When Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing calls, you come. Simple as that. And when word spread that he would personally be at Neiman's flagship store in Dallas to debut the Ken Downing Gift Collection, people heeded that call.
Winter white cosmos, champagne and Neiman Marcus-inspired gingerbread cookies filled the store along with Downing’s new curated collection of gifts, which he put together just in time for holiday shopping.
"I wanted all [the gifts] to have a very intimate relationship with the person who was giving it and to the person who will receive the gift," Downing said.
This exclusive collection consists of 37 gifts ranging in price from $32-$1,800. And when Neiman's says it's his gift collection they mean it. There is even a baby boy’s sweater featuring Downing's signature skinny tie.
"I'm a Virgo, I'm a control freak, and anything that has my name attached to it I am very passionate about," Downing said. "It was important that the gifts didn’t feel of mass quantity. I wanted them all to have a very intimate relationship with the person who was giving it and to the person who will receive the gift."
When Downing started working with the buyers to put together his collection, he looked to his childhood. Downing's father collected Murano glass, so he incorporated a gift featuring classy glass boxes. The mother-daughter pajamas were inspired by his aunt from North Dakota who used to send PJ's for Downing and his brother to wear around Christmastime. His grandmother also used to make them sock monkeys, which he has always kept near and dear to his heart.
He's also a huge fan of his friend Jonathan Adler and worked with him to create whimsical needlepoint pillows. And that’s just for starters. To say this fashion mega star took his gift collection seriously would be an understatement.
The best thing about the Ken Downing Gift Collection is that there is a present for everyone on your list: from the man who buys everything he wants to the woman who seems to have it all. And you can feel even better buying these gifts, because 10 percent of sales benefit a local charity supporting arts experiences for youth. Neiman Marcus Galleria has selected the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as beneficiary.
"I wanted to make sure that everything had the quality that people would want to give but that you'd be just as happy to get," Downing said.