collection US.NNFIT.SC.381 - Bergdorf Goodman hatbox

Identity area

Reference code

US NNFIT US.NNFIT.SC.381

Title

Bergdorf Goodman hatbox

Date(s)

  • 2017 November 03 (Accumulation)

Level of description

collection

Extent and medium

1.17 linear feet

Context area

Name of creator

(1901-)

Administrative history

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.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Cheryl Fein

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection consists of a single 9 1/4" x 14" silver round Bergdorf Goodman hatbox.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and College Archives. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment contact us at fitlibsparc@fitnyc.edu or call (212) 217-4385.

Conditions governing reproduction

The Department of Special Collections and College Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#108) when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

US.NNFIT

Rules and/or conventions used

AAT; ANSI; DACS; DCMI; ISAD(G); ISO; LoC; NISO; etc.

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

  • Latin

Sources

Accession area

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