Hello,Welcome! Sign In | Register       
Your Position: Home > Fashhion Guide > Human Brands

Human Brands

Wayn / 2013-09-19
[] [] []

Designing experiences and retail strategy | enlightening presence in the power of feminine visionaries.

Right now, Girvin, the firm, is comprised mostly of women. And over time, I've found that women, as team partners, are superlative creative resources. And, from 35 years of client perspectives, ?there are many long-running relationships that are based on feminine leadership from wholesale oakley sunglasses, CMOs, COOs in technology, product development, brand managers, interactive leaders, marketing, brand strategists, packaging mavens and start-ups to brands that are dozens, if not hundreds, of years old.

Any examination of the most powerful leadership in the world invariably culls a potent cadre of women that drive decisions at the top,?listed here.?

But this proposition is about two women that I've met, that have lead extraordinary living, life-long campaigns as retail visionaries. And surely there are more but this is personal, and that's a guiding rule for more of what I've done it's all personal.?

Work, for me, starting in the 70s, in NYC, was about embracing the city and the creativity that resounded there. And I was an inveterate stalker of the cool back then, as now. But I was most particularly interested in the people –themselves and less so the businesses that they represented. I tried to connect with the leadership of the brands that I found the most compelling. And the people that were in the news. To learn about what was happening, more than 30 years ago in NYC, I subscribed to W | WWD, Interview and to New York Magazine. I also subscribed to the various international design, retail, interiors and architectural magazines. That might've been the real nexus the curiosity seeking for seeing what was going on.

And if there was someone incredible, simply I'd pursue them. Men, or women I'd seek them out; or they would come to me, by good fortune. So that might've been luminaries like Jorge Luis Borges, Milton Glaser, Herb Lubalin, Philip Glass, Jack Lenor Larsen, Diane Von Furstenberg, Cathy Hardwick, Joseph Montebello, Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Antonio Lopez, John Jay, Nob+Non Utsumi, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Harry Partch –?others.?For me, it's about the reach to the person and my legacy is about doing just that; explore your curiosity, find someone that you're interested in, and go and talk to them.

Being in that swing, that circuit of exploration, I met back then, Geraldine Stutz. The opening connection there was?Bobbie Currie, who was a window dresser extraordinaire, back in the old days (the 70s). Then from there, meeting him he was an itinerant consultant of the hippest of the hip window installations I met Geri Stutz. Watching him work, at night, on an installation at Bendel's Stutz came by to see what was happening, or better still, really, was working late as well and the alignment occurred.

What sequencing then? "What I like about your store, is that it's kind like a village" to GS's retort: "and that's the point of it, that it's supposed to be intimate, that it is a series of shops, in shops the store is a bigger experience, but it works because it's many smaller shops, that create a kind of shopping village a street of them. And I can change them ones that work, stay; and ones that don't work, go. And of course, Robert's work celebrates them all creating the kind of drama that brings people into the store in the first place." I can recall that phrasing, for me, being a profound conversation that moment, that idea. That it's not the story of the store, that the very?story is the store is many stories?– it's not just one big monolithic enterprise, but rather is many individuated expressions.

It's hard to find more on her, as remarkable as she was I'm sure there's more out there, in terms of her presence, offerings, history, but even wikis are scant: "Geraldine Stutz (August 5, 1924 – April 8, 2005) was an American retail groundbreaker. She was president of Henri Bendel for 29 years. Born in Chicago, Illinois, she began her career as a shoe editor at Glamour. Her name first became really known when she was Vice President of I. Miller Shoes in the 1950s where she helped launch Andy Warhol. From there she was selected to head Henri Bendel."?

She introduced the famous "Street of Shops", the boutiques-within-a-specialty-store concept which later gained wide popularity at the store's former location on 57th Street in New York City.?The?Bendel retail empire?is presently owned by Limited Brands based in Columbus. And up to that time, before the acquisition the personality most associated with the store was Stutz, the HB president for twenty-nine years until 1986 when the store was sold. Given some earlier notations on the Limited, and the?characterization of that founder, Leslie Wexner, his meditations on merchandising and sales, it's no wonder the store was an attractive target.

Wilbur Pippin (NYTimes)

Stutz was once asked: "What is the difference between mere fashion and true style?"

Her answer was: "Fashion says ‘Me too', and style says ‘Only me'."

There is a link, to the love of shoes, in Stutz's background and the Belgian legacy of shoemaking, and the founding family of Henri Bendel.?Colleagues described Ms. Stutz as an industrious learner who immersed herself in the subject matter. Grace Mirabella, the former editor of Mirabella magazine, recalled an introduction to Ms. Stutz in the early 1950′s, when Ms. Mirabella was working at Vogue. "She loved to talk about the business and what was going on behind the scenes, and she knew everything about shoes," Ms. Mirabella said, according to obituary notes in the New York Times.

Ms. Stutz put her knowledge to practical use when she went to work for several footwear manufacturers, including I. Miller, the company for which Andy Warhol designed advertisements, after it was sold to the conglomerate Genesco.

Indeed, one of the scions of the Bendel group only just passed away (well, about a decade ago) "Henri Bendel, the founder of Belgian Shoes and a former president of the fabled Manhattan specialty store founded by his uncle in 1909, died at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.

As the store leader –?before Geri Stutz?– Bendel assumed the presidency of the store in 1935 after the death of his uncle, for whom he was named, and he retired in 1954 when the family sold it.?Mr. Bendel, who had worked closely with several Belgian shoe-making families during the 19 years he served as president of Henri Bendel Oakley Limited Glasses Inc., purchased two 300-year-old shoe manufacturing companies in Belgium in 1956 and began producing a casual, classic loafer that became a staple of New York fashion.

The hand-tailored, slipper-soft shoes, made for both men and women, come in many colors and materials, and are trimmed with a signature bow readily recognized by fashion connoisseurs and that design link came to be known as the bridge for Geraldine Stutz's move into the leadership at the helm of Bendel's. Some of this stylish grouping of shoes are regarded as collectibles and are still widely copied by other designers.?

The Henri Bendel store was for decades a prestigious outlet for such haute couture fashion houses as Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga. It was sold by the Bendel family in 1954 to a group of investors and it was at this juncture that Ms. Stutz took control of creative leadership. And it was the evocation of invention, guts and risk-taking that allowed her to flourish –?a legendary eye for discovering the newest designers and using them first, installing their collections in elaborately merchandised departments that heralded the introduction of a new generation of fashion stars – Stephen Burrows, Perry Ellis, Jean Muir, Sonia Rykiel, Carlos Falchi, Mary McFadden, Holly Harp and Ralph Lauren among them.

In a commentary from the founding leadership, Maxey Jarman, its president, recognized in Ms. Stutz an ability for merchandising and advertising, and named her to run the Henri Bendel store in 1957. "Jarman had talked to her at great length about her vision for the store," Ms. Rosenberg said. "It was not going to be a store for everybody."


User Comment
No comment
Username: Anonymous user
Verification code: captcha
View History
wayn | zi xiu tang bee pollen
© 2005-2018 Wayn Copyright, All Rights Reserved.