Bloomingdale's is "Remembering Marilyn," the name of its new boutique, not with dolls shaped in the Marilyn Monroe image and clad in diamonds and fur but with styles suggestive of the 1950s glamor she epitomizes, said a Bloomingdale's executive yesterday.
"Our shop pays homage to this kind of glamor with very special clothes," says Kal Ruttenstein, Bloomingdale's vice president for fashion direction. "We are not doing line-for-line copies of her clothes. We are not carrying any kind of dolls, and no $6,000 dolls with sable coats and diamond and gold jewelry. In fact, we haven't seen any such dolls."
Ruttenstein was responding to recent articles saying such items would be featured in boutiques in Bloomingdale's stores.
In some articles, Roger Richman, who reportedly owns the licensing rights to the names and images of Monroe and other dead movie stars and who was paid an unspecified amount by Bloomingdale's to use the late actress' name, was quoted as saying the boutiques would include the lavishly dressed doll and "contain a variety of ready-to-wear, accessory and giftware items emphasizing the trends of the '50s."
"The 1950s are a great source of inspiration today for young people who are into fashion," said Ruttenstein, noting circle skirts, Capri pants, pedal pushers, sheath dresses and skinny knitted styles are among the items "young fashionable girls are buying and wearing today."
He added, "Designers on both sides of the Atlantic, spotting this trend, have reacted to it by designing more. In fact, the 1950s are a source of inspiration for world-class designers."
The closest item the boutique will have to a specific Marilyn Monroe style will be a full-skirted, halter-back sundress, which Ruttenstein sees as "vaguely reminiscent" of the style Monroe was wearing in "The Seven Year Itch."
Ruttenstein does not see the naming of the shop as an exploitation of the late actress, but as "a fashion tribute," he says. "Kids relate not to the sad part of her life, but the positive things, the glamor, the sense of humor, the tongue-in-cheek sexiness."