Excuse me, Sir, Miss...Papa!! But can you please tell me what happened to Bloomingdale's?
As a kiddie in the 70s , I used to come to New York from England with my parents and from what I remember it was a very big deal then.
Very fashionable. Everyone talked about it, went there...it was a big New York icon of the era (this is what I seem to remember, tell me if I'm wrong).
Then it just seemed to fade as a fashionable place. Still there, but no one seemed to care very much.
How's Bloomingdale's today? I never see it referred to on DL.
ALSO...& am I right about the 70s?...or was it as high profile and loved before the '70s?
|by Anonymous||reply 81||05/23/2020|
Federated Department Stores owns it. The chain that destroyed Macy's has turned Bloomingdale's into something less fabulous than Macy's used to be.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||09/28/2015|
Yes in the 70s it came into its own. It was the department store in NY that managed to have some young funky glamour associated more with boutiques such as Fiorucci. It also had a sort of Biba crossed with Liberty feel, sometimes, with a helping of NY JAP, so the brits would have especially been attracted to it.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||09/28/2015|
I first heard of it in Splash when Darryl Hannah goes there to try on clothes. Seven year old me thought it must be the height of New York sophistication.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||09/28/2015|
We loved it in 1976. Thank you, Traubs.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||09/28/2015|
[quote]I first heard of it in Splash
It was also referred to in Annie Hall...when Annie says she wonders how she'd stand up to torture in Nazi Germany:
"The Gestapo would take away your Bloomingdale's charge card and you'd tell 'em everything."
|by Anonymous||reply 5||09/28/2015|
[quote]Yes in the 70s it came into its own. It was the department store in NY that managed to have some young funky glamour associated more with boutiques such as Fiorucci. It also had a sort of Biba crossed with Liberty feel, sometimes, with a helping of NY JAP, so the brits would have especially been attracted to it.
Yes, this is exactly what I remember.
& the way they'd change the shopping bags.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||09/28/2015|
You know what happens at Bloomingdale's.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||09/28/2015|
I always thought its charms were overhyped, but R1 offers a succinct explanation of how just about every department store in the U.S. went to hell. Every city of any size used to have at least one or two good department stores that enjoyed some regional/brand identity. Now everything is shades of Macy's..
|by Anonymous||reply 11||09/28/2015|
Thank you for posting that superb and spot-on clip, R9. You're so clever.
It says that even the Queen said when she went to New York in 1976 that she wanted to see Bloomingdale's & there she is! Bizarre...The Queen in Bloomingdale's! Wonder if she bought anything.
Strangely the store and the people in the clip (apart from her maj.) look incredibly dowdy.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||09/28/2015|
1970s clothing *was* incredibly dowdy, R14.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||09/28/2015|
I first heard of it in Erica Jong's books. I also pictured it as something glamorous and fab. The first time I went to the store I realized it's neither. It looked worn out and underwhelming. It was probably big back in the 70s.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||09/28/2015|
[quote]1970s clothing *was* incredibly dowdy, [R14].
This woman was a bigwig at Bloomie's in 1976 and saw herself as fashionable, I'm sure.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||09/28/2015|
She was a reporter. Her name is Blair Sabol. I don't think she had a connection to the store. She was writing for the Village Voice at that time.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||09/28/2015|
[quote]She was a reporter. Her name is Blair Sabol.
Sorry about that....and sorry, Blair if you're reading this. Those cardigans WERE quite the thing back in '76.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||09/28/2015|
It became too popular with hoi polloi. Nordstrom is for them too.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||09/28/2015|
Do not forget the Winston Man.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||09/28/2015|
Those New Yawk accents in the 60 Minutes clip are a thing of the past as well. Sadly.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||09/28/2015|
I wonder whether it is still Rachel Green's favorite store?
|by Anonymous||reply 25||09/28/2015|
It was a great store when it was New York-centric. Now they have stores from coast to coast (and soon in Hawaii) and they have to carry stuff that will sell in Atlanta and Skokie, IL as well as New York. So their selection is much more homogenized.
Plus they just aren't as exciting as they used to be. Gone are the wonderful model rooms, Rizzoli books, gourmet foods, the international expositions, such as the Fete de France in 1983, and most of the things that made it worthwhile stopping by often.
It all started with Robert Campeau buying, and then starving the chain.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||09/28/2015|
[quote]Gone are the wonderful model rooms
No model rooms?
|by Anonymous||reply 28||09/28/2015|
Bergdorf Goodman, bendEl and Needless Markup. Was sad when Bonito Teller went the way of the wind.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||09/28/2015|
I thought Benito must have been an in name for it
|by Anonymous||reply 31||09/28/2015|
Sad to see the magic gone, but still not as much of travesty as the death of Marshall Field's.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||09/28/2015|
It was never Brooks Brothers. In fact nothing remains remotely like Brooks Brothers and its quality has dimished.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||09/28/2015|
It never wanted to be Brooks Brothers. Why compare?
|by Anonymous||reply 34||09/28/2015|
It was completely redone in the very early 1970s. When I told my mother, NYC born and raised, that I was going to Bloomingdale's in maybe 1972 or 73 she was appalled. She later told me it was never considered a nice store and wasn't even as nice as the old Macy's which wasn't exactly a top store - though relaible and nicely middle class. If anyone is from DC Macy's was like Woodie's in its best days and Bloomies was like Hechts.
My mom came around and ended up loving it - especially the fabulous ever changing shopping bags. She even had a birthday cake decorated to replicate one of the bags. I miss her - nobody would do that for me today.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||09/28/2015|
Anne Baxter collapsed and died on the sidewalk outside Bloomingdale's while Christmas shopping in NYC.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||09/28/2015|
Bloomingdales had the cruisiest tea room in NYC in the late 70's and early 80's. 7th Floor. Near the furniture department. Just past the bank of elevators. Other than that, the store was almost manic in its trendiness. Great items. Nothing was cheap. Very, very high energy.
After the stock market crash in the late 80's, department stores were hurting. Federated took advantage of the situation, bought all the regional department stores and trashed 'em all. And it was awful to watch.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||09/28/2015|
I vaguely remember seeing an interview with Robert Campeau. Thinking he lost quite a bit of his holdings - maybe went bankrupt - had a bit of a downhill slide with wife taking assets as part of divorce. Can't be bothered researching it -but Campeau was kind of like Canada's Trump -for a while. Sad story.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||09/28/2015|
I didn't find Bloomingdale's till I lived in NYC from 1981-1988. Used to buy ridiculously expensive bday and Xmas gifts for my three nieces, then c. ages 2, 6, and 7. My mother, way upstate, had to patiently explain to me kids' sizes - 2T, 3T, 4T - "T" meant toddler. Then sizes, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - those were bigger (I think. Got/still get confused!)
|by Anonymous||reply 39||09/28/2015|
Bernie Ebbers was Canada's Trump
|by Anonymous||reply 40||09/28/2015|
Is Forty Carrots still there?
|by Anonymous||reply 41||09/28/2015|
It used to be a wonderful store, but one step below places like Bendels, Bergdorf's and Brooks Brothers. Now, it's just like Macys, and all of the others, including Nordstrom, which used to be exclusive, but isn't any longer. Now all of the major departent stores are just full of sales racks and the unwashed masses. I used to love shoppng, but it's lost any and all appeal for me. There were tea rooms, fashions shows, one-of-a kind items, knowledgeable staff, but not any longer. If you were a regular in a certain department, they remembered your name. It lost it's cache.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||09/28/2015|
The Queen arrives at Bloomingdale's, 1976.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||09/29/2015|
From The Bloomingdale's Book of Home Decorating. 1973.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||09/29/2015|
[quote]Anne Baxter collapsed and died on the sidewalk outside Bloomingdale's while Christmas shopping in NYC.
Anne Baxter collapsed on Madison Avenue after suffering a brain aneurysm while trying to hail a cab. She died in the hospital eight days later.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||09/29/2015|
Many years ago, I think in the late 70s or early 80s, the then-prestigious "Sixty Minutes" had a story on Bloomingdales in New York. They said it seemed to have a strange effect on people, that anyone who went in there for a look around ended up spending huge amounts of money they hadn't intended to spend. They tried to analyze the store's incredible appeal, and the word "magical" was definitely used.
Several years later, a Bloomingdale's opened in my home town, and I entered with trepidation as I couldn't afford to throw away if the store really did have a "magical" effect. Needless to say, I was totally underwhelmed, it was just a department store that overpriced everything.
Ah, the idiocy of youth, and of "Sixty Minutes".
|by Anonymous||reply 47||09/29/2015|
Woody Allen brazenly flirted with a not-single Diane Keaton while shopping at Bloomie's in the movie Manhattan (1979). Her line was "We're in the middle of Bloomingdales; someone might see us!"
|by Anonymous||reply 48||09/29/2015|
[quote]Woody Allen brazenly flirted with a not-single Diane Keaton while shopping at Bloomie's in the movie Manhattan (1979). Her line was "We're in the middle of Bloomingdales; someone might see us!"
It wasn't Woody, it was the other guy.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||09/29/2015|
[quote]You know what happens at Bloomingdale's.
Ain't that the truth, R10!
& guess where you'll end up?
|by Anonymous||reply 50||09/29/2015|
R41: Forty Carrots is still there. What's up with all the '70s nostalgia on the DL lately?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||09/29/2015|
[quote]What's up with all the '70s nostalgia on the DL lately?
It was better then.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||09/29/2015|
R49 Michael Murphy couldn't get enough Bloomingdales.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||09/29/2015|
[quote] Is Forty Carrots still there?
it's still there, and the frozen yogurt is as wonderful as ever, but it's been moved up to the 7th floor, next to the linen department, where the Intermission Cafe used to be, so you can't just pop in and out through the subway entrance like you used to be able to do.
The sit-down portion is very nice, good food, decent prices, but in order to get there, you have to run the gauntlet of low-class trash who are too cheap to leave a tip so they buy their frozen yogurt at the takeaway counter and then sprawl on the model beds and the stairs in the bedding department to eat. I'm always surprised the staff doesn't shoo them away, but I guess it's a losing battle.
Le Train Bleu is still off the housewares department on 6, and still a marvelous retreat for a noontime indulgence.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||09/29/2015|
Nothing is as fabulous as it was in the 70s. But maybe that's because I was a little kid and it all seemed so out-of-reach. Once you experience something firsthand, it's so much less mysterious and romantic.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||09/29/2015|
I was clicking around their online site only yesterday and their winter coat selection is SPARSE.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||09/29/2015|
[quote]it's still there, and the frozen yogurt is as wonderful as ever, but it's been moved up to the 7th floor, next to the linen department, where the Intermission Cafe used to be
& the homemade muffins?
I remember a place called The Glasshouse in the linen dept. in the 70s. The best blueberry muffins I've ever had. My mother would leave me in there while she went to buy sheets to take back to England...and I'd sit up at the counter and chat with the ladies who had come into the city for the day. We English were still a novelty in New York in the '70s. A crowd would gather round me (I'm kidding...sort of).
I remember the sheets were actually pretty horrible and scratchy. God knows what they were made of.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||09/29/2015|
[quote]It lost it's cache.
DOUBLE "oh, dear."
|by Anonymous||reply 58||09/29/2015|
I remember buying Marcella Hazan's homemade pasta there in 1981.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||09/29/2015|
I loved Forty Carrots! The frozen yogurt and those non-chocolate carao (sp?) chips on top! And their tuna sandwiches.
There's a Forty Carrots at the Bloomies in Chestnut Hill, but it has no pizazz. I loved people watching at lunchtime at the counter in NY.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||09/29/2015|
[quote] I loved people watching at lunchtime at the counter in NY.
It looks like they've removed the counters in R54's pic.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||09/29/2015|
No, R62, the counter still exists at Forty Carrots
|by Anonymous||reply 63||09/29/2015|
B.Altman's cold cream soaps, magical. Their Portuguese flannel, divine. Campo had a NYT article warning titled 'beware of Canadians bearing gifts' when he took over Federated.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||09/29/2015|
I browse at Bloomingdales...
But I buy at ALEXANDERS...
I buy at ALEXANDERS!
|by Anonymous||reply 65||09/29/2015|
R65 You should've warned us that Sue Simmons was in that clip! Trigger!
|by Anonymous||reply 66||09/29/2015|
Does anyone remember the Betsy and Alfred Bloomingdale scandal? Betsy was one of Nancy Reagan's best buddies. And Ronnie appointed her husband to several government positions.
[quote]While in Los Angeles, 54-year-old Alfred Bloomingdale began an affair with 18-year-old Vicki Morgan. For 12 years, Bloomingdale kept her in a luxurious apartment, showering her with expensive clothing, jewelry, and cars. When Alfred was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his wife Betsy cut off Morgan's allowance. Soon after, the affair with Vicki Morgan made headline news as its unsubstantiated and sordid details, which included allegations of sado-masochistic activities instigated by Bloomingdale, were made public after Morgan filed a multi-million dollar palimony lawsuit against Bloomingdale's estate. The case against Bloomingdale's estate was quickly dismissed by the courts. Morgan eventually moved into a low-rent condominium in the San Fernando Valley where she rented a room to a schizophrenic named Marvin Pancoast, whom she knew from the withdrawal clinic. In July 1983, Pancoast beat her to death with a baseball bat.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||09/29/2015|
[quote] B.Altman's cold cream soaps, magical.
I adored Altman's. That was a wonderful store
|by Anonymous||reply 68||09/29/2015|
[quote] Anne Baxter collapsed and died on the sidewalk outside Bloomingdale's while Christmas shopping in NYC.
Serves her right.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||09/29/2015|
I used to even into the 90s to Lord &Taylors to buy gloves and belts. There were quality items in the leather section there then. No, it's absolute crap! The belts are made of cardboard!
|by Anonymous||reply 70||09/29/2015|
Department stores have become dinosaurs, and have had to become less high end more mainstream in order to survive. People in the 70's liked shopping in big stores; now, people prefer smaller stores, boutiques, and online. Bloomingdales was great when I was a kid; not it couldn't be less mainstream and middle of the road.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||09/29/2015|
I honestly can't say that I've ever been in one.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||05/22/2020|
Anyone left who remembers Arnold Constable A & S or Best and Company? If not I win the oldest fossil on this thread award.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||05/22/2020|
The toilet scene was fabulous on 4, 5 and 7 and sometimes 2.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||05/22/2020|
I remember going with my mother to Bloomingdales in White Plains NY in 1976. Even that store was fabulous. I was ten years old and she took me to 40 Carrots for lunch. Yogurt with fruit and nuts or granola. I loved it . I remember a year later going with my parents to the same store and seeing a VCR behind a glass case. The price was $1,000. A huge sum in 1977.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||05/22/2020|
I was at Bloomies one afternoon in the 70s looking though sweaters piled on a table, some guy was doing the same but standing so close to me and sort of crowding me out.
I turned to see who this idiot was and I found myself face to face with Elton John.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||05/22/2020|
I've never been in one, but I first heard of it on "The Facts of Life." It was Blair Warner's favorite store.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||05/22/2020|
I’ve never been in Best & Company.
But I’ve been in A&S, Gertz, May’s, EJ Korvette’s, Grant’s, Bamberger’s, Orbach’s, Filene’s, B Altman, Woolworth, Marshall’s, Stern’s, Steinbach, Caldor.
I loved Stern’s. I have small hands (I’m not Donald Trump). Every year leather gloves were 50% off the day after Christmas.Then they’d be 75% off and I could always find a pair because there would be at least one pair of size small that were abnormally small, so they didn’t get bought during the 50% sale.
Does anyone even remember routine 50% off sales? Now sakes are 10%, 15% and 20% and they wonder why stores are going out of business.
December 26, everything was 50% off.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||05/23/2020|
I grew up in California (a long time ago when there were no Bloomies in the west) and had never been in one until I moved to DC in '78. They had stores in VA and MD and I loved them. Even though they were smaller suburban stores, they had the gourmet food department and bakery. Great home department, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||05/23/2020|
Was checked out by Hubert de Givenchy in the 70s on the 5th floor of the flagship store. So tall and handsome and French.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||05/23/2020|