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While the windows at Bergdorf Goodman are famous for dazzling pedestrians, the private offices of the visual-display team upstairs manage to be just as intriguing. My first stop was to pay a call on the glamorous Linda Fargo, the senior vice-president of the fashion office and store presentation. Linda was starting her workweek in a crisp dress by Stella McCartney accessorized with a gorgeous pearl necklace by Grazia Marica Vozza, all very much in sync with the décor of her corner office, where, she said, the wallpaper and blinds are from Janovic. Linda lacquered her originally mahogany office desk, she said, “to glam it up.” The chairs had been in the department store for over 30 years, covered in ivory leather, until Linda had them reupholstered in zebra-patterned needlepoint fabric.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Adding new hardware “changes everything,” Linda says. She gave her cabinet the Tommi Parzinger treatment with Lucite and brass pulls and decorative brass grommets.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

In the same spirit, Linda refurbished the interior of her bookshelf with gold leaf wallpaper.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

And she painted the inside of her mirrored closet the color cinnabar.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Linda had these black suede Céline shoes lying in wait for that evening’s events. They looked gorgeous but impossible to walk around in until she put them on, and then of course she wore them with the greatest of ease.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Each office tells its own story, and this closed door invites exploration, don’t you think?

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The interior reveals the spotlessly elegant office of Shane Ruth, the window manager. I was taken by the wonderful portrait of Andrew Goodman painted in 1960 by Felix De Cossio. It hung in Mr. Goodman’s executive corner office for years. “Fast forward,” says Ruth, “it’s been tumbling around the display department for a while and found its way into my office for ‘safe keeping.’ Since my office doubles as an archive vault and mini-boardroom, it makes sense. I tell people that he is my grandfather.” The chairs are Jugendstil by Gustav Siegel for Thonet Vienna, and the vintage metal palm tree was from a past window display. “I like having a tropical plant that I don’t have to water,” he says. The travertine tabletop is from the display department and has been “lovingly restored.”

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Shane’s office also has a very Hopper-esque painting: artist Mark Gagnon’s vision of the Bergdorf Goodman women’s and men’s stores.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

A closer look at Shane’s bookshelf reveals that it is not all work and no play—or rather, work is play when it comes to display.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The genius behind conceptualizing and fabricating the windows for the past 15 years is none other than the elusive David Hoey, whom I cornered here in his office after badgering him to let me in. He was totally fascinating. The words “Responsive, Reliable, Resourceful” are stuck to the wall with orange masking tape. His office is filled with images used in various windows over the years. The poodle painting is by Mark Gagnon.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

One wall of David’s office is filled with design books. He points out that only around 30 books in his collection refer to window dressing specifically, and that L. Frank Baum, who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, edited the first periodical about window displays.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

David explains to me, not once but twice, that this sculpture of a man’s head with a telephone is his “very favorite object of all time.” It looks like carved wood but it is actually painted resin.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

This wall of David’s office looks especially like a Magritte painting to me with its gray suede-covered bulletin board, empty save for a collection of keys and an in-box.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The wall facing David’s desk is covered with mementos of past and future window stories. For instance, the piece of needlepoint depicting a hunting scene, he says, is “to remind me that I want to do a window totally covered in needlepoint one day.”

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Jeffrey Moore (left) Chauncey Street and Rockaway Avenue, Bed-Stuy. According to witnesses, on May 29, 2007, Moore was run over (twice) by his girlfriend Jeanine Harrington. She was indicted on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon (her Nissan Pathfinder).

Derek Lake Houston Street and La Guardia Place. On June 26, 2006, Lake reportedly skidded on a steel construction plate and was crushed underneath the wheels of a passing truck.

Elijah Armand Wrancher (left) Springfield Boulevard and 130th Avenue, Springfield Gardens. On August 28, 2007, 12-year-old Wrancher attempted to ride his bicycle while holding onto a moving truck. He lost his grip and fell under the truck’s rear wheel.

David Smith Sixth Avenue and 36th Street. On December 5, 2007, Smith was biking up Sixth Avenue when the passenger-side door of a parked pickup truck opened unexpectedly. He was knocked into the path of an oncoming truck.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Fall Fashion Features

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.

 

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.
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