Ed Burstell, senior vice president of product innovation for Neiman Marcus, has left the company to pursue projects in the fragrance and real estate sectors.
“I’ve decided to move back to New York,” Burstell said Friday. “I’m spoiled. I’ve only ever really lived in New York and London.”
Until last month, Burstell was in Dallas, working for the Neiman Marcus division of the Neiman Marcus Group for the last two years, where he was instrumental in garnering exclusives and testing new concepts in the stores, such as piercing or bringing artists onto the selling floors to customize products, whether it was delicate artwork or graffiti.
“Before I take on another corporate job, I want to touch on things of interest to me,” Burstell told WWD. “My background is heavy in beauty so I have started a project in the fragrance space. Submissions are in. Packaging is being designed, and I should have a test run for holiday before wholesaling in the spring. I have someone building a transactional web site and a trademark lawyer is working on the name.” He said the project would launch with a unisex fragrance at an “affordable luxury” price point. It will be followed about six months later by products he’s developing in the bath, body and home space.
In addition, Burstell is creating what he characterized as “a new service model in the housing industry…It’s quite technical. The web site is currently being built.”
He’s also taking art appraisal courses at New York University. “I’m fascinated by outsider art,” said Burstell, who has collected art from around the world during his travels. “Right now, art appraisal is a personal interest, not a professional interest.”
Burstell early in his career worked at the Neiman Marcus store in Westchester. He went on to hold merchandising and executive positions at Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel and returned to Neiman Marcus Group in 2004 as a Bergdorf Goodman senior vice president and general merchandise manager overseeing accessories, footwear, fine jewelry, designer jewelry, cosmetics and fragrance.
In 2008, Burstell joined Liberty of London, which is famous for its floral and graphic prints. He had a successful run as the managing director, growing the business and forming collaborations with Hermès, Manolo Blahnik, Nike, Uniqlo and other major brands. He later worked at the Hudson’s Bay Co., in a role similar to what he had at Neiman’s, but just for two months, leaving for “personal reasons.”
Burstell is the latest in a string of executive changes at the Neiman Marcus Group in the last few seasons. Geoffroy van Raemdonck, chief executive officer, has been remaking the management team since joining NMG in February 2018. In September, Lana Todorovich was named president and chief merchandising officer of the Neiman Marcus chain, succeeding Jim Gold. Neiman’s is looking to fill other key slots, following the recent departures of chief digital officer Carrie Tharp and chief financial officer Adam Orvos. A year ago, van Raemdonck named Darcy Penick president of Bergdorf Goodman.