A film fit for fashionistas

The very top salespeople at New York’s famed luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman can earn up to around $500,000 a year.

Half. A. Million. Dollars. For selling clothes.

“I was completely blown away,” said Matthew Miele, director of “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” playing now at the United Artists Tara Cinemas 4 theater at 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road. “I knew they were making a lot of money. I didn’t know they were making that much money.”

That little tidbit, tossed in somewhere amid the interviews with fashionable commentators including Joan Rivers, Vera Wang, Susan Lucci, Nicole Richie, Giorgio Armani, Christian Louboutin, Oscar de la Renta and the Olsen twins, is the documentary’s major newsflash. Otherwise, it feels sort of like a 93-minute-long Bergdorf’s ad.

The main takeaway: Bergdorf’s is a fabulous place where fabulous people wearing fabulous clothes all feel fabulous.

But Miele does not count himself among the fabulistas.

“I call myself a fashion outsider,” he said.

The film is stuffed like a foie-gras-producing goose with prominent interview subjects. Candice Bergen, Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik, Bobbi Brown, Tory Burch and Jason Wu are but some of the names who share their love of the store.

“It was a scheduling nightmare,” Miele said. “We had to wait and be patient. It did take some time to get it right. It is something we worked on for the better part of a year.”

Bergdorf’s helped make things happen for the film about itself.

“They helped set the interviews,” Miele said. “They had the relationships.”

The Fifth Avenue store, founded in 1899 and now part of the Neiman Marcus group, didn’t exert much editorial influence over the movie, he said.

“All they wanted to know was what topics I would be covering, what sort of access I would need,” he said, although store officials did prevail upon him to ax a scene with Occupy Wall Street campers that just happened to have Bergdorf’s in the background. The thinking was the protesters weren’t necessarily protesting Bergdorf’s.

Economic woes of the past few years do make something of a cameo; certain clients of Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff quit coming around. But the movie seems squarely aimed at shoppers who either can afford the sparkly $6,000 heels featured in one scene, or who wish they could.

“Part of going to the movies is fantasizing and dreaming,” Miele said. “The film will hopefully have a timeless quality to it. The times we’re living in aren’t going to last forever. I don’t think we should strive for mediocrity. It’s important to have stores like that so when you do achieve success, you can afford the finest things in life.”

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