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Beyond the current Prada windows at Bergdorf Goodman, there’s a backstory about a unique partnership. Prada has leased shops inside upscale stores, but that’s not the case at Bergdorf’s, and Prada’s chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli takes a very hands-on approach to make it happen at BG.
This story first appeared in the March 6, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I have personally worked with many of the presidents who have succeeded each other in running the company: Dawn Mello, Jim Gold and now Joshua Schulman, to mention just a few,” Bertelli told WWD. “Our business relationship is based on a constructive collaboration. Each side has always sought to understand the needs of the other, and this approach has determined the success of our work together, in commercial and sales terms, with a double-digit average growth.”
Bertelli said Prada and Bergdorf’s “work in synergy in selecting products, with the closest attention paid to the requirements of the market and Bergdorf Goodman’s sophisticated clientele. On many occasions, products have been made especially for Bergdorf Goodman,” he said, citing the Prada women’s spring footwear currently on display. Within BG’s Prada assortment is a selection of four shoe and two handbag styles exclusive to the store for a period before the products arrive at Prada’s own stores.
The BG windows, installed last week and getting dismantled Sunday, feature large murals by Miles “El Mac” MacGregor based on the larger mural he created for the set of Prada’s spring fashion show last September, as part of an art collective entitled “In the Heart of the Multitude.” Prada ready-to-wear, shoes and bags are juxtaposed with the artist’s close-ups of women’s faces, graphic patterns and colors, which are interpreted as prints on Prada merchandise. Three adjacent vitrine windows display Prada women’s accessories.
Prada’s presence at BG has grown at Bergdorf’s over the last few years. A men’s shop opened in November 2011 in Bergdorf Goodman Men’s. Last fall, BG renovated the Prada shops for rtw and bags, and Bergdorf’s Web site sells women’s and men’s bags, shoes, small leather goods, accessories, sunglasses and fragrances. Women’s rtw occupies 1,300 square feet; accessories, 270 square feet, and men’s rtw, 1,100 square feet. “Bergdorf Goodman has the most comprehensive selection of Prada of any specialty or department store in America — and is the only one to represent all categories of the brand,” said Schulman. “We work closely with the teams at Prada to curate selections for the Bergdorf Goodman customer and are particularly proud to have exclusive styles as part of this collaboration.”