NEW YORK — Fun shopping in a department store?
It’s not the usual big-box fare, yet the “Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman” shop that opened Saturday captures the spirit by exposing the personal style of Linda Fargo, the retailer’s senior vice president, women’s fashion director and store presentation, and by displaying many of her fashion favorites from her closets at home.
It’s all Linda — flamboyant, exotic, with a dash of vintage and lots of unexpected, quirky products, like the colorful bohemian crochet top by Valentino, the Sacai Navajo-style plissé blouse and a pineapple silk charmeuse flapper gown by Gucci.
There’s also an ostrich feather tree standing lamp from a U.K. company called A Modern Grand Tour, and Italian black truffle almonds from Squirrel Brand, which Fargo regularly buys. “That’s my favorite hostess gift instead of the ‘ye old’ bottle of wine.”
Among the exclusives: a Ben-Amun reissued star necklace, an Adam Lippes overcoat and matching umbrella adorned with de Gournay prints, Patricia Fields cape jackets with artwork by Pink Lips and Morlock, Ranjana Khan mochilas and L’oeil Du Vert scented feathers.
“I love a sense of drama,” Fargo said during a tour of the space. “Shopping hasn’t been enough fun for people. I want to bring the joy and sense of discovery back. Everything about this shop is pretty personal.”
Her own outfit that day — a long leopard-print skirt by Dries Van Noten, leopard-print sandals from Gianvito Rossi and a black Theory top — was sharp, though not as over-the-top as much of what’s in the shop. Leopard prints are her signature, though her taste runs the gamut from clear-cut classics to dramatic, risky choices that are borderline fashion faux pas.
Overall, Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman presents an eyeful of ready-to-wear, accessories, curios, vintage pieces, decorative home pieces, beauty products, edibles, books and art — unique items Fargo found over the years while traveling, visiting showrooms of designers and artisans, and shopping, or pulled from her girlfriends’ closets. The merchandise will change four times a year, and much of what Fargo found at home was reproduced by designers. “People were willing to do it. That’s been a lot of work,” she said.
The decor of the shop enhances the exotic aura, with hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper evoking tropical flora, fitting room walls covered in Fargo’s collection of fashion show tickets, and windows draped with raffia.
Fargo said Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman is not all about luxury, with items running “couture to contemporary.” She’s developing a Linda lipstick with Le Métier de Beauté and a proprietary fragrance with Kilian. Asked if this is the beginning of a Linda Fargo lifestyle brand, she hesitated to answer, then replied, “That would be my dream.”
Her shop is also seasonably appropriate. “It’s all things we can wear right now for summer,” Fargo said. “You are not going to see shearling or heavy cashmere which a lot of stores are taking in with pre-fall collections.”
So what about that pink broadtail fur jacket from J. Mendel or the Oscar de la Renta emerald mink cropped jacket? “They’re summer furs,” Fargo explained. Seems like she’s come up with a new category for outerwear.