“I was surprised to find that the snooty guys were coming around for the suits, and then I realized that a lot of these rich kids were into your reefer, your cocaine, and it ain’t Chanel that comes outta their pores, let me tell you. But they were always embarrassed to come down below 23rd street to get clothes. So I borrowed some money and moved uptown. Them was the salad days.”
Indeed. Barney Dorcus’ store was patronized by the rich and the middle-class alike, and his slogan - Wow! Whatta Dorcus! - entered the popular culture as an expression of couth and style.
“Yeah, that slogan was mine,” Barney said. “The ad boys came in with a few others. Definately Dorcus, He’s All Dorcus, Devil-May-Dorcus - to this day I don’t know what that one meant.
"But I wanted something simple, punchy. Just like the guys who gave me my start: simple and punchy. Sometimes simple from bein' punchy. Sometimes punchier than simple; some guys, you can't tell. Anyway, I never wanted them to feel I was leavin' them behind."