My non-existent vision board never dreamed of breaking into Barneys, but Tracy (my fashion unicorn) seriously hooked me up.
I immediately emailed the contact at Barneys and, miraculously, they got back to me and scheduled a 15-minute presentation. Other friends told me it was a massive coup to even get the meeting. I was psyched.
It felt like the biggest “audition of my life.”
I walked into a gorgeous, highly-secured building and sat in a slick waiting room with Barneys catalogs and photo books.
Eventually I walked into my…presentation? I guess? Suddenly the character-less room was cold and not exactly stylish. Very business-like. I was left for a few minutes and shamelessly snapped a pic to document this big-ass audition.
Eventually the baby buyer and her assistant showed up. They were professional and expressionless – not unlike the infinite auditions I’ve given to a room of people paid to sit and judge.
I ran through the elements of my diaper bag for dads – padded laptop sleeve, zip-open changing station, 15 pockets, one pocket holds a sippy cup AND accommodates a bottle of wine for particularly hard days on the playground, quick backpack conversion, and instant access to wet wipes.
I finished in about 6 minutes (record time for an only-child actor who can easily talk about himself ad nauseum – and not always in 3rd person).
The buyer looked me straight in the face and, in the most unimpressed, flat-lining, “been there done that and over-it” tone imaginable, says, “In my 25 years of baby buying at Barneys, this is the best diaper bag I’ve ever seen.”
Lemme say that again:
“In my 25 years of baby buying at Barneys, this is the best diaper bag I’ve ever seen.”
Immediately I thought to myself, “Can you say that into my phone’s voice recorder for posterity?” But I didn’t have a moment to react, as she then asked, “What’s the price?”
I slid over my line sheet.
And then she laughed in my face.
I thought I was golden. Most men’s bags start at $800 on the Barneys website. How couldn’t this one with literal bells and whistles not retail for that much?
“No, sorry. It’s a different market. Diaper bags don’t go for that much. We have a Dolce & Gabbana bag on our floor we’ve marked down from $650. It just doesn’t sell.”
(I held my judgmental tongue from lambasting the unimaginable gold bling that would probably hang from a D&G diaper bag. Tacky.)
She went on, “Go make your wholesale price your retail price, and come back to us.”
Elated, jovial, stunned, emotional, overwhelmed and exhausted, I walked out of the biggest audition of my life a success. I was breaking into Barneys…with a caveat.
Now, I needed to figure out how to drop my bag’s price in half.