Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows, Midtown, Manhattan
New York City

It’s holiday shopping time in New York City, when the department store windows will be dressed to the nines and the floors full of the latest designer fashions. If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of merchandise on offer, you might want to consider some insider expertise. We’re talking about a personal shopper.

Most stores offer these services, and it’s easier than you might expect to access them. We spoke with two of Bergdorf Goodman’s personal shoppers to get the scoop on how the service works and how to simplify your shopping experience.

Read our interview with Alla Prokopov, from Bergdorf Goodman, and Rami Zaitoun, from Goodman’s.

Where do most of your personal shopper clients come from?

Alla Prokopov: We have many clients from the tri-state area who shop weekly but also many from all over the US and around the world. We are well known for working with high-end international clients.

Rami Zaitoun: We work with New Yorkers as well as tourists. Each shopping session is tailored to the specific clients.

How can people benefit from working with a personal shopper?

Alla Prokopov: Working with a personal shopper is a great help for anyone limited on time. Instead of running from store to store, a personal shopper is able to assist with many brands and ensembles and make sure they are able to find what they are looking for.

Rami Zaitoun: For my local clients, it’s about saving them time by pulling merchandise that is tailored to their lifestyle—business, formal events, meetings and casual wear. For tourists or international clients, it’s showing them things that are unique and different, and the many pieces that are excusive to Bergdorf Goodman. Things that can only be found in New York, the fashion capital of the world.

When a client has a special occasion or event, I will make sure that he has everything he needs and nothing is missing (it’s frustrating for a client to run around at the last minute for a bow tie or a white dress shirt).

How does the service work?

Rami Zaitoun: We navigate the store and go through many designers, brands and departments to put together whole outfits — it can take a client a few hours to do it on their own. The client is not obligated to book a certain number of visits: it can be accomplished in one or two sessions, depending on how elaborate the request. My suggestion for a visitor is to set up a shopping appointment with a personal shopper and get their shopping done early. That way, for the remainder of their stay they get to enjoy the city.

How can a client can best prepare for their appointment?

Alla Prokopov: A client should communicate their wants and needs beforehand so the shopper can better understand the client’s taste and prepare for the initial meeting.

Rami Zaitoun: In the consultation, we establish the wants (based on style, fit, and brand preference) as well as needs (social occasions, vacation, gala, business function, etc.).

How do you balance meeting the client’s needs with surprising them?

Alla Prokopov: It comes from understanding the client’s lifestyle and developing a level of trust.

Rami Zaitoun: My job is to listen to the client but try to push the comfort level a little more than what they’re used to — whether it be color, pattern, style, or trend.

What are the latest styles for fall and winter?

Alla Prokopov: Athleisure is the latest trend we’re excited about.

Rami Zaitoun: Mixed textures, patterns, checks, and more stripes. Always try to include a color, and layer when you can — you can wear a plaid suit with a checked shirt and a striped tie. When wearing a sport jacket, mix it with a flannel or corded jean or a linen-blend trouser and layer with outerwear or a light sweater. Try to mix styles and designers and play on different dimensions — like a slim jean or trouser with an oversized sweater and a statement coat.

If you’re interested in the personal shopping program at Bergdorf Goodman, stop by the concierge desk at Loews Regency New York and one of our concierges will be happy to set you up with an appointment.