Which makes these unabashedly low-end ads, found on a matchbook from the 1930s or 1940s, all the more interesting.
Seems that luxury department store Barneys was once bargain basement Barney’s, a menswear store openly hawking factory rejects, auction stocks, and showroom models.
Launched by Barney Pressman in 1923, the store began as a 200-foot hole in the wall on Seventh Avenue at 17th Street.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that Barney’s son edged the store into the luxury realm.
In the 1970s, Barney’s added a women’s department; in the 1990s, the store (without the apostrophe) decamped the now-blocklong 17th Street store for the Upper East Side, where Barneys holds court today.
Tags: 17th Street Barneys, Barney Pressman, Barneys 61st Street, Barneys New York, Barneys store history, Chelsea in the 1930s, New York City department stores, New York retailers in the 1930s, vintage matchbook ads