While we are walking, I see that everyone knows her. It’s like Cheers but make it Bergdorfs. At the Chanel section, we meet the sales associate Mirka, who Medley has known for about four years. “Everything about her is loyal,” says Mirka about Medley. “I also pick the most beautiful clients. They are the easiest to dress.” The feeling is mutual.
At the Chanel counter, Medley tries on a pair of Chanel biker gloves embroidered with pearls that reminds me of Madonna from the ’80s during her Like a Virgin–era days. Medley, like any classic Upper East Side lady, has a lot of Chanel. As Medley explains, her collection is not about accumulating, it’s about using what you have. “I think we’re all rediscovering clothes again,” says Medley. “Like, I went back to my apartment after a year almost. And it was like a museum. I’m like, Who owns all of this? And they were mine! Instead of buying all kinds of new stuff this year, I find myself buying things that elevate my old stuff.”
We head to the clothing section, where she tries on an array of Paco Rabanne and Valentino. Despite our time in the clothing section, Medley reiterates that she still loves a bag. She recalls her first handbag, a modest Dooney & Bourke leather handbag that she wore with a navy blue suit. For her, the moment was a stepping-stone in her career, and she felt that the bag gave her an air that commanded respect. It’s a philosophy that follows her into her wardrobe today. “I love a good handbag. It becomes like a pet. It’s like you have it forever. I keep my handbags for years and revisit them,” says Medley. “A handbag can change everything. I think a great handbag is a great investment for a woman. It gets you respect. You can wear ripped jeans and a T-shirt, but if you have a great bag,” Medley explains, “it means you have your essentials down. If you have a good bag and good shoes, you have it together. You understand the essentials.” Welcome to Dorinda 101.