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Barbara Bass joined Bloomingdale's in 1980 as Operating Vice President for Branch Store Merchandising and remained with the company for almost seven years. Before coming to Bloomingdale's, Bass had worked for Burdine's, another division of Bloomingdale's parent company, Federated Department Stores. In April 1985, Bass was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager at Bloomingdale's. This interview takes place roughly one month before Bass was named Chairperson and CEO of San Francisco's I. Magnin & Company, another division of Federated. While she praised Bloomingdale's equal treatment of women in the workplace, her new role at I. Magnin & Co. made her the first female CEO of any of the Federated divisions.
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was an English fashion and portrait photographer and a stage and costume designer for films and the theatre.
American fashion designer known for her high-end sweaters.
American fashion designer. A modernist, Beene’s inventive geometric cuts and in-depth understanding of the human body made him one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century.
In deference to a family tradition, Beene enrolled as a pre-med student at Tulane University in 1943, despite his childhood penchant for fashion. While at Tulane, Beene was notoriously caught sketching the gowns designed by Hollywood costumer Adrian in his anatomy book. Three years later, he withdrew from Tulane University and moved to Los Angeles, where he became employed in the display department of the store I. Magnin. In 1947, he moved to New York to study at the Traphagen School of Fashion, but having concluded that the focus of postwar fashion had shifted to France, Beene transferred to Paris’s Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne the following year. During his two years at that institution, he also studied life drawing at Académie Julian, and in the evenings was apprenticed to a master tailor for the couturier Edward Molyneux. As an apprentice, Beene honed his skills in construction and cut, acquiring in turn an appreciation for subtle elegance that would become a key element of his designs in the years to come.
By 1951, Beene had returned to New York. In 1952, he began his fashion career in earnest as the in-house designer for Harmay. His design talents were soon recognized by Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, who selected one of his dresses to be featured in the magazine. In 1963, immediately following an eight-year turn with the design house Teal Traina, Beene launched his own company, Geoffrey Beene Inc., on Seventh Avenue. Beene’s awareness of a woman’s desire to express her individuality through dress gained further prominence in his designs, and he began experimenting with his ‘architectural’ dresses, loose-fitting garments that belied their heavily structured interiors. By the late 1960s, Beene’s fascination with popular culture began to influence his work and his collections increasingly reflected a modern sensibility. Iconic designs produced during this period, such as his sequined football jersey dresses (1967), the ‘Gangster’ collection (1968) and evening dresses crafted from sweatshirt fabric introduced a relaxed spirit to the world of high fashion, marking the beginning of Beene’s design evolution.
Beene became one of the first American designers to produce a secondary line of more affordable clothing, when in 1971 he launched his Beene Bag label. At this point in his career Beene began to rethink the relationship between clothing and modern living. Believing that the body should define the shape of a garment, Beene used less structured fabrics, such as jersey, to produce softer and more fluid designs. However, these designs were widely criticized by a skeptical American fashion press. In 1976, aware that European endorsement would promote acceptance of his designs at home, Beene became the first American ready-to-wear designer to show his collections in Europe, where they were well received.
It was not until the early 1980s that Beene initiated what he called his ‘true glorification of the body’. Through unique cuts, seaming techniques, sheer panels and color changes that served to accentuate specific areas, he focused his designs on parts of the female body seldom considered. Incorporating the use of triangular panels in his 1984 collection, Beene presented a novel method to alternatively reveal and conceal the body. These geometric cuts sculpted the body while permitting more fluid movement. His single seam and curved seam dresses, produced during the mid-1980s, remain among his most significant contributions to fashion. Beene’s pairing of contrasting fabrics, such as melton wool and point d’esprit lace, was quickly established as a design trademark, giving his designs a playful, irreverent quality. Through careful refinement of such methods, the progression of Beene’s innovative design techniques and ideas continued into the 1990s (see fig.).
Beene defied conventions throughout his lengthy career, forging his own path until his death in 2004. His fashion shows, for example, featured dancers in avant-garde presentations intended to accentuate the kinetic qualities of his garments rather than showcase supermodels on a catwalk. Often overlooked by the media, Beene’s contributions to the world of fashion were nonetheless honored with eight Coty Awards, and three museum retrospectives: in 1988 at Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland and the National Academy of Design in New York, and in 1992 at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Other honors included the Neiman Marcus Award (1965), the Marshall Field Distinction of Design Award (1975), the CFDA Designer of the Year award (1986/87) and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (1992). Indeed, his original designs have proven to be timeless classics for the independent woman.
- Corporate body
Founded around 1890, the fashion house Beer was one of the four oldest in Paris, its only predecessors being Worth, Doucet, and Paquin. Designer Gustave Beer’s design philosophy was “conservative elegance for conservative customers,” which included the who’s who of international royalty. The former Czarina of Russia and queens of Belgium, Italy and Romania were patrons of the house, which was reputed to have the highest prices in Paris. The house was especially known for their evening gowns, rich embroideries, furs and lingerie. Founder, Gustave passed away in 1908 after which time Beer continued under the direction of Paul Trimbach and Monsieur Pierre, who served as the head designer into the 1920s.Merged with Drecoll in 1929 under the name Drecoll-Beer. Drecoll-Beer merged with House of Agnes in 1931, dropped Beer from name.
Barbara Bel Geddes was an American stage and screen actress.
Founder of A. Beller & Co.. Brother-in-law to Max Meyer.
Jack Benny (1894-1974) was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and actor.
Actress and granddaughter of Elsa Schiaparelli.
"Fashion Designer Anne Marie Beretta was born in 1937 in Béziers, France. She arrived in Paris in 1957 at the age of 20 and was encouraged by Roger Bauer at Jacques Griffe to pursue a career in fashion.
In the 50's, she worked for Antonio Castillo, designing for the theatre in her spare time. She also worked for Jacques Esterel for some time. In 1965, she joined manufacturer Pierre d'Alby and launched a highly successful line of brown linen garments. She then went on to work for Georges Edelman, Ramosport - who manufactured her rainwear line in the 80's - and thereafter for Bercher.
In 1974, after about 20 years in training, Anne-Marie Beretta established her own ready-to-wear label. She has a serious sombre style and sees her clothes as mobile sculptures. She also designs ski-wear. Max Mara's collections of stylishly tailored suits were designed by Anne-Marie Beretta. Her trademark is a play on proportions, from wide collared coats to mid-calf length trousers and asymmetrical lines.
In 1986 she was awarded the prestigious French honour of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres." https://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/designers/annemarie-beretta/
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- 1901 (date of establishment)
Bergdorf Goodman began as a custom tailoring shop in 1901, named such after Edwin Goodman (1876-1953) bought out his partners in what had previously been the tailoring firm of Bergdorf and Voigt. Goodman had acquired a reputation for immaculate tailoring and an inspired understanding of cut and materials. Bergdorf Goodman expanded into ready-to-wear in 1923, but continued to offer custom clothing and millinery well into the 1960s. It was one of the last department stores to offer this service, indicative of the very wealthy clientele who favored Bergdorf Goodman and placed orders from around the globe. Primary couturier to New York society, Edwin Bergman and the Bergdorf Goodman custom salon also outfitted international royalty, Broadway and Hollywood stars, and the elites of Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and the West Coast, many of whom spent $100,000/year in the store. Bergdorf Goodman was known for the immaculate craftsmanship of its clothes, and later for furs.
The custom salon was never strictly profitable for Bergdorf Goodman because of the high cost of labor and materials, and the cost of research and buying trips to Paris and Italy. A 1951 Business Week article on the department store reported that the custom salon “has not made money since 1929.” The salon employed 3 top-notch designers, 115 dressmakers, 55 tailors, 14 dressers, a “string of saleswomen, models, and assistants,” not to mention the sketch-makers and watercolorists who produced the sketches that comprise most of this collection. But this boutique service raised the profile of the department store and the house designers who worked in the custom salon also contributed designs for Bergdorf Goodman’s ready-to-wear collection. Edwin Goodman has been credited with extending the construction techniques of higher-end garments (deep hems and cutting on the true bias) to ready-to-wear, and raising the standards for the mass manufacture of clothing in the United States.
Andrew Goodman (1907-1993) succeeded his father as President of the store in 1951 on the occasion of the store’s 50th anniversary, and remained active until 1975, three years after it became part of the Broadway-Hale department store chain. Bergdorf Goodman subsequently became a division of the Neiman Marcus group. The store has been at its present location at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue since 1928. Unlike other department stores, Bergdorf Goodman never expanded to include branches in the suburbs.
Bergdorf Goodman Inc. is a luxury goods department store based on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. The company was founded in 1899 by Herman Bergdorf and was later owned and managed by Edwin Goodman, and later his son Andrew Goodman.
- 2004 (date of death)
Sidney Bernstein was the Vice President of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. He began with the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) as a real estate adviser and scouted what would become the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s campus on 7th Avenue. Bernstein helped found a scholarship for fashion students and was the longest serving member of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s Support Foundation. He passed away in 2004.
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