DALLAS — Leave it to Neiman Marcus to upholster a London taxi in camel leather, accented by Burberry’s famous plaid, and offer it for sale for $58,900.
The shiny black car was one of a dozen exclusive gifts unveiled here Monday at the launch of the annual Christmas Book.
"We’re celebrating our 95th anniversary, and one of the things Neiman’s has been famous for is its tradition of offering imaginative gifts,’’ said Karen Katz, president and chief executive officer of NM Direct, the catalog and e-commerce division of Neiman Marcus Group.
Perhaps the book’s most intriguing offering is a $3 million set of 10 portraits of famous Seventies-era athletes by Andy Warhol. One of eight in existence, the series features Muhammed Ali, Chris Evert, Willie Shoemaker and O.J. Simpson, among others. It’s proffered by Richard Weisman, a Seattle investment banker who helped produce the series by pitching the idea to Warhol and lining up the athletes.
"I don’t know if it will sell — and I hope it doesn’t,’’ said Weisman, who owns three more of the sets that he’s earmarked for each of his children. "I put a hefty price on it, but Warhol is so hot right now.’’
This year’s His & Her gimmick is the opportunity to have a 6-inch action figure made in your likeness for $7,500. Katz enlisted her good-natured son, 13-year-old Alex, to introduce the figure by posing him onstage in a Lucite box with his action figure.
Neiman’s paid homage to Stanley Marcus, chairman emeritus of Neiman’s who died in January, by recreating a gift he once concocted for a customer. It’s a replica of a pousse café drink made with pastel cashmere sweaters layered in a giant brandy snifter and topped by a ruby and diamond ring for $11,050 — or $1,000 without the ring.
Also on the fashion side, Neiman’s offers a $5,000 custom cameo portrait made by M+M Scognamiglio Cameos, a 200-year-old family enterprise in Naples that carves cameos from conch shells.
"Cameos were worn by Napoleon and Queen Victoria,’’ explained Amedeo Scognamiglio, a sixth-generation cameo carver, as he showed his wares. "It’s an extremely personalized piece of jewelry. They’re usually worn by a woman who is very feminine and romantic with a taste for art and artisanal accessories, because what you are buying here is the skill.’’Naturally, there are such baubles as a lavish diamond necklace — 60-carats sculpted into a white-gold collar for $300,000 — or $550,000 with a 7-carat pear-shaped diamond drop.
Other notables are a $15,000 Balinese bamboo and grass lounge-hut designed by jeweler John Hardy; a Hinkley yacht for $285,500; 25 flight hours on a private jet for $109,000 to $299,000, and a tasting tour of Scottish distilleries and castles hosted by Johnny Walker Blue Label.
Evan Cattanach, director of Scotch knowledge for Johnnie Walker, said, "They’ll come back extremely knowledgeable — if they can remember it.’’
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)