DALLAS — Neiman Marcus rolled out its 2012 Christmas Book Tuesday with an array of exclusive gifts, one of which is a teaser for its holiday designer collaboration with Target.
“For $3,500 you’ll get each of the 53 products sight unseen,” said Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications. “It harks back to years ago when Neiman Marcus offered little girls or little boys [a] mystery trunk and you didn’t know what would come in it.”
Neiman’s is offering five of the packages, which must be ordered before the NM-Target collection is unveiled Oct. 16.
An 86-year tradition, the Christmas Book aims to be accessible, with 40 percent of its items priced under $250, as well as aspirational and “inspirational,” noted John Koryl, president of NM Direct.
Its priciest gift is a $1.09 million pair of his-and-her art watches by Van Cleef & Arpels that depict iconic Paris buildings within diamond bezels. The time chimes and is revealed by complex mechanical movements only after twisting a knob. The package includes trips to Paris and Geneva to tour the jeweler’s boutique and watchmaking workshops.
Print catalogues may be a relic of the pre-digital era, but Neiman’s is maintaining catalogue circulation at roughly the same level as last year, Koryl noted. The Christmas Book ships to over 1 million households and is also available online.
“We’re not backing away from the catalogue any time soon,” Koryl said “It’s a communication method that some of our customers definitely prefer.”
The Christmas Book’s nearly 500 items, from a cognac and white diamond Roberto Coin bracelet to metallic leather flats by Eileen Fisher, reflect NM Direct’s business.
“We’re still selling high-end designer ready-to-wear and accessories, and contemporary is doing quite well, so it’s across the whole spectrum,” he said.
Neiman’s will offer free shipping, gift wrap and returns from Thanksgiving until Christmas, he noted.
An exclusive luxury car is a tradition, and this year’s model is a $354,000 McLaren 12C Spider capable of hitting 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. Only 12 are available. Last year, all 10 of the $395,000 Ferraris sold out in less than 50 minutes, according to Reeder.
Among the most exclusive items is a $250,000 dinner and Casa Dragones tequila tasting for 10 prepared in your home by famed chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Richard Rosendale.
Other extravagances include a walk-on role in “Annie: the Musical” for $30,000; a $150,000 Bulleit Woody Trailer for luxury tailgating; a JetLev jetpack for $99,500; a $70,000 video portrait complete with Panasonic monitor of a screeching snowy owl by Robert Wilson; a chandelier and art-appointed deluxe hen house complete with a flock of heritage-breed chickens for $100,000, and a custom Pinel & Pinel video-gaming arcade system complete with Formula 1 racing seats for $90,000.
Neiman’s is offering an app for iPhone and iPad that links to videos about each of the nine fantasy gifts, each of which has a charitable tie.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast