When my family started it all:
Saks Fifth Avenue was the brainchild of my relatives, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel, who operated independent retail stores on New York's 34th Street at Herald Square in the early 1900s. Their dream was to construct a unique specialty store that would become synonymous with fashionable, gracious living.
The combined financial input of these great merchant families led to the purchase of a site between 49th and 50th Streets on upper Fifth Avenue, then jointly occupied by the Democratic Club and the Buckingham Hotel. With the opening of its founders' "dream store" on September 15, 1924, Saks Fifth Avenue became the first large retail operation to locate in what was then primarily a residential district. By offering the finest quality men's and women's fashions, as well as an extraordinary program of customer services, Saks Fifth Avenue has become the byword for taste and elegance.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 1924 to 1972
The merging of the Saks and Gimbel families resulted in more than just the construction of Saks Fifth Avenue. 30-year-old Adam Gimbel (Bernard's cousin) became Horace Saks' assistant. With the sudden death of Horace Saks in 1926, Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue, bringing with him the imaginative foresight that has carried Saks to the zenith of its success.