The Scenes Behind the Scenes: Part Two

A megaretailer, a major casting agent and a p.r. exec weigh in on the trials and tribulations of prepping for the shows.

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As senior vice president of the fashion office and store presentation at Bergdorf Goodman, Linda Fargo’s responsibilities include overseeing the visual department, which includes the store’s interior and exterior, i.e. the windows — roughly all 28 of them.

When do you start prepping for fashion week?
“It’s year-round because it’s twice a year and it’s not just me that has to be ready. It’s having the store ready. Everyone who’s anyone is going to come through. So, what are the windows going to look like? It’s the beginning of the season, which is incredibly important for sales. Fall runway is hitting. Everyone is back from vacation, and then you’ve got all the press and stores from around the world convening in New York. So we really want to look our best. The 111th anniversary was an incredible catalyst for us to get a lot of projects going. We’ve probably undertaken more capital improvements in the store over the summer than we’ve historically ever done.”

How do you organize your schedule?
“My assistant, Jennifer, is air traffic control for pretty much the entire company. All the ticket requests go through her. We can’t have everyone from everyone’s office calling Oscar de la Renta and saying, ‘We need our ticket.’ We have to work out transportation, like, ‘Oh, my god. Five o’clock on the West Side Highway — car!’ And we carpool. Everyone would love to have their own car, but that’s not life anymore.”

You’re known for being very well-dressed. Do you plan everything out?
“I don’t do that. If everything is preset I’m bored with it before I’ve even worn it. I need that level of spontaneity — if I’m feeling I need color that day or I want just black to kind of fade in. Or if I’m feeling fat, then I definitely need black. I generally overpack. I’m kind of like a Girl Scout — I want to be ready for anything. I’ve been on trips before where I get invited to an amazing black-tie event. If I didn’t have a proper cocktail dress, I’d be in trouble. You need a little lingerie, because, who knows?”

Do you have a fashion week survival guide?
“I take vitamins every day — they’re my insurance policy. I’d like to say sleep enough, but that’s just not realistic. Mixing business and pleasure is still kind of a formula for making this all good. I like the socializing piece of it. A lot of what we do is relationships.”

What show are you most looking forward to?
“If I had to pick one, Joseph Altuzarra. I thought his fall show was so special.”


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