03 Jan2008


Bergdorf Goodman is my favorite department store in New York. In particular, the Men’s Store across the street from the main building is a real pleasure to visit, if only to browse. Power dressing was part of my previous life on the fast track (as a banker and consultant that literally lived in suits and ties), and I distinctly recall the day I strode into Bergdorf’s with the knowledge that I was about to graduate with honors from Business School and I was going to buy a good suit with part of my sign-on bonus. After much thought, I ended up with a rather conservative, but stunningly well-constructed, medium weight grey wool suit by Gianni Versace, before he turned all loud and outrageous with colorful silk shirts and pants and was then later murdered while on holiday in Miami by a crazed Filipino-American fan/stalker… I still have that particular suit in my closet today and it is in pristine shape, having served me well through thick and thin and while I can barely fit into the pants now (I have to suck in the gut BIG time), I still hang onto it for sentimental reasons. I progressed through a large part of my professional career in this suit, and in retrospect it was outrageously and unconscionably expensive, even 17 years ago, but I would like to think it played a small part in my being able to retire well before many of my classmates at B-School…


I kept an in-house charge account at Bergdorf’s and had a suki salesman there when I lived in New York. My suki would advise me of upcoming sales, set aside clothing I might like and frankly, do everything legally possible for me to acquire an item, but at the lowest possible price. Several of my suits came from there, dozens of ties, lots of shirts, shoes, cufflinks, coats, and a favorite brown crocodile belt that finally gave up on me after 14 years of use. I haven’t found a suitable replacement for that belt over the past three years, though a brown crocodile belt at the store came close last week, albeit at nosebleed prices, and not likely to go on sale, either. So I was content to just visit an old “friend,” a stunning store with a beautiful selection of goods, but only to browse, only to take in the fantastic window displays and not to buy anything. After all, a Charvet tie, Turnbull & Asser shirt or a Malo sweater isn’t part of my early morning attire at the markets these days in Manila…


Bergdorf Goodman was elegantly decked out for the holidays, with a simple green wreaths with red ribbons at EVERY window of the 8 or 9 story building, in addition to display windows that were seriously intricate and a feast for the eyes. Many windows featured the jewelry of Tony Duquette, of whom I am frankly clueless, but you may want to check out this link to the blog Paris Breakfasts provided by a reader a few days ago, which has far better photos and a more interesting write-up on the Bergdorf windows. She also has a follow-up post with more on Tony Duquette, here. Some windows were floor to ceiling sea shells encrusted on every visible surface, utterly opulent, yet cleverly executed. The Kid was amazed, Mrs. MM intrigued, and I was just glad to be in New York for the holidays, it really does feel like a second home to me for many good reasons…


Opulently and fantastically dressed deer?


White dogs and jewelry?


A costumed harlequin? What did it all mean? I didn’t bother to find out… it was just simply a wonder to behold, and totally free… and no lines and crowds at Bergdorfs like at the windows of Saks and Lord & Taylor’s. Ahhh, Christmas Eve dinner was just hours away… and I didn’t have to cook anything either… :)



  1. Chunky says:

    hahaha! the best part is the no-cooking part- i can relate. i have lived in NY for about a year and a half and all I could remember is just passing by this store. It’s too expensive for my blood. you seem to be enjoying this unplanned trip with your family. keep on sending us the juicy details. i love it.

    Jan 3, 2008 | 6:33 pm


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  3. Joey says:

    Wow- New York! I can only afford to visit once every 2 years although I go to the US every year. Ang mahal e! I would much rather indulge in Broadway plays and museums than shop in those high-brow places. But then again with tickets at 100 @ and soaring museum entrance fees… ouch!

    Jan 3, 2008 | 11:03 pm

  4. NewYorker says:

    The department store windows all decked out for the holidays this time of the year are certainly something else!

    Did you get a chance to check out La Maison du Chocolat at Rockefeller Center for the most scrumptious (they’d better be at about $70/lb!) truffles?

    Jan 4, 2008 | 12:38 am

  5. Mila says:

    The xmas windows at the department stores are one of the best freebies of New York. They are art in consumer form (no need to pay the entrance fee at the museum for that).

    Jan 4, 2008 | 1:54 am

  6. ej says:

    we just walked down 5th ave yesterday. still pretty and christmas-y at this time of the year. for some reason, i never feel like i’m in ny unless i’m in midtown. there’s just something about it.
    wow, bergdorf is your favorite department store? i can’t afford anything there but their stuff is nice. now bloomingdale’s… that’s more up my alley although stuff there is still expensive, but at least we regular people can shop there, haha. no diss, i’m just saying you’re above regular.
    i wish i can also retire early. but that’s a little far-fetched considering all the shopping i’m doing… just wishful thinking…

    Jan 4, 2008 | 3:08 am

  7. 4btiddy says:

    I would love to visit NYC during the holidays. I have only been there in the spring. Beautiful but not good for my allergies.

    MM, do you ever miss the finance world? I used to work in an IB before becoming a stay-at-home mom and, boy, do I miss it.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 3:14 am

  8. Maria Clara says:

    Next to Paris and Italy, New York is home to all world renown designers and the fashion capital of America. Convenience to have a regular salesclerk from this store or it’s alike – Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Barneys of New York. I feel like a princess walking into the dressing room with all my sizes awaiting me at a discounted price. They send you an email or give you a ring when they start marking down prices and hold your size and dressing room for your arrival at a great price. I am wholesalers never pay retail price and not having a lot of dough to spend. I get this accommodation through the guys I work for. I am the one calling up these salesclerks whenever they want to do shopping or if they are spending quite a bit they come down to our office with racks of clothing. I just rub off from my bosses’ preferential treatment and discount. Sale clerks know me as a penny pincher but I am their gatekeeper for big spenders!

    Jan 4, 2008 | 3:39 am

  9. gemma says:

    you should try going to a barney’s warehouse sale. armani suits can go as low as $600. it’s twice a year (spring and fall) at their warehouse in chelsea.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 8:01 am

  10. Marketman says:

    gemma, I used to like Barney’s, a close second to Bergdorf’s, but recently I find their selections just way to groovy for me (or I am just older)… And yes, the warehouse sales for suits are brilliant. The last time I got a suit in NY it was 75% off… :)

    Jan 4, 2008 | 8:13 am

  11. fried-neurons says:

    Gotta love those “suki” salesmen at luxury stores, huh? I have one at the SF Saks. Well, at least I used to. He hasn’t sent me any cards / notes in over a year… lol

    Jan 4, 2008 | 9:22 am

  12. elaine says:

    New York comes second to the best cities I’ve visited next to Paris….but of course I could only browse through the wonderful merchandise at bergdof or henry bendel…except for some clothes which are off the racks..but I’m more amazed at the creativity they put in to their display windows. That alone is enough attraction for me.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 10:21 am

  13. homaygess says:

    oh, how i miss new york city winters. yes, i’m nuts enough to love them. but there’s just something so beautiful about the city and winter. and welll, fall, spring and summer. i also miss christmas, halloween and my birthday in the city. LOL. but that’s just me! forever the consummate new yorker.

    re:barneys vs. bergdorf. i think bergdorf is a little stuffy for me, never enjoyed shopping there(yes, as a college student in 90’s new york, i would spend my allowance on clothes), although i used to get haircuts at john barrett, the store’s in-house salon. barneys is not really hip hip(well, in my opinion), i think they just edit their merchandise very well. you can still find classic suits/clothes but seen in a more modern setting.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 10:41 am

  14. Madeline says:

    In the US I had only been to California and Nevada. At least I am having tips about New York. It is my wish to tour the remaining 48 other states someday. I usually study a place before going into it! California alone is really a big place to explore.

    I had studied geography through Microsoft Encarta for Kids , about.com, and am enjoying browsing over Yahoo travel. However, I would say, your version is the best. It is really a personal travel you are sharing to each one of us and the comments make it interactive. I am learning from your experiences.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 1:13 pm

  15. acidboy says:

    Yes, there are but a few that can compare to the subtle beauty and construction of a 7-fold Charvet tie. And the handstitching of a T&A shirt, plus its decadent mother of pearl buttons- wow! You certainly have exquisite taste, MM. I understand BG is bringing in Corthay shoes from Paris- perhaps you might be lucky enough to try them on. Cheers!

    Jan 4, 2008 | 4:41 pm

  16. CecileJ says:

    Is that a stuffed dog in the window display? How cruel. I cannot relate.

    Jan 7, 2008 | 4:29 pm

  17. alicia says:

    Bergdorf Goodman is my King of my NYC essential shopping 4 B’s… Bergdorfs, Barneys, Bendels and Bloomingdales! I can spend hours up there roaming in the home, stationary and children’s departments…and with BG now you don’t even have to leave to eat. The Kelly Wearstler designed room with the leather bergeres are just so fab! Not child friendly though (Had to send the kids elsewhere!) I have been reading so many posts on the Tony Duquette windows and envy you for spending the Holiday’s in New York! I am biased, I know, but no city does the Holiday’s like New York. Ah Sarap! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 6:12 pm

  18. sister says:

    The better the store the better the discount during sale time. BG has the most fabulous sales, they start at 60% off and go to 75% off very quickly and last only for a couple of weeks.
    Don’t be intimidated, go in and check BG out!

    Jan 8, 2008 | 12:19 am

  19. Marketman says:

    CecileJ, I sincerely doubt it’s a real dog.. more likely synthetic, as in stuffed teddy bear and all….

    Jan 8, 2008 | 3:03 pm


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