PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas December 2021

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Page 47 of 99

Texas. "Carrie had only one job, but it was the most critical job of all," Smith writes. "She was in charge of buying all of the merchandise for the new store ... She stayed close to her original ideas of fashion — sophisticated, clean lines and good-quality materials — and returned with some of the latest women's styles from New York and Paris ... She knew that the store's hopes for success were completely dependent on her choosing the right clothes." Neiman Marcus became one of the most talked-about and successful stores in the world, thanks to the enduring values Carrie instilled, including the dictum that the customer was always right, Smith says. In his book Minding the Store, Stanley Marcus credited his aunt for much of what he learned while under her tutelage. An iconoclast in the world of retail, Carrie was also a maverick in other ways, divorcing Al in the 1920s at a time when divorce was scandalous. After Herbert died in 1950, Carrie became chairman of the board of Neiman Marcus — one of the few women in the country to hold such a position — and oversaw the company's first branch store at Preston Center a few years before her death at age 69. Much of Carrie's legacy has since been lost to time — something Smith hopes to rectify. "It was really important to me to reveal the importance of this unrecognized woman," Smith says. "Someone had to talk about her." To order the book, visit European fashion magazines. She was married and just 24 years old when Neiman Marcus opened on Elm Street in downtown Dallas, a city that was in many ways still uncivilized, with unpaved streets bustling with horse-drawn carriages and saloons. But it did have a symphony orchestra, a Shakespeare club, and a contingency of wealthy citizens. Carrie was a Jewish woman in a town dominated by Christians and males, but her taste and sophistication made Neiman Marcus an immediate success. She introduced European ready-to-wear and haute couture for the first time to Clockwise from top left: Herbert Marcus kisses 2-year-old granddaughter, Jerrie Marcus, on the steps of their Dallas house in 1938. Jerrie Marcus Neiman Carrie Marcus' bridal portrait, April 1905. Stanley and Herbert Marcus at work, late 1940s. (Continued from page 44) 46

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