Barbara D'arcy Oral History

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Barbara D'arcy Oral History


Merchandising executive and head of store design for Bloomingdale's through the mid 1970's, Barbara D'arcy, interviewed by Estelle Ellis on November 5, 1986.This interview mostly discusses Marvin Stuart Traub, president of Bloomingdales from 1969 and CEO from 1978 to 1991, who was being honored with the "One Person Makes a Difference" award at the Educational Foundation of the Fashion Industries Dinner Dance at F.I.T.
This interview discusses Barbara D'Arcy's experiences working at Bloomingdale's as the designer of the model rooms from 1958 to 1973. A large part of the conversation focuses on D'Arcy's professional relationship with Marvin Traub, Chief Excecutive of Bloomingdale's and his role in the development of the aesthetic identity of Bloomingdale's. D'Arcy also discusses her transition from model room designer to her role as head of store design.
Barbara D'Arcy worked at Bloomingdale's from 1958 to 1995. She started as a fabric buyer, then designed model rooms for the furniture department from 1958-1973, then became the head of store design in 1973 and was a merchandising executive by 1975. In addition to the model rooms, D'Arcy is known for her redesign of the store interior in 1979, still intact on the first floor. D'Arcy retired in 1995 after almost 40 years with the Bloomingdale's. D'Arcy's rooms were like staged vignettes, displaying the most fashionable styles of interior decoration. D'Arcy travleled across the globe for inspiration and was among the first Americans to visit the People's Republic of China after relations normalized after 1972. While Bloomingdale's was already known for its home furnishings, it was D'Arcy that elevated the department store's reputation to that of an industry leader in fashionable interiors. D'Arcy was amonf the first honorees to be inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1985. This interview was conducted by Phyllis Feldkampf, a prominent fashion writer and editor.


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