By  on October 24, 2007

DALLAS — The 32nd annual Dallas Fashion Awards was another celebratory stop on the Neiman Marcus centennial tour.

The hometown luxury retailer received the Fashion Excellence Award Sunday at a gala sponsored by and held in the Dallas Market Center. In addition, designers such as Nicole Miller, another honoree, referred to Neiman's importance in their careers.

In her acceptance speech, Miller noted she had been in Dallas during the previous week to attend Neiman's 100th anniversary parties. "Dallas keeps calling me back," she said. "There's something about Texas, and the retailers here have been very supportive of me."

Town & Country editor Pamela Fiori, who presented Neiman's award to company president and chief executive officer Karen Katz, praised the retailer for forward thinking and for knowing "how to talk to both" old wealth and new money.

"The Baby Boomer is the most powerful woman in America, and Neiman Marcus caters to her," Fiori said. "I'm proud to be a Neiman Marcus woman and also a Bergdorf brunette."

It's been a giddy season for Neiman's, which marked its anniversary with galas at the Cotton Bowl stadium and in the downtown flagship here.

"We continue the party, so that is a good thing," Katz said, before ascending the stage.

In her acceptance speech, Katz noted that a search for "Neiman Marcus" on eBay turned up 5,300 items.

"The anniversary pop-up book is selling for $159 on eBay, so come to the store and buy it for $100," she said. "I swear the Manolo Blahnik jeweled sandals [for sale on eBay] that were worn to the gala are not mine."

Katz said she's been asked a lot lately for fashion tips, and her advice is: "Always wear comfortable shoes."

Phillip Lim also received a special prize, the Rising Star Award presented to him by Ken Downing, Neiman's senior vice president and fashion director.

"If you talk to fashion editors, any chic women, and you ask them what do they want to wear? They all say Phillip Lim," Downing said, describing Lim as a "sensation."Lim has been in business less than three years, but he already has been named a Rising Star by Fashion Group International in 2006 and is a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition.

"I am taken aback and blown away by this award," Lim said. "It's been an amazing ride."

Winners were announced in the annual Dallas Fashion Awards competition, in which retailers voted for their top-selling, most fashionable labels in eight categories. The evening benefited Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS and the scholarship fund of Fashion Group International's Dallas chapter.


Accessories: Francesco Biasia
After 5: Nicole Miller
Bridge/Designer: Lafayette 148
Casual Contemporary: Paige Premium Denim
Children's Wear: Le Top
Contemporary: Johnny Was
Jewelry: Brighton
Modernwear: Tyler Böe

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