Changes in store for Neiman Marcus Westchester

When Neiman Marcus designs one of its 41 stores, the luxe retailer considers two elements first — the merchandise and the shopper.

That credo will inform the upcoming makeover of the lower level and level one of Neiman Marcus Westchester, which is sure to gladden the hearts of those who love precious jewelry, cosmetics — and men.

The Precious Jewels Salon, which presently occupies an elegant spot to the right of the Beauty area, will be moving to an expanded but still intimate space at the back of level one where the gift galleries are. Ignaz Gorischek — vice president of creative and design, Neiman Marcus Stores, says it will be “a beautiful new environment with new LED lighting to make the jewelry sparkle, and it will be designed so that we can add vendor enhancements and new vendors. … The design mantra is a modern feel, simple, tasteful, with glass and sculpted lighting fixtures that are central to creating a sophisticated ambience.”

The Precious Jewels Salon has always been a special place in NMW where patrons can take their time selecting treasures from the likes of Bulgari and Paul Morelli or intaglios and coin jewelry by Elizabeth Locke, profiled in the first issue of the revamped WAG (February 2011, “Royal Treatment”).

“When we design a space, we always think of the merchandise first but also, ‘How do you feel shopping in that space?’” Gorischek says. The new Precious Jewels Salon — which will flow seamlessly from Designer Jewelry — will be “a little more private, with a diamond viewing room.”

Adjacent to the salon will be a 1,000-square-foot Van Cleef & Arpels shop that will look just like the company’s tony standalone boutiques.

And while there won’t be a traditional home department anymore — how we’ll miss the MacKenzie-Childs displays — there will still be seasonal pop-up displays, he says.

All of which leaves 2,000 square feet more for beauty, which reflects the idea that it is a big part of fashion.

There will be LED lighting offering true-to-life color — so that those trying on makeup no longer have to worry whether it really matches their coloring — along with space for vendors new to the store, including Dior, Lancer and Tom Ford.

To the left of Beauty is Designer Handbags, where Céline and Prada will be given dedicated spaces, with the center of the department used to showcase up-and-coming designers.

So lots for the ladies on level one. But the gentlemen are not being neglected. A good percentage of the lower level will be renovated, Gorischek says, with the men’s shoes department doubling in size to 600 square feet. This reflects an increased interest in shoes on the part of men, he adds, in two ways — sneakers and dress shoes for work. There will also be a dedicated space for Tom Ford’s ready-to-wear collection.

The Man’s Store is definitely woman-friendly, Gorischek adds.

“The use of wood is soothing, calming. … It’s gender-neutral and just good design.”

The plans for refurbishing the lower two floors come one year after the transformation of the Zodiac restaurant into Mariposa, Spanish for the NM signature, the butterfly. Response to the new restaurant, Gorischek says, has been “fantastic. First of all, it’s a restaurant to eat in and be seen at.”

Credit the yin-yang design. There’s the yin of the sedate dining room and the yang of the animal-print circular bar that looks out onto level three. The bar features small vertical, rectangular screens designed to evoke the views from airplane windows, only instead of clouds, butterflies or goldfish may drift by.

Says Gorischek, “It does allow you to dream a little bit.”

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