R.I.P Marshall Field’s. One Day to D-Day. Girlawhirl’s Linda LaSala Says Goodbye to the End of a Chicago Era. Second City Style Fashion Blog

September 8, 2006 • Magazine


Linda LaSala, co-creator of Girlawhirl.com has a special place in her heart for Marshall Field’s.  Her first job as a teenager was in the accessories department at her suburban mall’s Field’s store. After college she hit retail nirvana and worked at both the Water Tower and State Street locations.  Over the course of almost 10 years of administering retail therapy in the form of handbags, cosmetics, jewelry and more, she’s learned that accessories really do make an outfit, the right lipstick can put a smile on even the surliest of a sourpuss, everyone loves a gift with purchase and Mr. Field’s edict of ‘give the lady what she wants!’ can be applied to far more situations than retail sales.

Here is her post from January 5, 2006. Girlawhirl and Marshall Field’s

The crush of the crowd, always apparent during the holiday season, felt as if it had been doubled or even tripled by thoughts of the impending changeover.  The famous Walnut Room, where shoppers can dine on tables set around its giant tree, always requires a bit of a wait, but with this their last opportunity, customers cued in wrap around lines, and eventually got seated, three to four hours later!

Girlawhirl (after completing her Missoni Mission) wandered around taking in

the splendor of the store itself with its atriums and Tiffany ceiling. She visited the fabled 28 Shop, which opened in 1941 bringing European designers and fashion to Chicago to be served up along with afternoon tea to the city’s wealthiest women.  Mr. Field was keenly aware of a woman’s power in the household and ran the store with the edict: ‘Give the lady what she wants!’  From that came the money back guarantee, a revolutionary idea at the time.  Other firsts at State Street:  escalators, book signings, home delivery and even the bargain basement!  Common retail concepts we take for granted today, all were conceived by Marshall Field.

Girlawhirl knows that Rowland Hussey Macy has his own story, and his own list of retail firsts, not the least of which was that he was the first to promote a woman to an executive position. But for Girlawhirl, and millions of Chicagoans, State Streetjust won’t be the same without Marshall Field’s. Girlawhirl Blog

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