THE HOUSE OF NEIMAN MARCUS
P0001 / 2014—PRESENT
"How does one tell the story of one of America’s greatest success stories? With 700 cubic feet, hundreds of boxes, millions of documents and a Pucci flag.
Neiman Marcus is The Store; a brand so lauded and flecked with golden memories by its patrons that it need not be called by its proper name. What began as a $26,000 gamble in 1907 became America’s pride — a department store that catered to every whim, known or otherwise.
And my grandfather was at the helm, next to Stanley Marcus, for nearly twenty years. He helped define the store, with Mr. Stanley’s firm guidance; developing the His & Hers gift program, traveling the world sourcing merchandise for the Fortnight celebrations, and opening stores across the US.
His legacy is access; to archival collections, to people and to stories. Within the memories and collections of these former employees and close confidants, and within the cavernous archives, exist treasures that haven’t been seen in ages — and should be shared with everyone, as a celebration of The Store.
Telegrams from Christian Dior, Gabrielle Chanel, and LBJ. Thank you’s from Jackie Kennedy, notes from Georgia O’Keeffe. Letters from Edna Chase and Carmel Snow, unpublished jewelry photoshoots, designer headshots, floor plans by Frank Lloyd Wright. Label designs, poster designs, gift-wrapping designs. Diplomats, publishers, financiers, designers, salesmen, confidants. Complaints, crank letters, love notes, scribbles, pleas — and yes, a Pucci flag.
Some of the beauty in this detritus is the glimpse behind the curtain it offers — the behind-the-scenes of one of the world’s most incredible retail stores. Hand-written admonishments and price adjustments, the ancient letterhead, and the tatters of vellum. Photo notes scribbled on negatives, model test-shots, and quick dress sketches.
And this story? It’s mine to tell, and mine alone. I’ve been told all of my grandfather’s stories, my hands are smudged with graphite, my shoulders sore; I’ve seen it all."
THIS IS A BOOK / FILM PROJECT THAT STOPS AND STARTS — SEEMINGLY BURDENED WITH THE QUICK PASSAGE OF TIME AND THE SHEER VOLUME OF UNDISCOVERED GEMS. CURRENTLY OUT ON PROPOSAL TO TASCHEN + TENEUES.