August 20, 2015
This fall marks the 50th anniversary of NorthPark Center, and, with it, the only original tenant, Neiman Marcus NorthPark. For those of us who grew up in the neighborhoods surrounding the storied mall, shopping the expertly landscaped halls of NorthPark was a rite of passage. I remember holding my mother’s hand to ascend the escalator to The Zodiac (now the NM Cafe), where I drank the broth more out of a desire to be sophisticated rather than to please my palate. Each spring, I selected a pair of patent leather Mary Janes, and on countless visits to the mall I’d wear them to slide down the brick planters in front of NM (where children still slide today), getting my white tights dirty in the process. As a teenager, I met friends and crushes to stroll the mall in gigantic, giggling packs—the boys would wait while the girls slipped into Neiman Marcus to spend our allowances on lip gloss. (Did you know 50,000 lipsticks are sold each year at NM NorthPark?) Later, I marked important milestones with Neiman Marcus shopping trips: high-school graduation, my rehearsal dinner, the purchase of my first-ever “major” bag (a YSL Muse). Because when I was home from New York on Christmas break, there was no other place on earth I would have spent my first-ever bonus check.
Beginning this month, in a fashionable celebration that lives up to its icon status, both NorthPark and NM will mark the anniversary in high style. But first, a look back at some memorable moments through five decades of making fashion history. Happy birthday, NM NorthPark! 50 looks good on you.
A TOAST! Since opening its doors in 1965, Neiman Marcus NorthPark has been known for its awe-inspiring visuals.
INDOCTRINATION Generations of girls like myself have shopped NM’s unrivaled selection of classic children’s brands like Florence Eiseman.
GIRL’S BEST FRIEND Two years after the store was expanded to include a third floor, Elizabeth Taylor visits the NM NorthPark in 1986.
SIGNED AND DELIVERED NM loves to toast a fashionable tome. Countless authors have appeared for in-store book signings, including George Hamilton in 1989.
OSCAR GOLD! Of Texas women’s style, Oscar de la Renta’s long-time communications director Erika Bearman once told me, “More is more.” Mr. de la Renta receives an enthusiastic greeting from label devotees at NM NorthPark in 1998.
ON THE CUSP I was honored to be the Guest Stylist in a birthday blog post celebrating the CUSP brand’s 5th birthday in 2011.
IT GIRLS Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing, who hosts a Lafayette 148 New York event in the store August 19, cozies up with Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in 2013.
RING MY BELLE! CUSP sponsored a concert by Wild Belle at NorthPark in 2013 as part of NM’s #MakeSomeNoise initiative, which continues with the September issue of The Book, which was created, styled and photographed entirely by women.
WRAP STAR Diane von Furstenberg rereleased eight iconic prints at a 2014 cocktail reception in the CUSP department.
SWEET TREAT Neiman Marcus’ top floor artisan food section has hosted many sweet affairs, including this one where I met Dylan Lauren, founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar.
THROUGH THE DECADES Beginning this month, NorthPark will host a fashion exhibition where shoppers can stroll the corridor in front of NM to view 25 looks that are a nod to the past 50 years, including ensembles created exclusively in honor of NM’s 100th anniversary in 2007.— Allison Bagley