Amanda Brooks Talks Leaving Barneys, ‘Fashion Fairy Godmother’ DVF

When Amanda Brooks left Barneys in March, rumors swirled. The fashion VIP had been fashion director of the fancy department store for mere seconds (or so it seemed) when she announced she was jumping ship and moving to England. Why did she leave, and why so quickly?

We haven’t heard much about Brooks since her departure, but the New York Times has done its best to uncover the mystery. They lay out the possible reasons — Was she over fashion? Was Barneys over her? Was she going to England to support her embattled brother and sister-in-law Charlie and Rebekah Brooks?! — and land firmly on this: she just wanted to chill out and live on a farm.

“It was because of Ree Drummond’s blog, The Pioneer Woman,” said Ms. Brooks, who has recently returned to a blog,, that she started after publishing the 2009 book, which had the same name. Reading a New Yorker profile last year of Ms. Drummond, a mother of four who lives on a cattle ranch outside Pawhuska, Okla., and posts prolifically on subjects like how to make cornmeal pancakes (using catchphrases like “yahoo, yippety”) “got me really fired up,” Ms. Brooks went on. “It’s the idea of having a career on your own terms, anywhere.”

And then:

“I lost a lot of weight working at Barneys,” said Ms. Brooks, nibbling delicately at the turkey sandwich with bacon she’d ordered along with an iced tea, then hastening to add, “It was the 14-hour days and then all the traveling.”

As we reported in March, we have heard from sources within the company that people were unhappy with Brooks, a notion the Times touches on very lightly. The rest of the profile allows us to envy all aspects of Brooks’s life, including but not limited to her relationship with Diane von Furstenberg, her “fashion fairy godmother”. Brooks briefly dated von Furstenberg’s son, but their bond continues to this day. Also, this quote from DVF is rather amazing:

“When I met her, she was very kind of WASPy and I didn’t even think she was that pretty. But I loved watching her grow. She learns, she absorbs, she’s very entrepreneurial and she’s very nice.”

In sum: it sounds like Brooks’s departure was mutually agreed upon and that Brooks will be just fine without Barneys.


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