Monday, December 21, 2009

Patricia (Pat) Anne George

We are saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Patricia on Sunday, December 20. She was a wonderful, talented and creative person with a zest for life.

Her obituary appeared in the Kansas City star on Sunday, December 27 with details of a memorial service to be held Wednesday, December 30. (click here to view obituary)

Friday, December 18, 2009

KC area Holiday Windows #2

Blue Christmas
Click image for larger version
Blue Christmas Window
Great at night! Complete Music/Video, 5811 Johnson Dr., Mission, KS

Today's Links
Melissa's Motifs Mosaics
Christmas Windows 2009 search on YouTube

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thank You

We're grateful for the opportunity to meet so many nice people this weekend. Thanks so much for purchasing the book and sharing your stories.

We also appreciate our amazing hosts, Ann and Barb, at our first signing at Her Majesty's Closet.

Border's in the Northland was also a great experience. Thanks to Lill and her staff for hosting our afternoon signing.

Please forgive us for not including information on important associates of Harzfeld's. We welcome information, stories and photos to share here, in a possible updated version of the book and to add to our archives. Please email us at

We're targeting the Fall of 2010 for a possible introduction of our recreation of Harzfeld's Petticoat Lane perfume. Please check back for more details.

Today's Links
Edith Head Exhibit at Price Tower, January 22 - May 16, 2010
1stdibs Introspective - On Location - Holiday Moments - New York

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In The Independent

We're grateful for an article printed in the Dec. 5 issue of The Independent on Harzfeld's: A Brief History. It's an honor to be mentioned in this publication that had a long relationship with the specialty store. The Independent has been very helpful in sharing information and images for our book.

The article mentioned our three scheduled book signings. Hope you can stop by.

Saturday, December 12

Her Majesty's Closet in Prairie Village, KS
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Borders in the Northland
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, February 6

Barnes and Noble on the Country Club Plaza
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Kansas City, Mo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

KC area Holiday Windows #1

Today I made it out to the River Market Antique Mall. What a fun group of people! They had their open house today and had goodies and games... try to make it next year if you can.

But for this year, stop by and see their windows! They were created by Craig Smikle and Jeff Parson, who also painted A Christmas Story elements.

Click images for larger versions

Today's Link
A Christmas Story, The Musical! Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Handkerchief Box

Here's a nifty box that has two roses that intertwine for the closure. Our example came with one of Harzfeld's signature Petticoat Lane scene handkerchiefs with a foil label stating "Created by Kimball, All Linen."

Check out Fashion by the Decade from the Detroit Institute of Arts on flickr.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Delay in Book Availability

We've just found out that there has been a delay in the availability of our book, Harzfeld's: A Brief History. More updates to come, but it looks as though the first deliveries will be sent out next week.

In the News!

We're excited to share an article written by Rick Hellman, Editor of the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. We had the pleasure of meeting Rick a few weeks ago for an interview. We greatly appreciate the opportunity.

New book chronicles Harzfeld's

The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle has been published weekly since 1920.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Country Club Plaza, Past and Present

Today's Walt Bodine Show's topic was the history of the Country Club Plaza.
Take a listen!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Diminishing Glass

Still from the film Making of a Mural.

Yep, I (Joe) thought they were one and the same, a magnifying glass and a diminishing glass. They are not. I feel a little diminished, but appreciate learning something new. A diminishing glass has a concave lens that reduces an image and has been a tool for artists such as Thomas Hart Benton in assessing large subjects. Please note that on page 54 of our book, Harzfeld's: A Brief History, the fourth paragraph, second sentence should read: "He would continually step back to look at the work through a diminishing glass."

Also, the first sentence in Chapter 5 on page 53 should start "In the fall of 1946," rather than "In 1947,". The mural was completed in 1947, however the commission would have been in 1946.

We appreciate the friend who alerted us to this and welcome your emails on inaccuracies in our book.

Eventually, you'll be able to see more corrections by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vintage Convertible

It's a big hat box with two ways to carry.

Make it through those revolving doors with ease.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Her Majesty's Closet

(PAST EVENT) We're excited to announce our first to be scheduled book signing, hosted by Her Majesty's Closet, a couture consignment shop. It will be Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 11 a.m — 2 p.m. at 4113 W. 83rd St. in Prairie Village, Kansas. We greatly appreciate Her Majesty's Closet which recently moved to this new location. They offer some wonderful fashions.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Paper Pooches

Another window display, featuring a fashion from Akris, from Michele's New York trip .

We hope to post some local Kansas City window displays in the future.

Friday, November 13, 2009


It looks as though our book, Harzfeld's: A Brief History will be available within two weeks. We're grateful to the History Press in helping us to realize this project. They've been very helpful and patient with us.

Yesterday, our friend Ralph at Mpress provided us with a couple spiral bound mock-up copies of the book from our PDF proofs. This really gives us a feel for what the finished product will be like. It all seems to condense down nicely in this format. I think the stories will be enjoyable to everyone, in spite of our writing abilities.

We also celebrate Eva Zeisel's 103rd Birthday today! More information on Eva and her designs can be found at There's also a temporary slide show to honor her birthday by Steve Basile of photos taken at the '07 Mingei International Museum exhibit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hello Kitty

A tiny box, 3" x 1.5" x 1", is home for this kitty, a pin constructed of fur, rhinestones and pipe cleaners. It may have been a gift for purchasing a "larger" fur from Harzfeld's.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Box Bag

Enid Collin's line of extremely fun wooden "box bags" and accessories were offered by Harzfeld's in the '60s and '70s. You can occasionally find an example with the addition of a Harzfeld's applied label. Michele has been collecting the be-jeweled handbags for years. She even has one with a built-in transistor radio.

Enid Archimedes Wood RingMore information on the designer can be found at Enid Collins Collection, a site created by Christian Collins, Enid's grandson. Christian's sister, Lara Collins Bobo, along with her husband Tim offer a new line of fashions and accessories with similar playful design sensibilities. Check out their site at (image to right: Archimedes Wood Ring from

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reshaping Technology

This is a window from Bergdorf Goodman titled Reshaping Technology. Michele shot this photo and the detail below while in New York last week.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

American Beauty Exhibit

American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York
November 6, 2009 - April 10, 2010

More information at

A catalog is also available.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

'30s Box

This box is from the collection of Gary and Elaine Kabrick. From memory, it's approximately 8" x 12". We're guessing that it's from the late '30s since it features a thin line version to the logo introduced going into the '40s.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Hat Box

Michele found this hat box at a local estate sale last week. It is 7" in height when closed, and 9" wide flat edge to edge. This example just had to be animated. I thought about having a hat pop out after it opened, but for now you'll just have to imagine what type of hat might be inside. Look for us to feature an example of Harzfeld's packaging each Thursday.

Michele has been away in New York for a few days. This is her first time there and she's having a wonderful time. Joe's back in Kansas City raking leaves.

The book should be available around Thanksgiving! More details to come.

Last week we had the opportunity to meet and be interviewed by Rick Hellman from the The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. It was fun and we greatly appreciated the opportunity.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh What Fun

We just received this photo of a sleigh owned by Larry Sherman. He's certain that it's from Harzfeld's and was displayed in the Christmas windows along with the mechanical Dresden dolls. We don't have any photos featuring the sleigh, so if you have memories or possibly photos of the sleigh, we would welcome them. It is circa 1880-1900. Larry is offering it for sale and is accepting bids from anyone interested.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Harzfeld’s: A Brief History
preliminary cover design

We've continually underestimated the time this project would take. The History Press has been very kind in extending our deadlines. We actually just submitted our manuscript and it is now in an editing stage. More updates to come over the next several weeks.

Zafar Boutique and Salon

Just a couple blocks south from the original location of The Parisian, Zafar Boutique and Salon is about to open soon. The new locally owned business will feature a number of beauty services and women's fashions. article article

Saturday, October 10, 2009

September Issue

Last week we snuck away to a matinee showing of The September Issue. A documentary on the making of the 2007 September issue of Vogue magazine. Joe and I both give it three and a half stars. The players, the fashion, the process was great fun to observe, and I was especially taken with Grace Coddington. I have always been a fan of hers, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing this amazing creative director at work. Worth the watch!

Artnet Article by Brook S. Mason mentioning Anna Wintour and her Clarice Cliff pottery.

Enabler or Visionary?

Kim, one of our followers wrote a great article, Enabler or Visionary? The Man Behind the Green and White Stripes with a Harzfeld's focus for It provides a look at service back in the day. We appreciate the link she provided to our site, which appears to need some updating. Hopefully that will happen soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Green Stripes as Shoes

Harzfeld's did quite the shoe business, but they never sold anything quite like this.

Check out the Mojito shoe concept by architect Julian Hakes at

Paris of the Plains

Fall in Petticoat Lane is a recent entry focused on Harzfeld's on John Simonson's Blog, Paris of the Plains. Please visit to read this and other beautifully written remembrances of Kansas City's history.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Anthony Benton Gude

The Gold Rush Days & The California Migration
Third Panel 1997 Oil on Canvas 6' x 24'
Commissioned by St. Joseph Frontier Casino
Copyright Anthony Benton Gude

Visit to see more work by this amazing artist and muralist. The work above is very similar in scale to his grandfather's mural for Harzfeld's, Achelous and Hercules. A waving of a hat appears in both works and is one of many connections you can make between the two artists' work.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is a great photo of 125 Harzfeld's associates in front of the Plaza store from the early '80s. Let us know if you'd like to help in the identification process. Thank you to Roy Albin, Jr. for providing the image.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Seidenbach's of Tulsa Exhibit

Our friend Paul from Tulsa just emailed to inform us of an exhibit, currently on display at The Tulsa Historical Society. Its focus is Seidenbach's, started by Siegmund Harzfeld's nephew, Joseph Leslie Seidenbach. After learning the ropes of retail at Harzfeld's, Joseph moved to Tulsa and opened his store after a visit in 1916. "Seidenbach's New Store", an impressive Gothic style building was erected at 413-415 South Main in 1927 . Sadly, it was raised after the store closed in the mid-1960s.

Image courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection, Tulsa City-County Library.

The exhibit runs now through January 31, 2010 at the Tulsa Historical Society, 2445 South Peoria. Visit their facebook site, while their permanent site is under construction.

Tulsa World review of exhibit

Garfinckel, Brooks Brothers, Miller & Rhoads took over Harzfeld's in 1972 and Gus Meyer locations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City in 1973. The Gus Meyer locations were converted to Harzfeld's in 1974 and were kept in operation until the closing of the Harzfeld's stores by Allied in '84. We know very little about the two Oklahoma locations. We welcome any information you may have.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oread Inn

The boutique sized location of Harzfelds in Lawrence, Kansas, which closed in the '50s, will now be the site of the Oread Inn, opening in 2010.

On the Hill in Lawrence, Kansas April 30 post

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do you know?

As we wrap some things up for the book, we're still hoping to find information on a few items. Maybe you know...

Do you know about the SSA, Specialty Stores Association? It was a group of about 14 or so specialty stores the partnered and had offices on the coasts... we know they were around in 1940 and as late as 1961. Any additional information is welcome. Update: The SSA was started in 1921. We've found more information from newspaper accounts that we will share in a future post.

A reliable source tells us that Marilyn Monroe's voice was recorded and used to announce the floors you arrived on from the Plaza store elevators. Does anyone remember this? Can you confirm that it was indeed Marilyn?

Thanks much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ari, Stay Fearless!

Sorry things ended so soon.
Best to you and for your designs.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Petticoat Lane & Main

Here's a shot circa 1940 of the downtown Harzfeld's, designed by architect John McKecknie in 1913. Now part of the Town Pavilion, it's at Petticoat Lane and Main in Kansas City.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hand Script by Ras

There are items we're "saving" for the book, but sometimes we can't hold back. This past Sunday, we visited our friend Mac at the River Market Antique Mall. He worked for Erasmus (Ras) Beall back in the day. Ras effortlessly wrote out his beautiful script lettering for Mac to emulate in his display work. Mac was kind enough to share this with us to reproduce in our book. Here is a detail sampling from the sheet.

Maybe next month, after our manuscript is with the publisher, we'll figure out how to directly display and respond to your very appreciated comments. There are also many follow-ups to earlier posts that will be coming.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ari on the Runway

Congratulations to Ari Fish of Kansas City for landing a spot on Project Runway, which debuts August 20 on Lifetime.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Help with your bags

I recently purchased four contemporary Fiesta dinnerware mixing bowl sets on an incredible clearance deal at a mall in Denver. Instead of making multiple trips, I was given a couple versions of the device above (although the wood portion was made of plastic). I "manned up" and made the trip through the mall balancing a dozen heavy pottery bowls. These things work. Although I was pretty exhausted when I got to my car, there were no blisters or cuts on my hands.

We were surprised to see a Harzfeld's branded version of the bags holder last week in the collection of Gary and Elaine Kabrick. They invited Michele and I for a visit, along with Gary's brother, Arthur, and his wife, Karon. We had a great time learning about the brothers' parents, who met at Harzfeld's in the late '20s. Their great aunt also worked at Harzfeld's. We heard some stories and saw some wonderful ephemera, including many Holiday cards sent from the store's long time president, Lester Siegel Sr. More on our visit in the future.

We may be posting only once a week for a while as our manuscript for Harzfeld's: A Brief History has a deadline coming soon. If all goes well, the book will be available before the end of the year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Indiana University Conserving Benton Murals

The Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington is offering a glimpse into painting conservation. The public is invited to observe the ongoing conservation of two panels from Thomas Hart Benton's Indiana murals at the museum's painting conservation laboratory.

Find out more at the IU News Room.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

That Girl Revealed

We recently visited with Beth in Denver, Colorado. (More about our amazing visit soon.) One of the newsletters in she shared from her archives solved the mystery of "me" posted here on June 4.

"That Girl", on the left, is Doris Franklin. Seated beside her are Mary Lou Harkness and Helen Richardson.

Thanks Beth!

Designs for Metcalf South

A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet with Jack Rees and his wife, Hayley. His father, who also went by the name Jack, was a talented interior decorator who worked in a a variety of disciplines. He was friends with Ras Beall, the long time Display Director at Harzfeld's. We were graciously given premission to reproduce and share some of his drawings. They provide a wonderful look at what was created, but also visions of what could have been for this location started in 1967 in Overland Park, Kansas.

Here's one of our favorites. We don't belive it was realized in the final designs. Click on image for larger version.

copyright by jack rees interiors

We hope to share some more drawings and information on Jack Rees in the future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We're excited to have our images for Harzfeld's: A Brief History sent to our publisher. We haven't posted here for a while. It has been very exciting and we appreciate everyone that have been helping us along the way. More updates soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

March 12, 1918

The Christian Science Monitor, March 12, 1918, pg. 7

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nelly Don

This Mother's Day ad ran in a Kansas City newspaper from the late '30s or early '40s. We've found very few examples, but this ad features a Nelly Don dress.

for important mothers
Nelly Don, viole

soft, cool snowflake print voile that'll look fresh as snowfields on torrid summer days. Frost white lace caps and pockets and goes all around the neck - white crocheted buttons for the sleeves. Blue, black or green ground. Sizes 16-42. 5.95, fourth floor, mail orders, Harzfeld's

We love our mothers, Linda and Rachel up in Iowa!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

April 7, 1979

Harzfeld's Precious Jewels
Country Club Plaza

Red sky at night: the delight of an orange-hued sunset in rings of red jade and gold. With diamond Bezels, 895.00. Two diamonds, 550.00.

Courtesy of The Independent

Sunday, June 28, 2009

ELLE Decor goes to Kansas City

ELLE Decor July/August 2009 is selling out at newstands in the Kansas City area. Grab a copy while you can.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

(V) Valentino

We enjoyed a showing of Valentino The Last Emperor at AMC 30 in Olathe, Kansas on Saturday. It is also showing at the Tivoli Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri.

VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR is a feature-length film on the legendary designer Valentino Garavani in the wake of his exit in 2008 from the company he founded in Rome more than 45 years ago. Produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, the film is an intimate, engaging and funny fly-on-the-wall exploration of the singular world of one of Italy's richest and most famous men. The film documents the colorful and dramatic closing act of Valentino's celebrated career, tells the story of his extraordinary life and work, and also explores the larger themes affecting the fashion business today. But at the heart of the film is the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Business of Fashion reports on Valentino

Charlie Rose interviews with Valentino

Friday, June 26, 2009

May 1, 1902

Kansas City Star, May 1, 1902, pg. 5

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sorry, we had no choice but to use the pun.

The cover of the 1979 Holiday catalog from Harzfeld's features a 19th century painting of a cat. We think this is a pretty risky, minimalist yet elegant cover. The Harzfeld's "signature" must have been superimposed. Inside you can find this offer:

Right off our Cat-alog Cover
A. Charming late 19th century painting from the J. Babbin collection of pussycats. People loved the Harzfelds cat so much we had a lithograph run off for collectors. You can begin your collection of Harzfelds cats right now. 20"x16". 8.00 (1.30) B. We also have 24 postcards (they make a great thank you). 6.00 (.90) idiosyncrasies, Cover Photo: Barbara Seller

Does anyone know more? We've searched on "Babbin" with no luck. Was this painting in the store?

Consider a recycled cat: Animal Haven KC

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Cabinet III

We woke up early and drove I-70 east to Emma. The auction was actually on Sunday, so we decided to preview the auction and then drive a little further, to Columbia, to research its Harzfeld's location. We enjoy road trips and stopped at some antique shops on the way.

We found our exit to the small town of Emma, and easily found the auction house. We looked around at the interesting items, but alas, no display case. Although we could have inquired, we thought it best to keep a low profile to not express too much interest in the cabinet. We got back on I-70 and made our way to Columbia. We stopped at the library, went to special collections and found great help. Our first focus was the phone book area. This helped us establish when the store moved between three different locations and who managed it over the years. We also found items in the vertical files and Harzfeld's ads from a few college yearbooks. We then sought out the locations and snapped some photos.

We spent the evening in Columbia and stopped back at the auction house on the way home. Still no cabinet. We again surrendered the fact that it might not be in the cards. We signed up to received future auction bills by mail and headed back to Kansas City.

Several weeks later, an auction bill arrived in the mail. This auction had many old store fixture items so I scanned the listings and there it was! A small photo was included, but there were no details of its origin.

Finally, it was the weekend of the second auction. We headed back out to Emma. We sat through numerous items until finally in the late afternoon, it was time for the cabinet to sell. We had decided on a limit we would bid. I calmly made the starting bid once they called out for $600. I was patiently waiting, then, an opposing bid was given. I calmly raised their bid and waited. SOLD to #168 for $800! We were excited and relieved that we would finally end up with the cabinet.

The auction house was good about storing items and offered delivery. We weighed our options, and decided to have them deliver it to our house. We were nervous about leaving our large plate glass box behind since there were many items being moved about as the auction came to a close, but since it had survived this many years, hopefully it would make it through this event. We drove home and cleared a space for the cabinet.

A week later, the cabinet was to deliver. I waved the truck and trailer in and we backed it up to our back sliding door. A nice older (than us) gentleman of medium stature came out of the truck. We realized he was alone. As we discussed how we would get this monster into the house, he shared about the pins in his back, yet had little hesitation about the task. After not finding any additional help, we strategized a bit. Then he disappeared under the cabinet. With all the assistance we could offer, the cabinet began to levitate. How he was able to raise the weight of the cabinet from all fours is still baffling. With a few moves forward and repositioning, we were at the door.

I got my side in and backed into the the house as our new friend guided his end to the door. His energy was giving way as we approached, and the cabinet was dropping with him. Thankfully he was okay and with the exception of the front right leg, so was the cabinet. After recovering, we finished the move, settled up, and wished him well with his other large deliveries.

Like much of our information, and many of the items from Harzfeld's, they seem to come to us, but not without a little effort.

(8' 2" in width)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Cabinet II

We had been invited to a friend's house that Saturday morning which wasn't a conflict since the cabinet was to sell in the afternoon according to the eBay listing. What we didn't realize was that this didn't correspond with the time of the actual auction as spelled out somewhere on the listing. We discovered this fact before making it to the auction house and began to surrender that it was not meant to be. We called and it had indeed sold for under $600 and had already left the premisses.

Months later, I attended an estate sale conducted by the same auction house. Michele and I enjoy the hunt for collectibles and the unusual. It was at the end of the sale, on a Friday, and everything was at least half off. I found a slide projector and some old acetate record albums. While checking out, I mentioned to the women at the folding table that I missed the auction and the opportunity to purchase the cabinet. She consulted with an associate and said it was purchased by another auction house in Emma, Missouri and was to be resold that weekend.

I got home with my treasures and Michele and I planned for our trip to Emma.

to be continued...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Cabinet

A few months ago we acquired a great piece of Harzfeld's history, a large display cabinet. The story is too long for one post, so we'll "break it up" a bit. Yes, as you can see from the image, a leg has been broken off, but I'll soon have that fixed. Maybe these posts will prevent me from procrastinating on that project.

We first learned of the cabinet from an eBay listing, which coordinated with a local live auction. We also heard from the kind owner of the cabinet, who left a message on our answering machine to inform us of the pending sale. (We lost your message and number, so if you read this, thank you.)

Excited about the prospect of owning the piece, we prepared to make the trip to the Lone Jack, Missouri auction house on a Saturday this past Spring.

to be continued...

btw - The book is coming along with most of the images together. The manuscript needs a lot of work over the next two months.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Independent

ABOUT OUR COVER... The romance of evening black, absolutely elegant from attending the premiere benefit performance of the "Medea" May 17th, sponsored by the Performing Arts Foundation. Left, flounces of fluted silk chiffon create a whimsical aura at 170.00. Right, tri-dimensional designs dot airy marquisette over a muted nude background, 140.00. French Room, third [floor] Downtown and Plaza.

This is from the May 11, 1968 issue of The Independent, Kansas City's Weekly Journal of Society. The publication was established in 1899. The Parisian / Harzfeld's was an early advertiser and the relationship continued through 1984 when the chain of stores closed. There were numerous covers that were done in partnership, some of which promoted local events.

We had the honor of meeting with Heather Paxton who gave generously of her time to allow us to search through The Independent's archives. Heather is very knowledgable about Kansas City history and was able to locate some helpful gems of information. It was great fun to search through the ads in the bound volumes.

Image courtesy of The Independent.
Cover illustration by Patricia George.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lorene Roberson

She started with Harzfeld’s working part-time in sweaters at their Plaza store in the '50s. She was promoted to manager of the 3rd floor at that location and then was made assistant manager at Corinth. From there, she advanced to become “buyer of coats and suits.” Her office was downtown, but she spent the majority of her time traveling to New York and California. She bought for all the Harzfeld's stores in town. When they were building at Metcalf, they made her manager of the entire store.

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Lorene along with her neighbors Janet and Frank, who served as a gracious hosts. She's a very active, spry, and “with-it” lady and just turned 88 years old. Here are some of her shared memories:

“My memories of being in the family of Harzfeld’s will always be close to my heart. Their caring and personal concern, from Mr. Siegel and all of management, was remarkable. Your work progress was noted and congratulated – sincerely. I became a member starting in part-time sales. I was given the privilege of advancing to buyer – to becoming the first woman store manager in the city. On my buying trips to New York and Los Angeles, I met some very interesting people – some notable, some stars. Principals of companies held Harzfeld’s in high regard – its buyers, too. I was taken to dinners, Broadway shows, even the World’s Fair! One principal (Leslie Fay line) owned a race track. I loved it all – who wouldn’t? Fashion slogans of Harzfeld’s were:
    ‘Fashion is our specialty; Perfection is our creed’ and
    ‘Always First with Tomorrow’s Fashion’

Harzfeld’s will always be remembered as the store of Fashion – in Kansas City and in New York. I was broken-hearted when I heard the word “closing,” but I had been so lucky – blessed, by my experiences.”

Lorene has lent us her memory-filled scrapbook, some of which will find its way into our book.

Thanks Lorene.


You can type "3616 Belleview, Kansas City, Mo" into your TomTom gps device, but now you may more easily find Tom, or the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio Historical Site, via seven new wayfinding signs.

Summer in Space

Top emerging fashion designers will take center stage during the ninth annual West 18th Street Fashion Show. This year’s free, outdoor event, Summer in Space, will be held at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 6. This outdoor fashion show– which draws nearly 2000 spectators– is held on the block of West 18th Street, between Wyandotte Street and Baltimore Avenue.

The event will bring together eighteen established and emerging designers, featuring returning designer Ariadne Fish, who has recently been gaining notoriety both locally and nationally. Fish, a Kansas City Art Institute graduate, will display her unique brand of powerful, avant-garde fashion. The show will also feature perennial favorites Jovana Mirabile (New York); Joscelyn Himes (awarded KC Magazine’s 2008 Best Local Fashion Designer); Peggy Noland (featured in Rolling Stone, Elle, and Spin); Birdies Panties and Swimwear Boutique located on 18th Street, and more. This year's theme, Summer in Space, serves as a source of inspiration for the designers, and it guides the stage design and event identity.

The event organizers have enlisted the help of a panel of fashion experts, which includes retired fashion designer and current Curator/Director of the Kansas City Historic Garment District Museum, Ann Brownfield; designer and owner of Crossroads boutique, Tomboy Design Studio, Laura McGrew; and former editor of KC Magazine and stylist, Chadwick Brooks.

Prominent local theatre actor Corrie Van Ausdal will host the event. Local artist, musician, and jazz ringleader, Mark Southerland, will be the musical director.

Photo: Tom Foley

That Girl

We have a set of photos from 1946 that clearly list Harzfeld's associates, except for one person, currently known as "me". She did a great job with her co-workers, and now we'd love to give her credit.

From Left: "Me", Mary Lou Harkenss, Helen Richardson

Let us know if you can help.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Up Six Degrees

We just returned from a matinee showing of the Disney-Pixar film Up and enjoyed it so much we needed a connection to Harzfeld's to justify a post. We found six degrees of separation through Oracle of Bacon. Ed Asner, the voice of Carl, was in the movie Gus (1976) as Hank Cooper, the owner of a losing professional football team. Jeanne Bates played a nurse in the same film. Ms. Bates played, yes, a nurse, in the film Paula (1952) which starred Loretta Young as Paula Rogers. Loretta was a loyal customer of Harzfeld's of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the late '70s and early '80s.

That was fun, and so is the film. Although it does have some touching moments (Michele may have teared up), it's very sweet. We sat close to the screen to compensate for not seeing it in 3D. By the way, Ed Asner's hometown is Kansas City, but that would have been too easy.

Art Department 1950

We have quite a few images that have some unidentified individuals. This shot was taken by Erasmus Beall of his staff. A huge thanks to "Mac" for providing it. Please let us know if you can help us with any of the names.

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