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Annette Green interview, 1996 March 12

This interview discusses Annette Green's contributions to The Fragrance Foundation. It begins with a discussion on the history of the company, Green's initial introduction and eventual rehabilitation of the foundation, and it's current position in the industry. Green discusses her involvement with starting the Cosmetic and Fragrance Program at FIT.

Julian Tomchin interview, 1986 November 24

This conversation has three main components: first, Tomchin discusses his work in the home furnishings department, consolidating the department into one cohesive collection under the guidance of a fashion director, similar to the structure of the clothing departments. This allowed the department to present more fully developed design ideas to the customer, encouraging the customer to work as her own decorator, just as the fashion departments allowed her to be her own stylist. Next, Tomchin speaks at length about Bloomingdale's emphasis on exclusivity of product, whether through the development of Bloomingdale's own signature products, through the introduction of new international products through the country promotions, or through the collaborative efforts between Bloomingdale's and manufacturers to create products that would be of special interest to the Bloomingdale's customer. This convseration focuses heavily on the importance of the educated buyer in understanding other cultures and being able to translate the excitement of products to the customer. Finally, Tomchin speaks to the major contributions and milestones of Bloomingdale's CEO Marvin S. Traub, who opened 5 new Bloomingdale's stores during the first 8 years of Tomchin's tenure with the department store. Traub is described as having a parental sense of care and interest in the store and as having a level of respect for the customer that translated into thoughtful selection and exhibition of products.

Conversation between Grace Kelly and Vera Maxwell, with an interview of Kelly by John Touhey

This interview consists of two main portions, the first being a casual conversation between Vera Maxwell and Princess Grace while looking at a photo album. The second portion is a formal interview by FIT's John Touhey with Princess Grace.

In the first portion, Maxwell and Princess Grace reminisce on their times together in Switzerland and their mutual love of tweed. The photo album prompts conversation regarding the accelerating rate of change in fashion, various hemlines, and fashionable silhouettes. The loose fitting styles popular at the time of the interview prompt Maxwell to repeatedly mention classic tailoring and body types. Press coverage of the fashion industry as well as coverage of Princess Grace's style is also discussed.

In the formal interview with John Touhey, Princess Grace describes her relationship with Vera Maxwell and then moves on to discuss trends in women's fashion and how they relate to personal style. She mentions her particular distaste for the "sack look" (likely referring to the gunney sack dress) and mini skirts, both popular styles at the time of the interview. Dior, Saint Laurent, Ben Zuckerman, and Vera Maxwell are all mentioned as favorite designers. An American film actress before becoming the Princess of Monaco, Kelly often had a large hand in developing her film costumes and she discusses working with costumer Edith Head while filming with Alfred Hitchcock.

There is also an interview with Nancy White about 2/3rds into the transcript.

Maxwell, Vera

Transcript from Burton Tansky, September 20, 1993

Writing by Tansky Burton, Chairman of Bergdorf Goodman, about Annette Green and her work with the Fragrance Foundation. He discusses the growth of the fragrance industry because of Green and her work with the Fragrance Foundation.

Fred Pomerantz interview, 1981 October 29 and November 5

Fred Pomerantz, long-time CEO and founder of Leslie Faye, discusses his start in the ready-to-wear business at age 10. Although he was briefly fired for insubordination, by age 18 he was running all of M.B. Kaufman. He then went into business with his brother, Michael. Pomerantz Brothers sold fur coats, and Fred talks colorfully of his sales methods. After enlisting as a teen during World War I, Fred attended a training camp. He talks about being the only Jewish person there and how, after being bullied to the point of being hospitalized, he came back and gained the respect of the rest of the camp. After a falling out with his brother ended their joint business endeavor, Fred founded Fred Pomerantz, Inc. and started in the dress business. That would lead him to found Silver Pom, for which he procured a factory in Mechanicsville, New York. Fred eventually moved to California to get into the retail business. He mentions proximity to Hollywood and tells the story of inviting 100 people to see him act in a Cary Grant film, only to find that his scene had been cut. Fred got into the retail business out west to little success and eventually returned to New York where he took a job with a piece goods house. Fred talks about the launch of Pommette and the realization of his dream to open Leslie Fay: a firm encompassing fashion, fashion shows, and annual advertisements in major women’s magazines. He tells a colorful anecdote about Dorothy Dean of AMC, and mentions his column in Women’s Wear entitled, “If I Was the King of Garment Town.” Fred goes on to say that Leslie Fay was the first company to produce petite dresses, and details his hard policies on sales. Leslie Fay went public in 1962 and Fred began building management up and increasing staff, while ensuring the maintenance of exceptional quality control. Fred also discusses two presidents of his company: Zachary Buchalter and John Pomerantz, his son.

Pomerantz, Fred

Barbara Bass interview, 1987 January 16

This interview covers broad subjects including women in the retail industry, family work balance, and the evolving role of the department store. The majority of the conversation concerns Bloomingdale's CEO at the time, Marvin S. Traub, with whom Barbara Bass worked closely. Bass talk about Traub's strong relationship with his wife, his high energy, his excellent listening skills, and his long-range style of thinking. Bass describes Traub as being pragmatic, and credits this as the reason why women and men are given equal opportunities in Bloomingdale's. Bass doesn't provide much information about her own job, only to describe her role as that of a "liason between the store line and the merchandising organizations." Though this was a time when there was speculation about the future downfall of department stores, Bass is positive in her statement that department stores will remain relavant as long as they continue to evolve with the customer. While Bass observes trends at this time to be less fast and severe than in the past, she does talk about Bloomingdale's as the birth place and death place of new trends. She then describes Bloomingdale's customer to be upscale, educated, "young-thinking", and traditionally dressed.

Terry Schaefer interview, 1986 November 21

This conversation takes place only a few weeks after Schaefer had joined Bloomingdale's as the Vice President of Marketing. Schaefer gives a quick recap of the previous 13 years of his career before talking about his thoughts on his new boss, Marvin S. Traub, as well as his new position at Bloomingdale's. Coming from first a marketing background and then, briefly, a retail background, Schaefer discusses the importance of retailers being fully aware of what people are reading, wearing, listening to, and even eating. This awareness is a qaulity of Traub's that Schaefer praises and which he attributes, in part, to making Bloomingdale's stand out in the retail industry. Schaefer also talks about Bloomingdale's distinguising itself by being a place of diversion, entertainment, and fun as opposed to being simply a mode of distribution. When discussing his job interview for Bloomingdale's, Schaefer recalls being impressed by the amount of thought and planning that evidently went into the future of the store and uses the country promotions as an example.

Jeanette Wagner interview, 1993 August 26

Interview of Jeanette Wagner, President of Estée Lauder. This interview discusses her career, Estée Lauder's fragrances, Americanization of Europe in regards of fragrance, and the use of fragrance in Japan.

Eleanor Fried interview, 1984 November 29

Eleanor Fried, the first head of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s placement office, discusses her upbringing and the circumstances that led her to the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in 1947, shortly after its founding. She describes the early academic departments at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) and its demographics. Fried then details the institute’s successful management program and how the placement office went about developing close relationships with department stores and other employers in the Industry. Fried emphasizes the vocational maturity of many of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s two-year graduates, but explains that some students chose to go on to four-year degrees elsewhere. While the placement department was extremely successful in placing most students, it was severely understaffed; so Fried often ended up employing students to help with outreach. She explains how she stayed in contact with alumni and asked for their ongoing input regarding the school’s curriculum. Fried then describes the positive changes brought about by affirmative action, especially in regards to staffing her office. She finishes the interview by describing a book she published following her retirement as well as two she wrote while at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) including, “Is The Fashion Business Your Business?”

Alan Reyburn interview, 1987 January 16

In this interview, Alan Reyburn talks about restuaranteuring in the context of the retail world. Reyburn ran all food operations at Bloomingdale's during the 1980s, including staff restuarants. After briefly describing his past hospitality job working for a cruise line, Reyburn explains that New York City is a restaurant city and the Bloomingdale's client is someone who considers food and dining to be part of the fashionable lifestyle. Reyburn attributes Bloomingdale's Marvin S. Traub for having the total vision that included food operations as part of the Department Store's success. Most notable among Reyburn's projects while at Bloomingdale's was Le Train Bleu, a rooftop restuarant designed to look like the luxury train used by travelers going between Paris and the Mediterranean. Reyburn shares a number of anecdotes about the inception, operation, and overall concept of Le Train Bleu. As Bloomingdale's was one of the few department stores to have its own restuarant at the time, Reyburn explains the challenges specific to running a restaurant within a retail environment. In regards to service, Reyburn believed that good service in the restaurant was even more important to the Bloomingdale's client than good service on the sales floor. Having traveled with Traub for business, Reyburn describes the Bloomingdale's CEO as being indefatigable, an adventurous eater, and keenly aware of his surroundings. He also describes Traub as having more vision than most retailers, seeing a broader picture and having a shorter temper.

James Preston interview, 1993 August 26

Interview of James Preston, Chairman Avon Products about Annette Green and the Fragrance Foundation, 1993 August 26. This interview discusses Preston's opinions and admiration for Green and the work she did for the Fragrance Foundation.

Dean Marion Brandriss interview, 1984 December 19

This is an interview with Dean Marion Brandriss, who retired from the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in 1973. Brandriss explains her work as an English teacher and how she came to work at the City High School of Needle Trades where she met Mortimer Ritter. Brandriss explains how Ritter hand-picked his favorite instructors to help him build what would become the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). She discusses touring high schools in the spring of 1944 to recruit students for the inaugural class, and offering incentives such as a weekly scholarship to all prospective students. Brandiss started at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) as the Director of Admissions, but elucidates the vast scope of work she and the small team were expected to take on. Brandriss describes the student body demographics, transitioning settings, and evolving admissions policies of the Institute as it continued to grow. Brandriss then explains how departments were added and goes into depth on the particular success of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)?s Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department. Brandriss ends the interview with a recollection of Mortimer Ritter?s insistence on the Institute?s name, saying that he wanted it to resemble that of M.I.T. in sound and flavor.

Carl Levine interview, 1986 December 12

Carl Levine describes his early years in the home furnishings business working for his small family business before talking about his start at Bloomingdale's. The Sr. VP of Home Furnishings at the time of this interview, Levine traces the major developments of the Home Furnishings department at Bloomingdale's throughout his 30 years at the department store. Describing the department as "having trouble" when he arrived in 1955, Levine speaks at length about Bloomingdale's decision to manufacture exclusive product overseas with a special attention towards accurate period reproductions. He then talks about working with Barbara D'arcy, the creator of Bloomingdale's innovative model rooms in the 1960s. Levine, who studied furniture and crafts and design at Syracuse University as well as the NY School of Interior Design, addresses the role of education in grooming a successful executive, especially in regards to understanding the history of fashion and design. In talking about Bloomingdale's CEO Marvin S. Traub, Levine describes his strong family life, his essential role as a diplomat in the creation of the country promotions, and his tireless determination and sense of humor. Finally, Levine addresses the concept of the "Bloomingdale's customer", taking into account the increasing number of Bloomingdale's stores across various regions.

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