Betty Halbreich is a Manhattan legend and for the past thirty-six years has been THE personal shopper at the luxury oasis, Bergdorf Goodman. The New York Times recently profiled Mrs. Halbreich in her Park Avenue apartment where she has lived since 1947 and the rent for an eight-room apartment was $220 a month.
She greeted the Times journalist, Dan Shaw, in a Marni dress and gave him a tour of her life in her apartment. I love that the apartment is a little bit - or perhaps more then a little bit - of a time capsule to a bygone era - when women were the keeper of the home and devoted to lifestyle. But of course what is so interesting is that Halbreich is a working woman.
Her clients at Bergdorfs include Sarah Jessica Parker and Meryl Streep. Patricia Fields has called her a fellow stylist.
Betty Halbreich in her blue dining room:
A cupboard of pressed linens:
A drawer of jewelry:
"Everybody goes mad for these shoe closets that are built into the back of a door" BH
A butler's pantry:
I love this spot in her house - a bar is so old school and most couples from my grandparents generation had a similar small bar somewhere in their home.
"This is my favorite spot in the house. I keep my vodka in the refrigerator with spearmint in it in case you are really interested." BH
"The one thing I pride myself on, is knowing your size the minute you walk in. It's like a man sizing up a beautiful woman."
"I believe in longevity in dressing. I like to treat clothes like paintings. As they grow older, sometimes they get better."
"I never wore what anyone else wore as a little girl."
and from Isaac Mizrahi:
"Behind every successful man is a woman and behind every successful woman is Betty Halbreich.
Photos from The New York Times