As Harriet's youngest son, I m sure I am biased to the Nth degree, however, she was the backbone and inspiration to my life in business as well as simply being genuine to the people she touched with her life and experiences to the benefit of everyone who was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of her well thought out and always straight forward advice which always came from her heart. She taught me that by not being the stereo typical sales person, but by truly looking out for the best interest of whom ever she was speaking to, she always had a reputation for looking out for the best results for the person she was helping or just giving an opinion. At times it almost seemed harsh to the recipient, but absolutely spot on when they put thought into her advice. Were she a man, she would have been thought of as a strong business man, as a woman she was quite often ,initially, misunderstood until their refection that she was amazingly accurate i her words of wisdom no matter what the subject matter was. She had more affect on more powerful people in the Nations Capital as well as "ambasadors" international Princesses and political might, alike. I feel so proud of what my mother was able to accomplish in what I feel was too short of a lifespan
despite the many people that have shared with me was a very long an fulfilling, successful life, I am sure she had much more to say and I will miss our daily 7:30 am promised calls where ever we were in the world, my daily inspiration, I feel I lost more than my mother, but my guidance and my friend. I love you Mom.
I bought my wedding dress and my first Armani suit from Harriet. Then as my career progressed, Sonia Rykiel, Schumacher, and others. Harriet could be counted on for honesty. I once had my eye on a coat. When I tried it on, Harriet came up and asked what I thought. I said: "I like it." She said: "So do I. You're an idiot if you don't get it." And she was right. I still get compliments on that coat. Harriet's was one place I could take my husband shopping, as he was content to sit and play with Sebastien while I did "the work." Harriet also had a keen eye for talent -- Nyla and Teresa could make you look like a million. The memories make me smile still. Harriet will be sorely missed.
I had the great pleasure of knowing Harriet during the last few years of her illustrious career, and I admired her greatly for her graciousness, her warmth and of course, for her sense of style. On one of the last occasions I was in the store, she took me into her office and we visited for nearly an hour, during which time she shared with me the story of her career and her love for her family. She treated each and every woman who walked into her store as a princess. I chose a gown for one of the great celebrations of my life at her store, when I went to the Emmy's, and I also chose a suit for my mother's funeral, and at both of life's extremes, I felt well taken care of because of Harriet and the extraordinary women who worked for her. My condolences to her sons and the entire family on your loss.
You have my deepest sympathy. When I first came from NYC to Washington for a political appointment in the late seventies, Harriet was a lifesaver and not just as the go-to person for the absolutely perfect ball gown, suit or dress, but for advice, laughter and comfort. I have this wonderful, joyous picture of Harriet taken at the British Ambassador's Residence. Harriet, JC Hayward, Lady Wright and I are doing the can-can ( in glorious ball gowns- all hers no doubt) in front of a better than life-size painting of the Queen. Harriet has the best kick, of course, and this twinkle in her eye recognizing we are all being a little naughty. I will remember her filled with that spirit and as the reassuring, justifiably confident giver of welcome motherly advice. I will miss her.
Kathleen Carpenter Kester
Harriet Kassman was a neighbor and friend. Her warmth and sense
of style in fashion will always be remembered. My deepest sympathy
to her sons and family members.