Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman – courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman website

I love a good story; I especially love the story behind the story. It’s the reason that I started writing this blog. Because I believe that we all have a story and that magic happens when you look behind the curtain. And I love to peak – especially when it’s about fashion! A few months ago I saw a documentary about the legendary editor Diana Vreeland; today I watched an intriguing documentary – more of a love story – about New York institution and luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman. Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s tells the story of Bergdorf Goodman; why designers want to showcase there, why people want to shop there, and why employees love to work there. And oh yes, there is a little history about the two men who started it all …

New York tailors Edwin Goodman and Herbert Bergdorf joined forces and founded a luxury store, Bergdorf Goodman, in the Garment District in 1901. The business moved in 1914 to Rockefeller Center and again in 1928 to its present location, 5th Avenue and 57th Street, the corner of luxury-and-everything-elegant-in-New York. The site was originally the location of the Vanderbilt Mansion, which occupied the entire city block. When Andrew Goodman inherited Bergdorf Goodman from his father, he took the department store to its almost-mythic heights. Too much, you ask? Those interviewed contend that we need stores like Bergdorf Goodman to foster the American Dream.

Top fashion designers both domestic and international, including Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi, and Giorgio Armani, shared their voices and love for Bergdorf Goodman. But it is the stories of the internal Bergdorf family that I found the most inspiring: a family that includes senior vice president and highly influential buyer Linda Fargo, creator of its world-renowned windows David Hoey and spot-on, outspoken personal in-house shopper Betty Halbreich. These intimate glimpses give Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s its true appeal. Amy Fine Collins, special correspondent to Vanity Fair describes the glamour and allure of this one of a kind icon: “Bergdorf Goodman has decades and decades of accumulated history. Every nook and every cranny is a story.”

What do you think?

The Goodman Family. Courtesy of

The Goodman Family. Courtesy of Entertainment One Films US

 

 

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Visiting Daniel’s studio

Daniel, me and Chris

Daniel, me and Chris

Last week NBC’s Fashion Star was an emotional turning point for designer, Daniel. He struggled with the notion of compromising his artistic vision to meet the needs of the buyers. But he managed to stay true to himself and win the hearts of the buyers and his mentor Nicole Richie, not to mention winning a new Fiat! Well done, Daniel. You are an inspiration to designers everywhere!

When I met Daniel and Chris at 100%NY studio, I was impressed with their warmth and openness. Daniel is the co-founder, designer and creative director, and Chris is the brand manager and an important member of Daniel’s team. Daniel explained to me that he has two managers; one manages Daniel Silverstein, and Chris is responsible for managing the branding strategy for 100%NY. And what is the essence of 100%NY? According to Daniel: “to create beautiful things that don’t have a negative impact on our environment … Our brand is futuristic, but not in the space-movie sense; more in terms of where design is going. The look of our designs are body conscious and tend to use mesh and surface embellishments. But equally important, is that we are making everything in our own studio here in New York City. The goal is to slow fashion down while creating a no-waste environment.” It is also important to Daniel to make a difference for future designers: “I have always loved working with my hands. I want to educate people in the noble work of construction and give them pride and the skills to make their own designs. I would like to bring back to the notion of made in America.”

Chris added that there are several groups in New York City who are helping to facilitate designers. Manufacture NY and Maker’s Row, two such groups located in the heart of the Garment District, are doing just that.

I am looking forward to seeing how far Daniel will go on Fashion Star. But he has already won my heart!

Daniel and Chris with 100%NY Spring 2013 Collection

Daniel and Chris with 100%NY Spring 2013 Collection

Daniel's 'no-waste' creation - constructing a skirt

Daniel’s ‘no-waste’ creation – constructing a skirt

 

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Historic Garment District

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My first trip into New York after Hurricane Sandy pointed me in the direction of the historic Garment/Fashion District. It felt so good to be back in the city, and although Manhattan is magical as we enter the official holiday season, it was even more meaningful for me to feel the elevating energy of the garment industry, which has been critical to the growth of the American economy and New York City’s life-breath. The Garment District is the home of designers’ showrooms (like Cally’s Kal Rieman), warehouses and suppliers of fabric and materials.

Located between Sixth and Ninth Avenues, The Garment District extends from 34th Street to 42nd Street. Its historic roots date back to the early 20th Century and New York’s Lower East Side. By 1931, the Garment District had the largest concentration of manufacturers in the world. By the mid 1980s much manufacturing had left the Garment District, but many organizations are working hard to revitalize the area.

Here are glimpses of The Garment/Fashion District from my walk today …  P1000969

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