item 1 - Gordon Cooke interview, 1986 November 5

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Identity area

Reference code

US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.3.1

Title

Gordon Cooke interview, 1986 November 5

Date(s)

  • 1986 November 5 (Creation)

Level of description

item

Extent and medium

MPEG file: 58.9 MiB, 42minutes, 40 seconds total length. Only 27 minutes audible. Original media format: Cassette.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Gordon Cooke was the Executive Vice President for Sales Promotion at Bloomingdale's throughout the 1980s, eventually leaving Bloomingdale's to work for Time Warner in 1992. While at Bloomingdale's, Cooke worked under Marvin S. Traub, who was in his final decade as the chief executive at the department store.

Name of creator

(1919-2012)

Biographical history

Estelle Ellis was born on November 12, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Hunter College in 1940, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Journalism, Ellis began a career in publishing. Ellis was crucial in the founding of Seventeen magazine in 1943, assisting Helen Valentine with design and advertising for the magazine. In 1958, Ellis founded Business Image, Incorporated, a creative marketing firm that stressed the importance of market and product positioning. Her company worked primarily with Condé Nast publications but other businesses, such as Yves Saint-Laurent Fragrances, Evan-Picone, AT&T, and Scoville, hired Business Image as well. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Ellis began working with the Fashion Institute of Technology, creating programs and fundraising campaigns to help with financial support. During the 1990s, Ellis focused on writing, co-authoring At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live With and Care for Their Libraries (1995), At Home with Art: How Art Lovers Live With and Care for Their Treasures (1999), and The Booklover's Repair Kit: First Aid for Home Libraries (2000). Estelle Ellis passed away on July 12, 2012.

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Scope and content

This interview takes place at a time when Bloomingdale's President Marvin S. Traub was being awarded the "Person Who Makes the Difference" award from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Gordon Cooke discusses the various ways in which Traub's style of leadership and business has made a difference in Bloomingdale's success not just as a department store but as an innovator in the world of promotions and business relations. Cooke uses Bloomingdale's country promotions as examples of Traub's creativity and insight regarding promotions. Cooke discusses the team-syle development of ideas, describing the equal value placed on promotions, design, sales, etc. as being instrumental in the creative development of Bloomingdale's. Cooke credits Bloomingale's with opening up trade with various countries before even the U.S. government had fully developed trade with these countries. Finally, Cooke talks about Traub's collaboration with both established and cutting-edge artists in advertisements and promotions.

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The tape has deteriorated and requires full volume for voices to be audible.

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Archivist's note

This was originally part of a larger recording that includes the Barbara D'Arcy interview

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