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Bloomingdale’s to Host First Designer ‘Open-See’

Bloomingdale's is on the lookout for ready-to-wear and accessories collections.

Bloomingdale’s is out to find some new talent.

This story first appeared in the January 30, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The retailer will be giving new fashion collections the once-over at its first designer open-see for women’s ready-to-wear and accessories at the New York flagship Feb. 6. Newbies will have their first crack at impressing the store’s fashion office executives from noon until 4 p.m. Everyone will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Bloomingdale’s also plans to hold open-sees March 6, April 3 and May 1.

“We’re very excited to be doing our first open-sees at Bloomingdale’s,” said Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction. “Giving young talent the opportunity to present to our fashion office broadens our scope beyond market visits. We’re hoping to find the next great, emerging designers.”

Henri Bendel has held open-sees for designers for more than 40 years. More than 500 aspiring designers have been known to camp out for hours at Bendel’s open-sees for a chance to have their collection carried in the store. Bendel’s legendary chief Geraldine Stutz was the first to start screening unproven talent in the Sixties. Over the years, Todd Oldham, Anna Sui, James Purcell and Colette Malouf were among those whose careers were launched by turning up with designs in hand at the Fifth Avenue flagship. Bendel’s next edition will be held March 30.

Bloomingdale’s executives declined to speculate about the projected turnout for next week’s event.