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When Women Ran Fifth Avenue - a fascinating trip back to the days of opulent department stores and the women who made them fabulous.

I am grateful to have lived through the years when shopping at a department store in New York City was a true experience. From the beautiful merchandise to the décor as well as the huge escalators and elevators, each with its own attendant. As a young girl, I was overwhelmed. It is hard not to be nostalgic about those days and those incredible shopping palaces. NYC kids had Coney Island, but we also had Fifth Avenue, a whole different type of amusement. In When Women Ran Fifth Avenue: Glamour and Power at the Dawn of American Fashion, author Julie Satow brings those memories rushing back as she tells the fascinating stories of three women who were true mavericks in retail and fashion: Hortense Odlum of Bonwit Teller, Dorothy Shaver of Lord & Taylor and Geraldine Stutz of Henri Bendel. While each of the women had different backgrounds and paths to their impressive careers, the one thing they all had in common was talent. Ambition was also at play, but first and foremost, these women were able to creatively find the right recipes for success for their stores given the times.


This is quite a fascinating, entertaining and well-researched book. In addition to learning about these three tenacious women, you'll also learn about the designers they championed and the stores they elevated. Having worked in marketing in the retail real estate sector, this book was right up my alley (I enjoyed being interviewed by the author for an article she wrote for the NY Times.) Anyone who loves to shop and appreciates stories of trailblazing women will want to check this book out. Shopping online is convenient and time saving but oh what fun it was walking through the Street of Shops on the ground floor of Henri Bendel.


Many thanks to Doubleday Books for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in advance of its publication.


Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Nonfiction | Retail | Fashion

Publication Date: June 4, 2024.


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