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American Inspiration Author Series

Author Julie Satow and Museum Curator Petra Slinkard Discuss “When Women Ran Fifth Avenue”

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Tuesday, August 06, 2024
6:00pm - 7:00pm
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When Women Ran Fifth Avenue: Glamour and Power at the Dawn of American Fashion is a glittering portrait of the golden age of American department stores and of three visionary women who led them. Journalist Julie Satow draws back the curtain to reveal the masterminds behind the creation and shopping experience at Hortense Odlum’s Bonwit Teller, Dorothy Shaver’s Lord & Taylor, and Geraldine Stutz’s Henri Bendel.

The twentieth century American department store was a palace of consumption where every wish could be met under one roof – afternoon tea, a stroll through the latest fashions, a wedding (or funeral) planned. It was a place where women, shopper and shopgirl alike, could stake out a newfound independence. Whether in New York or Chicago or on Main Street, USA, men owned the store buildings, but inside, women ruled. In this hothouse atmosphere, three women and their department stores rose to the top, Hortense Odlum (Bonwit Teller), Dorothy Shaver (Lord & Taylor), and Geraldine Stutz (Henri Bendel). They took great risks and forged new paths for the women who followed in their footsteps. Her new book captures the department store in all its glitz, decadence, and fun, and showcases the women who made that beautifully curated world go round.

Join us for this stylish account, an illustrated presentation by the author followed by a discussion with fashion curator Petra Slinkard.

Julie Satow by Beowulf Sheehan
Julie Satow is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Plaza, a New York Times’ Editor’s Choice and NPR Favorite Book of 2019. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times.
Petra Slinkard is the Director of Curatorial Affairs and The Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She oversees the museum’s Fashion and Design collection and gallery and stewards PEM’s award-winning curatorial program.

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