The August bankruptcy filing of Barneys New York marked the downfall of a beloved luxury retailer. Within months, with Kirkland & Ellis and Katten Muchin Rosenman leading restructuring efforts, the company known for catapulting up-and-coming designers into the mainstream closed 15 of its 22 stores and announced the rest would shutter too.
But emerging from the brand’s liquidation was a valuable asset. It wasn’t the inventory—luxury goods selling at steep discounts—or real estate, which had become an ever-greater burden as rents rose. Instead, it was Barneys’ intellectual property, which was purchased at the beginning of November for $271 million by Authentic Brands, the company that also owns the IP of other ill-fated retailers such as “tween” clothier Aérpostale, shoe store Nine West and Sports Illustrated.
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