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111 Years of Extraordinary

From the Archives

5 29 2012

This fall, Bergdorf Goodman is celebrating its 111th anniversary with projects including a documentary film and a book. This is the first time Bergdorf Goodman has marked its birthday since 1951 — it’s going to be a festive season.


Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman, an anthology of personal recollections from notable designers, celebrities, writers and employees. Here are some highlights from inside the walls of BG.

Scatters my Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman

“I spent my very first commission check of $340 at Bergdorf Goodman. It was 1974. I was twenty-three at the time. I shouldn’t have been spending the money, but I ran my butt right over to Bergdorf, went up to their coat department, intimidated like crazy by the way those ladies handled me, and I spent the whole $340 on the fanciest coat I could find. The coat was god-awful, frankly.”


“I was asked to do a scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan. We filmed it in Bergdorf. They opened up the store on a Sunday, and I was with Miss Piggy. In the movie, we were working there. I was a little upset, though, because the swine stole the show from me. Under the counter, Jim Henson was working Miss Piggy with the hand and all that, and she was so lifelike and so funny that in between takes, I would still talk to her.”


“I walked up to her and said, “Can I help you?”

And she said, “Yes, I want this coat. What do you think? Does it fit me?”

I looked very carefully at her—but she did not look familiar. 

After she bought the coat and left, one of my cohorts came up and said, “Do you know who that was?”

And I said, “I have no clue.”

“That was Greta Garbo.””

- JACK COHEN, former fur department buyer

“New York women, especially Bergdorf women, are very forthcoming. They tell you everything. Sometimes too much.”

- MICHAEL KORS, designer

“They made it very easy. I just had started my company. I really had no idea how it all worked. They were very comprehensive and very nice about dealing with a young designer who didn’t know even what the prices should be. 

I remember exactly the order. It was 330 pairs of shoes.”


“At Bergdorf we did once have a bride who asked us to make her dress waterproof because she wanted to swim in it. “You want to do what in it?” I didn’t make it waterproof. I was a little worried she might drown.”

- GEORGINA CHAPMAN, designer, Marchesa

“I’m not afraid of the term “window dresser.” Most window people will not say that. They’ll call themselves visual merchandisers or something grandiose like that. But I mean, why not use the more modest term and then go way overboard and with the windows?”

- DAVID HOEY, senior director, visual presentation

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman SCATTER MY ASHES AT BERGDORF GOODMAN
By Sara James Mnookin
Introduction by Holly Brubach
Harper Design, $35
On Sale August 28, 2012

Do you have a special recollection of Bergdorf Goodman?
Write us and we’ll post the best on our blog.
Our favorite will be included in the book publishedto celebrate our 111th anniversary next year.
We can’t wait to hear from you.



Click to view more of our June Magazine
View more of our June Magazine