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Bloomingdale's (Firm) Pièce
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Russell Stravitz interview, 1987 January 16

In this interview, Stravitz focuses mostly on the challenges and successes he has faced in trying to expand the Bloomingdale's model into other markets. In doing this, he covers the importance of paying attention to each market's regional needs as well as ways in which marketing can be tailored to suit a particular market, culturally. At the same time, Stravitz explores what the New York store represents and how that can be carried through in other markets. A larger discussion of the crossover between department stores and specialty stores looks at what makes Bloomingdale's especially strong in both categories. As an example, Stravitz talks about the two "Bloomie's Express" specialty shops which Bloomingdale's had launched at JFK airport a few months before this interview. Stravitz describes the Bloomingdale's customer, across all markets, to be sophisticated, well-traveled, fashionable, and possibly affluent. In discussing his direct boss, Bloomingdale's CEO Marvin S. Traub, Stravitz describes him as deeply caring about the people he works with. He argues that Traub's personal concern for the business as well as the people connected to it result in high expectations as well as a supportive work environment. Traub's encouragement to try new things and his willingness to take the risk and support these ventures, Stravitz suggests, are what make Bloomingdale's an especially creative and entrepreneurial place.

Stravitz, Russell

Jeanette Jarnow interview, 1994 December 20

Jeannette Jarnow, former Chair of the Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department (FBM), discusses the small and intimate nature of FIT when she joined in 1956. She discusses the founding of the school by Morris Haft, Virginia Pope, and a handful of fashion industry insiders. She then describes the birth of the FBM department thanks to an endowment by Bergdorf Goodman as well as close relationships with Lord & Taylor, Abraham and Strauss, and Bloomingdale's. Jarnow touches on influential people from each department store and then goes into the student demographic make-up of the 1950s. Jarnow describes the changes at FIT over her 38 year career such as the former dress code. She then describes fundraising events and field trips to wholesalers and retailers. Jarnow also remembers famous speakers coming to the school such as Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. She recalls that Virginia Pope used to take students to the opera and other public events to experience fashion and culture. Jarnow briefly touches on her time as Chair and describes the publication of her book, “Inside the Fashion Business.” Jarnow also emphasizes FIT’s international reach and the vast array of career options alumni have experienced. Finally, she mentions the Oral History of FIT taken by Mildred Finger which was housed in the library.

Jarnow, Jeannette A.