Saks Fifth Avenue was started as a joint venture between two of the largest retail establishments in New York City – Saks and Co. and Gimbels. The store was opened in 1924, and from the beginning it offered the highest quality clothing for men and women. Originally the store was supervised by Horace Saks but after his death in 1926 Adam Gimbel was made president of the company. He headed Saks until 1969.
By 1931, the in-house designer was Sophie Gimbel, Adam Gimbel’s wife. She designed under the label Sophie Originals. Saks’ high-end department, Salon Moderne, carried Sophie’s in-house designs as well as fashions from Paris by Louiseboulanger, Chanel, Vionnet, Patou, Schiaperelli, Agnes, Reboux and Callot Soeurs.
In the 1970s, the couture and custom salons were closed, as well as the millinery departments. Saks stores were built across the country, but without the level of customer service that had been available at the New York store during the Adam Gimbel days. In 1998, Saks merged with Proffitt’s department store chain.
Written by pastperfectvintage.com
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