NEW YORK — Bloomingdale's beauty department closed a chapter of its history this week, when it bid farewell to Pat Ennis, who is retiring after a 33-year career at the retailer. And on Wednesday night, a number of industry heavyweights gathered to send Ennis off in style at the flagship's Le Train Bleu restaurant.
Ennis drew laughs when she noted that when she joined Bloomingdale's in July 1972, she left another job in which she had an expense account, a company car and a higher salary. "Mike Blumenfeld got me here," she said. She added that her son, Peter, tried Wednesday to take care of the car: "He ordered a limousine, thinking today was my last day," she said. "But I'm here until Friday!"
Ennis first served as a department manager at Bloomingdale's Fresh Meadows store. Four years later, she became a fragrance buyer for private label brands in the retailer's central office. In the Eighties, Ennis developed Bloomingdale's cosmetics business in the Metro region as regional manager of stores, opening new Bloomingdale's doors in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. In 1991, Ennis returned to the buying office as a cosmetics buyer. "When we opened Chicago," Ennis recalled, "we were staying at the Drake Hotel. The next day, it was announced that Bloomingdale's had gone bankrupt. Then we moved to the Days Inn."
She recalled another instance in which a goody-bag snafu had angered a guest at a Bloomingdale's event. "We had about 6,000 goody bags that were all wrapped beautifully [at a Queens warehouse]. One person opened theirs, and there was no product inside — just a note that must have been put in at the factory where they were assembled, which read ‘F--k you, you get nothing.'"
In addition to giving flowers and profuse apologies to the customer, Ennis and her team had to unwrap all 6,000 bags, "not knowing if that was the only one that had that."
While Ennis' sense of humor kept the laughs coming, the evening was bittersweet for many of her colleagues. "Pat has been a beloved and dedicated member of the Bloomingdale's family for over 33 years," said Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale's. "While we are thrilled for her as she embarks on her next journey in life, we are sad to see her leave. She has left us a legacy. She will always be a friend."Christina Casey, Ennis' assistant, read a poem called "To My Mentor," which she had written about Ennis. Barely holding back tears, Casey told the crowd, "She means more to me than she'll ever know."
Many in the room seconded that sentiment. "She has been an amazing supporter," said Bobbi Brown, chief executive of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Worldwide, noting that Ennis was one of the early retailers to stock her brand, bringing it into Bloomingdale's in 1996. "She's like a family member."
Knowing Ennis' love for red lipstick, Brown — who has been "working out of an L.L. Bean tote bag" since her offices were burned in a building fire in SoHo last weekend — presented Ennis with a customized lipstick palette. So great is her regard for Ennis that Brown included competing brands in the gift, sheepishly admitting that few shades in her line are a bright enough red for Ennis' taste: "This one is Dior's Dolce Vita and this one's Chanel's Shanghai Red," she said to laughter from the crowd.
Eric Horowitz, president of the Clarins brand division of Clarins Groupe USA, said he'll miss his weekly brand updates with Ennis: "We've had 20 years of Monday morning calls," said Horowitz. "We've gone a few rounds, but we're very fond of each other. She's been terrific. This is bittersweet."
Ennis' position has not yet been filled. "Whoever takes it over will have very big shoes to fill," said Howard Kreitzman, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of cosmetics and fragrances for Bloomingdale's.
For her part, Ennis knows exactly what her first order of business is: spending more time with her family, including her four grandchildren. She's also planning "a lot of traveling, perhaps some consulting and a lot of fun."
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)