Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo Talks Vintage, Tom Ford Beauty, and Leopard Pajamas

Linda Fargo vintage Coquette Atelier Bergdorf Goodmans
Photo: Billy Farrell Agency
Linda Fargo goes vintage for the launch of Coquette Atelier.

Decked in their best vintage wares, New York City's fashion flock came out to toast the exclusive launch of Coquette Atelier, a vintage ready-to-wear collection, at Bergdorf Goodman.

Overlooking Central Park and the Plaza, the luxury department store's intimate BG Restaurant was transformed into a Chicago-style vintage jazz club with live performances by Frieda Lee and Alice Smith.

Guests were dressed to the nines in feathered headpieces, beaded ballgowns, flapper-style skirts and sequin boleros, giving the event a retro, costume ball feel.

Coquette, which started as a by-appointment-only line, was founded by Rona Gaye Stevenson in 2006. The brand quickly generated a loyal following of stylists, editors and celebrities, and in 2010 Stevenson partnered with Cassandra Grey to launch Coquette Atelier, a fashion house whose mission is “styling vintage for the modern girl.”

FashionEtc caught up with Bergdorf Goodman Senior Vice President, Fashion Office and Store Presentation, Linda Fargo, who was dressed for the occasion in a gold and black blazer paired with a black feather miniskirt and lace bunny ears, all from the Coquette line.

Fargo revealed her first vintage purchase, her shopping tips, and her Tom Ford obsession.

What are your best tips for vintage shopping?

To fall in love. If you’re falling in love, it means the piece is perfect; it’s for you. That’s my first tip. I am a vintage shopper whether it's furniture, clothing or jewelry. I have loved vintage since I was a little girl, so I know my way around a store and I know how to fall in love. I know what works for me and I love going back historically. You know, they don’t make things like they used to. Like the movies—they don’t make clothes like that anymore. The fabric, the glamour, the drama, clothes that make you feel so beautiful to be in.

Rona has amazing taste. We’ve waited for her. I’ve waited for her, as we’ve been trying to find a vintage partner. Vintage that doesn’t just feel vintage but feels modern. All you have to do is take a look at them [Rona and Cassandra]. They look so elegant. I find elegance and when people care about how they dress so refreshing. There is nothing wrong with dressing down in jeans and sweats, but there is a time and a place for everything. With Coquette, everything is meticulous, everything is either restored or remade. So, for Bergdorf’s, we were a perfect partner for each other. They look like Bergdorf girls.

What was your first vintage piece?

Oh, I don’t know. Wait, wait, it’s coming to me. I had a pair of velvet, leopard pajama pants, like lounge pants. I wore them until they were really disintegrating. I still have them and I know one day I’m going to make them into throw pillows. I’m serious, because the fabric is so unique. I’ve never seen a leopard velvet like it. When I was a little girl, I had a costume box and everything had this amazing 1940s flair.

Are you excited to have the Tom Ford Beauty line at Bergdorfs?

It’s off the charts. I mean, the industry has not seen anything like this. It’s elegant, it’s chic, it’s sexy. I’m ready to throw out everything I have. I have a little of this and a little of that, and I’m almost going to throw everything out and stock my cabinets with Tom Ford’s chic packaging and gorgeous colors. It is so chic. That black and gold packaging—it’s amazing and it’s just the beginning. They have done everything right so far. Tom is such an elegant guy in every sense of the word, so we are over the moon to be partners.

In related news, check out what Lulu Frost designer Lisa Salzer says about vintage jewelry.