NOLA For Sale At NYC’s Bergdorf Goodman
New Orleans themes dominated the coveted window space at Bergdorf Goodman at 754 5th Ave. in New York City this summer.
I bought my Sweet 16 dress on the fourth floor at Bergdorf Goodman – the same black and white polka-dotted number actress Holly Hunter wore in the movie “Broadcast News” (years before I knew I would become a print and broadcast journalist myself).
I used to get my hair done at Bergdorf’s on the ninth floor when famed celebrity hair guru Frederic Fekkai leased the space (where John Barrett now hangs his shingle). Once I sat next to President Donald Trump’s ex Marla Maples as three faithful stylists wrapped her long blonde hair around soda can-sized curlers, and another time I sat next to Ralph Lauren’s wife Ricky as we exchanged smiles between her phone calls and bites of her lunch.
I threw a blissful bridal luncheon for one of my New York City besties on the seventh floor at Goodman’s (now called BG Restaurant), where we sipped champagne and noshed on tea sandwiches in a room filled with lavender, white wicker and sweeping views of the neighboring Plaza Hotel and Central Park located a block away.
I discovered one of the best-kept secrets in the whole city on Bergdorf’s fifth floor – a little piece of heaven called “5F” tucked in the corner that held ridiculous sales for designer merchandise. There, I once bought an ultra-chic Vivienne Tam black “astroturf” mini-dress for a song. Today, the whole fifth floor is branded “5F” and caters to contemporary clothing, denim, shoes and accessories.
And taking the escalator past the second floor’s designer shoe section was like experiencing a morning sunrise where your eyes grew wide trying to take in the expansive rows and rows of fanciful Manolo Blahnik’s years before actress Sarah Jessica Parker strutted in her stylish size sevens and popularized the brand on the TV show “Sex and the City.”
A trip to Bergdorf’s is still like buying a one-way ticket to a fashion fantasyland. Growing up in Manhattan, the department store represented a bastion of beauty, style and service. A New York landmark since 1901, the enormous nine-floor luxury emporium is located at 754 5th Ave. at 58th Street, and is self-described as “the leading fashion authority and a singular destination for the most discerning customers from around the world.”
I eventually migrated down south from Greenwich Village to live in New Orleans, but this summer New Orleans migrated up north to Bergdorf’s to celebrate the city’s tricenntenial.
In partnership with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC), Bergdorf Goodman has been featuring New Orleans in its signature window displays, its fashion-forward magazine and its restaurants.
On display through Sunday, Aug. 5, Bergdorf’s five fashion windows along 5th Avenue featured New Orleans themes including festive celebrations, music, cuisine and architecture as backdrops to its Pre-Fall 2018 Collections, marking the first time the tony department store ever dedicated this coveted space to a tourism partner.
During its first partnership with a tourism partner, New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman featured a New Orleans crawfish and Mardi Gras mask behind select Pre-Fall 2018 Collection couture pieces to celebrate the Crescent City’s tricentennial. Credit: Bergdorf Goodman
“The city of New Orleans is an incomparable subject, a city alive with sights, sounds and joie de vivre,” said David Hoey, Bergdorf Goodman’s senior director of visual presentation, who created the whimsical window installations that included a giant crawfish and a larger-than-life Mardi Gras mask.
“It is well known that both New Yorkers and Bergdorf Goodman’s patrons are global citizens, and they know that New Orleans provides many wonder-filled experiences in cuisine, culture, music, history and architecture when visiting the Crescent City,” said Mark Romig, NOTMC president and CEO. “It is wonderful to see New Orleans and our tricentennial celebration come to life in New York City through the iconic Bergdorf Goodman windows.”
If you’re lucky enough to receive the epochal Bergdorf Goodman Magazine, you’ll see supermodel Dilone modeling the highlights of the Pre-Fall Collections including a blue dragon print long-sleeve dress and camel wool coat by Gucci and a flirty, sleeveless V-neck J. Mendel dress at Antoine’s; a slinky bias-cut Diane Von Furstenberg dress at Commander’s Palace; an exquisite dégradé floral jacquardAndrew Gn coat in front of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square; a fuchsia embroidered sequin tiger print Valentino dress in City Park; a multicolored striped Carolina Herrera dress in the French Quarter; and a Michael Kors Collection gray cashmere sweatshirt with pearl applique paired with duchesse satin flared cropped pants in the Marigny.
The issue also includes the “BG Guide to New Orleans” as told by creative director and New Orleans transplant Sara Ruffin Costello.
And Bergdorf’s is currently featuring New Orleans flavors at both its Palette Restaurant (formerly Good Dish), that’s nestled in-between the main and second floors at the “Beauty Level,” and the BG Restaurant.
At Palette, regarded as part art gallery, part café, New Orleans artist-in-residence Ashley Longshore curated everything during a recent renovation from the table settings to the brunch, lunch and cocktail menus in her signature pop art style.
Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro’s Chef Nina Compton, a James Beard “Best Chef: South” winner, is providing BG with a special menu featuring a shrimp rémoulade appetizer, two entrée choices of baked jerk drum or shrimp ragu with creamy heirloom grits and peach bread pudding for dessert along with a specialty cocktail.
“I'm honored to represent New Orleans in the Big Apple and help celebrate 300 years of the beautiful city that I call home,” said Chef Compton. “For this event, I created a menu that really showcases the unique food and culture of the Crescent City.”
View a video about Bergdorf Goodman Magazine’s New Orleans fashion photo shoot here