The fashion director of the luxury-filled Neiman Marcus chain would be expected to have a certain amount of flamboyance — and Joan Kaner has just the right touch of it. It comes from her bold streaks of white hair, and the chicly understated clothes and big necklaces she wears to fly the Neiman’s flag.

But what really drives Kaner, the New York-based senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman’s, isher down-to-earth perspective, pragmatism and balance between family and work that are rare for someone immersed in the fashion world. Then there’s her Old World charm and unaffected disposition. During an interview, for example, she never effused about things being "fabulous," like so many of her peers.

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