Saturday, September 06, 2014

New York Fashion Week Notes

Cocktails Celebrating Neiman Marcus at Hudson Yards 

Scale model of Neiman Marcus new flagship store
(All photos: Laurel Marcus)

Go west young woman! Looks like the long rumored glam-ification of the far west side of the city is actually happening. Last night I attended a cocktail party at Studio 450 to celebrate the announcement of the Neiman Marcus Group's opening of their future flagship store on Manhattan's Hudson Yards. The champagne fete was hosted by Neiman Marcus President & CEO, Karen Katz and Stephen M. Ross, Chairman and Founder of Related Companies.

Stephen Ross, Karen Katz, Kenneth Himmel

The location of the party was chosen as it overlooks the existing construction site. It was exciting to look down and think how much this area will change in just a few short years. True to their Texas roots, the Dallas-based company is doing it big in the Big Apple with a 250,000 square foot, multi-level store set to open in 2018. Not to outshine their fancy "older sister" in the NYC market, Bergdorf Goodman will be getting a multi-million dollar facelift as well. A Neiman Marcus store is also planned for Long Island and a Last Call Studio Store in Brooklyn.

Linda Fargo

Upon finally arriving at the party (note to self: never underestimate Friday night traffic in Manhattan!) and taking a snail-speed elevator up to the loft space, I was rewarded with a view of multi-colored butterflies suspended from the ceiling which, lest you forget, is the Neiman Marcus theme. The hot pink lighting and the butterflies went a long way to jazz up the all-white space which I've previously seen sans flying creatures. The room was populated with an attractive crowd of NM dignitaries including Creative Director Ken Downing and Bergdorf's Linda Fargo all clad in black with a striking fringed black skirt, as well as NM vendors and heavy hitters in the retail arena. Designer Rachel Zoe, in a black tuxedo suit and her husband were also in attendance. Other notables include BG President Josh Shulman, Jim Gold, Harper's Bazaar Eileen Guggenheim, Brett Heyman, Lela Rose, Gucci President Christophe de Pous, President and CEO of LVNH Perfumes & Cosmetics Pamela Baxter, DJ Brendan Fallis and Alexander Wang President Rodrigo Bazan.


According to Kenneth Himmel, the executive at Related in charge of retail and leasing at Hudson Yards, the entire project has been "bespoke-tailored around Neiman Marcus." And indeed upon examining the model of the project on display, all roads lead to Neiman's as it is placed in the center "sweet" spot of any other retail that may eventually come on board. The entire Hudson Yards venue is planning to be much larger than Related's Time Warner Center (330,000 square feet of retail space) with about one million square feet including a movie theater and restaurant. Interestingly, Neiman's will be totally in your face (in a good way of course) if NYFW comes to Hudson Yards via The Culture Shed located at 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. In addition, Time Warner is set to relocate nearby and L'Oreal and Coach will be moving into office space in a 52-story tower at the corner of 30th Street and 10th Avenue.

I also garnered by observing the project model that the #7 subway is being expanded and brought directly to this location which is definitely needed. This will make it convenient for East siders such as myself to experience the love (and indeed, to cover Fashion Week) without the hassle of a long and expensive taxi ride.  Gotta save some of the cash to shop!

-Laurel Marcus

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