THE 2013 NEIMAN MARCUS CHRISTMAS BOOK FEATURES A SELECTION OF FANTASY GIFTS AND EXPERIENCES, INCLUDING A LIMITED-EDITION ASTON MARTIN, INDIAN LARRY’S “WILD CHILD” MOTORCYCLE, AND A FOREVERMARK DIAMOND EXPERIENCE.
The 2013 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book was unveiled yesterday by luxury retailer Neiman Marcus in Dallas. The 87th edition of this legendary book continues Neiman Marcus’s unmatched tradition of offering its customers a selection of spectacular and unique holiday gifts sure to make even their wildest dreams come true.
Neiman Marcus represents the finest and most unique merchandise the world has to offer. It evokes images of preeminent designers and elegant fashion, luxurious furnishings and incomparable gifts. Since its inception in 1907, Neiman Marcus has operated by a fundamental and abiding principle: to exceed the customer’s expectations. Today, the tradition behind Neiman Marcus supports one of the nation’s leading specialty retail organizations with more than five million gross square feet of store operations in the United States, including 41 Neiman Marcus stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores and 36 Last Call outlet centers. The company’s Neiman Marcus Online division also operates web sites that offer customers the leading assortment of luxury merchandise for women, men and home. In addition, the company has a thriving direct marketing and catalog business.
The arrival of the annual Christmas Book is considered by many to mark the official start of the holiday shopping season. This year’s edition of the Christmas Book carries on the Neiman Marcus tradition of presenting a refined selection of items across a broad range of categories for everyone on your holiday shopping list. With a new collection of fantasy gifts certain to satisfy even the most indulgent appetite, the Christmas Book features exceptional and distinctive gifts and experiences, including a Bespoke Global Falconry Companion, Ciclotte Exercise Bicycle, and a Glass House Experience. This year’s featured car is a Neiman Marcus 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. The “His & Hers” Fantasy Gift tradition continues this year with the Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment System, a 201” outdoor telescoping screen with surround sound speakers.
First published in 1926 as a 16-page booklet, the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book was initially intended as a Christmas card to the store’s best customers. Building on tradition through the years, the book has maintained its personal touch while evolving into a legendary source for alluring and mystical gifts.
“The annual holiday tradition continues this year with a new selection of fantasy gifts that cater to people’s wildest dreams and promise to provide truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said John E. Koryl, President of Neiman Marcus Direct. “This year’s gifts live up to the time honored tradition of presenting our customers with the rare and unusual, while also incorporating our long legacy of always giving back.”
Neiman Marcus recently announced that it would begin offering free standard shipping and returns for all domestic purchases made online.
Among the selection of fantasy gifts in the 2013 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book are some exceptional items, including:
“His & Hers” 2013 ULTIMATE OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
A true audio- and video-phile’s dream, you click a button and your television emerges from its discreet, underground cache, telescoping upward and unfolding to reveal its mega 201″ C SEED screen. The accompanying speakers, developed by CAT-California Audio Technology, Inc., use the most advanced marine-grade components specifically developed for super yachts. The system includes technologically advanced speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers that project unparalleled sound, a DirecTV® satellite and DVD management system, and a built-in movie package featuring up to 300 movies and concerts (The American Film Institute’s 100 Most Thrilling American Films and 100 Greatest Love Stories, the remaining 100 are your choice). That never-ending argument over who controls the remote is no longer an issue. Two Apple® mini iPadsTM serve as the remotes; one for him and one for her. With every Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment System purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. ($1,500,000; pages 48-49)
BESPOKE GLOBAL FALCONRY COMPANION
Circling the field for the perfect spot to set up, you consider yourself lucky to take part in an ancient sport once reserved for nobles of Medieval Europe, the Middle East, and the Mongolian Empire. A prime local has been found, and you and your fellow hunters set up camp. Gazing upon your portable mew and matching custom trunk, you marvel at the 20-karat gold-plated perch, hand-carved stands, leather perch scale, and hand-sewn glove, anklet, and exotic-skin hoods by Ken Hooke, the world’s preeminent falconry hood maker. Next, the furniture: Chatwin chairs and a foldout table by Richard Wrightman, the foremost designer of bespoke campaign furniture. You unfold the beautiful, handmade backgammon board from Alexandra Llewellyn, pour yourself a drink from one of the lead crystal decanters, and select the cigar you’ll enjoy, using your matching cigar cutter by David Linley. With every Bespoke Global Falconry Companion purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $1,500 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. ($150,000; pages 40-41)
A blend of amazing form and state-of-the-art function, this modern spin on the exercise bicycle will ensure it never gets relegated to the basement. Approaching the Ciclotte, you admire its sleek, sculptural appearance. The large wheel is a nod to the unicycles of the late 1800s, but that’s where the design-reminiscing ends. Void of the superfluous bells and whistles that characterize most of today’s gym equipment, this piece is a study in the power—and beauty—of simplicity. Good looks aside, its dynamic design is rivaled only by its effortless performance. Sitting astride your cycle, you adjust the angle of the carbon-fiber handles, choose from one of 12 levels of resistance, engage the pedals, and ride your way to a fitter, healthier you. With every Ciclotte purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $1,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. ($11,000; page 42)
FOREVERMARK ULTIMATE DIAMOND EXPERIENCE
Every extraordinary gem has a history, but rare is the opportunity to trace its provenance. As the owner of this 25-carat rough Forevermark® diamond, you’ll travel deep into the heart of Africa to discover where your stone began its journey more than one billion years ago. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure starts with a trip to the De Beers headquarters in London. Once there, you’ll receive your exceptional diamond in its rough and uncut form, name your diamond, learn about the unique inscription it will receive, and meet the master craftsman who will hand-cut and polish it to perfection. A private tour of The Crown Jewels and dinner with De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier and Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier in the Tower of London follow. Your journey continues on a vessel off Namibia’s coast, where your diamond was discovered deep within the ocean floor. You’ll then explore rough-diamond sorting houses and a children’s community project, where the local population benefits from Forevermark’s responsible sourcing of diamonds. Upon returning to the United States, you’ll meet with New York jewelry designer Maria Canale to design the ring that will exhibit your exceptional diamond. With the purchase of the Forevermark Ultimate Diamond Experience, Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. ($1,850,000; page 43)
THE GLASS HOUSE EXPERIENCE
For the first time ever, you and a very lucky guest get to experience an overnight stay in the New Canaan, Connecticut, weekend residence of world-renowned architect and art patron, Philip Johnson. The Glass House and its bucolic surroundings are yours to explore upon arrival. Get up-close-and-personal access to the life and style of one of the twentieth century’s most revered visionaries as you wander among the 14 architectural structures, study his world-class modern painting and sculpture collection, visit the private library, and stroll through the 49 acres of landscaped grounds. Up to ten of your nearest and dearest will be invited to join you at Philip Johnson’s table for a locally sourced, multicourse culinary experience as well. All of the proceeds of this purchase will go toward the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation, which supports Club Glass House, a program that provides educational tours to children.
($30,000; pages 44-45)
INDIAN LARRY’S “WILD CHILD” MOTORCYCLE
Handbuilt in Brooklyn, New York, for the Discovery Channel “Biker Build-Off” series, “Wild Child” is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Indian Larry’s artistic achievements. It features his signature dished tank, root beer metal flake paint, twisted down tube frame, and a truly unique engine with a shovelhead front cylinder, panhead rear, and jockey shift. An open belt drive is emblazoned with the “Wild Child” name. Brass accents and a handcarved leather seat in Indian Larry’s likeness complete the picture of this motorized masterpiece. In 2003, Larry rode “Wild Child” from St. Louis, Missouri, to Sturgis, South Dakota, where Larry’s bike was named the winner of the Build-Off, one of three unprecedented consecutive wins for the chopper enthusiast. A second gift offered by Indian Larry, “Question Everything”, is modeled after Indian Larry’s famous “Daddy O,” featuring a twisted springer front end, a handmade Indian Larry wishbone frame with a signature mustang tank, 93 cubic-inch shovelhead engine, and hand-painted platinum-leaf flames. With the purchase of “Wild Child,” Neiman Marcus will donate $7,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. (Indian Larry’s “Wild Child” Motorcycle $750,000, page 46; Indian Larry’s “Question Everything” Motorcycle $80,000, information available online only)
JEFF KOONS’S DOM PERIGNON BALLOON VENUS
The limited-edition Dom Pérignon’s Balloon Venus is playful, impactful, and signature Jeff Koons. Designed in celebration of the Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003, this incarnation is based on one of the latest works from Koons’s Antiquity series called Balloon Venus (a modern riff on the Venus of Willendorf, which dates back to approximately 23,000 B.C.). According to the artist, this version represents the link between past, present, and future vintages of Dom Pérignon, as well as the continuity of the human experience symbolized by Venus.With every Dom Pérignon’s Balloon Venus purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $1,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. ($20,000; page 47)
THE NEIMAN MARCUS 2014 ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH VOLANTE
Each year, a highly anticipated luxury automobile is showcased in the Christmas Book, and the tradition has become quite a phenomenon. Beginning with the BMW Z3 roadster in 1995, the cars have sold out each and every year, often in the first 24 hours of availability. In 2000, Ford telephone lines in Dearborn, Michigan, handling the sale of the Neiman Marcus Limited Edition Ford Thunderbird, were jammed as callers flooded the automaker with orders; the new “birds” sold out in two hours.
With its elegant profile and confident, sexy stance, your Neiman Marcus 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, one of only 10 in the world, scores high marks on good looks alone. But there’s more to this machine than meets the eye. Beneath its NM Exclusive Seychelles Blue exterior exists the culmination of a century of technological and engineering prowess. Handbuilt in Gaydon, England, The Vanquish Volante sports a 100% carbon fiber shell—the first ever in Aston Martin’s history—allowing for a much lighter car with greater torsional and structural rigidity, while enhancing safety, performance, and handling. A new, naturally aspirated 6.0-liter, V-12 engine produces some 565 horsepower and is tuned to deliver 457 pound-feet of torque, available and accessible throughout the rev range to deliver an enhanced performance feel. The engine sends the drive strictly to the rear wheels via a six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission, making acceleration smooth, steady, and, above all, responsive. With a turn of the ignition, the throaty engine roars to life. A three-mode Adaptive Damping System allows you to choose the character of your ride. Cruising down the coastline, you wonder what it would be like to put the reported 180-plus mph max speed to the test.
Like a certain secret agent, you have a penchant for these beautiful British automobiles—and a taste for adventure. With every purchase of the Neiman Marcus 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, Neiman Marcus will donate $3,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. Reserve your 2014 Neiman Marcus 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante by calling 1-888-756-0775, beginning promptly at noon EDT on October 23, 2013. ($344,500; pages 50-51)
The world-famous Neiman Marcus Christmas Book had its origins in 1915 as a Christmas card inviting customers to the store to start their holiday shopping. The next Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog didn’t appear until 1926, and, though modest in size at 16 pages, it established a lasting tradition of showcasing the unusual, the humorous and the beautiful in a wide variety of prices, with keen emphasis on selectivity and taste.
During the 1950’s, Neiman Marcus became known for its publicity coups. In 1959, in answer to press inquiries about unusual Christmas gifts, Stanley Marcus and his brother Edward brainstormed about an extraordinary gift for that year: a Black Angus steer, delivered on the hoof or in steaks, complete with a silver-plated serving cart. The response was tremendous, and the “His and Hers” gifts gained fame the following year with a pair of Beechcraft airplanes. A world-famous retailing phenomenon was born.
Over the years, Neiman Marcus has offered “His and Hers” hot air balloons, Chinese junks, submarines, camels, robots, windmills and other unusual, creative, but always functional, gifts. Other unique Christmas Book items have included the ultimate $20 million submarine, mummy cases that contained an actual mummy, seats from Ebbets Field, and a Dale Chihuly Pool Sculpture Installation. The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book has evolved into the ultimate wish book. The most expensive item ever offered was an unfinished Boeing Business Jet for more than $35 million. But not all of the gifts in the book are costly. A substantial number of gifts cost less than $250.
Since the Christmas Book’s inception, Neiman Marcus has commissioned leading artists to design the cover, with the art ranging from abstract to surreal to humorous. Cover artists have included such legends as Saul Steinberg, Ben Shahn, Robert Indiana and Al Hirschfeld. Fashion models whose careers were boosted by early appearances in the Christmas Book include Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, Morgan Fairchild, Andie MacDowell and Cybil Shepherd.
The bestowing of philanthropic gifts is another long-standing Neiman Marcus Christmas Book tradition, with a deserving organization selected each year to benefit from sales of featured items. In past years, charities have included, among others, Cure Autism Now, The Nature Conservancy, Inner-City Games and UNICEF. Stanley Marcus once said “Art enhances the quality of people’s lives.” His philosophy lives on with the introduction of The Heart of Neiman Marcus, a foundation that brings enriching art experiences to local youth in communities nationwide. Neiman Marcus is following its heart, and its long legacy of always giving back, by donating a portion This year Neiman Marcus will donate a portion of the proceeds from each Fantasy Gift purchase to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.
Today, the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is distributed to approximately one million homes worldwide and is available online for the whole world to see at www.neimanmarcus.com. The fall debut of the Christmas Book and the unveiling of the “His and Hers” gifts mark the official start of the Christmas season each year.
— Phillip D. Johnson