Gone and some forgotten… The Neiman Marcus Awards

Norman Hartnell, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stanley Marcus, Irene Lentz, and Christian Dior, receiving their 1947 Neiman Marcus Awards

Stanley Marcus created The Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in 1938 and awarded it annually until 1969, then sporadically afterwards. Although most recipients played for the home team, the award wasn’t just for American designers but also international designers and trendsetters.

I thought it would be interesting to see who all the recipients were but many of the names meant nothing to me. With the help of  Fuzzylizzie and Lynne Kranieri everyone has now been identified so the next job will be the Coty awards!

1938:
Germaine Monteil – French born New York fashion designer who later turned to cosmetics
Nettie Rosenstein – New York fashion designer/manufacturer
Dorothy Liebes – American textile designer and weaver
Louise B. Gallagher – American coat and suit designer
Dan Palter – American shoe designer
George Miller – American shoe manufacturer (I Miller)
Mr. John – New York milliner
Richard Koret – handbag manufacturer
 
1939:
Hattie Carnegie – Austrian born retailer/manufacturer
Clare Potter – American fashion designer
Herman Delman – American shoe designer
Elizabeth Arden – Canadian born beauty culture pioneer, for her early work in cosmetics
John Cavanagh – Men’s hatter and founder of Hat Corporation of America – merger of Knox, Dunlap, Cavanagh, and Dobbs hat manufacturers.
Janet May – designer for Carlin Comforts – bed linen and boudoir accessories manufacturer
 
1940:
Elsa Schiaparelli – Parisian couturier
Sylvan Stroock – American textile manufacturer who successfully marketed camelhair, vicuna, and llama
Edna Woolman Chase – U.S. Vogue editor since 1914
Lilly Dache – French born American milliner
 
1941:
Eleanor LeMaire – New York commercial interior designer including Bullocks Wilshire department store in LA
Carmel Snow – U.S. editor of Harper’s Bazaar since 1934
Anthony Blotta – New York coat and suit designer
Omar Kiam – Hollywood costume designer
Madame Tobe –  probably the owner of Tobe and Associates – a fashion merchandising service that arranged shows for large numbers of buyers.
Max Meyer – Pioneer in the organization of labour in the needle trades
 
1942:
Voris – Voris Linthacum Marker was a California designer of suede sportswear. Her company, called Suedes by Voris, was located on Sunset Boulevard
Betsy Talbot Blackwell – Editor who made Mademoiselle magazine successful
Norman Norell – New York fashion designer
 
1943:
Adrian – Hollywood costumer turned fashion designer
 
1944:
Countess Mara – Italian born American tie designer
Brooke Cadwallader – American scarf designer
Ben King – American accessories designer – but what type of accessories I don’t know.
Jo Copeland – American fashion designer who worked under the label Patullo – Jo Copeland
 

Advertisement for Tewi lingerie

1945:
Vera Marghab – Portuguese embroiderer and manufacturer
Louis A. Weinberg – American tailor founder of Oxxford Clothes, founded 1916
Emily Wilkens – American Children’s clothing designer
Tina Leser – American sportswear designer
Mrs. Thea Tewi – New York lingerie designer
Dr. Francis Taylor – Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for offering the facilities of the Met to designers and manufacturers during the war when travel to Europe was impossible
Maurice Rentner – Polish born New York fashion manufacturer, eventually bought out by and renamed Bill Blass in 1970
 
1946:
Mrs. Howard (Slim) Hawks – New York socialite and trendsetter
Mr. William Phelps – William and his wife Elizabeth owned Phelps Associates, a manufacturer of leather belts and handbags
Adele Simpson – New York dress designer and manufacturer
John Gates – Director of Design for Steuben Glass, for merging the architecture, engraving, and sculpting of glass
Harry Landon – Mutation Mink Breeder’s Association for increasing the colour ranges of mink
Mr. William H. Joyce – Founder and owner of Joyce Shoes.
Mrs. Faie Joyce – Designer for Joyce Shoes (hired in 1938 as Faie Jarmel) and became wife of William Joyce.
 
1947:
Irene – Hollywood costumer and fashion designer
Christian Dior – Parisian couturier
Salvatore Ferragamo – Italian shoe designer
Norman Hartnell – English fashion designer
 

Advertisement for Claire McCardell, c. 1950

1948:
Madame Henri Bonnet – stylish wife of the French ambassador to the United States
General Julius Ochs Adler – added the fashion section to the New York Times in 1946
Claire McCardell – American sportswear designer
Antonio Castillo – Spanish born fashion designer
 
1949:
Alice Cadolle – Parisian corset maker
Gladys Geissman (aka Merry Hull) – American accessories designer
David Evins – English born American shoe designer
Jacques Fath – Parisian couturier
 
1950:
Gloria Swanson – Presumably for her stylish appearance in Sunset Boulevard. The following year Gloria Swanson licensed her name to the Puritan Dress Company for their ‘Forever Young’ label, a line that ran for thirty years. 
Pauline Trigere – French born New York designer

Cover of Flair magazine, May 1950

Fleur Meyer – I think Neiman Marcus updated her name after she married her 4th husband Tom Meyer in 1955. This must be Fleur Cowles who was the creative force behind the stylish but content-free Flair magazine, which was published for one year, starting in 1950. At one time I had a complete run of this magazine but it was all flash and no content and I resold my run for an obscene amount of money when I needed rent one month…  
Bonnie Cashin – American fashion and sportswear designer   
 
1951:
Michelle Murphy – Developer of the Brooklyn Museum’s Industrial Design laboratory
Mrs. Ernestine Cannon – American ceramist and dinner ware designer
Jane Derby – New York ready-to-wear manufacturer. After her death in 1965, her business was bought out by Oscar de la Renta. 
Ben Zuckerman – New York suit and coat manufacturer
Jacques Lesur – French textile creator of ‘poodle cloth’
 

Coat by Vincent Monte Sano

1952:
Anne Fogarty – Designed dressy sportswear under Fogarty for Margot Inc. 
Roger Fare – Parisian glove manufacturer
Vincent Monte Sano – U.S. Coat designer
Dolores del Rio – Hollywood actress who was considered a leading beauty in her day – I assume this is why she received the award.
 
1953:
Marchesa Olga di Gresy – Italian sweater manufacturer since 1937
Charles James – Notoriously difficult but very talented New York couturier
Ben Sommers – Shoe designer for Capezio in Manhattan
Gilbert and Helen Orcel – Parisian milliner
 
 1954:
James Galanos – California designer who opened in 1951
Emilio Pucci – Italian designer
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Levine – New York shoe designer and manufacture
 
1955:
Mrs. Florence Eiseman – Children’s clothing manufacturer
Pierre Balmain – Parisian couturier
Sally Kirkland – American fashion editor at LIFE magazine (she was LIFE’s only fashion editor 1946-1971)
Henry Dreyfuss – I am not sure why Dreyfuss received a fashion award, but he was a leading American industrial designer for everything from typewriters to telephones.
Vera Maxwell – sportswear designer 
HSH The Princess of Monaco – Grace Kelly, presumably for her beauty and style
 
1956:
Cecil Beaton – For his Broadway costume designs for My Fair Lady, which became a source of inspiration for fashion in fall 1956 and spring 1957. 
Guiliana Camerino – Italian fashion designer
Marie-Louis Bousquet – Editor of Paris Harper’s Bazaar
 
1957:
Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel – Parisian couturier
 
1958:
Yves Saint Laurent – Parisian couturier
Jens Quistgaard – Leading Danish designer of the Danish Modern movement but not known for fashion. 
Helen Lee – Children’s fashion designer
 
1959:
Rosalind Russell – Hollywood actress, Russell was awarded the honour for her stylish performance in the film (released Dec 27, 1958) Auntie Mame 
Arnold Scaasi – Canadian born New York designer
Piero Fornasetti – Italian artist
Emme – New York Milliner Ethel Price and her designer Adolfo Sardinas
 
1960:
Claude Staron – French textile manufacturer
Sylvia Pedlar – lingerie designer
Roger Jean-Pierre – French Jewellery designer
Dinah Shore – Stylish American singer and television hostess
Edward Burke Smith – Importer of European furnishing textiles through his company Craig Creations & Octavia Inc. (Thanks to Lynne Kranieri for finding this one!)
  
1961:
Roger Vivier – French shoe designer
Greer Garson – British born actress whose third marriage made her a very wealthy Texas socialite (and excellent client of Neiman Marcus)
Harry Rolnick – head of Byer-Rolnick Corp., a Dallas area hat manufacturer (in 1963 Byer-Rolnick bought out Oxxford clothes as Stanley Marcus’ suggestion. They in turn were bought out in 1967 by Koracorp industries – a conglomerate that owned Koret of California, Himalaya and Rainfair brands)
Ferdinando Sarmi – Italian born American designer who opened a boutique under his own name in 1959
Sydney Wragge – American sportswear designer
 
1962:
Estée Lauder – American cosmetics manufacturer
Jules-François Crahay – French designer for Nina Ricci
James Laver – English fashion historian and author
Sports Illustrated – Launched in 1954 by Henry Luce, the first swimsuit edition wasn’t until 1964 so it’s not clear why Sports Illustrated received a Neiman Marcus award
 
1963:
Georges Braque – French painter and sculptor who, with Picasso, developed the Cubist art style, that lead to the modern Art movement
Bud Kilpatrick – Californian fashion designer
Margaret Clarke Miller – New York shoe designer
Maurice Tumarkin – menswear designer
 
1964-1965 (these two years were combined):
Geoffrey Beene – American fashion designer who started Geoffrey Been Inc. in 1963
Tzaims Luksus – American textile designer
Mr & Mrs. Arthur Edelman – Exotic leather suppliers
 
1966:
Mila Schön – Italian fashion designer
Mary Brosnan – mannequin designer
Mme Helen Lazareff – Founder of the French ‘Elle’ magazine in November 1945
Lucie Ann Onderwyzer – lingerie designer ‘Lucie Ann of Beverly Hills’
Jacques Tiffeau – French born American fashion designer
 
1967:
Valentino – Italian fashion designer
Fiamma Ferragamo – shoe designer and daughter of Salvatore Ferragamo
The Artisans of Florence -For the many artisans of the city who were working to restore Florence after disastrous floods in November 1966
Giancarlo Venturini – Italian knitwear designer
Lydia de Roma – Italian sportswear designer founded in 1961
 
1968:
Oscar de la Renta – Caribbean born American designer
Kenneth Jay Lane – American costume jewellery designer
Armi Ratia – founder of the Finnish textile company Marimekko
Roland Jourdan – president of the French shoe company Charles Jourdan, and son of the founder
 
1969:
Bill Blass – American designer for Maurice Rentner since 1959; buys out and renames the company Bill Blass Limited in 1970
Emanuel Ungaro – Italian fashion designer since 1965
Gloria Vanderbilt – socialite and textile designer for Bloomcraft
Anne Klein – pioneer in American women’s sportswear and junior lines
Bernard Kayman – English sunglass designer
 
The awards are now only sporadically given… 
 
1973:
Hanae Mori – Japanese fashion designer
Missoni – Italian knitwear manufacturer
Jean Muir – English fashion designer
Ralph Lauren – American fashion designer
Levi Strauss & Co – American blue jean manufacturer
 
1979:
Giorgio Armani – Italian men’s designer
Richard Avedon – American fashion photographer
Baccarat – French crystal manufacturers (American distribution by Neiman Marcus) 
Perry Ellis -American men’s fashion and sportswear designer
Mary McFadden – American fashion designer
 
1980:
Judith Leiber – Hungarian born American handbag designer
Karl Lagerfeld – German fashion designer
 
1984:
Issey Miyake – Japanese fashion designer
Jack Lenor Larsen – American textile designer and weaver
 
1995:
Miuccia Prada – Italian fashion designer
Jean-Paul Goude – advertising film director known for his 1990s Chanel campaign
Grace Mirabella – editor in chief of U.S. Vogue 1971 – 1988, and editor in chief of Mirabella magazine 1989 – 2000
Stanley Marcus – son of founder of Neiman Marcus and the instigator of the Neiman Marcus award
 
 

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian. He was the founding curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. He has amassed a collection of nearly 8,000 items dating from the mid 17th century to the present, and has written various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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