THE STARS COME OUT FOR MACY’S PASSPORT
Byline: Michael Marlow
SAN FRANCISCO — Designers and supermodels added glitter and glamour to Passport, Macy’s annual fashion blowout and AIDS fund-raiser here, but Allen I. Questrom set the tone with a surprise visit Sept. 22.
The Federated chairman, during his first appearance at a Macy’s West event since Federated Department Stores and R.H. Macy & Co. agreed to merge, calmed a lot of jittery nerves.
Guests questioned whether he was in town on official business, perhaps to swing the ax, or to shed some Federated and Macy stores. But the conqueror of Macy’s said, “This is just a social outing. That’s all.” Questrom said no decisions had been made on possible store closings at Macy’s West, Bullock’s or I. Magnin.
He said no buyer has come forward yet for the six New York City-area stores the New York attorney general wants Federated to sell.
Questrom also said Roger Farah would not be in the picture at the new Federated-Macy’s, but he stressed that Farah remains under contract at Macy’s through the end of the year.
“The Macy’s people have an obligation to run the business, and if something should fail, they have to make sure he’s still in place,” Questrom said. “So he’s obligated to the end of the contract. As far as I’m concerned, he has the right to have an office.”
Designer Susie Tompkins said she believed Questrom would be good for Macy’s.
“He comes to the showroom, and he wants to know firsthand what’s going on,” Tompkins said. “He’s an absolute merchant.”
Passport, which raised $450,000 Sept. 22-23, this year saluted designers Mark Eisen, Tommy Hilfiger and Gemma Kahng, and drew supermodels Bridget Hall, Mark Findlay and Carre Otis.
Hilfiger said he has postponed his jump into the women’s market until late 1996 or early 1997.
“We want to complete the whole men’s wear spectrum — shoes, watches and eyewear,” he said. “We recently did the underwear license.”