By  on October 17, 2011

DALLAS — Elie Tahari marked two milestones here Thursday with successive parties at his first shop-in-shop within Neiman Marcus, as well as his first freestanding store in Texas.

The Elie Tahari store at NorthPark Center is only six doors away from Neiman’s, where his women’s shop commands a central spot on the second floor across from designer jewelry and adjacent to bridge collections.

Tahari acknowledged that it was a “big challenge” for the two stores to be so close, but also an opportunity.

“This is a market we love because our philosophy and the philosophy of Neiman’s and of Dallas women is very similar — it’s smart, hot, feminine and modern,” Tahari said.

Neiman’s 1,100-square-foot boutique stocks many exclusive items, he pointed out. His own 2,700-square-foot store combines the women’s collection with men’s, accessories and footwear — three categories that are merchandised separately at Neiman’s.

Both boutiques bear Tahari’s signature clean decor with white oak plank floors, midcentury furnishings and Murano glass chandeliers.

Tahari and Jim Gold, president of specialty retail at Neiman’s, said they foresee additional Tahari shops within the chain, though none are set yet.

“It’s a very important brand for us, and we feel there’s an opportunity for us to better express the DNA of the brand than we have in the past and to bring it to life,” Gold said. “The clothes are on trend, modern, but extremely wearable. It casts a very broad net — women of all ages gravitate to the clothes. And it’s a wonderful price-value relationship.”

Dallas represents Tahari’s 25th freestanding store nationwide. While others could open in major markets such as Houston, the company is more focused on Europe, Asia and the Middle East, where it has a store in Istanbul and one in the works for Doha, Qatar. Tahari has more than 600 points of sale worldwide.

About 100 customers and Neiman’s top brass turned out for the shop-in-shop opening, including president and chief executive officer Karen Katz and senior vice president and fashion director Ken Downing, who styled the show of 38 Tahari looks.

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