEO, Barneys, in a statement, “We are introducing a whole new concept — blending exclusive launches from the best new designers, one-of-a-kind experiences, compelling content, food and music, giving our customer a new and innovative way to explore and experience Barneys.”
To some, the popularity of drops shows that younger Millennials are moving away from mainstream brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch in favor of more exclusive items.
“They are excited, not just by a product’s rarity,” Avery Booker, CEO of Enflux, a digital influence-mining tool, told The New York Times, last year, “but also by what credibility owning that product can give them within their social media communities, as well as its possible resale value.”
- Barneys New York Announces “thedrop@barneys” in Partnership with Highsnobiety – Barneys New York/PRNewswire
- thedrop@barneys – Barneys New York
- Kylie Jenner and the Year of the Drop – The New York Times
- Why Streetwear Brand Supreme Is Worth $1 Billion and Abercrombie Isn’t – The Wall Street Journal
- Do Fashion Collaborations Need a Revamp? – Business Of Fashion
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What’s driving drop culture’s appeal with younger Millennials? Is it a long-term trend? Does thedrop@barneys effectively capture the trend?