NEW YORK – Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman’s highly regarded visual executive, has become the store’s new women’s fashion director.
She succeeds Robert Burke, who is officially leaving on Jan. 15 to start his own consulting firm. Burke is senior vice president of fashion and public relations.
Jim Gold, Bergdorf’s president and chief executive officer, revealed the appointment exclusively to WWD and added that the promotion is among a series of organizational changes at the luxury store currently being orchestrated.
Fargo has been named senior vice president, fashion director and store presentation. She will oversee the women’s fashion office, which is managed by Roopal Patel, and will continue to oversee store presentation, which involves windows, in-store visuals and interior design. She had been vice president of visual merchandising and has recently been taking on a greater role in store design and renovation projects and imaging.
In another key change, Mallory Andrews has been named vice president of p.r. and special events, in a broadening of her responsibilities, as well. Previously, Andrews was vice president of special events. Burke handled p.r.
Also, Susan Homan, formerly director of visual merchandising, will become vice president of visual merchandising. “She is taking the position that Linda had before, and will report to Linda,” Gold said.
More changes are expected to be announced soon, but Tommy Fazio was named men’s fashion director earlier this week. He reports to Margaret Spaniolo, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and home.
“Linda has an incredible eye for fashion and a great sense of style,” Gold said. “She has been at Bergdorf Goodman for 10 years. She is perfectly equipped to help the merchants shape the fashion direction of the store, and, given that she oversees visual, she can now be better able to bring fashion to life at Bergdorf Goodman.”
Gold acknowledged that Fargo will be in a learning situation for awhile, though he added the transition should be “seamless.”
“Anytime you assume new responsibility there is a learning curve, but Linda is a quick study and has a passion for design and she can help us bring a more informed eye to the presentation of product in our store. When we identify the trends or designers we believe in, Linda will be very much a part of that process, and when she works with the visual team, she will help to insure that the product we are committing to is most effectively presented in the store.”
In further explaining Fargo’s new role, Gold said: “Linda oversees men’s from a store presentation standpoint, but not from a fashion standpoint.”
“What will make this a seamless transition is that Linda already has very close relationships with the market. She has a sensational reputation.”
Gold added that Andrews has been at Bergdorf Goodman for a total of 10 years in a couple of different stints, and was in charge of p.r. at Barneys New York for 11 years. She also handled p.r. at J. Crew and Sotheby’s for shorter periods. “She is a real pro,” Gold said.
“It’s always very satisfying when you can promote from within and expand responsibilities of people already within your organization.”
Bergdorf Goodman is a division of Neiman Marcus Group, whose Neiman Marcus Stores division currently is searching for a fashion director of its own to replace Joan Kaner, who has retired.