Snapped at BG
For three years, I spent a day each month photographing the people who shop at Bergdorf Goodman. I stopped interesting customers, conducted a short interview, and took their portraits. Below are some examples of my favorites.
Many thanks to Chloe King for making this project possible.
“Today is my birthday! No better way to spend it than coming here. I’m wearing Giorgio Armani, which I resurrected from my closet. When I was feeling a bit down people told me that I needed to get up and get dressed and go to the mall. So I did just that, but my mall is Bergdorfs. It worked.” - Phyllis Kossoff, New York Resident
“I’ve worked here for 20 years. I feel a great sense of community, lots of people know me by name and I know their names too. People love seeing a doorman.” - Brad Fryman
"Everyone thinks I’m a downtown girl but I never have been. I mean I go downtown for fun, but I’ll always live uptown. I remember Studio 54 for the fashion. It was so much fun. Nobody had a lot money back then so we just had to put something together and do whatever we could do look fabulous. I was one of the first people wearing underwear as outerwear. I would wear bras with jackets or fishnet pantyhose and high heels. You could wear whatever you want!” Lauren, NYC resident.
“I’m the dandy of New York, I never leave the house without a jacket and a hat.” - Patrick McDonald
“I find amazing old clothes and then I flip them on eBay. For example, I recently found an old Chloe suit at an estate sale. I bought it for $130 and then I sold it for $350. I also found a Gucci by Tom Ford dress from 1996 that I bought for $200. I think it’s worth like, five grand.” - Sabrina, fashion student visiting from Michigan.
“I buy. I buy a lot. I guess I’d call myself a little impulsive. When I see something I like, I’ve got to have it. Then I get it home and I’m already thinking about something else. Who inspires me? Diana Ross and Cher – and Barbra Streisand for the nails!” - Lisa West, New York resident.
“I have an event tonight and I’m searching for a look – for shoes I love Gucci. This is my second stop this afternoon. What was the first stop? Chick-fil-a”. - Michael, blogger.
Cadey: “My favorite part of the New York was going to see the Statue of Liberty.”
Kendra: “My favurite part was ice skating in Central Park, it felt just like a movie. When I am older I would like to be a model or cat doctor.”
“My style? Old School. I’ve had this hat for at least 15 years, my wife has been trying forever to get me to replace it.” - Ephraim Feuer, New York resident.
“We’re here to see friends and present our new line. We’ve been in vintage stores all day. Bergdorf’s is the first real store we’ve been today. We’re here for the shoe department.” - Cathrine Saks (left), Barbara Potts (center), Founders/Designers of Saks Potts; & Rosemarie Vind (right), close friend and Saks Potts muse.
“I follow several American and Chinese fashion bloggers. In America the style is more bold and loud. Chinese fashion bloggers tend to be more subdued. My favorite brands? Christian Dior and Chanel fit Asian people well. I love Celine but the cut just doesn’t work.” - Daisy, visiting from China.
“My father hated retirement so he came here to BG and got a job as a tailor at age 77. He worked here until he was 85 years old, and the only reason he stopped was because his knees were starting to go. Bill Cunningham used to take my picture all the time out here, we we’re fellow cyclists! We became close friends and he would write me letters, I still have 4 or 5 of them. One of them says ‘thank you for soaring my sprits on the avenue.’ gosh I adored him.” - Tziporah Salamon, New York resident.
“I launched my fashion site a year ago after graduating from college. I am lucky to live in NYC where I can experience fashion first hand at stores like Bergdorf Goodman. But most people today are shopping online and missing that fun, spontaneous way you can interact and be provoked by fashion, like passing a BG window. It’s that whimsical sense of stumbling on the unknown that I want to achieve with Half-Mad.” - Naomi Kahn
“I’m wearing my own brand, we make shearling coats. It’s called Anonie. When I was little I wanted to be a astronaut, but I was bad at physics and math and I get motion sickness easily. My second choice was to be a designer. So the moral of the story is to have a plan b!” - Gianna Do, Brooklyn resident.
“When I was twelve I was styling my parents, they trusted me to dress them and it was great. My dad would even give me a little money to buy him clothes. Around that time I started wanting a doll that I could dress. My father bought me a Ken doll and I went to my mom and told her that what I really wanted was a Barbie doll. She said she would buy me one if I promised not to tell my father.” - Gary, Visual Director at Missoni.
“I love Linda Fargo’s sense of style. Her shop downstairs is great. This coat is 30 years old but I still love it. I get compliments on it all the time. My late husband gave it to me as a gift. Originally it was long and then I cut it. I even had to take out the giant shoulder pads that it came with. That was the late 80’s when everything came with shoulder pads.” - Carde Brawer, New York resident.
“I visit BG once or twice a week. What am I wearing? Dolce & Gabbana of course.” - Mary Jane Weiskopf
“My favorite part of my outfit is my shoes because they look like my mom’s. But my favorite color is pink.” Gwen, 5 years old.
“I design clothes and I style famous women. My first job was at Christian Dior Haute Couture in Paris. At the time Dior wasn’t was it is now, I wouldn’t call it dusty, but it was a sleeping beauty. It was before John Galliano’s time. It was very French and constipated. Now Haute Couture is very social media, all the clients are front row. Back then everything was closed doors.” - Hervé, Celebrity stylist.
“I’m not necessarily trendy, but I like to feel current. I like to wear everything from Oscar De La Renta to Max Mara, I usually look at the appeal of a garment rather than the designer.” - Phyllis, New York resident.
“My new Gucci glasses weigh more than I do, and I love them.” - Ellen, NYC Resident.
“My first memory of BG is shopping in the home department with my mom. We still love walking the 7th floor before brunch or tea at the restaurant on Sundays. Today I’m here with a colleague after a business presentation. When I was little I wanted to be a surgeon when I grew up, but now I am the CEO of UFCG, a Brand Consulting Firm. I guess now I fix other things!” - Umindi, NYC resident.
“I’m a recording artist. These are my friends from childhood, and this is my wife. We met at a club years ago. We were young. Can’t find a wife at a club anymore.” - Jasmere, Caswell, Kenneth and Kahliel, New Yorkers.
“I am in NYC to meet with Estee Lauder, I’m presenting an idea for a new product. I came to BG as a little distraction. I have my fingers crossed.” Olga, visiting from Moscow.
“I LOVE shoes. Gianvito Rossi is my favorite – they’re beautiful and comfortable. When I was 5 years old my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told her to go to the store and get me the most expensive pair of shoes she could find. They still tease me about that.” - Michele, New York resident.
“I find my fashion inspiration on Instagram, I follow a bunch of Korean influencers. I love the Korean style, it’s very simple and less colorful than American fashion.” - Jody Wang, Los Angeles resident.
“I’m here this evening for my friend’s book signing upstairs in the restaurant. How would I describe my style? Feminine, poetic and romantic – with a touch of glamour. It’s inspired by an idea of eternal beauty. It’s timeless, but fashion people love it too.” - Luisa, Italian fashion designer.
“Expression through clothing is therapeutic for me. It’s a craft… it gives me a new project every day. My clothes talk to me… and I listen.” - Olga, New York resident.
“I wear suits all the time. It’s like a uniform for me. I think it’s probably because I started wearing suits to school in the 6th grade.” - Cary Malkin, visiting from Chicago.
“Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t stop to tell me how fabulous I look in my glasses. My daughters and friends are tired of hearing it. I asked my husband why he thought this happens and he said it’s because I appear approachable, have style and presence. I attribute this to my parents who gave me a good self image. Good self esteem and good self image, to me, are the most important attributes one can have. This was of the utmost importance when Peter and I raised our daughters. The self confidence that you have will help you get through all the challenges that life throws at you and will make you a better person.” - Joan
“My hero is spiderman. My favorite thing in New York is shopping at the Disney store in Times Square. I bought Woody and also a Spiderman shooter. We went to see the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Play. That was cool, too.” - Daniel, 7 years old.
“My style is largely influenced by the golden age of Hollywood… like the leading men of the day in the 30’s and 40’s: Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, and Errol Flynn.” Kevin, Occupational Life Coach.
“My husband and I had a black granite mausoleum built in a cemetery in Philadelphia for when we die. We had “Cocktails at 6” inscribed on it and it became a tourist attraction! We’re not in any hurry to visit it.” Joan, NYC resident
“We come up every year just after Thanksgiving to go shopping. My wife is trying on some dresses for the Kentucky Derby, she looks good in all of them. I have a feeling some pacemakers are gonna explode. I have about 120 different jackets like this. Most of them are Dolce & Gabbana. I have some nice Tom Ford Jackets too. I live in a small town and everyone knows me as the guy who wears the crazy jackets.” - Bryan, visiting from Arkansas.
“We live in New Jersey but we come to the city all the time for the Opera. Last night we saw Verdi’s Requiem. I really love the Opera, both for the performance and also the people watching. The Opera is a sea of black so I always try to avoid that. Last night my look was a study of browns.” - Esther, Opera enthusiast.
“I live in Richmond and I came to New York for the day. I always do it. All you need is a day here if you’re by yourself. I woke up at 3AM, took a 6AM flight and then at 5PM I’ll go back to Laguardia and go home!” - Pamela Reynolds