Former CEO, Bergdorf Goodman
Ira Neimark Former CEO of Bergdorf Goodman, Board Member of Hermes of Paris, Director Emeritus of Fashion Institute Foundation.
In what could almost be a Hollywood fantasy, Ira Neimark worked his way up from being assistant to the doorman at Bonwit Teller to being CEO at Bergdorf Goodman. He also published his hybrid memoir/business book, “Crossing Fifth Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman: An Insider’s Account on The Rise of Luxury Retailing” (Specialist Press International), to document a transforming period in American retail history as well his own role in shaping one of the most venerable department stores of our time. Mr. Neimark is also the author of “The Rise of Fashion and Lessons Learned at Bergdorf Goodman,” a valuable resource for anyon e who aspires to succeed in the business of luxury fashion.
As CEO of Bergdorf Goodman, he transformed the iconic Fifth Avenue department store from an old, dull, luxury and glamour. Born into a well-to-do family that lost everything in the Crash, he was obliged to get a job as a seventeen year old, and after landing the lowliest position there was in a business he seemed destined for, never really looked back. He now describes himself as ‘the oldest living guy in the business’ and a ‘benevolent dictator’ but unlike a dictator, he gives good, straight answers and admits to mistakes. Among his stunning achievements: the reintroduction of Paris couture in the United States, dramatic showcasing of the great Italian and French designers, developing the best new American designers and elaborate promotional launch events featuring haute couture that lit the spark for Bergdorf’s revival.
The Rise of Fashion:
From lavish events attended by high-profile personalities such as Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Jacqueline Onassis, and Yves Saint Laurent to the latest creative ventures of Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Donald Trump, Ira Neimark, the legendary leader of fashion luxury retail, recounts how he and his talented fashion and merchandising team brought Bergdorf Goodman to its leadership position, an approach, he shows, that continues to inform the most successful designers and business leaders today. While his personal anecdotes focus on how and why Bergdorf helped build the fashion industry during one of the most exciting periods in its history, the late sixties through the early nineties, the author also shares his views on how contemporary retailers have increased profits by skimping on service, resulting in the loss of customer loyalty.
The Rise of Fashion and Lessons Learned at Bergdorf Goodman is a valuable resource for anyone who aspires to succeed in the business of luxury fashion.