Object Title

Audio interview with Helen O'Hagan

Part of

Collection: Parsons School of Design oral history program

Material Category
Digital Audio
Helen O’Hagan, former vice president of public relations and special events at Saks Fifth Avenue, discusses her experiences working at the department store with Beth Dincuff Charleston, professor at Parsons The New School for Design. The interview begins with an in-depth discussion about her personal background, including her training in theater, and how she eventually moved from South Carolina and became an employee of Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. O’Hagan and Dincuff Charleston look through multiple binders filled with publicity photographs depicting ensembles by “Sophie of Saks” produced by O’Hagan and her predecessor, Countess Grace de Mun. While looking through these photographs, O’Hagan recounts stories about producing the photo shoots, including details about the garments shown and the models they employed. In addition to providing an intimate look at the history of Saks Fifth Avenue in the mid-twentieth century, including day-to-day life in the fashion offices, O’Hagan talks about her relationships with Saks’ Salon Moderne designer Sophie Gimbel (1898-1981) and her husband, Adam Gimbel (1893-1969), who was the president of the department store until 1969. The interview was recorded at Parsons The New School for Design at 2 West 13th Street in New York.
March 8 2011
Related people
Helen O'Hagan (interviewee)
Beth Dincuff Charleston (interviewer)
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