New York — In the 1990s era of must-see TV, Barneys New York was immortalised as the city’s retail holy grail. Seinfeld’s Elaine spent an entire episode obsessing over a discounted dress. Titular characters Will and Grace would plan their social calendars around markdown events. The store was referenced so frequently in Sex and the City, it dedicated its holiday windows to Carrie Bradshaw one year. And while sitcoms may have lost the battle to streaming apps, the shopping behemoth has so far weathered the storm of internet shopping. Its 18,500-plus square metres of space — filled with 1,400 luxury brands — remains an essential destination for Upper East Siders and passport-toting stiletto-hounds alike. And the store’s personal shopping division still offers one of New York’s ultimate conveniences: free styling services for clients with loose wallets and tight schedules. Year after year, Barneys personal shopping department outperforms itself, despite the grim retail forecast just be...

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