item 9 - Julian Tomchin interview, 1986 November 24

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Julian Tomchin interview, 1986 November 24


  • 1986 November 24 (Creation)

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

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Julian Tomchin joined Bloomingdale's in 1978 with the intention of centralizing the home furnishings department under one director, modeling the position after the familiar Fashion Director role in the clothing departments. Additionally, Tomchin was tasked with developing Bloomingdale's exclusive merchandise for the home furnishings department. As of 1986, Tomchin was Bloomingdale's Senior VP Fashion Director of Home Furnishings and Cosmetics and had been with the company for 8 years.

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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.

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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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