DALLAS — It’s been a good run for Eskandar in 19 years of selling at Neiman Marcus, but he’s ready to cut the cord.
The designer is changing his business model to focus on his five stores plus boutiques at Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods. Bergdorf’s will also continue to sell Eskandar online, and the designer said he won’t launch his own e-commerce site.
“I don’t want to do a collection every season where I spend three months locked away designing it and a month selling it and then a few weeks on the road [meeting customers] and then what time do I have left?” he said. “There comes a time in your life when you need to think about what’s ahead.”
Eskandar spoke here earlier this week during a farewell visit to Neiman Marcus at NorthPark Center, where customers brought him gifts and buying executives mourned the loss. His colorful collection featuring generous silhouettes in luxurious, hand-crafted textiles is carried in 30 Neiman’s stores.
“We’re very sad to see him go,” said Joyce Healy, vice president and divisional merchandise manager. “It’s an important part of our division.”
Neiman’s sales associates will be able to service their clients through Bergdorf’s Web site, he noted.
A prolific designer whose collections span up to 1,000 pieces, Eskandar will create one cohesive group of fashion, scarves and home merchandise every six weeks. His selections will be delivered to Eskandar flagships in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago plus Bergdorf’s shop and Web business.
The styles will include cashmere year-round and linens in winter at stores such as Harrods to accommodate travelers hailing from various climates around the world, he pointed out.
The strategy is intended to eliminate markdowns, he said, noting that his silhouettes are often repeated.
The first group arrives May 1, packed with brightly colored cashmere, silks and corduroy.
“It’s a bit like, I’m still alive, look, notice me, I’m still here, because there is a rumor going around that I’m closing, and I’m not,” he said.
Still, Eskandar is walking away from millions in sales volume.
“For me, it’s not about making money,” he said. “It’s about doing what I love and doing it in a way that makes sense to me. It goes against everything that I think corporations are about. But I want to be an artist, I want to create beautiful environments. And I’ll have the time. The financial side is not important because I don’t need it now. It still needs to be profitable, but it will be.”