Five Fun Facts We Learned at the 'Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's' Premiere

(Berney Films)

Karl Lagerfeld and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen won't sit down in front of a camera to gush about just any store — but for New York City's Bergdorf Goodman, they'll make an exception. Director Matthew Miele interviewed them, and 172 other fashion folks, for his new documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, which charts the rise of the department store from modest tailor's shop to Bastion of Fanciness.

We caught a screening the other night — Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's officially hits theaters this Friday — and we just had to share some fun facts we learned. We don't want to give too much away, so, for the most part, these are things that didn't make it in the film.

(Getty Images)

1. Bergdorf's star personal shopper Betty Halbreich still doesn't know how to use a cash register.

Betty Halbreich — Bergdorf Goodman's personal shopper to the stars, and the inspiration behind Lena Dunham's next HBO series — has been with the department store forever. So, when we caught up with the 85-year-old, we had to ask — "What was your first day like?"

"I was scared you-know-what. I can't say the word," she told us. "I had a green suit on. I was all dressed up. I don't know where I thought I was going, I guess I didn't realize I was going to work. I just stood absolutely mystified. I stared at the cash register and I said 'I'm never gonna touch it.' I've been there 36 years, and I've never touched the register. I'm terrible at figures."

(Getty Images)

2. The film's director has never shopped at Bergdorf's.

"It's so expensive!" Matthew Miele told us. "My wife bought me this from Bergdorf's, though," he said, pointing to his lavender tie.

3. Speaking of lavender...costume designer Ann Roth has a funny story.

This part didn't make it into the documentary (Too dirty, the director said!) When Miele was visiting 81-year-old costume designer Ann Roth at her studio, she told him a story about her seamstress. "When she used to visit this woman, the seamstress would ask for O.M.D. — O.M.D., O.M.D., I need more O.M.D., referring to this gray lavender," Miele said. "She [Roth] never had the courage to ask this woman what O.M.D. meant. Finally, when she was finishing up, and visiting this woman for the last time, she asked this seamstress, 'What is O.M.D.?' And the seamstress said, 'Old Man's Dick.'"

4. Some Bergdorf's sales associates make a lot of money.

The Bergdorf's execs were cagey about exact numbers, but the figure $500,000 was thrown around a bit.

5. It helps to have customers like Yoko Ono.

On Christmas Eve in 1978, fur buyer Jack Cohen answered a phone call at 4 p.m. "It was Yoko Ono," he recalls in the documentary. “John wants to buy me some furs. Can you come over?” she asked. Even though the store was about to close, Cohen’s boss told him to do whatever it took to hit the team’s sales numbers, so he lugged about 10 trunks full of furs to the Dakota. Yoko Ono and John Lennon ended up buying about 80 fur coats, spending $400,000 — or the equivalent of 2.5 million today.

Check out the trailer for Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, below!

I'm the Senior Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me: Google
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