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Barneys Goes Gaga for the Holidays

Yesterday, luxury retailer Barneys seemed to be relishing its time in the spotlight. New York Magazine's fall fashion issue has a story about the store's new CEO, Mark Lee, and his major revamp of the NYC shopping destination. But that's nothing compared to the news Lee and his team announced: Move over SantaClaus, Lady Gaga is comin' to town. Yes, singer, songwriter, performance artist, activist, and native New Yorker (woo woo!) Stephanie Germanotta, lovingly known as Lady Gaga to her frenzied "little monsters", will be unveiling a new concept store-within-a-store in collaboration with Barneys New York and her right-hand man (or elf, if you prefer), Nicola Formichetti. The project, known as "Gaga's Workshop," will sell exclusive products and a selection of Gaga's favorite objects d'art. The workshop will take over the entire 5th floor of the flagship space in Manhattan and be spotlighted in the store's legendary windows, which serve as one of New York's most famous holiday emblems.

This is a commercial coup like none other we can think of, the newly installed CEO wasn't shy about fawning over Gaga or her influence. "Holiday is about joy, sharing and inclusiveness, and to me, Gaga really represents all of that. Her platform is so much about positivity, individuality and universality in a very today way," he toldWWD, noting that he thought of the idea before he was even hired to reinvent Barneys and revealing that he was inspired by Barbra Streisand's 1964 holiday mash-up with, "that other store around the corner," he said, referring to Bergdorf Goodman.

"I was seeing Gaga everywhere and I was watching, month by month, how she was conquering every landmark of New York, from Carnegie Hall for the Rainforest Benefit to the Metropolitan Museum and the 'Today' show at Rockefeller Center. That was in my mind -- this New York girl taking over these landmarks," Lee said. Additionally, there will be a specific online channel for Gaga's holiday (mis?)adventures and 25% of all sales in the workshop will be donated to a charity of Gaga's choosing.

What next? "Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah Roma, roma, ma Gaga, ooh, la, la" to replace "Ho, ho ho" as Santa's official holiday greeting? We're waiting to hear back from his North Pole press secretary, so stay tuned.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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