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In the mid-1950s, Rich’s executive Frank Pallotta had an idea: If the annual Great Tree wasn’t enough to coax holiday shoppers to Rich’s downtown department store, then a monorail would be. Dubbed the Snowland Express, the rickety three-and-a-half minute ride over the toy department—and later the roof—cost a quarter, making it a magnet for kids and a moment’s reprieve for parents to study their shopping lists.
For decades, as the lights dimmed before every Fashionata runway show, Rich’s fashion director Sol Kent would position himself in the wings backstage and whisper to each of his anxious models, “Be Divine!” Kent’s words ended up inspiring “Be Divine: A Tribute to Fashionata,” Thursday night’s sold-out tribute to the city’s long-running Rich’s-hosted style extravaganza at The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Midtown. The evening served as a benefit for the Breman.