July 13, 2012
Tony-winning costume designer
Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz, 58, who was one of Broadway's most sought-after costume designers, died Sunday at his New York City home after a long battle with cancer, said Patrick Herold, his agent.
Pakledinaz, pronounced "pack-leh-DEEN-ehz," received 10 Tony nominations and won for work on two musicals, in 2000 for the revival of "Kiss Me Kate" and in 2002 for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" with Sutton Foster, whom he also dressed for her 2011 Tony-winning turn in "Anything Goes."
"My characters were defined from the fabric, the seams, the details of his work, his eye," Foster said in a statement.
Actors liked being costumed by Pakledinaz because he typically took the designs of a period "one or two additional steps toward the flamboyant, while never crossing the line into cartoonishness," Playbill said in its obituary.
Between 1980 and 2012, Pakledinaz amassed 35 Broadway credits. They included Tony nominations for costumes for "Nice Work if You Can Get It" this season, "Anything Goes," "Lend Me a Tenor," "Blithe Spirit," "Gypsy," "The Pajama Game," "Golden Child" and "The Life."
He worked extensively in regional theater and opera, and had an enduring collaboration with director Peter Sellars creating productions in the U.S. and overseas.
Pakledinaz also designed costumes for the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden, the Mark Morris Dance Group and the 2011 film "My Week With Marilyn."
Born in 1953 in Detroit, Pakledinaz was one of eight children. His father was a model maker for an automobile manufacturer, and his mother was a library secretary. Pakledinaz received a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1975 from Wayne State University in Detroit and moved to New York in 1977 after earning a master of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan.
After being nominated for a Tony for "Thoroughly Modern Millie," Pakledinaz said: "Costumes have to tell you in a moment what that person is feeling, what they're going through, what changes are happening."
Bloomingdale's chief transformed chain
Marvin Traub, 87, the former chief executive of Bloomingdale's who transformed the department store chain into an international powerhouse, died Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. He had bladder cancer, according to Mortimer Singer, president of Marvin Traub Associates Inc., a consulting firm that Traub started in 1992.
Traub began his career at Bloomingdale's in 1950. Over 41 years, he transformed the company from a staid department store into a prestigious retailer that launched the careers of such iconic designers as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan.
During the 1970s and '80s, Traub also brought show business to retailing, hosting productions and special merchandise assortments that honored various countries including India and China, according to New York-based retail consultant Walter Loeb. Under Traub's stewardship, Bloomingdale's cultivated a loyal following among such celebrities as Jacqueline Kennedy. And in 1976, Traub escorted Queen Elizabeth II through the Midtown store.
Born April 14, 1925, in Manhattan, Traub served in the Army during World War II. He graduated from Harvard College in 1947 and received his master's in business at Harvard in 1949.
He started his retailing career in the Bloomingdale's midtown store's bargain basement, and quickly rose through the ranks. He became executive vice president in charge of merchandising and sales promotions at age 37 in 1962, according to a blog devoted to Traub. By 1969, he was president, and he was named chairman and chief executive in 1978.
Traub retired from Bloomingdale's in 1991 and a year later started his consulting business, which counted such clients as Ralph Lauren, Jones Apparel Group, Saks Fifth Avenue and Al Tayer, a privately held company based in Dubai. Working with Al Tayer, Traub was involved in helping Bloomingdale's open its first store in Dubai in 2009.
Former president of Switzerland
Leon Schlumpf, 87, a former president of Switzerland who was the father of the country's current head of state, died Saturday in a hospital in Chur, Switzerland. The Swiss government announced his death but did not give a cause.
Born in 1925, Schlumpf served as the country's head of state in 1984 for the traditional one-year term. He was a minister in the federal department of transport, communications and energy from 1980 to 1987.
His daughter, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, has been a minister of the federal government since 2008 and assumed Switzerland's rotating presidency this year.
Robert Reno, a former longtime Newsday columnist and the brother of former U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno, died Saturday in Miami of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 72.
Times staff and wire reports
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