NEW YORK — After 29 years in the Bloomingdale’s fashion office, Stephanie Solomon is retiring. The retailer’s vice president of fashion direction and a popular figure on the international collections circuit, Solomon’s last day on the job will be Friday.
“Stephanie had a great feeling for Bloomingdale’s, the values of the company,” said Michael Gould, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “She was one of the great disciples of Kal [Ruttenstein]. Her passion and her enthusiasm for product and the Bloomingdale’s brand itself has been second to none. I will miss her. If we could only replicate the passion she had for product.”
Gould said a successor to Solomon has not yet been chosen.
Reflecting on her time at Bloomingdale’s after the Calvin Klein Collection resort show on Wednesday, Solomon said she felt “blessed to work with the biggest geniuses in the industry.”
Her decision to depart was based on several factors. Foremost, she plans to spend more time with her family, including her 15-month-old grandson and a second grandchild expected in August.
“I travel but I travel for Bloomingdale’s,” she said. “I am going to explore all the other talents that I have inside me. I never had the summer off my whole life. I don’t play golf, I don’t play tennis. I swim and I read the whole summer. I will eat. I will barbecue. I will talk to my tree, who is my best friend, in the country.”
At Bloomingdale’s, her roles ranged from preparing seasonal consumer catalogues to in-depth trend reports for the merchants. Solomon also worked directly with the internal visual team on windows, and was instrumental in scouting new designers for the store.
The legendary Ruttenstein had brought her to the store. “Not because I had experience but because I didn’t,” she recalled. “I was a teacher. I had no background in fashion. I did some work as a stylist. That was his reason. He said, ‘Anyone who can teach small kids can get by here at Bloomingdale’s.”