By  on August 14, 2012

When Dawn Mello arrived at Bergdorf Goodman in 1975 as vice president of fashion, the store was a far cry from its current luxurious self. Bergdorf’s didn’t feature top designers, nor was there anything remotely plush about the surroundings. In fact, the store didn’t even have escalators — they weren’t installed until 1983 and the event was so momentous, then-chief executive officer Ira Neimark invited Carla Fendi to be the first to ride them.

“At the moment we came, there was great opportunity for the company,” Mello recalled. “The [founding] Goodman family had their own direction for the company. We came in with a different direction.”

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