item 9 - Julian Tomchin interview, 1986 November 24

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Identity area

Reference code

US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.3.9

Title

Julian Tomchin interview, 1986 November 24

Date(s)

  • 1986 November 24 (Creation)

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item

Extent and medium

MPEG file: 49.5 MiB; 36 minutes, 1 second. Original Media Format: Cassette.

Context area

Name of creator

(Unknown)

Biographical history

Julian Tomchin was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1932. He fell in love with textile design while studying at Manhattan's High School of Music and Art. His fabrics are in wardrobes of some of the nation's most fashionable women and he has earned many awards.

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 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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

AOH87_01 Transcripts stops at 34:31 and audio is somewhat inaudible after this point.
AOH87_02 tape skips at 7:23, and resumes in the middle of a sentence at 7:30. tape does a lot of jumping between 19:20 and the end of the recording at 22:16. The jumps are large enough and frequent enough so as to make the conversation basically incomprehensible after 19:20. The transcript fully covers this section, however .

Audio is a little quiet throughout with a lot of "air noise" when turned up

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Archivist's note

This was originally part of a larger recording that includes the Carl Levine interview

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