Homage to Lord & Taylor
Story by Gisela Viera
When photographer Eric Garcia-March visited the Lord & Taylor flagship on 5th Avenue with his young daughter, he found himself immersed in a sea of mannequins on the 10th floor of the iconic store.
After 104 years in business, the retail giant is closing the doors of its historic location, and everything is up for grabs. Eric and his daughter found themselves in an impromptu photo shoot, inspired by the visual impact of the space. As he framed and shot, an idea sparked. “Wouldn’t it be cool to create a high fashion shoot to commemorate the fall of the retail Titan?”
Gathering his troops, Eric quickly assembled a photoshoot team of top creatives. On the morning of the last Saturday of 2018, they entered the building through the grand arch entrance, ready to artistically pay homage to the closing of a legendary retail destination. Ten floors of merchandise had been picked clean by flocks of bargain-seeking shoppers. Everything was for the taking, including the giant Victorian chandeliers on the ground floor – “A piece of history can be yours for $1000,” announced a sign near the elevator.
Homage to Lord & Taylor
Within the frenetic chaos, the last thing that Lord & Taylor staff was expecting was for an entire fashion photoshoot team to appear. After a few minutes of shooting, the team was kicked off the floor with the mannequins. Eric is a pro at shooting in unauthorized spaces, with an expansive portfolio of street photography under his belt. Undaunted by the less-than-warm welcome, he persevered on different floors, artfully posing model Yueyao Li amidst the clutter of clothing and gleaming fixtures. Yueyao would pop into the public bathrooms to change in between looks, with an armful of designer clothing that stylist Altorrin McIntyre had handed her. Makeup artist Robert Reyes and hairstylist F. Wayne would then do touch-ups in a corner of the store in preparation for the next look.
The team managed to shoot five looks in different areas of the store, before they were finally escorted out of the building. With retail stores closing right and left, and the emerging dominance of e-commerce, Eric felt strongly about documenting this important moment in the changing landscape of retail. “I became an artist to broaden the average person’s perspective. I embrace my vision in the hopes of making mundane, day-to-day life more exciting, both for those who experience my art, and for my own as I’m creating it. In the final days before her fall, one of NYCs grand dames of retail had inspired the creation of art and beauty in her honor.”
Photographer: Eric Garcia-March @egarmarch www.garciamarchstudios.com
Styling: Altorrin McIntyre @altorrin
Hair: F.Wayne using Oribe for OribePro at Mia Babes Salon @hairbyf.wayne
MUA: Robert Reyes @robertreyesnyc represented by @mam_nyc
Model: Yueyao Li @crystal.yueyaoli represented by @veravonmodels
Photo 1: Dress by Sienna Li
Photo 2 & 3: Dress by Bj Couture / Coat by WeAnnaBe
Photo 4: Dress by THUY Design House / Sleeves by Monzlapur
Photo 5: Dress as Top by Daniel Silverstain / Pants by Chae NewYork / Belt by Monzlapur
Photo 6: Top by dissimilis / Jumpsuit by Ezie