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Ken Downing at the Neiman Marcus opening gala in September

When shoppers around Bellevue and Seattle heard that Neiman Marcus was coming to town, one thing many of us wondered was what that would mean in terms of social and shopping events, parties, and fashion shows. Nordstrom does their Designer Preview event each summer, the general inquiry began, what will NM bring to the scene?

Over the last eight months or so, we’ve mixed and mingled at the answers to that question - that is, there was the Zac Posen show, the game night and in-store shopping event, and Roberta Armani’s recent visit, complete with a luncheon and a runway show. (To name a few.) As NM’s fashion director, Ken Downing, told me, these kinds of intimate and high-profile events are how the store gets to know its customers better, and how it reveals itself to the community at large.

To get to know Downing himself a little better, plan on being at Neiman Marcus on Friday May 7 at 6p to meet the Burien native and get a little inside style advice from one of fashion’s front-row big players. Downing will present a spring/summer trend show and then roam the racks with shoppers to talk fit and function, color, drape, body shape, and more.

Downing recently told me about a similar event that he co-hosted with Donna Karan and mentioned that he and the designer were popping in and out of dressing rooms like they were your oldest friends. Sounds like fun to me.

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