Until now, there have been two Neiman Marcus concept stores in the Houston area — the luxury retailer's Galleria showcase and the Last Call clearance center at Katy Mills Mall that features goods that didn't sell in a timely fashion at the 41 Neiman Marcus stores across the nation, as well as two Bergdorf Goodman stores.
Now there's a third Neiman Marcus store — Last Call Studio — that opens Friday on Post Oak Boulevard (next door to Kenny & Ziggy's). The newest NM store features merchandise made especially for that store from such well-known designers as Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Rachel Roy, Elie Tahari and Ben Sherman at 30 percent off retail price.
"We're targeting a little bit younger customer while still continuing to fill the needs of the traditional Neiman Marcus customer, " NM vice-president of stores Bill Earnheart explained.
The newest Neiman Marcus store features merchandise made especially for the Last Call Studio chain from well-known designers at 30 percent off retail price.
The store, the fifth in the Studio chain (there are two in Dallas, one in New Jersey and one outside Washington, D.C.), features women's clothing, handbags, jewelry, shoes, accessories, picture frames, Godiva chocolates and a large menswear department (it is only the second Studio store to feature men's clothing).
With its clout, Neiman's convinced top designers to produce less expensive products exclusively for the Studio stores. All of the price tags show a full price and the discounted price. A spot check of prices shows a purple Armani Collezione women's evening jacket is $566 (reduced from $1,299) while a pair of Dolce & Gabbana crocodile pumps is $710 (from $1,775).
In the ladies sportswear department, a pair of Rebecca Taylor leopard jeans is $88 (from $134), a Nanette Lepore tangerine eyelet sundress is $229 (from $378) and a purple Catherine Malandrino caftan is $355 (from $595).
Ladies shoes and handbags include styles from Badgley-Mischka, Elaine Turner, Kooba, Erika Javits, Gwen Stefani's LAMB collection, Guiseppe Zanotti, Charles Jourdan, Taryn Rose and Kate Spade.
The menswear department features True Religion jeans, shoes by Cole-Haan, Ben Sherman, Penguin and Hush Puppies, suits by Hugo Boss, Hickey-Freeman and DKNY, and shirts by Robert Graham, Theory, Ben Sherman and Vince.
Open and loft-like, with exposed ceilings and concrete floors that give it a bit of a discount store feeling, the store seems designed for the customer who might seem intimidated by the Neiman Marcus name.
The colors — tangerine, neon green, purple — are on trend for spring and styles are current, unlike the goods at some "clearance centers."
Even though the Studio store is located within walking distance of the Neiman Marcus Galleria location, officials are convinced it's different enough that it won't draw business away from the luxury behemoth. "There's always that question and concern, but the world has changed. You can shop online anytime, anywhere. It doesn't seem to be as big of an obstacle in people's minds as it used to be," Earnheart said.
Open and loft-like, with exposed ceilings and concrete floors that give it a bit of a discount store feeling, the Last Call Studio store seems designed for the customer who might seem intimidated by the Neiman Marcus name. "Hopefully we can help that customer to not be intimidated by the full-line store and shop there as well," Earnheart said.
To celebrate the opening, shoppers will receive an additional 30 percent off on everything in the store except women's accessories through Monday.