DALLAS -- Neiman Marcus is taking its holiday merchandise via rail to cities where the chain doesn't have stores, but where some of its best customers live.
Neiman's has transformed the American Orient Express luxury train into a Christmas store on tracks and has commissioned it to travel from San Antonio to five Southern and Midwestern cities. It embarked midnight Dec. 12 and made its first stop in New Orleans. The next stops are Memphis; Kansas City, Mo., and Longview and Austin, Texas, before the tour finishes Wednesday with a day of selling at its home base in San Antonio.
"These are cities that do not have Neiman Marcus stores, but there are many customers there who we know," said Burton Tansky, Neiman's chairman and chief executive officer.
The cities were chosen because they each have many Neiman's credit customers and members of InCircle, the store's frequent-shopper program offering buying incentives.
The chain notified by mail 5,000 households in each city about the journey.
Tansky would not project sales for the venture, a first for Neiman's. Commissioning the train for 10 days cost more than $200,000, according to the American Orient Express.
Five of the train's 11 cars are stocked with merchandise, including women's apparel and accessories, furs and intimate apparel, men's and children's wear, tabletop, gifts, gourmet foods and toys. The remaining six cars contain overnight accommodations for Neiman's 50 employees, and extra merchandise.
Business hours on the train generally run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Neiman's has planned private evening parties for its best customers in some cities. The American Orient Express is a restored luxury railroad with cars dating from 1948 to 1958. Launched earlier this year, it has made three trips between San Antonio and Branson, Mo.
"It's an absolutely beautiful train and a thrill to see it," Tansky said. "It's upscale, it's very legitimate and it's all regular price."
"We were able to get our resources to send us extra goods, so we didn't strip our stores," noted Janet Gurwitch, executive vice president. "We think it will be an exciting shopping experience since the train is so beautiful."
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews