Ken Downing

Meet the people who are shaping the Dallas fashion scene.

“Herbert Marcus, Carrie Marcus, and her husband A.L. Neiman had the vision to open a women’s specialty store at the crossroads of cotton and cattle almost 100 years ago.” –Ken Downing
photography by Allison V. Smith

Occupation: Senior vice president / fashion director, Neiman Marcus
Hometown: Seattle
Current residence: Kessler Park

You’ve been appointed to a new post and are in charge of the office in NYC. Why did you decide to stay in Dallas? Neiman Marcus is a Dallas-based company. The heart and soul of our operation is here. Being involved in so many of the aspects of the business, it seemed only natural to be at the epicenter of that activity with all of the key players.

Dallas is fashionable because … Herbert Marcus, Carrie Marcus, and her husband A.L. Neiman had the vision to open a women’s specialty store at the crossroads of cotton and cattle almost 100 years ago.

Music to live by: Depeche Mode, Culture Club, and Pat Benatar. It’s all about the ’80s!

Who’s the one fashion person that you’ve been uncharacteristically star-struck by? I am not a very star-struck person, although I do have a 3-by-5 poster of Tom Ford in my office!

What’s the one thing you can’t live without for fall ’06? I cannot live without skinny, dark denim, my favorite at the moment being Nudie.

What’s the one thing you want to see women wearing this season? It’s all about a narrow pant for women. It modernizes everything. I am also crazy about red shoes. They are an absolute must-have.

Was there someone in your family that inspired you to study fashion? Where did the interest come from? I was always interested in fashion. My mother tells stories of me designing clothes when I was 7. Each of my parents had a very glamorous side. I was always in awe of the way they looked going to formal events. Like many women of her time, my mother had a very Jackie Kennedy sensibility about her personal style.

Why is your hair so groovy every time I see you? The guy who cuts my hair, Michael Morgan at Salon 330, has the ability to make my hair look like it’s never been cut. The choppier, the better!

I cannot start my day without … love from my Lasha, Nicky, and Lily, my dogs and kitty.

Are we ever going to be best friends? Sure. Book a ticket on American Airlines and come along for the ride.

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