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.

1 comment:

  1. Hello. I used to work at Harzfelds on the Plaza in the late 70's and 80's until it closed. My mother was Harzfelds first "Personal Shopper" .. I have very fond memories of Harzfelds downtown as well. What a great store it was.


Thanks so much for your comment! We'll likely make it public very soon.