Menace to Society
I hate department stores. They remind me of being a chubby 12-year-old with braces being dragged around by her mother to try on bat-mitzvah dresses at the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s located in the heart of Delaware’s Christiana Mall. (We eventually decided on an electric blue sleeveless number, and suffice to say I have vowed to burn the photobook of evidence the first chance I get.)
So sartorially misinformed was I that for many years I associated most department stores with the cheap and gawdy—obviously, I reasoned, most cool clothes come from stores that sold only their own brand, places like Ann Taylor, or Hot Topic. Up until embarrassingly recently, I didn’t understand what my so-called friends were driving at when they offered to take me shopping at Macy’s, Nordstrom’s or Bloomie’s. I just flashed back to Delaware and that blue dress and assumed that they were making some sort of ironic commentary on prom season.
But a girl can’t live in blissful ignorance forever, and by the time I was, oh, say, 28, I found out that, far from being tacky, New York’s haute couture was synonymous with, yes, Madison Avenue designer flagships, but also: Bergdorf’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys. I had never stepped into these hallowed halls of fashion. I had to take a Valium just to step into a Century 21, with its maze-like layouts, dressing room item limits and panic-inducing number of choices.
But I couldn’t wear jeans and sweaters with cat faces on them forever, and no matter how well that kitschy-cute skunk hat I had purchased last summer in South Dakota went over at a recent Broadway after party, I realized that eventually I would have to make peace with the luxury department store.
It’s the great white whale of Manhattan retail.
Aside from Walmart, Nordstrom is the store every retail broker in the city dreams of harpooning and reeling into a new home. One prominent broker familiar with the store, the amount of space it needs and the rents it would probably be willing to pay estimates that the commission for handling its lease would be around $10 million.
But like a leviathan lurking beneath the waves, the department store has offered only fleeting glimpses around the city, most notably at several development sites and a few existing assets with the capacity to accommodate its sprawling footprint.
The scuttlebutt nowadays: Nordstrom is contemplating one of two leases, one at the West Side rail yards with the Related Companies or another at the base of Extell Development’s soaring new residential tower now rising at 157 West 57th Street.
Evelyn Y. Davis, the octogenarian corporate gadfly, is best known for yelling at Lloyd Blankfein, the C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs. Last week, she showed a softer side at the shareholders’ meeting for Saks Incorporated.
“We get along fine,” she said of Saks Inc. “It’s not as controversial as Goldman Sachs.”
As is her habit in Read More
The hallway entrance to the annual Savannah College of Art and Design Etoile awards, hosted at the James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea on Monday, March 23, was lined with blown up, borderline-unflattering headshots of the evening’s honorees.
“It’s a little scary to walk in and see a big photo of yourself!” remarked the fashion Read More
Many American fashion editors, including Nina Garcia, will not be heading to Paris for haute couture shows this season due to significant budget cuts. [FWD]
Alexander McQueen has teamed up with Puma to design a sports-inspired clothing and accessories line for men and women. [WWD]
According to director R.J. Cutler, Read More
With government stimulus checks mostly spent, July was a gloomy month for retailers. WWD took a toll of the national chains that either fell short of expectations or took a hit last month–or both–compared to July 2007.
Sales were up 3 percent year-over-year at Wal-Mart, falling short of the 3.4 percent boost analysts Read More