21 Ultimate Gifts: Well Suited

  • William Kissel

THE GIFT

Custom-made men’s wardrobe from Bergdorf Goodman
consisting of one week’s worth of suits, a topcoat, a tuxedo,
footwear, and accessories.

Trip for two to Italy with Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion
director to select materials with the store’s
exclusive suitmakers and shoemakers.

Starting at $500,000, depending on fabrics, clothing details, and other
custom specifications.

During world warII, American industrialist Henry Kaiser stopped by the Bergdorf Goodman department store in downtown Manhattan to purchase a mink coat for his wife. Personally assisted by store owner Ed Goodman, Kaiser was taken aback when he learned that the store would require three weeks to make the coat; he pointed out that he could build an oceangoing ship in a week. Though customers can expect faster service at Bergdorf Goodman today (picking up a designer suit, a pair of handmade Italian shoes, and even a mink coat on a moment’s notice presents no greater challenge than picking up your dry cleaning), nothing compares to the comfort, fit, and style that result from investing time in a wardrobe tailored to suit your specific needs and preferences.

For one Robb Report reader, Bergdorf Goodman is offering—for the first time in its 109-year history—the chance to commission a custom-made men’s wardrobe with the personal guidance of the company’s celebrated fashion director, Tommy Fazio, who is responsible for the fashion direction for Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s store and for its private-label apparel.

The gift begins with a consultation with Fazio, who will assess the client’s physique and lifestyle during a meeting at the Manhattan store or at the client’s location. "If he’s from California, obviously we’re going to select comfortable, year-round fabrics," Fazio says. "Whereas if he lives on the East Coast, the majority of his wardrobe will be made from 10-month-a-year trans-seasonal cloths, but we’ll also want to throw in some heavier cashmere and flannel."

Following the consultation, the client and a guest will travel with Fazio to Italy, where they will visit Bergdorf Goodman’s private-label suitmaker on the island of Sardinia. After selecting from a range of cashmere, vicuña, superfine wool, and other exclusive or limited-edition fabrics at the atelier, the client will meet with a team of expert tailors charged with fashioning a week’s worth of suits, a tuxedo, and a topcoat. During the three-day, four-night stay in a luxury hotel on Sardinia, the client will have ample time for sightseeing and shopping.

Next, the participants will travel with Fazio to Italy’s historic Marche region for a two-day stay, during which the client will meet one of Bergdorf Goodman’s most celebrated shoemakers. The shoemaker will take meticulous measurements for custom-made shoes, then bring the client into his private vault to present the crocodile, alligator, ostrich, and other exotic skins from which he will craft the handmade footwear.

Once the clothing and footwear are complete (approximately eight to 10 weeks after the Italy trip), Bergdorf Goodman will fly the client to New York for final fittings with its master tailor in the store’s private VIP suite. Fazio will escort the client through the 40,000-square-foot, three-story fashion emporium, advising him on custom dress shirts and outerwear, as well as eyewear, leather goods, and other accessories.

For the client, perhaps this gift’s greatest reward will be the time to complete a new custom wardrobe—time that will be well spent, indeed.

Bergdorf Goodman, Emily Horowitz, 646.735.5352

The Bergdorf Goodman custom wardrobe is limited to one customer • First-class travel to, and luxury hotel accommodations in, New York and Italy are included for the buyer and a guest, but additional hotel services and amenities will be the buyer’s responsibility • Scheduling is subject to availability • the Gift must be purchased by July 1, 2009, and redeemed within one year of the date of purchase.

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