MARVIN TRAUB, one of retail's most famous figures and the former Bloomingdale's chairman and CEO, has died aged 87. Traub was credited with bringing glamour and spectacle to retail in the Sixties and Seventies, tempting famous names including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Faye Dunaway and Diana Ross to become Bloomingdale's regulars. He famously discovered Ralph Lauren, encouraging Bloomingdale's to place an order when Lauren only designed ties.
"I will miss his hand on my shoulder," Lauren told WWD. "Marvin has been part of my life for over 45 years. His support and loyalty extended way beyond my professional life. When I opened our store on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, Marvin was my first customer. When he left Bloomingdale's over 20 years ago, our relationship was just as strong. He and his beloved wife, Lee, have always been friends. Marvin was not only an icon in the world of retail, but a great supporter of the culture of this city."
"I'm really sad," Karl Lagerfeld added. "He and his wife were the nicest couple in the business. He was great, so cheerful, so friendly. He is somebody I will always remember. He was a key figure in retail when it was a fairy tale. His innovation was to make a store that was not so noteworthy into the trendiest shop in town."
"He was one of the first to believe in us and we jokingly called him 'the godfather' because he opened the doors to America for us and paved the way for our international success," Rosita Missoni, founder of Missoni, said. "He helped so many other designers, too - he believed in young people and in talent. And he had an incredible charisma. Whenever we met, it was a feast, full of memories."
"I liked Marvin very much," legendary designer Hubert de Givenchy said. "He was an absolutely charming man. He always supported the Givenchy label and gave us the possibilities to do a lot of things together at Bloomingdale's. I had a lot of admiration for his work, for him, and he was a great friend."