Editor’s Letter

Updates from editor-in-chief Richard David Story

Tis the season, right?

Or it’s supposed to be.

But how’s the generous Santa in all of us to feel in this economy? Despite claims that the recession seems to be over, it can be tough getting in touch—not to mention in sync—with the holiday season.

And yet…I personally like to shop and I like to buy and I like to treat others to my indulgent ways as well. In keeping with that spirit, Departures has put together a special edition of DRESS CODE that we hope will help ease both the spiritual journey and the practical logistics of shopping. And by that we don’t just mean the million, jillion little things to get but rather how, where, and what to buy NOW. Style Editor Stellene Volandes, who masterminded the project, has given this section the headline “WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SHOPPING NOW.” Over 18 pages, she’s navigated us intelligently through some choppy waters in her search to find what works—and what doesn’t. There is, quite frankly, a lot of garbage for sale—in all areas, though possibly a lot less than a year ago. As P. T. Barnum might have put it, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” So why, we ask, do some brands seem to get it right and others don’t? Is any pair of jeans really worth $870? Read what the CEO of Kiton had to say. And what about “The Secret to Hermès’s Success? Or what we call “how one company seems to more than survive with a very particular and singular brand of understatement and timelessness.” And, much more modestly, look at downtown New York City retailer hero Andy Spade and how he and his business partner are redefining the way we shop with a curiosity boutique full of one-off objects that you won’t find anywhere else. Along the way, Volandes and her team added products and addresses, as well as three pages that answer—with phone numbers!—the ultimate question: Buy new or repair now?

And topping it all off, the cover for this issue was produced by none other than the supremely talented Mr. Simon Doonan. Now, Simon’s not your typical illustrator, nor your run-of-the-mill window dresser. Just a little brilliant bit of both. As the creative director for Barneys’ Madison Avenue store, he keeps the city and its shoppers—not to mention other retailers—on pins and needles (often quite literally) over what he will do next with its storefront windows. We were so enchanted by the sneak preview of his Saturday Night Live windows, featured in these pages, that we decided why not and went ahead and asked this Mad Genius of Madison Avenue if he couldn’t do something equally mad and equally genius for our November/December cover. As Joan Rivers might say, Do you love it or what?