Press Releases

October 25, 2013

San Francisco Ballet & Neiman Marcus Union Square Present Fashion Show to Benefit San Francisco Ballet

Spring 2014 Collection Runway Show to be Held on April 3 at The Fairmont San Francisco, Curated by Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing

SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, October 25, 2013—San Francisco Ballet and Neiman Marcus Union Square will partner to present a fashion show on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at The Fairmont San Francisco. The grandeur of the luxury hotel atop Nob Hill will be the dramatic backdrop for a runway show highlighting Neiman Marcus’ collections, curated by its Fashion Director and Senior Vice President Ken Downing. Not only does this show mark the first time that Neiman Marcus has partnered with San Francisco Ballet, but it’s the first time this show has been presented in the Bay Area. Organized by the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary, the fashion show benefits San Francisco Ballet.

“We are very grateful to Neiman Marcus and are thrilled to host this spectacular event that directly supports San Francisco Ballet’s artistic and educational programs,” said San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary member and Fashion Show Chair, Beatrice Wood.  “It is a pleasure to work with Neiman Marcus on such a unique presentation of Spring collections from several designers.”

The exclusive event begins at 11 am with a cocktail reception followed by a runway show and luncheon with a live auction and raffle. Patricia M. Rock is luncheon chair and Ms. Dara C. Rosenfeld is décor chair for this event.

“We are looking forward to supporting SF Ballet’s artistic and educational endeavors through this partnership. We are especially excited about this opportunity given SF Ballet Board Member O.J. Shansby’s long standing relationship with us and SF Ballet,” said Alan Morrell Vice President, General Manager, Neiman Marcus Union Square

Ken Downing is fashion director and senior vice president of American luxury specialty store Neiman Marcus. He oversees women’s and men’s trends, managing a team of fashion editors in the company’s New York office, and directing 200 merchants in Dallas on what is fashionable and what to buy for each season. He represents Neiman Marcus in the media and at major fashion events, and is the definitive tastemaker, stylist, and arbiter of fashion for Neiman Marcus. He resides in Dallas and is a connoisseur of 20th century contemporary furniture and art.

Downing began his career with luxury retailer I. Magnin and held various creative positions in visual planning and fashion. He joined Neiman Marcus in October 1989 as the fashion coordinator at the Los Angeles store. His overall challenge was to create a distinctive fashion image for Neiman Marcus. With Downing's direction, the design of windows, the interior design of the store and special events were re-invented as he created the luxurious L.A. style for Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. Through various roles in corporate visual and corporate public relations, he has helped direct the overall creative look and public image of Neiman Marcus stores and products.

Over the course of his career, Downing has appeared as a fashion industry expert on many local and nationally televised programs, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, E! Entertainment, Fox News, The Rachel Zoe Project, and Project Runway All Stars.
Tickets and Information
Tickets for the fashion show start at $350. For tickets and more information, visit:

About Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus represents the finest and most unique merchandise the world has to offer.  It evokes images of preeminent designers and elegant fashion, luxurious furnishings and incomparable gifts.  Since its inception in 1907, Neiman Marcus has operated by a fundamental and abiding principle: to exceed the customer’s expectations.
Today, the tradition behind Neiman Marcus supports one of the nation’s leading specialty retail organizations with more than five million gross square feet of store operations in the United States, including 41 Neiman Marcus stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores and 29 Last Call Clearance Centers, six Last Call Studio stores, and six CUSP stores.  The company’s Neiman Marcus Online division also operates web sites that offer customers the leading assortment of luxury merchandise for women, men and home.  In addition, the company has a thriving direct marketing and catalog business.
Neiman Marcus Group LTD Inc. operations include the Specialty Retail Stores segment and the On-line segment. The Specialty Retail Stores segment consists primarily of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores.  The On-line Segment conducts direct to consumer operations under the Neiman Marcus, Horchow, Last Call and Bergdorf Goodman brand names. Information about the Company can be accessed at

San Francisco Ballet
As America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. San Francisco Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States. Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, Willam and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson for more than two decades, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance” and in 2006, it was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. In 2008, the Company marked its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives including an ambitious New Works Festival. Recent highlights include a tour to the People’s Republic of China, the celebration of Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s 25th anniversary with the Company, and the United States premiere of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, which was broadcast internationally, as well as nationally on PBS’s Great Performances “Dance in America” in 2011. In 2012, SF Ballet’s ambitious tour schedule included first time visits to Hamburg, Moscow, and Sun Valley, Idaho. For more information, visit

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