DALLAS – Keanu Reeves guest-starred at the launch of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book here, blasting into the Design District event space on a flashy motorcycle he codesigned.
Only three of the KRGT-W bikes by Arch Motorcycle Co. are available, and they are bundled with a two-day coastal California tour with Reeves and Arch co-owner Gard Hollinger. The bike and ride cost $150,000.
This story first appeared in the October 7, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“For Neiman Marcus, we added performance enhancements, so it’s got a sportier frame, engine and suspension,” Reeves explained.
The model is based on a bike that Reeves helped design for himself over five years with Hollinger.
Glancing around the room at the other unique offerings, Reeves described the scene as “pretty amazing.”
Most appealing, he said, were the $400,000 five-star trip to India and $150,000 tour of Italian artisan studios with jeweler Ippolita Rostagno, as well as the polished replicas of three guitars commissioned by Texas musicians ZZ Top, Lyle Lovett and Steve Miller. Each instrument costs $30,000.
The 89th annual holiday catalogue is 196 pages – up by 10 from last year and 20 from 2013. About 40 percent of the goods are less than $250, noted John Koryl, president of Neiman Marcus Stores and online. The book features plenty of fashion, fringe, furs, boots, baubles and bags.
In a bid to drive shoppers to the Neiman Marcus app, one gift is available only through that channel. It’s a $40,000 Memory Mirror that affords 360-degree views intended to help with personal styling.
“We spent a lot of time this season on Truly NM, which are products that are designed and made exclusively for Neiman Marcus,” Koryl pointed out.
While the fantasy gifts are an undisguised and effective bid for publicity, the company considers the catalogue itself an iconic brand element.
“We really take seriously what we see as our role as the unofficial launch to the holiday season,” Koryl said. “It’s incredibly important for us to bring the whim and whimsy as well as the approachable in one book.”
An exclusive luxury car is a Christmas Book tradition, and this year’s model is a 700 horsepower blue and white Mustang convertible that can zoom along at 195 miles per hour. The 50th anniversary edition is the fastest, most powerful Mustang that Ford Motor Co. has ever engineered, according to a company spokesman.
The catalogue’s flashy car often sells out within minutes of availability – in this case at noon Oct. 13 – but last year, only about half of the Maserati sedans were purchased. Like the Mustang, they were priced at $95,000.
Ginger Reeder, Neiman’s vice president of corporate communications and chief of the fantasy gifts for 19 years, theorized that sales were hampered by a Maserati by Joseph Abboud that was very similar. Neiman’s customers want a unique model, she said.
Perhaps the most unusual offering this holiday is a World View test flight in a pressurized capsule of a balloon that can rise to an altitude of 100,000 feet. Pick that up for $90,000 a person.
There is also a trunk of Iris Apfel jewelry along with a trip to Dallas to be personally styled by her for $80,000.
Other fantasy gifts include 24 bottles of rare bourbons for $125,000, a custom-made hand-painted diary by artist Abigail Vogel for $10,000, and His and His Mackenzie-Childs trunks filled with children’s costumes at $5,000 each.
In a tradition started two years ago, most fantasy gifts include a charitable donation to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which supports arts education for underprivileged kids.