Toni Glickman is a former retail executive, who spent twenty years in the cashmere and silk-studded front lines in the luxury space of this piranha infested industry. Toni, in her provocative new book Bitches of Fifth Avenue, reveals the story of life behind the luxury lines—what the client never sees. The exhaustion, depression, and anxiety-ridden days of an employee’s experience, which clients never realize. The fear of low sales numbers, of losing rank, of losing a job to someone with a better client book. Also, there’s the fear of returned merchandise and the constant worry of losing a client to another salesperson. Never a moment of purity, or peace, or calm. It is a life lived constantly on the edge. Saks Fifth Avenue, Prada, Jil Sander, Chanel, Bloomingdale’s and Burberry—these were just a few brands in which Toni achieved success before ultimately being backstabbed by those she thought she could trust.
Moving up the ladder from sales associate to industry executive, Toni Glickman compares working in the field to the front lines of a minefield. Her colleagues exemplified the mines in which she had to navigate through in order to survive and make her sales numbers, which is all that matters at the end of the day when the cash registers close. An employee in this industry is only respected by how much business is done, in business lingo: “day over day, month over month, and year over year”. Expectations run high, illness is not permitted, and personal lives are ignored. It is report after report, endless conference calls, sales strategies, and goals. Personal shoppers do whatever it takes—it is sell, sell, sell.
Toni Glickman now enjoys life as a real estate professional, where she sets her own schedule and no longer needs to contend with maneuvering “bitchy” retail colleagues. She’s also a Francophile, plays classical piano, loves the cinema, travel, her children, family, friends, and Teacup Pomeranian—her very bold, spirited, and lovable pet dog. And, of course, her forever passion for fashion.