Fashion designers and retailers, not only in New York, but all over the world mourned the death of the iconic Marvin Traub. Known as a visionary retailer with an eye to scout young talented designers, Marvin S. Traub breathed his last at his New York home at the age of 87. Suffering from bladder cancer, Marvin continued working and was up and about till June. However, he could not fight the disease any longer and succumbed to it.
Marvin was best known for his retailing skills that put Bloomingdale’s name on the top of the list of some well known dignitaries who liked to shop nowhere else but at Bloomingdale’s. He was known for putting up glitzy galas, exotic promotions and designer shops. Marvin supported young designers, and he has to his credit the launching of several designers who have made a mark for themselves in the fashion industry; Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan being some of them.
Ralph Lauren needs no introduction now, but he surely did when he opened up his stores on the 72nd Street and Madison Avenue decades ago. Marvin was his first customer and he got Ralph designing for Bloomingdale’s when Ralph was simply designing ties. These and similar other stories from some well known names in the fashion industry have always been there.
Traub’s perception of fashion and his sense of judgment elevated him from the ranks of a merchandise assistant to the President of Bloomingdale over a career span of 41 years. More recently he jigged his career to become the most roving and astute analyst of the industry spending his time on studying the emerging markets like that of the Middle East, Russia and China, through his company, Marvin Traub Associates.
Marvin’s persona was infectious. He had the quality to put people at ease. He cared so much about places, people and products and always had the curiosity to know more, whether it was about the person, product or place. His skill as a retailer can never be undermined as he was a showman. Whether it was the opening of a store or the import of rare products from different parts of the world, he had his way and that too very different from the others. Under his skill and showmanship, Bloomingdale elevated from being a simple department store to an emporium that had world-wide brand recognition. All well-known brands of the world aspired to have a place in Bloomingdale and all this because of the work by Marvin Traub.
Marvin had earned the distinction of being the person who had brought theatrics to retailing. All that he did was on a larger-than-life platform. Whether it was bringing the designers on choppers or the performers of the Big Apple Circus for a store opening, Marvin did it all in style and nobody complained.
Touching the lives of so many people, Marvin is being remembered not just by the retailing business world but also by the fashion industry. Well known dignitaries from the fashion industry have come up to pay their last tributes to the ultimate showman. Those who have been unable to attend in person are sending tributes and online messages to bid their last adieu to this great visionary. Michael Gould, the present CEO and Chairman of Bloomingdale has sent out his condolence message to his employees stating that it has been a pleasure and pride to be a part of the Bloomingdale family which reached the pinnacles of success under the aegis of Marvin Traub.
Speaking on the occasion, Ralph specifically mentioned his relation with Traub and emphasized that their relation was beyond professionalism. He shared a personal relationship with Marvin and his wife, Lee Laufer and now that Marvin is gone, Ralph would surely miss his Godfather.