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


An inheritor to the fallen Barneys luxurious empire plans to put in writing an explosive tell-all e-book concerning the retail icon’s demise, sources stated — and he’s pointing the finger at the remainder of his household.

Bob Pressman — whose grandfather Barney Pressman based the now-defunct chain in 1923 — is in talks with publishers to dish on his aged mom and siblings in a sensational expose that chronicles the household’s excesses and recounts the way it misplaced management of the enterprise, The Put up has discovered.

In line with an incendiary, two-page proposal for the e-book obtained by The Put up, Fred Pressman — who famously engineered the transformation of his father’s males’s swimsuit enterprise right into a luxurious mecca within the 1960s — was “a superb and type individual” who “was fairly shut together with his mother and father” and who “labored 7 days every week.”

The proposal additionally goes on to say, nonetheless, that Fred Pressman “had a really lengthy affair with a well known Parisian woman. Fred established an organization workplace in Paris for Barneys New York … which made the affair in Paris handy and the frequent visits to France simple to justify.”

Fred Pressman’s spouse Phyllis “discovered concerning the affair however by no means advised Fred to keep away from any interruption of her glamorous life-style or Fred’s money stream persevering with to stream to her,” the proposal claims.

Bob Pressman, who declined to touch upon the proposal when contacted by The Put up, has “been sitting on these loopy tales for 50 years” and is “fed up with hiding the reality about his household,” in accordance with a supply near the state of affairs. He’s 67 and semi-retired now from Triton Fairness Companions LLC — a retail funding agency, in accordance with its LinkedIn web page. He lives 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 stated to be a form, hard-working man, however one who had a long-term affair with a Parisian girl and opened a Barneys workplace in France to justify his frequent travels to the nation, in accordance with a brand new e-book proposal.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Photographs

Phyllis Pressman — who not too long ago listed the Hamptons seashore house she and her late husband constructed 40 years in the past for $52.5 million — can be a chief goal of the e-book, in accordance with the proposal. Fred Pressman died in July 1996 — six months after his sons Gene and Bob landed Barneys in chapter court docket following a very aggressive enlargement. Since then, Bob has had solely intermittent contact together with his mom, in accordance with the supply.

Fred is described as “a rich and fashionable man” who “grew up among the many higher crust on Central Park West and was courting society and WASP-y women in Manhattan.” However in accordance with the e-book proposal, his mom “needed him to marry a middle-class Jewish woman.”

A ‘blind date’ introduced Fred and Phyllis collectively

Fred and Phyllis met “on a blind date in New York Metropolis” when Phyllis was 19 years outdated, in accordance with the proposal. They obtained married a number of months later and raised 4 youngsters in a 28-room mansion in Buy, NY, that had a swimming pool, tennis court docket and live-in workers, the proposal says.

A black-and-white photo of Phyliss Pressman seated with china in the background
Phyllis Pressman, the writer’s mom and Fred Pressman’s spouse, seen on this 1993 picture, can be a chief goal of the e-book, in accordance with the e-book proposal.
Michael Schwartz/New York Put up

The proposal goes on to say that Phyllis “ran the Pressman family in Buy like a dictatorship.” Reached by The Put up this week, nonetheless, 92-year-old Phyllis Pressman disputed the claims in a cellphone interview.

These included the proposal’s rivalry that she grew up within the Lengthy Island suburb of Hewlett within the 5 Cities. In reality, she says, she grew up in Cedarhurst and Lawrence. She additionally clarified that she was 20 years outdated when she and Fred obtained married.

“Fred was the love of my life,” Phyllis Pressman advised The Put up. “He was a really distinctive individual.”

Gene Pressman dressed in a tuxedo standing next to a mannequin wearing a dress
The e-book claims that Bob Pressman’s older brother Gene Pressman’s lavish design for the Barneys New York flagship on Madison Avenue ran greater than $200 million over funds.
Getty Photographs

The e-book proposal likewise takes goal at Bob Pressman’s older brother Gene. The pair ran Barneys as co-CEOs within the 1990s with Robert overseeing funds and Gene taking over the extra seen, glamorous roles as a face of the corporate, attending unique events with style luminaries together with Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

“Gene was reckless with cash and girls,” the e-book proposal states, including that he had a hard-partying life-style and “was infamous for hanging out at Studio 54 in Manhattan.”

On the enterprise aspect, the e-book claims that Gene Pressman’s lavish design for the
Barneys New York flagship on Madison Avenue ran greater than $200 million over funds.

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 males’s swimsuit enterprise right into a luxurious mecca.
New York Put up

Subsequently, Barneys was compelled out of business, the e-book proposal claims. “Gene didn’t care as a result of he lived below the a number of delusions of his failed success and self-importance.”

An enlargement plan some referred to as overly aggressive

Along with lavish spending, press accounts of the Barneys 1996 chapter cited a very aggressive enlargement plan and a troubled relationship with a Japan-based enterprise companion. In an announcement to The Put up, Gene Pressman fired again, denying the e-book proposal’s accusations.

“It’s unhappy Bob has such a informal relationship with the reality, one of many many causes our household is so disenchanted with him,” Gene Pressman stated. “By the love and help I acquired from my household, I’ve been lucky to dwell a life devoted to supporting the humanities, creating stunning issues, cultivating progressive concepts.”

Shoppers look at wares inside Barneys
Barneys was an iconic supply for luxe style earlier than it filed for chapter.
Frank Leonardo/New York Put up

The elder Pressman brother added that, “Relating to Barneys, Bob conveniently forgets he was actually the co-CEO accountable for the monetary stability of agency, a task during which by all measures he massively failed.”

The e-book proposal, in contrast, claims that Bob “argued together with his household on a regular basis when the Barneys New York Madison Avenue retailer was being constructed,” protesting the huge tab that was being run up.

Sisters Nancy and Elizabeth file lawsuits in opposition to Bob

Three years after the 1996 chapter submitting, Bob obtained slapped with lawsuits from his sisters, Nancy Pressman-Dressler and Elizabeth Pressman-Neubardt, who accused him of dishonest them out of $30 million, claiming he took greater than his justifiable share of the enterprise within the reorganization. The sisters had labored as consumers on the firm.

The exterior of the Barney's building in 1983
The enduring Barneys constructing seen in 1983.
Robin Graubard/New York Put up

“The Pressman sisters are attempting to reinvent points which have been completely reviewed, and resolved or dismissed together with the Barneys Inc. Chapter 11 case confirmed by the chapter court docket over six months in the past,” Bob Pressman stated in an announcement on the time. “They merely don’t like that end result,” he added.

A New York choose awarded the sisters $11.three million 2002. Their brother appealed the decision. The e-book is promising unreported particulars on greater than three years of litigation that ensued, in accordance with a supply.

Nancy Pressman “was identified to be publicly very loud and opinionated. She
dropped out of school,” the e-book proposal states. Liz Pressman “was probably the most spoiled and the youngest,” the proposal claims, including that she was keen on “spending her Daddy’s cash.”

Nancy declined to remark. Liz didn’t reply to a request for remark.

As for Bob Pressman, the proposal says he “was often known as the boring one as he didn’t wish to social gathering all evening … He saved to himself and felt the opposite three youngsters had been obnoxious, spoiled brats … Bob preferred to say that he was the ‘adopted one’ as he felt like he was from a distinct household.”

It’s not clear whether or not the e-book will delve into Bob Pressman’s personal latest headlines. In 2017, court docket papers revealed he had a torrid affair with a 38-year-old girl he met at a resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Pressman claimed the North Carolina girl, Anna Purcell, left their $17,000-a-month rental house in Greenwich after he suffered a stroke, forcing him to name 911 himself and taking 1000’s of {dollars} from his pockets whereas he was within the hospital.

Purcell — who Pressman claimed had accepted 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 identified Pressman was married on the time. After Pressman dumped her, he claimed she tried to extort him for greater than $12 million, threatening to inform his spouse concerning the affair. Purcell’s lawyer referred to as Pressman’s allegations a “complete fabrication.”

Purcell died in 2019, in accordance with public paperwork, which didn’t disclose the reason for dying.

Pressman’s e-book could be solely the second written about his household and Barneys, which filed for chapter for the second time in August 2019, liquidated its enterprise and bought its model to a licensing agency for $270 million. In 1999, William Morrow printed “The Rise and Fall of the Home of Barneys: A Household Story of Chutzpah, Glory and Greed, by Joshua Levine, however with out the Pressman’s cooperation.

Whereas the e-book is within the early phases, Pressman has had preliminary contact with quite a few publishers, in accordance with the supply. He’s bracing for attainable litigation to cease publication, however “needs to place out his story,” the supply added.