If all of us in the Dallas fashion world could sum up our unique industry with one name, it would certainly be Stanley Marcus.
ears. The project had only just begun at that time, as producers Jason Cirone, Mike Mullins, Melina McKinnon, and Michael Cain embarked on a journey to explore the life of the retail legend, author, and humanitarian behind Neiman Marcus.
Today, the film is well underway. High-profile interviews with Carolina Herrera, Massimo Ferragamo, and Vanity Fair’s Amy Fine Collins are complete – just to name a few. As production wraps in North America, the team and crew now set their sights on Europe. Additional interviews to take place there are confirmed, including many fashion notables who knew Stanley Marcus best.
A campaign has launched via Kickstarter to help raise funds for these European segments of the film, pursuant to its completion. With only 26 days remaining in the effort, a goal of $20,000 has been set. Donations at all levels are being accepted, with exciting incentives available, including advance DVD copies, “special thanks” credits following the film, and more.
As the production team awaits this much-needed financial support, we reached out to producer Jason Cirone for intel on the film’s inspiration, progress, and more. Read on for his candid answers below, plus view a preview of the film. Visit Kickstarter for more information and to make a pledge.
DFW Style Daily: What inspired this team to create a film about Stanley Marcus?
Jason Cirone: “Thomas E. Alexander, former Neiman Marcus Executive Vice President of Marketing, was introduced to our production company via The Dallas Foundation. Mr. Alexander published a book covering his 20-year career at NM, that involved producing the famous Fortnights, along with his close interactions with ‘Mr. Stanley,’ as he was known.
“Mr. Alexander had a desire to adapt his book, Stanley Marcus: The Relentless Reign of a Merchant Prince into a film. We met and agreed that it was a great idea to make a movie about the late Stanley Marcus. However, we had a desire to open the story up to Mr. Stanley’s entire life, in and out of Neiman Marcus. This involved Mr. Stanley as an author and publisher, humanitarian, civil rights advocate, mentor and more.”
Where does the project stand today?
“Currently, producer Mike Mullins continues to work on connecting the project with the various potential interviews ahead of us. Many people have stories to share about Mr. Stanley. Our goal is to identify those individuals and schedule interviews based on our budget, production schedule, and the overall story we intend to share.
“Our seed funding has been raised for the film, allowing for 20 interviews to be captured to date. Local leaders such as Margaret McDermott, Ebby Halliday, and Liener Temerlin are included in our completed interviews, along with highly-acclaimed designers such as Carolina Herrera, leaders of high-end fashion houses such as Massimo Ferragamo, and current and former executives of mainstream and luxury retail brands.”
What does this film hope to achieve in educating viewers about Stanley Marcus?
“Mr. Stanley was so much more than a genius retailer. While we’re obviously eager to celebrate his famous marketing flair, including the world-famous NM Fortnights and Christmas Book, and his eye for design and manufacturing talent, we’re also exploring his championship of civil rights and freedom of expression, his avid support of culture and the arts, and his passion for publishing and the written word. As former NM president (and later chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue) Philip Miller says, ‘Stanley loved the limelight, and he was unafraid.’
“When Dallas was perhaps the most conservative major city in the country, Mr. Stanley was ‘liberal’ – progressive in his views and outspoken about them. He outraged a lot of people who cancelled their Neiman Marcus accounts, but he loved to say – with a perennial twinkle in his eye – that most accounts were quietly reopened in due time!”
Tell us about the Kickstarter campaign, and the goals it hopes to reach.
“The Kickstarter campaign was designed to assist in taking the production to Europe for confirmed interviews with Wanda Ferragamo, Laudomia Pucci, Tai and Rosita Missoni, Hubert de Givenchy, and Emanuel Ungaro. By the time our trip is scheduled, expecting early Spring, we anticipate having more interviews scheduled. Kickstarter offers incentives for ‘Backers’ who pledge funds to various projects.
“We also use the campaign to share updates on production, post footage from interviews, and to connect with more of our potential audience. We welcome all contributors, and as little as $1 allows access to behind-the-scenes footage and updates. Please help spread the word.”
(Images via Kickstarter.com)