Scott Tepper, an innovative buyer and fashion director who held key jobs at such luxury retailers as Liberty of London, Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, died Monday in New York after a short illness. He was 51."We worked together for 20 years. We really had a great friendship over that time," said Ed Burstell, senior vice president of product innovation for Neiman Marcus and a former managing director of Liberty of London and earlier, a senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman."Scott had a really, really unique eye," Burstell said. "He started his career at Mirabella Magazine. When you come into retail with an editorial eye, you have a different kind of balance when you build assortments and choose merchandise that is incredibly unique. He was amazingly talented."Burstell and Tepper worked together at Henri Bendel, Bergdorf's and Liberty.From 2001 to 2002, Tepper worked at Villa Moda in Kuwait, where he was head merchant and part of the team that launched the store. Tepper shifted to Bendel's in New York from 2002 to 2005 as a buyer and fashion director.At Bergdorf's from 2005 to 2010, he was a senior buyer for European and advanced footwear collections and responsible for such brands as Christian Louboutin, Prada, Azzedine Alaïa, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dior, Lanvin, Dolce, Valentino and Giuseppe Zanotti.From there, Tepper moved on to Kurt Geiger shoes, based in London, as head of luxury. He stayed there for over four years and was instrumental in adding Manolo Blahnik, Valentino, Isabel Marant, Alaïa, Tom Ford and Charlotte Olympia to the assortment.He reunited with Burstell at Liberty, where Tepper began as head of collaborations, spearheadeding several highly successful merchandise projects involving Nordstrom, Uniqlo and Saks Fifth Avenue, among other companies that partnered up with the London store. Tepper also developed the Liberty Sleepwear Collection, among other innovations there.
After leaving Liberty, Tepper worked on a number of consulting projects.
According to Burstell, a memorial service is being planned for some time in the spring.
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