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Jim Gold, president and chief executive officer of Bergdorf Goodman, charmed 900 guests at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan Wednesday night during the annual National Jewish Medical and Research Center’s Retail and Fashion Industries Dinner Dance.
“A number of you just get a huge kick telling me it seems like my bar mitzvah party,” said Gold, the evening’s honoree and recipient of the Denver-based medical center’s National Humanitarian Award.
“I’m often reminded, I’ve got the best job in retailing. As Michael Gould [Bloomingdale’s ceo] told me, ‘When you go branching, you only have to cross the street.'”
Giovanni Mattera, director of de Grisogono luxury jewelry, said, “I was shocked when I first met Jim, he seemed so young. But he’s really proven himself. We do extremely well at Bergdorf Goodman.”
Gilles Mendel of J.Mendel said, “Jim is a visionaire. J.Mendel has, of course, always been known for fur, but we’ve been building up our ready-to-wear. Jim has really helped to bring the business to the next level.”
During his speech, Gold cited the medical center’s work in providing relief to children suffering from skin conditions, and praised the industry and his “dream team” at Bergdorf’s for making the evening a success. “It’s thrilling. We raised $1.1 million,” he said. “Our fabulous vendor partners came through once again.”
Many top designers, retailers and vendors were present, including Vera Wang, who took charge of the dance floor; Elie Tahari, who carried his daughter, Zoe, through the ballroom; Lawrence DeParis from Escada; Francisco Costa; Nanette Lepore; Andrew Rosen; Ralph Rucci, and Susan Sokol.
Gold also thanked Burt Tansky, president and ceo of the Neiman Marcus Group, for 15 years of mentorship. “He loves to push and challenge, but he’s always there to support, teach us and give us a good laugh.”
This story first appeared in the June 15, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.