Modern Luxury: What is special to you about the Neiman Marcus here in Honolulu?
Ken Downing: Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana in Honolulu has always been a special store for me, I was the Vice President of Corporate Public Relations/Fashion Presentation at the time we became part of the community in Honolulu. With my team, we designed the opening festivities and Grand Opening Gala for the store 20 years ago, meeting so many talented and passionate people from around the island and great state of Hawaii. I have always believed, whether traveling for pleasure, or for business, live like a local!
ML: How did the idea for the upcoming fashion show/fundraiser come about? And, why was the Honolulu Museum of Art chosen?
KD: I’ve been wanting to return to Honolulu and do an event at our Neiman Marcus in Ala Moana for some time. Before I knew it, we were sitting on top of the 20th Anniversary of the store. As an avid art collector, one of my great personal passions; I loved my time in Honolulu before opening Neiman Marcus in Ala Moana, touring its great museums and galleries. As the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Contemporary Museum, now merged, where two of the 4 Art organization beneficiaries of the opening gala, it only made sense to give back to the community that has been so supportive of Neiman Marcus over the past 20 years.
ML: Any specific looks that will be in the show that you're really excited about?
KD: I’m currently obsessed with the ‘80s! My favorite looks I’ll be styling for the show will be a blend of punk, power dressing and new wave for a new generation. Of course, the excess and opulence of the decade plays particularly well to my “more is more, less is a bore” sensibility when curating looks for the runway—do expect plenty of sequins, and piled high jewelry!
ML: What are you looking forward to during your time on the Island?
KD: You may find this a bit unbelievable, but I’m crazy about Spam Musubi, I can’t wait to enjoy my favorite local food. Of course, exploring the art galleries on the island is another must-see while I’m visiting. Getting a week to spend around the natural beauty of the islands, away from the Mainland will be such a treat, and to reconnect with all of our customers who have made Neiman Marcus in Ala Moana the special place it is today.
Neiman Marcus Runway Report, May 17, 4-6PM, tickets from $100, Neiman Marcus, Ala Moana Center
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