Neiman Marcus helps bring guests at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort a bespoke outfit for every occasion, with a fully stocked wardrobe ready upon arrival.
By Rebecca Cahilly
Addressing the pre-packing checklist is a monumental task that most travelers admit they would rather avoid. The weather forecast must be considered, as well as the dress code for any nightclubs and formal restaurants they might visit. Unless the itinerary is precisely coordinated with outfits for every activity, travelers either pack too light—and end up scrambling to buy what they need upon arrival—or they lug around heavy suitcases bursting at the seams with too many clothing options.
Leading luxury retailer Neiman Marcus partnered with The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, located conveniently across the street, to take the hassle out of vacation preparation by offering guests access to the Neiman Marcus Closet, which brings the store’s dressing room to their hotel room or residence.
Guests have the pleasure of arriving at the resort and being escorted to their room or suite, where the walk-in closet has been expertly stocked with outfits specifically selected for them to suit every activity during their stay. This new service is a way of taking the personal shopping experience to the next level, affording travelers the peace of mind that the perfect wardrobe is waiting for them.
“We strive to give our guests the most comfortable, elegant and bespoke experience possible,” says Nikolai Ursin, marketing manager for The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. “What they can’t buy as easily as other things is time, so we’ve created a way to give them the freedom of time. Our core value is bespoke. What could be more bespoke than arriving to a closet that has been pre-stocked with items selected personally for you?”
The closet experience expands upon the personal shopping offered by Neiman Marcus at Bal Harbour Shops. Upon booking a reservation at the St. Regis, guests who choose to take advantage of the personal shopping service are invited to complete and submit a questionnaire detailing their fashion preferences, style icons, likes and dislikes, and activities planned during their stay. Features each woman likes to accentuate or minimize, as well as favorite colors and designers, are also included in the survey.
“Women are asked whether their aesthetic reflects ‘romantic and dreamy’ or ‘minimalist and modern,’ for example,” says Gotmar Giron Ocariz, public relations manager for the Neiman Marcus store at Bal Harbour Shops.
Men are asked to provide similar information, such as whether their aesthetic is more “rugged and edgy” or “urban,” and if they are drawn to designs by Brioni, Isaia and Ermenegildo Zegna, or more so to those by Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci.
The well-rounded questionnaires are followed up with a phone call to get a feel for the guest’s planned itinerary and to allow the personal shoppers to capture the style of each individual. The perfect wardrobe is then pulled and set up in the room or suite’s walk-in closet.
“Some guests opt to send in an image of themselves, which does help,” Ocariz says. However, the Neiman Marcus personal shoppers’ talent is such that the guests are pleasantly surprised with the selection and choices.
When guests arrive at the resort and review their customized closet outfitted with hand-selected items from more than 100 designers, they enjoy the ability to try on the outfits, exchange for new sizes or send back unwanted items via the St. Regis butler. Items the guests wish to keep are simply charged to the credit card number on file—and then the vacation is truly underway.
“Some guests prefer to utilize the St. Regis butler to return or exchange items for different sizes or colors,” Ocariz says. “… Others prefer either to walk across the street or be driven by the resort’s Bentley to the store where they can meet with the personal shoppers and select more items.”
And—even better—the Neiman Marcus Closet experience is not limited to the first day of the guest’s stay, but can be utilized throughout his or her time at the resort.
“Even on the spur of the moment, if a guest wants a new bikini for the pool or a cocktail dress for a night out on South Beach, our butler and the personal shoppers will arrange to have it selected and delivered to the room,” Ursin says.
“We have an amazing team here who make sure we get the right information, speak to the client and get the best items,” Ocariz adds. “We prefer 24 hours’ notice, but can accommodate short-term requests; we are very close to the resort and are also open seven days a week.”
Ideally situated near the best that Miami has to offer, from pulsating night spots to artsy design studios and chic world-class restaurants, The St. egis Bal Harbour Resort has enjoyed its appeal as a fashion destination in and of itself.
“Everyone wants to look their best on vacation,” Ursin says. “… [Nothing] is better than a closet full of the latest fashions personally selected for you to wear while visiting one of the most fashion-forward cities in the world.”
While women will enjoy perusing their customized selection to find a perfect Cavalli dress, Michael Kors maxi or must-have Oscar de la Renta jewelry, the Neiman Marcus Closet experience equally caters to men and children.
“We recently created a bespoke closet for a family with two daughters,” Ocariz says. “They obviously had great fun completing their questionnaires and loved the surprise of entering their suite to find a wardrobe customized for each of them.”
The family later visited the store to meet their personal shoppers and select additional pieces.
A Curated Wardrobe
One of the best benefits of the personal shopping experience is being able to stay at the forefront of new fashion styles.
“Our shoppers will spice up the selection and throw items in there because they are trends,” Ocariz says. “Many of our clients ask, ‘What do I need to have this season?’ And we love that. Maybe you didn’t know that you had to have a pointed toe pump this fall.”
Among other trends, the pointed toe is back this season, showcased in a variety of designs from the likes of Valentino and Diane von Furstenberg. The pointed toe also shows up in single-soled shoes, with casually elegant styles trending this fall from Prada and Miu Miu.
“Our fashion director, Ken Downing, says leopard print is always a neutral,” she adds. “It’s about mixing animal prints harmoniously.”
Mixed shades and paired prints and patterns are trends some might feel most comfortable leaving in the hands of a personal shopper, lest it be overdone. Regardless, be prepared for blacks and whites this fall along with the biggest callout of the season: “rocker chic.”
This style’s inspiration could be seen at the Costume Institute exhibition showcasing punk fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past summer in New York. But for guests who wouldn’t ever dream of dressing “punk,” this season’s ode to rocker chic can be as subtle as a pencil skirt, lace blouse and a mini leather purse. The biker jacket is also a staple of the rocker chic look and, with so many variations on the style, nearly anyone can pull off this look and have fun in the process.
“Gender-bending—mixing girl with the boy look—is another trend,” Ocariz says. Neiman Marcus refers to this as “Boys Town” and sees it as a casual way to mix feminine with masculine.
Men might open their closet to find this season’s plays on deep emeralds, sapphire blues, ruby reds and other jewel tones. Outerwear pieces, such as a biker jacket, velvet jacket and peacoat, will also be popular.
“This is the peacoat for the modern man,” Ocariz says. “Then there’s the cardigan. It’s not Mr. Rogers, it’s more modern, layered in with additional pieces.”
Finish off the look with textured shoes and he’s ready to hit the town without ever having to set foot in a store.
“Guests who take advantage of the [complimentary] Neiman Marcus Closet experience could essentially arrive with an empty suitcase,” Ursin says.
“We are forever aiming to surpass our guests’ expectations and offer them an unrivaled experience,” adds Marco Selva, general manager of The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. “The Neiman Marcus Closet is an example of our commitment to bringing the destination to life.” B