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Barneys heir plans explosive tell-all book about retailer’s demise


An heir to the fallen Barneys luxurious empire options to compose an explosive inform-all guide about the retail icon’s demise, resources mentioned — and he’s pointing the finger at the rest of his family.

Bob Pressman — whose grandfather Barney Pressman started the now-defunct chain in 1923 — is in talks with publishers to dish on his elderly mom and siblings in a sensational expose that chronicles the family’s excesses and recounts how it dropped command of the organization, The Article has learned.

In accordance to an incendiary, two-site proposal for the ebook obtained by The Write-up, Fred Pressman — who famously engineered the transformation of his father’s men’s accommodate enterprise into a luxurious mecca in the 1960s — was “a excellent and sort person” who “was fairly shut with his parents” and who “worked 7 days a week.”

The proposal also goes on to declare, nonetheless, that Fred Pressman “had a extremely very long affair with a effectively-regarded Parisian girl. Fred founded a corporation business in Paris for Barneys New York … which made the affair in Paris handy and the repeated visits to France simple to justify.”

Fred Pressman’s spouse Phyllis “found out about the affair but by no means advised Fred to steer clear of any interruption of her glamorous way of living or Fred’s income move continuing to movement to her,” the proposal statements.

Bob Pressman, who declined to remark on the proposal when contacted by The Submit, has “been sitting down on these outrageous tales for 50 years” and is “fed up with hiding the fact about his family members,” in accordance to a supply near to the scenario. He is 67 and semi-retired now from Triton Equity Associates LLC — a retail expenditure firm, in accordance to its LinkedIn website page. He life in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Fred Pressman seen in a black and white photo standing next to blazers in a Barney's store
Fred Pressman, son of Barneys founder Barney Pressman, was mentioned to be a sort, difficult-functioning person, but just one who experienced a prolonged-term affair with a Parisian woman and opened a Barneys workplace in France to justify his frequent travels to the place, in accordance to a new book proposal.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Photos

Phyllis Pressman — who lately shown the Hamptons beach front residence she and her late spouse constructed 40 many years ago for $52.5 million — will be a key goal of the e book, in accordance to the proposal. Fred Pressman died in July 1996 — six months right after his sons Gene and Bob landed Barneys in individual bankruptcy courtroom next an extremely aggressive growth. Due to the fact then, Bob has experienced only intermittent speak to with his mother, in accordance to the supply.

Fred is described as “a rich and elegant guy” who “grew up among the the higher crust on Central Park West and was courting culture and WASP-y females in Manhattan.” But according to the ebook proposal, his mother “wanted him to marry a center-course Jewish woman.”

A ‘blind date’ brought Fred and Phyllis together

Fred and Phyllis fulfilled “on a blind date in New York City” when Phyllis was 19 years previous, according to the proposal. They acquired married a couple of months later on and lifted 4 small children in a 28-home mansion in Obtain, NY, that experienced a swimming pool, tennis courtroom and stay-in team, the proposal claims.

A black-and-white photo of Phyliss Pressman seated with china in the background
Phyllis Pressman, the author’s mother and Fred Pressman’s spouse, found in this 1993 photo, will be a prime concentrate on of the ebook, according to the ebook proposal.
Michael Schwartz/New York Submit

The proposal goes on to assert that Phyllis “ran the Pressman household in Obtain like a dictatorship.” Achieved by The Write-up this week, however, 92-calendar year-old Phyllis Pressman disputed the claims in a cellular phone job interview.

All those involved the proposal’s contention that she grew up in the Extensive Island suburb of Hewlett in the 5 Towns. In truth, she says, she grew up in Cedarhurst and Lawrence. She also clarified that she was 20 decades old when she and Fred received married.

“Fred was the appreciate of my lifetime,” Phyllis Pressman informed The Article. “He was a quite exceptional human being.”

Gene Pressman dressed in a tuxedo standing next to a mannequin wearing a dress
The ebook statements that Bob Pressman’s more mature brother Gene Pressman’s lavish design for the Barneys New York flagship on Madison Avenue ran much more than $200 million about spending budget.
Getty Photographs

The e-book proposal likewise requires purpose at Bob Pressman’s older brother Gene. The pair ran Barneys as co-CEOs in the 1990s with Robert overseeing funds and Gene having on the far more seen, glamorous roles as a encounter of the enterprise, attending exclusive parties with style luminaries which includes Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

“Gene was reckless with income and girls,” the book proposal states, adding that he experienced a hard-partying life-style and “was notorious for hanging out at Studio 54 in Manhattan.”

On the enterprise side, the e book claims that Gene Pressman’s lavish design and style for the
Barneys New York flagship on Madison Avenue ran additional than $200 million more than spending plan.

Shoppers looking through men's suits and shoes inside Barneys during the 1980s
Fred Pressman is credited with famously engineering the transformation of his father’s men’s accommodate small business into a luxury mecca.
New York Put up

Subsequently, Barneys was forced into personal bankruptcy, the e book proposal promises. “Gene didn’t care for the reason that he lived below the multiple delusions of his failed achievement and self-great importance.”

An growth strategy some referred to as overly aggressive

In addition to lavish spending, push accounts of the Barneys 1996 bankruptcy cited an overly intense expansion program and a troubled relationship with a Japan-centered small business associate. In a statement to The Publish, Gene Pressman fired back again, denying the reserve proposal’s accusations.

“It is unfortunate Bob has these types of a casual relationship with the fact, one particular of the many explanations our household is so dissatisfied with him,” Gene Pressman stated. “Through the really like and support I gained from my family members, I have been fortunate to dwell a lifetime dedicated to supporting the arts, creating wonderful matters, cultivating modern ideas.”

Shoppers look at wares inside Barneys
Barneys was an legendary resource for luxe vogue in advance of it submitted for bankruptcy.
Frank Leonardo/New York Submit

The elder Pressman brother added that, “Regarding Barneys, Bob conveniently forgets he was in actuality the co-CEO responsible for the financial security of firm, a position in which by all actions he massively unsuccessful.”

The guide proposal, by contrast, statements that Bob “argued with his family all the time when the Barneys New York Madison Avenue keep was getting created,” protesting the massive tab that was being operate up.

Sisters Nancy and Elizabeth file lawsuits versus Bob

Three years just after the 1996 individual bankruptcy submitting, Bob bought slapped with lawsuits from his sisters, Nancy Pressman-Dressler and Elizabeth Pressman-Neubardt, who accused him of cheating them out of $30 million, declaring he took extra than his good share of the small business in the reorganization. The sisters had worked as buyers at the company.

The exterior of the Barney's building in 1983
The iconic Barneys making viewed in 1983.
Robin Graubard/New York Article

“The Pressman sisters are hoping to reinvent problems that have been thoroughly reviewed, and resolved or dismissed in conjunction with the Barneys Inc. Chapter 11 situation verified by the individual bankruptcy court docket above six months back,” Bob Pressman reported in a assertion at the time. “They only do not like that result,” he included.

A New York choose awarded the sisters $11.3 million 2002. Their brother appealed the verdict. The guide is promising unreported particulars on far more than 3 yrs of litigation that ensued, in accordance to a source.

Nancy Pressman “was acknowledged to be publicly incredibly loud and opinionated. She
dropped out of college,” the book proposal states. Liz Pressman “was the most spoiled and the youngest,” the proposal statements, incorporating that she was fond of “spending her Daddy’s income.”

Nancy declined to comment. Liz did not answer to a ask for for comment.

As for Bob Pressman, the proposal states he “was identified as the uninteresting 1 as he did not like to get together all night time … He kept to himself and felt the other three kids were being obnoxious, spoiled brats … Bob preferred to say that he was the ‘adopted one’ as he felt like he was from a distinct relatives.”

It is not crystal clear no matter whether the reserve will delve into Bob Pressman’s have latest headlines. In 2017, court docket papers disclosed he experienced a torrid affair with a 38-12 months-previous female he satisfied at a vacation resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Pressman claimed the North Carolina lady, Anna Purcell, left their $17,000-a-month rental property in Greenwich just after he suffered a stroke, forcing him to contact 911 himself and having 1000’s of pounds from his wallet while he was in the medical center.

Purcell — who Pressman claimed had recognized presents together with a $127,300 Cartier engagement ring and a $40,000 for a Jeep Grand Cherokee — claimed in court docket papers she hadn’t known Pressman was married at the time. Just after Pressman dumped her, he claimed she tried out to extort him for a lot more than $12 million, threatening to notify his spouse about the affair. Purcell’s law firm named Pressman’s allegations a “total fabrication.”

Purcell died in 2019, in accordance to public files, which did not disclose the lead to of loss of life.

Pressman’s book would be only the second penned about his family and Barneys, which submitted for individual bankruptcy for the next time in August 2019, liquidated its small business and sold its brand name to a licensing agency for $270 million. In 1999, William Morrow revealed “The Increase and Fall of the House of Barneys: A Family Tale of Chutzpah, Glory and Greed, by Joshua Levine, but devoid of the Pressman’s cooperation.

While the e book is in the early stages, Pressman has experienced preliminary make contact with with many publishers, in accordance to the supply. He is bracing for probable litigation to quit publication, but “wants to put out his story,” the resource additional.


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