Bergdorf Goodman's Fall 2010 Magazine
Get the inside scoop on Bergdorf Goodman's new Fall Collections magazine.
Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman
Phil Walter, Getty Images
Bergdorf Goodman, the iconic New York City department store, strikes into new territory with its Fall Collections magazine. StyleList gets the stories behind the latest edition -- including a car chase.
Helming the magazine are editor Glenn O'Brien and Aidan Kemp, vice president and creative director for Bergdorf Goodman advertising. With this issue, they introduce more journalistic content and visual diversity, hoping to entice a broader audience.
The result is still richly glamorous, but the sequins and furs now appear in the world beyond Park Avenue.
Kemp emphasizes, "I don't want a precious, untouchable quality. I want it to be insightful, but I also want it to be engaging, and at times, even humorous."
Dramatic studio photos mix with breezy outdoor settings. Articles about the history of stilettos and Jacqueline Kennedy's Inaugural gown are joined by wryly funny essays on tattoos and Brooklyn. Has the phrase "tramp stamp" ever appeared in a Bergdorf's publication before? We didn't think so.
Each women's fashion story starts with a particular character, a personality behind the clothes. For the cover story, Kemp imagined an intellectual female, perhaps an academic, "somebody kind of rigorous. Where would this woman live? Well, Berlin!"
And that's where the car chase came in. Having just arrived in Berlin, Kemp spotted an impeccable vintage Citroën SM on the autobahn.
"I yelled, 'Pull over! Someone stop that car!' The driver thought we were holding him up," laughs Kemp. "The local producer spoke some German and explained [the fashion shoot]. This car is the owner's pride and joy, and lo and behold, it's on our front cover."
In that cover image, an adorably jug-eared model wears this season's hot silhouette of a full skirt and nipped-waist jacket, here by Dries van Noten. (The magazine also nabbed a rare interview with the notoriously private Mr. van Noten.)
For the photos of glimmering formal gowns, Kemp worked in a grand Parisian apartment just under the Eiffel Tower. In keeping with his taste for the unexpected, though, the pictures show a mysteriously empty room, with peeling paint above the gilt moldings.
The magazine gets even more down to earth with a story shot in Astoria and Greenpoint, NY. "I wanted to go to a quintessential American neighborhood," Kemp says. "I love the idea of Bergdorf's having this juxtaposition, like shooting [a woman in] a Michael Kors fur vest leaning against wrought iron."
Contrast he got, with a sun-dappled model in a posh shearling coat loitering by a 99¢ store.
Kemp's favorite section, though, was shot in a bare studio. Working with model Mariacarlo Boscono and photographer Cédric Buchet, he found that the duo had a special connection. "It's not easy to make consistently beautiful images... but the two of them just click," he recalls.
"It really gives our reader, our customer, a sense of who we are," he points out. "There's such diversity in it, in terms of the clothing."
Boscono poses in everything from Jason Wu's gold-doused satin sheath to a puffy down coat by Moncler.
Those fashion pages touch on all of the top trends outlined in a special "Notes From the Runway" spread, from military coats to the clamor for camel.
Will the magazine be able to translate the luxe versions of such trends to a wider audience? It's safe to say that the so-called "Bergdorf Blondes" will have a bit more in common with downtown brunettes.
Now get a glimpse at Bergdorf's celeb-studded fall party for Fashion's Night Out.