When news broke that Amanda Brooks was relocating to England and leaving her role at Barneys, many thought that she would replace Averyl Oates who had only recently left her buying role at Harvey Nichols. In a surprise twist of events, its not Brooks getting the role. Instead Grazia's style director Paula Reed has joined the department store as their new fashion director.
Reed, who has held her role at the magazine since its launch in 2005, has confirmed that she will take up her new role on September and will report to Harvey Nichols chief executive, Joseph Wan. 'I am delighted that Paula is joining the senior management team here at Harvey Nichols, bringing with her a wealth of experience gained in a number of Fashion Director roles across key fashion titles including, The Sunday Times, Harpers & Queen, InStyle UK and Grazia as well as relationships she has formed in the fashion industry that go back over twenty years,' Wan said in a statement. 'Her broad experience in fashion complements what Harvey Nichols represents, from the most exclusive luxury brands to the more accessible levels of fashion.'
Anyone that has followed Amanda Brooks over the last few years will know that the former Barneys fashion director has quite the enviable wardrobe. If you're a fan, you could be in with a chance of bagging a piece from her wardrobe because this week she donated a large section of her wardrobe to New York City Opera's Thrift Shop.
The much loved thrift store reportedly received 'thousands and thousands of dollars' worth of Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Jil Sander from Brooks, along with 'loads of shoes' she cleared out of her wardrobe in preparation of her big move to Engalnd. All of the proceeds go towards the creation and design of costumes for the New York City Opera's productions.
Aside from confirming that she plans to relocate to England 'in the interest of pursuing other opportunities' and blogging, not much has been said about the reason behind Amanda Brooks' shock departure from the Barneys.
Speculation about the real reason behind her decision to leave ranged from her simply losing interest in the role to the move being a way to support her brother-and-sister-in-law, Charlie and Rebekah Brooks, who were recently charged with perverting the course of justice. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Brooks' decided to shed more light more about her decision.
'It was because of Ree Drummond's blog, The Pioneer Woman," said Ms. Brooks, who has recently returned to a blog, ILoveYourStyle.com, that she started after publishing the 2009 book, which had the same name. Reading a New Yorker profile last year of Ms. Drummond, a mother of four who lives on a cattle ranch outside Pawhuska, Okla., and posts prolifically on subjects like how to make cornmeal pancakes (using catchphrases like "yahoo, yippety") "got me really fired up," Ms. Brooks went on. "It's the idea of having a career on your own terms, anywhere.'
In the piece Brooks hints that the demanding nature of the job had a part to play too resulting in her losing a lot of weight due to the '14-hour days and then all the travelling.' Despite trying to scale back, she's still keeping busy and has a second book in the works, 'which will focus on stories of inspiration and influence over her 20-plus years in the fashion industry,' Bee-Shyuan Chang wrote. 'I've spent my entire career devoted to the vision of others,' Brooks said. 'This year is for introspection. For myself.'
Today Barneys announced that Tomoko Ogura has been promoted to senior fashion director from her role former role as the fashion director of women's Co-op.
The company have tried to avoid labelling Ogura as Amanda Brooks' replacement but it's pretty clear that she is despite the fact that her title doesn't include 'vice-president' as Brooks' did. Like her predecessor, Ogura will report to Daniella Vitale, chief merchant and executive vice-president at Barneys. Considering that Ogura has worked at the company for the past seven years, her appointment seems to make sense and has come as huge surprise.
Back in July Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launched their new handbag line for the The Row at Barneys and while the collection was all really good, nobody could stop talking about their black crocodile skin backpack that retails for a whopping $39,000. 'I think if you were every going to spend $39,000 on a bag, that’s the bag you should buy because I think you’d wear it for a really long time,” Amanda Brooks, former fashion director at Barneys, said at the time. 'There’s enough design to make it interesting and beautiful but they truly are classic bags–and I think you also might be the only one who has it.'
While that might be true, we haven't seen anyone sport the bag or more importantly, actually purchase one, but it looks like Jessica Biel might be the first person to actually own it. This week she posted this image of her wearing the backpack on Twitter saying, 'In love with my #therow backpack. Thanks Ashley!' Biel's version isn't the crocodile skin style but still comes in at around $10,000. The tweet made it clear that she didn't actually buy it but she's definitely the first star to get their hands on one.
When Amanda Brooks confirmed that she had resigned from her role as fashion director at Barneys, a role she had been in for only a little over a year, we were all surprised. At the time she said the move was part of a plan to relocated to England 'in the interest of pursuing other opportunities' but didn't explain exactly what these were. Yesterday we learnt a little bit more about what she has planned.
In her first blog post after announcing her appointment at Barneys, Brooks wrote:
Hi there. I’m back!
So, recently my family and I made the decision to spend a year on our farm in Oxfordshire, England. I am calling it my “creative sabbatical.” First on my agenda? To get my blog and up and running again. I also have ambitious writing plans for the next year, and you all will be the first to know about them as they unfold. In the meantime, here is a look at my future dwelling, all about which I will share when I arrive there at the end of June. Stay tuned!
The musical chairs in the industry isn't slowing down. While some of the big changes have been expected, there has been a few nuggets recently that we came as a shock. First up was Amanda Brooks who resigned from Barneys last week and now Simon Spurr has announced his departure from his namesake label. It was only last week that his brand was nominated for CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award alongside Billy Reid and Patrik Ervell so the news definitely comes as a surprise.
But we were not the only ones confused about the news as WWD reported that members of the team were also 'shocked' by the announcement. The reason for his departure remains a mystery. When the news was released he kept quiet on the issue saying, 'At this moment, I’m not at liberty to say anything about what’s gone on' and today the brand's PR rep confirmed that 'at this time all p.r. is on hold' and they are not sending samples out for editorials. So if you weren't left wondering about why he decided to leave to begin with, you definitely will now.
When Julie Gilhart was let go from Barney's the speculation and rumours about who would replace her and everyone from Taylor Tomasi Hill to Virginia Smith's name was thrown in the hat. As we all know now, the fashion director role went to Amanda Brooks but now it looks like the speculation is set to return as Brooks has just handed in her resignation after working for the company for just over a year.
"To be the fashion director of a store with such a unique and inspiring vision has always been a dream job," Brooks told WWD. "I have had the pleasure of working with an incredibly talented team but have resigned to temporarily relocate to England with my husband [English artist Christopher Brooks] and children in the interest of further pursuing other opportunities. It is a personal decision and I will miss working with the Barneys team."
It's been a busy social week so far. Monday night saw the CFDA host their annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards and last night everyone came out to tribute director Pedro Almodovar at the Museum of Modern Art's forth Annual Film Benefit. The best look on the night were definitely Miranda Kerr who looked stood out in her zip-up Peter Pilotto top and skirt combo teamed with Nicholas Kirkwood heels.
Christian Louboutin's 20th anniversary is the celebration that keeps on giving. The past few weeks has seen the brand host several key initiatives to mark the big milestone and last night the fun continued.
Barneys New York hosted a cocktail party for the brand, in conjunction with the big reveal of the Louboutin window display taker over, which was attended by everyone from the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to Virginia Smith and Calvin Klein.