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The Art of Letting Go: Lessons from My Makeup Bag & Bergdorf Goodman

Yesterday, I did something my borderline hoarding spirit almost rebuked: I threw away an old makeup bag. It was a rainbow striped option I’d gotten from the drugstore. I replaced it with a marbled one with compartments I scored on Amazon.

In my old makeup bag were two almost empty bottles of MAC foundation that I was holding on to ‘just in case.’ A couple brushes. A purple lipgloss that was at least 5 years old. And a few other powders that could come in handy, but I had to be honest with myself: I wasn’t using it! So even though the makeup bag and some of its contents were ‘perfectly good’, I threw it away. It was time to upgrade. It was time to move on.

My mom grew up during the Depression, so for so long, I experienced severe guilt when it came to throwing anything away. When eating, we were taught to finish our food because “There were people in this world who were starving.” For years, I would even keep food in my fridge that was a little past it’s due date because it seemed I was allergic to waste. I am still getting over it–this holding onto the past, of things that are nice, but not needed. I am a work in progress.

And it seems the fashion industry is as well. Bergdorf Goodman is the latest retailer to wave the white flag and file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, due to disruptions caused by Covid-19.

Out of all the store closures and Coronavirus retail casualties, this one stung the most. I love Bergdorf Goodman. The shoe section is sickening. Sunglasses? Same. They are one of those luxury retailers that stocks a fuller range of sizes. It is one of my favorites! Though they said they are not liquidating, the writing is on the wall. Retail as we once knew it is slowly crumbling.

Few could have predicted the onslaught of a pernicious disease that has killed thousands and upended our world as we know it. But here it is. And while medical workers battle at the frontline, it might be time for certain industries to just let some old things go.

I cut my teeth at the mall growing up. Shopping was my cardio. And I weep inside for the end of an era. Deep down, I hope that not all retail goes the way of Barney’s–that we do have at least a few brick and mortar stores where we can go in, try things on, and have that whole experience.

But if not, online we go.

And who knows, maybe everything going online will open up the doors for more inclusivity in fashion, something that we’ve been begging for for years. We wanted a change, and now we’re being forced to. Change is inevitable. It’s time to embrace it.

What do you think?

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***To book Fashion Bomb Daily Editor in Chief Claire Sulmers to speak about the State of Fashion, Entrepreneurship, or Retail, email Book@ClaireSulmers.com.

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