5. Bergdorf Goodman was the first to introduce ready-to-wear fashion

Miss Bergdorf dress ad. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

At the new spot, Goodman opened the first ready-to-wear department in the country, which cut down on time in which upper-class women would get their dresses meticulously measured and fitted. In 1914, Goodman noted that many women did not want to wait hours to craft their outfits, so he consulted with many top designers of the time to discover the trending styles. Many of these ready-to-wear dresses were close reproductions of the best Paris dresses, making the store a destination for American and French fashion.

The introduction of ready-to-wear allowed for clothes to be sold for cheaper prices, making fashion in New York City more affordable and accessible. When his son Andrew took over in 1951 following his father’s death, the store created Miss Bergdorf, a ready-to-wear line for younger customers, as well as a fur salon. The Goodwins paved the way for Sears mail-order catalogs and Chanel shift dresses.