DALLAS — Neiman Marcus wants its wealthy customers to smell good this holiday — and for a lifetime — but it will cost them $475,000.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The luxury retailer on Tuesday unveiled its 88th annual Christmas Book, which is a marketing campaign offering uberpricy gifts. This year’s most expensive is the chance to blend an exclusive fragrance in Paris with master perfumer Olivier Creed, the first beauty item offered as one of the catalogue’s signature fantasy gifts in 50 years.
“This is a one-time shot,” noted Emmanuel Saujet, chief executive officer of International Cosmetics & Perfumes.
The 186-page Christmas Book weighs in 10 pages heavier than last year’s (thank goodness the retailer doesn’t charge by the ounce) and represents “an important part of Neiman Marcus and the brand,” said Jim Gold, president and chief merchandising officer, pointing out that the fantasy gifts are recognized internationally. This year in a first, even a German network TV crew covered the catalogue’s unveiling at an event facility in Dallas.
Last year the catalogue sold quite a few of the pricy, vanguard items that are offered purely to generate publicity, including all 75 balloon Venus sculptures by Jeff Koons, three overnight stays in Phillip Johnson’s famed Glass House, and all 12 Aston Martin coupes despite its $344,500 price, according to Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications and head fantasy gift finder.
For those who missed out on the Aston Martin, this year’s automobile is a 100th anniversary limited edition of 100 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 sedans, each a snap at $95,000.
The catalogue offers several exclusive experiences, including a trip to the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party, wardrobe and pampering for $425,000, of which $400,000 goes to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation supporting youth arts education (where the other $25,000 goes is not explained); a voyage to Germany with jeweler Monica Rich Kosann to build a bejeweled 18-karat gold locket for $100,000, and a behind-the-scenes Mardi Gras tour for 12 for $125,000.
Shoppers may also fancy a 6-foot-tall outdoor floral peacock by Preston Bailey for $65,000; a custom-designed toy car raceway by Slot Mods USA for $300,000; or a trousseau of Leontine monogrammed linens for bed, bath and table for $55,000. The annual “His & Hers” gift is a $50,000 Quadski combo watercraft and all-terrain vehicle styled in playful sea turtle prints by Vilebrequin.