Barney Pressman; Famed Clothier

<i> From Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Barney Pressman, who pawned his wife’s engagement ring to open the discount men’s clothing store that has grown into the upscale emporium Barneys, has died at the age of 96.

Pressman died Saturday at St. Francis Hospital in Miami, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Pressman made his reputation with an unerring eye for fashion trends and a knack for brash and catchy advertising that echoed the sign over the doorway of his first, tiny shop: “No Bunk, No Junk, No Imitation.”

This year, Barneys is expected to sell almost $200 million worth of apparel.


Pressman got $500 for his wife’s engagement ring and opened a tiny store on 7th Avenue and 17th Street in Manhattan, where he sold well-made suits at a discount.

In the 1960s, Pressman’s son, Fred, started changing the store into the upscale shopping emporium it is today. It carries suits costing $450 to $2,000, as well as women’s apparel, elegant housewares, cosmetics and gifts.

Pressman retired in 1975. Isetan, Japan’s sixth-largest retailer, formed a partnership with Barneys to open Barneys stores around the world.