Lighting never strikes twice, but evidently blackouts do. On November 9, 1965, the lights at the Fairchild offices went out as the entire Northeast experienced a 12-hour outage. “This is literally being written in the dark,” the paper wrote. “It is being written in the blacked-out city room of Women’s Wear Daily and it is being written because someone around here knows how to touch-type.” Reporters, dispatched to the major shopping areas, came back with the following news: B. Altman and Co. had its own emergency generator, Bloomingdale’s employees spent the night in the furniture department and at Lord & Taylor, men were taken to the third floor and women, to the second. “The great designer Norman Norell had himself spent the night delivering dresses on foot to women who wanted them for the candlelit parties,” noted the talented typist, “that seemed to pop up spontaneously all over.”
This story first appeared in the November 1, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On August 15, 2003, WWD reported on yet another major blackout that shut down power throughout the Northeast. Macy’s closed immediately; Cynthia Rowley walked down 24 flights of stairs from her Seventh Avenue office. “Amazingly, not everyone stopped working,” the paper reported. “Dana Telsey, the Bear Stearns analyst who specializes in the luxury and apparel industries, sat at her desk waiting for a conference call from Kohl’s scheduled for 5 p.m.”