MAY CO. STORES TO SHOW PRINCESS DIANA DRESSES
Byline: Arthur Friedman
NEW YORK — Romance Classics and May Co. stores are teaming up for a charity tour of the Princess Diana dresses purchased by the cable channel at Christie’s last June, two months before her death on Aug. 31.
Three evening dresses worn by Princess Diana will go on display, starting at the Lord & Taylor flagship on Fifth Avenue here on July 1, which would have been her 37th birthday.
L&T will show the dresses in its windows through July 13 as the first leg of a 12-city tour to raise money for the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, as well as local charities in each city.
In addition to L&T, the dresses will travel to May Co.’s Famous Barr, Foley’s, Kaufmann’s, Filene’s and Hecht’s stores in Los Angeles; Boston; Denver; St. Louis; Pittsburgh; Richmond, Va.; Rochester, N.Y., and four cities in Texas: San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston.
Each unit will support the event with newspaper advertising and will have a wishing well inside the store where donations may be made.
Martin von Ruden, senior vice president and general manager of Romance Classics, said the cable network, which airs “romantic” movies and similar fare, will provide signage and video monitors in some stores that will show clips from its “Diana Remembered” tribute.
That program will be broadcast July 1 in conjunction with the retail launch. On the same day, Romance Classics will run a day-long marathon of shows on Princess Diana and continue that theme throughout the month.
The programming includes tributes from 40 viewers taped during last summer’s “Legacy of Love Tour,” sponsored by the network, when $50,000 was raised for the memorial fund. The same dresses were showcased in that event, but this is the first time they will be shown in New York.
Von Ruder said it was Princess Diana’s wish when she had the dresses put up for auction that they be shared with the American public.