An Acknowledgement of An Icon: 150 Years of Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s. Iconic from the very beginning. Circa 1872-2022. 150 years. And so the celebrations have begun. A tribute to the world of Bloomingdale’s…an American luxury department store of style.

A brief nod to the history of its early beginning…

In 1861 Benjamin Bloomingdale and his eldest son, Lyman, opened “Bloomingdale’s Hoopskirt and Ladies’ Notion Shop” on the Lower East Side of New York City. But it was the two Bloomingdale brothers that would embark upon a new era of their namesake. In 1872 brothers Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale opened “Bloomingdale’s Great East Side Bazaar”. Located on Third Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets in Manhattan, their product offerings expanded beyond the women’s garments to men’s garments. Through the establishment of their own buying office in Paris, European fashions became a successful part of their new venture’s allure. Their success resulted in relocating Uptown to 56th and Lexington Avenue in 1886.

Of note, the Third Avenue /Bloomingdale’s Illustrated 1886 Catalog (left image below) is said to explain that the mysterious item atop the building was “a hoop-skirt attached to the flagpole.”  A symbol of the first garment of success for Bloomindale’s. Who knew?

History of an icon. Bloomindale’s.

When Bloomingdale’s headed uptown to 59th and Lexington Avenue in 1886, their world of visual merchandising would certainly benefit from what the building presented with its double height, cast iron entry and large glass windows. It is said that these windows gave Bloomingdale’s the ability to display their items “often in a theatrical manner”.  The art of window display and visual merchandising, onward! With success upon success, by the 1920’s the expansion of Bloomingdale’s was over an entire city block. As side note of architectural interest, during the late 1920’s early 1930’s, the entire store front was redesigned in Art Deco style by architects Starrett and Van Vleck. So befitting.

Bloomingdale’s evolved into one of America’s first department stores and become a fashion destination across the country and the world. A beloved, global retailer, indeed. A nod to the success of an iconic retail establishment in celebration of 150 years…

Bloomingdale’s In Time…

Oh, the logos of Bloomingdale’s! I certainly recall. Growing up in Long Island, New York during the late Seventies and Eighties, it certainly was a department store that everyone was well aware of…and a known destination.

Logos Of Bloomingdale’s
Bloomingdale’s Bag/ 1986

Since the 1960’s Bloomingdale’s commissioned artful shopping bags that would be lauded as the first “Designer” shopping bags.

But perhaps there is no other infamously known bag than their iconic brown paper bag. In 1973, a century after opening the Midtown Manhattan store, Bloomingdale’s launched, with bold simplicity, the Big Brown Bag. Designed by Massimo Vignelli, the Little Brown Bag followed a year later and the final addition would be the Medium Brown Bag. Oh, the joy of the trio of Brown Bags of Bloomies! Icons that endure, indeed…

Bloomingdales Holiday Sticker 1994

It was during the early 1990’s that I was a part of this iconic retail company. It was the 900 N. Michigan Avenue Bloomingdale’s location in Chicago, Illinois that would hold my experiences of the world of Bloomingdale’s. Located on what is known as “The Magnificent Mile”and within walking distance to Oak Street Beach and Lake Michigan, it was here that I realized that the level of service, the merchandising and the appeal of this iconic department store which would forever impact my perspective on retail. In fact, it would begin my quest for quality and possibly where my personal search for elegance began…

Circa 1995, Bloomindales/900 N. Michigan Avenue/Chicago

As a Beauty Advisor for Lancome, in the busy city hub cosmetic department, the lights and energy, the style and sophistication and elegance this store held at that time would not be forgotten. Rather, those recollections remain, having made an enduring impact. There are those moments in life when your eyes are widened into the vastness of design, fashion, interior graces and the quality of those things that you aim to fill your life with. The fine pleasures of living in search of elegance, indeed. Bloomingdale’s succeeded in all of that. And for 150 years, Onward. Perhaps Andy Warhol said it succinctly: “The best museum is Bloomingdale’s”.

To end with, one final quotable from the iconic Andy Warhol:

“I don’t believe people die. They just go uptown. To Bloomingdale’s. They just take longer to get back”.

Circa 1994, Myself/Lancome Beauty Advisor/Bloomingdale’s
Mickey Mantle, American Major League Baseball player/New York Yankees (1931-1995)
900 N. Michigan Avenue/Chicago

For the love of Bloomies. Happy 150th to an icon of style!



A Fashionable Nod to an icon, to Denim And The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt Denim: Icons

A fashionable nod to a fashionable icon. Gloria Vanderbilt (1924-2019). She built a fashion empire. A member of the Vanderbilt family of New York, she was known as a fashion designer, heiress, and socialite, yet she was also an American artist, author and actress. Yet it is the recollection of her impact during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when her line of denim impacted my youth. Noted as an early developer of designer blue jeans, it is the golden swan and the high waisted, fitted and slim fit denim blue jean that harkens my recollections of my youth. As a teen growing up on Long Island, New York during that time, I recall the impact of the swan. Yes, I indeed had a pair. It was a coveted pair. Oh, right alongside the coveted Jordache and Sasson jeans…

Gloria Vanderbilt. The Denim. The Woman.

In acknowledgement of Gloria Vanderbilt. Elegance and denim really do unite. Onward in that.
For the love of denim, thank you Gloria…



In acknowledgement of the passing of a fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld…

Karl Lagerfeld

Elegance is an attitude. Indeed, it is. From the words of Karl Lagerfeld, an icon in fashion, and especially within the world of Chanel, onward in that. With an appreciation of the world of fashion design, Lagerfeld has always been one that captured my attention with his constant mystique and his bold force in the world of fashion.  A pioneer of fashion and noted as:

“One of the most prolific and celebrated fashion designers of all time”- Harper’s Bazaar

From my archives, June 2018

I can always be found photographing the windows of the Chanel boutique on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.  A destination from behind my lens for years has been the windows of Chanel.  Lagerfeld, born in Hamburg and changing the world of fashion for decades in Paris, will live on as a force of change itself.  In his words, “Change is the healthiest way to survive”.  His mark of change and his gift to fashion, that he brought forth through decades of his work, will survive and endure to live on, indeed.

On a personal note…  In 1998 I met the icon of fashion at the launching of his fragrance, Jako, at the Chicago State Street flagship store, Marshall Fields.  Framed is his autograph personalized to me. It represents a moment in time not to be forgotten.  For I had met an icon and prolific designer of fashion that will endure to impact the world of fashion.

How befitting to quote Coco Chanel:

“Fashion changes, but style endures”

Onward in appreciation to the change, the style and the iconic presence of the late Karl Lagerfeld.



Fashion & The City

Fashion & The City: Chicago Style

Fashion. The city. Two loves entwined. Another month of images from behind my lens to weave together the visuals of styled, fashionable stance behind thick panels of glass and the structural visuals that a city bestows to those who look closer. Details. Captured. The essence of a fashion and the city that surrounds it

It was late April in Chicago. Blue skies. Minimal Chicago winds. Spring was in the air. Alas, my timeliness in sharing is late…but images are lasting and one month spills into the next swiftly. Time itself is swift. The month of May images await from behind my lens. Yes, a monthly visual compilation continues. Yet appreciation of the moment captured is always my intent to share. Onward in that. From behind the lens.

City view: Chicago, April 2018

City Structure & Fashion’s Whimsy At Neiman Marcus

City Scene & Brilliant Whimsy, Neiman Marcus

Stripes & Structure: Neiman’s & The City Of Chicago

Hugo Boss & Michigan Avenue Scene

“Chicago” Icon & Burberry

Max Mara & City Detail

Max Mara: Blue Hue & Architectural Details

Michael Kors & Iconic Chicago Architecture…The Wrigley Building

Chanel. Details in a city.

Every once in a while I photograph a mannequin that beckons a rendering in black and white. Brilliant fashion style that endures to delight from behind the lens (thank you, Max Mara).

For the love of Fashion’s Mannequin… Max Mara Style

Consider the world of fashion as it exists in the city. The two collide in a delightful city scene. For the love of fashion and the city, Onward.


A New Year…Onward.


A New Year. New opportunities. New horizons ahead.
Change. As you move forward into the New Year be reminded that “Nothing changes unless you change”.
Move onward in that.

Onward always,


Moving Onward/Selfie

Christmas Wishes…

Graced With Boughs Of Pine & Ribbons Of Red…                                                                          (Chicago Board Of Trade)


Wishing you and yours a Merry and Bright Christmas filled with joy, happiness and gratitude.  Merry Christmas!

Onward, always,



“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air”   – W.T. Ellis

Holiday Lights, Chicago

City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In October

Chicago’s fashionable Windows In October

Chicago in October. Although it took me a few days into November to compile the images of Autumnal fashion inspiration from the windows of Chicago last month, better late than never. Alas, like the Autumn breezes and seasonal changes, my life changes with it. Time. So to look back upon the images of October it is clear that the Fall fashion season in Chicago has moved swiftly forward. Layers and warmth already required. Much cooler breezes blow down Michigan Avenue with force.  Autumn in Chicago…

Did I mention the gray skies?  Oh, onward we go. This is the great Midwest, after all…

Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Fall fashion, onward…

Stunning Style: Neiman Marcus

Burberry Plaid & Autumnal Delights

Window Style: Burberry’s

Plaid & Layered Delights: Burberry

Burberry: Mad For Plaid

Salvatore Ferragamo: Black Delight

Missoni and Saks Fifth Avenue

Ralph Lauren: Bold Impact

Max Mara: Autumnal Delight

Style & Fashion: Max Mara

Autumnal Fashion & Warmth: Max Mara

Max Mara Love: Fashion & Window Dressing

Chicago’s Max Mara: Always A Fashionable Statement

Max Mara Style

Michael Kors: Layered Details

Plum Tones Behind The Windows Of Chanel

Details, Chanel

Fashion On Michigan Avenue: Chanel

Kate Spade: The Wild Side

Shearling and Suede: Marc Jacobs

Consider with appreciation the windows of fashion. Visual merchandising and artistic display of seasonal inspiration. Fashion is always moving forward, as is time. And about that extra layer of fashionable warmth? I’m ready.



City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In September

Fashionable Windows Of Chicago: September

Chicago in September. What was a warmer than usual September day on the city streets of Chicago, the Autumnal inspirations were evident. The city was launching into a fashionably forward Autumn. The tops of trees that held just a tinge of Autumnal change off the Chicago River led me to my monthly jaunt in search of fashion’s changing windows. Yet it seems that the lens of my camera pointed at less windows than usual. Perhaps the pending change of season’s brings forth a change within me and what truly inspires me. Change is good. Fashion is everywhere, but there are some months that I seek for greater inspiration than I find. Alas, less is more. A mantra that I follow, indeed.

And sometimes a moment, while in the whirl of the city life that envelopes you, is needed to focus on the details of a city. Simple park benches off the Magnificent Mile. City scenes to take in, for certain…

September Seating, Michigan Avenue/ Chicago

Onward to the collected inspirations found from behind my lens. Onward to being inspired but what each of us are moved by…in appreciation.

Chanel Launch: Gabrielle/Macy’s State Street

One cannot help but meander inside the grate stately old Marshall Fields, now Macy’s, to see the visual of the launch of Gabrielle. In love with the interior and the fragrance, indeed…

Gabrielle, Chanel Launch at Macy’s, State Street

Saks Fifth Avenue: “The Runway Starts At Saks”, Michigan Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue: “The Runway Starts At Saks”, Michigan Avenue

“The Runway Starts At Saks”

Tom Ford: Fashionably Poised In Black

Visual Merchandising and The Mannequins of Tom Ford

Fashionable Chicago In September

Chicago’s Fashionable Windows In September

From one who never tires of being inspired by the changing fashionable windows, onward in changing seasons and fashion ahead. For the love of a city and it’s fashion, ONWARD…




City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In April

Fashionable Windows In April

Chicago in April. Perhaps it is April when the reality of Spring’s awakening is truly upon us. Spring blooms arrive late in Chicago.  Yet when they do arrive the blooms are breathtaking and rejuvenate those that strut the streets of style and the city itself. To appreciate Spring in a city that anticipates its arrival with heightened awareness is to even further appreciate the gift each day brings…

Spring’s Blooms & Chicago’s Cloud Gate

The windows of fashion once again change to beckon passerby’s with the seasonal shift towards warmer days. Neutrals of classic whites paired with infusions of pastel and floral bliss welcome Spring. Spring green, onward.  Onward to the images captured from behind my lens. A continual monthly visual of fashionable appeal from the streets of high fashion of the great, Windy City of Chicago. Fashion and photography compiled to inspire…

Spring Green On Michigan Avenue: H&M Visual Delights

Neiman Marcus & The Striking Mannequins Of High Style

Black On White Delights: Neiman Marcus

Stylish Form Behind The Windows Of Neiman Marcus

Michael Kors: Floral Delights

Floral Infusion: Michael Kors

Spring Appeal At Kate Spade

Barney’s & Alaia, Paris

Oscar De La Renta Behind Saks 5th Avenue

Spring’s Floral Fusion: Macy’s State Street

Spring’s Floral Fusion: Macy’s State Street

Spring’s Floral Fusion: Macy’s State Street

Spring’s Floral Fusion: Macy’s State Street

Spring’s Floral Fusion: Macy’s State Street

White & Creamy Nuetrals: Ralph Lauren

Jil Sander: Neutral Lineup

Burberry’s: The Classic Trench

Burberry’s: The Classic Trench

“White is Always Right”: Classic Max Mara

Max Mara Style On Michigan Avenue

Chartreuse & Bright Plum: Visual Delights From Max Mara

Fashionable Windows Of Style: Max Mara

Fashionable City Love: Chicago & Max Mara

Oh, for the love of fashion. For the love of a city. For the love of the mannequins of fashionable form that beckon my lens continually. Inspiration a constant. Change is a constant. Consistently do I aim to inspire with sharing images from behind my camera each month. Fashion and the city. May the arrival of Spring inspire you to appreciate the artistry of visual merchandising and the art of fashion itself.  Fashion’s seasonal change awaits. Onward in being inspired no matter where you reside.



Fashionable Reflection: Plumage & The Photographer

City Inspiration: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In January

Chicago's Fashionable Windows In January
Chicago’s Fashionable Windows In January

City Scenes from behind the lens of my camera. Onward into a New Year of photographing the city I adore and the fashionable windows that line its streets. Fashion photography. Mannequins and the world of visual merchandising. Yes, another year. The first month of my fourth full year of photographing the fashionable visuals that change before us on the city streets of Chicago. Constant change. Constant inspiration.

January In Chicago: The Cityscape By The Chicago River
January In Chicago: The Cityscape By The Chicago River

January found me, not surprisingly, walking briskly through the city streets that carried the full force of the Lake breezes. The Windy City, indeed. Coffee and more coffee. For the photographer, when one desires to capture and image, the cold temperatures does not stop the shutter from clicking. However, the need to warm up is always present. For the love of a city and its coffee shops from which to watch the vast world of passerby’s. All with a direction. All with a purpose. City love, indeed. On yet another gray day in the city of Chicago, there was bright and vivid visual appeal behind fashion’s windows. There were inspiring statements that moved me were boldly printed on the windows of Ralph Lauren. The scene was set, my camera was ready, and a compilation awaits of the fashionable windows of Chicago in January….

Ralph Lauren:  Iconic Windows & Iconic Words
Ralph Lauren: Iconic Windows & Iconic Words

From the words of Ralph Lauren…how true a statement.  Timelessness always exudes from behind the expansive windows of Ralph Lauren on Michigan Avenue and beyond.  That very quote I adhere to in my own perspective.  Fashion and trends change, but to hold to a timelessness of style…that therein is a personal goal of mine…

Ralph Lauren: Constant Classics That Endure
Ralph Lauren: Constant Classics That Endure

Ralph Lauren: Classics Endure
Ralph Lauren: Classics Endure

Fashionable Stance:  Ralph Lauren
Fashionable Stance: Ralph Lauren

Pink Hued & Laced Variation: Burberry's Trench
Pink Hued & Laced Variation: Burberry’s Trench

The Windows Of Burberry
The Windows Of Burberry

Salvatore Ferragamo:  Window Distinction
Salvatore Ferragamo: Window Distinction

Denim & Saks Fifth Avenue
Denim & Saks Fifth Avenue

Bottega Veneta:  Pink Hues Of Delight
Bottega Veneta: Pink Hues Of Delight

The Fashionable Windows Of Bottega Veneta
The Fashionable Windows Of Bottega Veneta

Jim Sander:  Timeless Trench & Style
Jim Sander: Timeless Trench & Style

Definitive Prada:  Stylish Display
Definitive Prada: Stylish Display

Fashionable Escada
Fashionable Escada

Striped Appeal:  Michael Kors
Striped Appeal: Michael Kors

Carolina Herrera:  Fashionable Visuals
Carolina Herrera & Hermes: Fashionable Visuals

Fashionable Appeal:  Versace & Brunello Cucinelli
Fashionable Appeal: Versace & Brunello Cucinelli

Chanel Visuals On Michigan Avenue
Chanel Visuals On Michigan Avenue

Marc Jacobs:  Paradise
Marc Jacobs: Paradise

Max Mara:  Visual & Fashionable Delights Abount
Max Mara: Visual & Fashionable Delights Abount

Fashionable Statements:  Max Mara
Fashionable Statements: Max Mara

Visual Delights Of Fashionable Appeal:  Max Mara
Visual Delights Of Fashionable Appeal: Max Mara

Timeless.  Black & White.  Max Mara Style
Timeless. Black & White. Max Mara Style

Fashionable Elements On The City Street
Fashionable Elements On The City Street

Consider once again, in appreciation, the fashionable windows that are before you. The art of visual merchandising can certainly inspire. Whether it is a glance as one passes by or to take in and pause before the large windows of fashion, inspiration and mere energy can perhaps be gained. For one who loves fashion and the art of presenting its form to the world, onward in capturing the year 2017 from behind the lens. Chicago fashion, onward.



Fashion & Reflection:  The
Fashion & Reflection: The Photographer…

PS: For those of you that follow this blog…my life and my personal time has changed. However, my commitment to photographing the fashionable windows of Chicago has become a commitment that I have not waned from. My appreciation of the art form and the world of interior design has not diminished. Periodically, posts will return. For fashion is one mere aspect of what I adore…Onward in sharing pondering and inspirations to living a beautiful life.      Kristin