09/22/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

From Hippies To Tiffany's: Has The Peace Sign Lost Its Meaning?

Barneys' British creative director, Simon Doonan, has strong memories of the symbol in its original context: growing up near the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment, he remembers "going with my parents and seeing the CND sign held up on broomsticks". These days, he believes, "a lot of people don't necessarily know the sign came out of the nuclear disarmament movement. But it still has meaning to people, it still carries a positive message of peace. It's become almost akin to a smiley face." He has asked designers including Nicolas Ghesquière of Balenciaga, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang to create dresses inspired by the peace sign. The store has commissioned a plethora of hippy-inspired products: tie-dye Converse hi-tops, psychedelic backgammon boards and high-fashion accessories including a Fendi baguette bag with a peace-sign key chain.

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