Throughout its history, Bergdorf Goodman has been immortalized in films like How to Marry a Millionaire, (1953), staring Lauren Bacall, That Touch of Mink (1962) with Doris Day and Cary Grant, Penelope (1966) featuring Natalie Wood, Airport (1970), Arthur (1981) with Liza Minnelli and Dudley Moore, and most recently Sex and the City.
The origins of Bergdorf date to 1899, when Herman Bergdorf, a French immigrant, opened his atelier in Manhattan’s Union Square. Edwin Goodman began working for Herman Bergdorf when he was 23 years old, and later acquired shares in the company, changing its name to Bergdorf Goodman. Bergdorf retired in Paris, while Goodman remained in charge of the company. This circumstance allowed Goodman to make the store more glamorous and luxurious, as was his intention from the beginning.
In 1914, Goodman became the first couturier to introduce a “ready-to-wear” line, and turned Bergdorf Goodman into a desirable destination for French and American fashion.
Over the years the store changed locations to suit their customer´s demands, until 1928, when they settled in the current address at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 58 Street, the site of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s former mansion. It is a splendid building overlooking Central Park, in one of America’s most exclusive zip codes.
By 1951 Goodman´s son, Andrew, succeeded his father at the head of the company and further raised the store’s profile by expanding its services and opening a fur department. Currently the Bergdorf Goodman stores are part of the Neiman Marcus group, owned by the private firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus.
The new documentary Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf celebrates the luxury retailer’s 111th anniversary with commentary by Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Kors, Joan Rivers, and a suite of writers, celebrities and company staff. Alongside the film, Harper Design published a book by the same title, written by Sara James Mnookin. Additionally, Bergdorf has commissioned an exclusive collection of 111 pieces by 111 designers, who currently sell their pieces at the store. Among them, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Louboutin, Diptyque, John Derian, and many more. The icing on the cake was a birthday bash at the Plaza Hotel, located just across the street from the shop. The guest list included designers Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Cynthia Rowley, Derek Lam, Jason Wu, Peter Dundas, Georgina Chapman and Gilles Mende, models Karolina Kurkova, Carolyn Murphy and Coco Rocha, songwriter Rita Ora as well as the who is who in American fashion.
At 111 years old, Bergdorf Goodman remains an iconic presence in Manhattan with the latest trends in fashion and decorating. It is a mandatory stop for discerning fashionistas and socialites.
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