Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-Seventies was in the process of reinventing itself as a designer destination. Problem was, other retailers in Manhattan were more developed in the designer arena and had a stranglehold on the top names. Out of necessity, Bergdorf’s buyers had to be on the lookout for new talent. Dawn Mello, vice president of fashion, and her team traveled to Italy when most stores were going to Paris and found “unknowns” such as Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferré and Fendi. Designers who are well-established today speak of Bergdorf’s with reverence and gratitude. Some said that having their collections sold at the retailer was a seminal moment in their careers. Younger talents are enthralled with the store’s luxurious interiors, fantastically creative windows and refined staff.

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