New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stamp of Approval

When I moved to New York City, there were certain icons that absolutely defined the city for me and one of those was Bloomingdale's. This has always been the sine qua non of Manhattan for me and always will be. NYC symbolized many things but the primary reason for moving here was for a University education and to get ahead. And part of getting ahead was having money. To shop at Bloomingdale's meant you had money and that you had made it.
There were other stores of course that had the ring of money - Saks, Bergdorf, Tiffany, Cartier, Altman, Gucci and I saw them all. But Bloomingdale's was also big - like Macy's it occupied an entire city block. And for a young man looking for American symbols of success, BIG was better. I had my own visualization of Manhattan - like Saul Steinberg's View of the World from 9th Avenue, my vision of view New York City had its own iconography with Macy's and Bloomingdale's as Westside and Eastside anchors.
How obsessed was I with this place? Well, for one, when establishing my business in the 1970s, I wanted my company logo to be in the very same typeface that Bloomingdale's used. My best friend who was a graphic artist did some close examination and determined the font Horatio Light appeared to be an identical match. Go here to see their logo. Now go here to see mine. See the resemblance? I remember when my logo was completed - I had a business in New York City and a French name in the same typeface as Bloomingdale's - I certainly must have made it and my announcement was plain for all to see.
I recall persuading my sister on one of her first visits here to get underwear with "bloomies" printed across the back. Now my sister also had the stamp of approval ...

About Bloomingdale's: Ironically, with all this fascination with Bloomingdale's, I never read their history until this morning. The business was established in 1860 by brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale selling hoop skirts. The move to the current location at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue came in 1886. Marketing acumen catapulted the store to international fame with visitors like Queen Elizabeth. Cutting-edge fashion of designers like Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis and Norma Kamali got their first truly big opportunities at Bloomingdale's. Read the history here at their website or here.

7 comments:

Saretta said...

I love the colors in this photo and your commentary is fascinating. Hope your business is such a success that you shop all you want in Bloomie's!

Sherry said...

Nice Blog,, I like your photos..

Wayne said...

Brian, a great post and a great logo. What a cool business. I couldn't juggle if my life depended on it but I've seen some great jugglers.

Do you know the Flying Karamozov Brothers, my favourite juggling troupe of all time?

Thanks.

MigsCFLer said...

Fantastic pic. We were in New York in July and I made the mistake of giving my wife the Visa. Thanks for the memories...lol. Great pic and fantastic blog

Cheers

http://reginainpictures.blogspot.com/

santosh pandey said...

nice photos

bitingmidge said...

I love that shot, (and lots of your others for that matter). Great stuff!

Sunshine Coast Daily - Australia

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