When Geraldine Stutz was asked the difference between fashion and style, she replied, “Fashion says ‘Me too’, and style says ‘Only me’.” She would know. Stutz served 29 years as the president of Henri Bendel, an upscale women’s store established in 1895. As such, she helped cement the store as a major influence on fashion and style, as well as the retail industry.
Through the work of industry leaders like Stutz, the department store itself has played a significant role in the story of New York City. On Friday, that role will be on display at Department Stores and New York Fashion. Presented by Parsons, the one-day symposium aims to examine the cultural landmark’s historical significance and consider its future relevance. Presentation topics will include “Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture” and “Modernization and the Model Room in Mid-Century Department Store Design.”
Department Stores and New York Fashion celebrates the culmination of the first year of an ongoing three-year research project on Stutz and her contemporaries. The project, Women in New York Fashion: A Research Agenda, is headed by Professor Hazel Clark, Research Chair of Fashion and Professor of Design Studies and Fashion Studies at Parsons. To close the event, the 2013 Stutz Fellows, whose work initiated the symposium, will join the presenters in a panel discussion.
Friday, February 14, 2014 – 10am to 5pm
Alvin Johnson/JM Kaplan Hall (A407)
66 W. 12th Street, Fourth Floor