12/02/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/02/2021 16:21
DALLAS - Mayor Eric Johnson officially proclaimed Thursday, Dec. 2, as Carrie Marcus Neiman Day in the city.
The proclamation honors Neiman, who co-founded Dallas-based Neiman Marcus in 1907 and helped the retailer - and Dallas, by extension - become synonymous with high fashion. Neiman died in 1953.
Mayor Johnson's proclamation also coincides with a new SMU exhibit honoring the long overlooked fashion pioneer and the release of a new book, "A Girl Named Carrie," which was written by her great niece, Jerrie Marcus Smith.
Here is the language of the proclamation:
WHEREAS, The City of Dallas is honored to recognize the incredible life and legacy of Carrie Marcus Neiman, an iconic entrepreneur and visionary who co-founded Neiman Marcus; She greatly shaped Dallas, impacting our cultural and business landscape, and set the ultimate standard for fashion; and
WHEREAS, Carrie Marcus Neiman, the youngest child of German-Jewish immigrants, Jacob Marcus and Delia Bloomfield Marcus, was born from humble beginnings in 1883; After spending her early childhood years in Louisville, Kentucky, her family relocated in 1895 to Hillsboro, Texas; and
WHEREAS, Carrie Marcus Neiman was notably impacted by diverse cultural influences; While she did not receive a formal education, she learned constantly by reading books, newspapers, and magazines provided to her by her parents; Those items, originating from countries across Europe, exposed Carrie to art and fashion overseas, providing valuable insight she would later use in her professional career; and
WHEREAS, Carrie Marcus Neiman, at the age of twenty-one, became a saleswoman for a small department store in Dallas called A. Harris; She worked diligently on the sales floor to develop her business acumen and fulfill the needs of customers; She quickly became a high-contributing employee, growing a large clientele base, and earned a trusted reputation for her fashion knowledge and expertise; While working at A. Harris, Carrie met Abraham "Al" Neiman, a colleague of the same store, whom she married in 1905; and
WHEREAS, With the support of Al and her brother, Herbert Marcus, Carrie Marcus Neiman managed a successful sales consulting firm in Atlanta; After profitably selling the business, the trio pooled $50,000 in savings to develop a new type of store in Dallas called Neiman Marcus, selling European-inspired, ready-made apparel to a growing market of middle and upper-class women in the area; With her business partners working on the logistical and financial needs of Neiman Marcus, Carrie had the critical responsibility of purchasing all the merchandise for the store, strategically anticipating what Texans would possibly need and want; And, within just a month of Neiman Marcus opening on September 9, 1907, the entire stock of merchandise, totaling at a cost of $17,000, had completely sold out, eliminating any doubts on if a high-end department store could indeed flourish in Dallas; and
WHEREAS, While Carrie Marcus Neiman was instrumental in building and sustaining the legendary success of Neiman Marcus until she died in 1953, her leadership has been long ignored or overlooked by history; Carrie was born in an era when it was not uncommon for a women's professional achievements to be overshadowed by her male counterparts; Much of her legacy has been lost by time, nevertheless, there is still opportunity to reveal and celebrate the quiet, pioneering genius who left an indelible mark on Dallas and helped to propel Neiman Marcus to becoming one of the most cherished, well-known retailers of all time.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ERIC JOHNSON, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF DALLAS, do hereby proclaim Thursday, December 2, 2021 as
in Dallas, Texas.