There’s no better authority on longevity than Marvin Traub. “People are happier and healthier and live longer by being involved,” the youthful octogenarian said at Bloomingdale’s Tuesday night, when the store hosted a cocktail reception for him and his new book, “Like No Other Career.”
This story first appeared in the October 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Traub’s reach, touching retailers, designers, distributors, manufacturers, sometimes even dignitaries, was apparent with about 200 former colleagues, current clients, friends and family at the event. It was actually the second launch party for the book; the first was held in Paris earlier this month at the American Embassy. The event provided another occasion to celebrate Traub’s legacy at Bloomingdale’s, his successful second career as a consultant and dealmaker, and his resistance to retirement. “I have two partners whose combined age is less than mine,” he said.
“He’s like a young guy,” said the publisher Prosper Assouline. “It’s no surprise he’s got all these connections.” After selling 5,000 copies, the book is in its second printing, Assouline added.
Among those showing up for Traub were Ira Neimark, Ron Klein, Paul Charron, Tony Spring, Jack Hruska, Larry Leeds, Denise Seegal, Patrick Guadagno, Roger Farah, John Jay, Gordon Cooke, Mark Mendelson, Gil Harrison, and Lester Gribetz, as well as Lisa Marsh, who wrote the book with Traub and who said she’s got another project cooking, this time with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. It’s on designer cuisine, not designer couture, Marsh said.
For Traub, it was like a grand homecoming, returning to the store where he served as chief executive officer for 13 years until 1991, and also president for nine, and now 17 years later is partnering with Bloomingdale’s on planning its first overseas venture, a store in Dubai. “No project gives me quite as much satisfaction,” Traub said.
Bloomingdale’s current chairman and ceo, Michael Gould, said he spent two days with Traub in the Middle East, where, true to form, Traub demonstrated his ability to juggle different projects at the same time. “Marvin was carrying the book galleys with him,” said Gould. While Gould recognized Traub’s many accomplishments at Bloomingdale’s, including his imaginative and merchandise-rich promotions featuring different countries, he went on to say, “I am actually more impressed and bedazzled over what Marvin has accomplished over the last 17 years. To strike out and say I am going to start over — I am really blown away by his boundless energy.…He sees things differently. He sees the youth in something.”