A new documentary “Mr. Stanley: The Merchant King” showcases the life of pioneering retailer Stanley Marcus, founder of Neiman Marcus.
The film is set to premiere — and has been nominated for best documentary at — California’s 2018 La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.
“Dallas-based filmmakers Mike Mullins and Miles Hargrove, along with producers Melina McKinnon Cain and Jason Cirone, chronicle the life of the man who not only changed the face of luxury retailing with Neiman Marcus but also transformed Dallas from a rough-and-tumble cotton market town into a mecca of high fashion,” publicity materials tell us.
Marcus archives housed in SMU’s DeGolyer Library and rare footage the UNT Libraries Special Collections are used to tell a poignant story of a remarkable man, a genius, a progressive personality during some of Dallas’ most turbulent times.
… he was also known for conspicuously seeking a culture of inclusion evidenced by his hiring practices, philanthropy, international perspective and community leadership,” promoters note. “In the 1960’s Marcus was adamant that his company needed to take action to promote racial equality and as a result Neiman Marcus was one of the first companies in the nation to give preference to purchasing from those who employed and trained significant numbers of minority employees.”
Of course, his forward-thinking went well beyond social issues—fashion is what put Mr. Stanley on the map—his genius when it came to taste, luxury trends and classy aesthetics allowed him to do and say things others wouldn’t dare.
“There have been films made about fashion greats such as Valentino, Dior, Lagerfeld, Diana Vreeland and Bill Cunningham, but none that features a larger than life retailer who was called Dallas’ most internationally famous citizen,” director Mike Mullins says. “I have had the good fortune of knowing the Marcus family for many years and his is a story that demands telling — not only on the page but on the screen. We are thrilled that the short film has been recognized in this way.”