Selma Weiser, the charismatic retailer of avant-garde fashion who founded Charivari and in many ways kick-started global fashion in the U.S., died late Friday at her home on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. The cause of death was congestive heart failure, said her son, Jon Weiser. She was 84.
Along with her son and daughter Barbara, Selma Weiser was credited with discovering such talents as Marc Jacobs, Yohji Yamamoto, Anne Demeulemeester and Veronique Branquinho, and creating a hip, edgy atmosphere and merchandise mix. The Weisers were among the first in the U.S. to sell Giorgio Armani and the sporting British designer Katharine Hamnett, as well as Issey Miyake, Dolce & Gabbana, Marithé + François Girbaud and the way-out clothes of the British design firm Culture Shock.
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