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BEVERLY HILLS — Neiman Marcus’ coveted Wilshire Boulevard windows are showcasing the looks of several lucky fashion students from the Otis College of Art & Design.
This story first appeared in the May 20, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The senior and junior students are part of the mentoring program, which this semester included Rick Owens, Bob Mackie and La Blanca’s Rod Beattie. Mentor Trina Turk’s students are featured at Savannah, a specialty boutique in Brentwood, whose owner is a friend of the downtown school.
It’s a milestone for the 15 young designers, such as senior Lisa Felsenthal, who brought her family to see her bright yellow mother-of-the-bride ensemble inspired by Irving Penn’s photos of flowers. “Being from Los Angeles, it was really great to be in the window of Neiman Marcus, one of the stores I’ve always admired and looked to for great design,” the 24-year-old said.
John Martens, Neiman’s vice president and general manager, considers the relationship a smart business venture as well as a great way to champion young talent. “We are in the fashion business and it is very important for fashion establishments to promote and support young designers,” he said. Although the student projects are not for sale, clients often approach sales personnel looking to buy.
Neiman’s visual director, Martin Pack, selected the student designs.
After the display comes down today, items that had been auctioned at the school’s graduation benefit on May 3 will be sent to their new owners. But most would rather hang on to their creations. Said Felsenthal: “I’m hoping to have an occasion to wear mine.”