If Barneys’ Fashion Director Packed for Fashion Month in 5 Minutes, This Is What She’d Bring

The whole scenario stresses us out, but she had the best answer.

By: Laurel Pantin
Photography: Alec Kugler

When we last saw Marina Larroude, she was the market director of Style.com (RIP, Style.com; you are forever in our hearts!). That was back in 2013, and these days, you can find her as the fashion director at Barneys New York (with a stint as fashion director at Teen Vogue in between). Her days are filled with designer appointments and pulling looks for internal shoots, guiding buyers on the next season’s key pieces, and helping develop Barneys New York's in-house collection. Sounds fun, right? Even better? The famed department store just gave her her very own curated space in the Madison Avenue flagship and online store called “We Adore,” and it’s filled with items hand-picked by Larroude herself. Items she truly adores.

Larroude’s signature taste skews statement-making, metallic, bright, and fun—all words you could use to describe her edit. But in the words of Levar Burton, don’t take our word for it: We sat down with Larroude right before NYFW kicked off to talk all about gig, her new curation, and the fashion month essentials she’d pack in a hurry.

“I’m the fashion director, and my job is divided into four different types of roles. One is to oversee the mailer and to get all the exclusive looks in so we can shoot them for our mailer, which we publish three times a year. One part of it is to help the buyers and work with them to select products for the store. The other part is to develop private label business, so ready-to-wear, shoes, and bags. I really help with product development for the Barneys New York label. Then the other part is all the digital side, working with the editorial director as a liaison between the buying office and the digital side—which brands we need to push, which brands we’re working on, and all of that.”

“What I like about my job is really how dynamic it is. I get bored very easily—one minute I’m working in market, then I’m working with a denim brand, then I’m working with Altuzarra, then all of a sudden I need to go back to private label and help develop the spring ’19 collection. That’s the part I like the most; it’s always evolving, and I’m always doing something different all the time. My day is never the same.”

“The market aspect of my job—going to showrooms, working with designers, selecting product for the magazine or the store—was very similar. The learning curve for me [coming from an editorial background,] was sitting down at the business meetings and having an understanding of what really sells, what the customer is really responding to. There are times that we all love, for example, Saint Laurent, and that translates really well to the store. But then there are other times that I’m surprised that something is a huge business and we make so much money with certain brands. Before, as an editor, there might have been moments where you’d say, ‘Ok, this brand isn’t as exciting,’ but for us it’s a whole different thing.”

“I’m not really surprised to learn what does well, but I’m always surprised to keep learning the business side. Before, [in editorial,] I was like, ‘Ok, I want this Balenciaga look for the magazine,’ and now I’m like, ‘This is a huge brand for Barneys, how can we support that in a full scope?’”

“We’re hearing that our customer is buying high and low; they’re cross-shopping between the floors. So one of the floors they cross-shop the most is denim—the woman buying denim is also buying Alaïa, and vice versa. So when we were thinking about making a curation, and to have it here, it was to have a mix of high and low, and to bring a mix of cocktail and feminine pieces to this floor that can be worn right now. It’s a mix, and it’s to help give the customer a new eye and help them shop in a ‘wardrobe’ way—if they’re browsing the curation, everything they need is all in there.”

“I love a Nina Ricci sequin dress in the curation, and I love the Barneys New York rainbow cashmere sweater. I’m a huge fan of Altuzarra. I love the leopard print coat from A.L.C., and the Barneys New York baby blue fur [sandals].”

“The way that I dress is very simple, or at least I think it’s simple, so [if I had to pack for fashion month in five minutes,] I would get some classic Barneys New York cashmere sweaters, and then some crazy printed skirts and pants. I would get the Balenciaga pleated skirt, this metallic skirt from Barneys New York, a Céline Jamaican pant, and then just classic sweaters!”

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