Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maker's Mark chosen for Neiman Christmas Book

The 2009 Christmas Book was unveiled today by luxury retailer Neiman Marcus in Dallas. The 83rd edition of this celebrated book continues Neiman Marcus’s unparalleled tradition of offering its customers the ultimate in cutting-edge, dream-fulfilling gifts.

The arrival of the Christmas Book is considered by many to mark the official start of the holiday shopping season. This year’s edition of the Christmas Book maintains its custom of providing lush, high-quality items for everyone on your holiday shopping list. With a new collection of jaw-dropping fantasy gifts sure to set imaginations running wild, the Christmas Book features state-of-the-art, exclusive items and experiences, including a His and Hers Icon A5 Sports Aircraft, a customized Cupcake Car, and a sustainable design art chandelier. This year’s featured car is the 2010 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus Edition. In addition, over 40% of the gifts are under $250.

First published in 1926 as a 16-page booklet, the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book was initially intended as a Christmas card to the store’s best customers. Building on tradition through the years, the book has maintained its personal touch while evolving into a legendary source for alluring and mystical gifts.

“Our annual tradition of fantasy gifts allows our devoted customers to give a gift or gift experience that will create wonderful memories to last both the giver and recipients a lifetime,” said Gerald Barnes, President and CEO of Neiman Marcus Direct. “This year’s array of gifts has raised the bar to new heights, featuring items at the highest levels of quality and technology.”

Among the selection of fantasy gifts in the 2009 Christmas Book are some astounding items, including:

Launched at Burning ManTM as a cooperative art car project, the Cupcake Car sprang from the fevered mind of Bay Area artist Lisa Pongrace and her less-rules-more-laughs posse of artists and techno geeks. Get (or give) the sheer, joyful chaos of a gift that is mind-blowing, triple-dog-dare, double-infinity forever cool. The top speed is a comfy-safe 7 mph. The Cupcake Car is made of a 24-volt electric motor, a heavy-duty battery, sheet metal, wire, fabric, wood…and mad genius.
($25,000.00; page 48)

British artist Michelle Brand’s work invites us to reset our expectations about what it means to recycle as she takes sustainable design into the realm of fine art with the Cascade Lancashire Chandelier. With a personal and professional commitment to reduce-reuse-recycle, Michelle discovered that if she placed a cut just right, the natural shape of a flower appeared out of the base of a plastic soda bottle. With that discovery, she built the Cascade Lancashire using 366 plastic bottles she rescued from the landfill. Each bottle was carefully washed, dried, hand trimmed, and hand sanded, all to Michelle’s exacting standards. The brilliant result: a waterfall of light that measures five feet long and two feet in diameter.
($12,000.00; page 50)

Imagine hosting the brightest minds of modern literature, journalism, and the arts An exclusive private dinner party of fine food, engaging wit, and sparkling conversation at New York City’s legendary, literary Algonquin Hotel. You and a guest will be part of an extraordinary gathering drawn from this impressive array of literati, including Christopher Buckley, Roz Chast, Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron, Malcolm Gladwell, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Adam Gopnik, John Lithgow, Anna Deavere Smith, George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth. These accomplished individuals will generously donate their time, and Neiman Marcus will donate the proceeds of this Fantasy Gift to First Book®, our 2009 Christmas Book Charity. First Book has distributed more than 65 million new books to children in need. And First Book will dedicate 10,000 books in your name to children in the state of your choice. This amazing evening will be scheduled at your convenience on a Monday between February and June 2010, in Manhattan. This evening promises to be one for the books.
($200,000.00 and $25.00; page 51)

May we officially present our exclusive 2009 His & Hers gift package: the game-changing ICON A5 sports aircraft. It’s from a world-class team of engineers and designers who helped create the groundbreaking Virgin® Global Flyer and X Prize®-winning SpaceShipOne®. It’s been rigorously tested, meets or exceeds all FAA standards, production is about to begin, and the waiting list is stacking way up. Here are just ten of its numerous “WOW!” factors: 1) An amphibious hull and landing gear to take off and land just as easily on water as on land. 2) The ability to run on automotive gasoline or aviation fuel. 3) A sexy, streamlined two-seat interior with intuitive controls, including 4) FAA-approved flight instrumentation and 5) a state-of-the-art GPS system, so you don’t get lost. 6) A range of 345 land miles or 300 nautical miles. 7) A next-generation lightweight carbon fiber frame. 8) Spy-movie wings that rotate up and fold back out of the way. 9) Removable side windows to dangle your arms out into the wind and sun. 10) A custom, high-tech trailer for fast and easy loading and unloading from land or water. Your package includes one ICON A5 sport aircraft with NM exclusive exterior and interior luxury upgrades, a custom trailer, and full FAA-certified Sport Pilot License training for two.
($250,000.00; page 52)

The Mission One, the world’s fastest electric sport bike, debuted at this year’s TED Conference to rave reviews. The bike marks the official obsolescence of internal combustion cycling. Crank it up to 150mph with an amazing 100 ft-lbs. of instantaneous torque at every speed. The amazing profile and clean lines are from world-renowned designer Yves Behar. Our exclusive edition is limited to just 10 bikes tricked out with numbered NM plaques, exclusive wheels, and a special paint job. Come to San Francisco to meet your bike and the people who designed it. You’ll get one-on-one training with a pro on a test track, learning the nuances of handling for optimal performance.
($73,000.00; page 54)

Kathryn and Craig Hall have spent the past 15 years perfecting precision winemaking using artisan standards, small-vine viticulture, and Earth-friendly practices. You and a guest can learn organic, artisan winemaking firsthand, tour the estates, enjoy tastings of exclusive private vintages—and have the singular chance to create your own personal vintage in a private blending session led by HALL Winemaker Steve Leveque. Kathryn leads a personal tour of the Halls’ world-class contemporary art collection and will host a private gourmet dinner and wine event at the winery’s breathtaking Rutherford Estate cave Your luxury accommodations at the Auberge Resorts Calistoga Ranch include activities customized for you and your guest. The best part: after your custom blend has aged in French oak barrels, your personal cuvĂ©e will be bottled and delivered to you. Available separately: an exclusive selection of handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignons from the Halls’ personal collection, not available to the general public.
($20,000.00 and $3,200.00; page 55)

Unveiled this summer with MI6-style secrecy, the Jaguar XJ flagship line has been totally re-engineered from the ground up—and has set the international auto industry on fire. Presenting the heart-racing mix of next-generation engineering and world-class luxury that is ours exclusively: the 2010 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus Edition. Only 50 will ever exist. The all-new frame is pressure cast from aluminum and magnesium to give the XJL a strong, light architecture that improves fuel efficiency, safety, and power. The new panoramic safety-glass roof provides an amazing view for every trip. A new third-generation 5-liter V-8 with an Eaton supercharger delivers 470 horsepower. Other refined details of our automotive masterpiece include illuminated tread plates and trunk finisher And the numbered NM nameplate on the custom interior Intaglio, of course. We’ll even throw in a five-piece set of matching Jaguar luggage, in navy blue leather On sale beginning promptly at noon EDT on Friday, October 16, 2009.
($105,000.00; page 57)

Any whisky aficionado will tell you Maker’s Mark® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky is perfection in amber. As Master Distillers for a day, you and a friend will have an all-access VIP experience like no other, with Master Distiller Kevin Smith as your host. You will participate in the unique whisky-making process step by step. This gift experience includes a two-bottle memento of the rarest Maker’s Mark bottles ever: Two golden bottles will be etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax with 24-kt. gold flecks. You’ll also get to hand dip six of your own 375ml Maker’s Mark bottles in signature red wax and take them home. The experience includes luxury accommodations in Louisville and a gourmet dinner hosted by Bill Samuels, Jr. (the top dog at Maker’s Mark).
($7,500.00; page 58)

Maine artist Mike Libby obtains preserved, non-endangered insect specimens from around the world. After preparing and carefully posing the insect, he then adorns it with a unique mix of mechanical ephemera. For our limited-edition series of nine, he selected the African Flower Beetle—Cetonidae: Goliathus Goliathus. It measures 8.5" across and is posed in mid-flight with magnificently detailed parts from antique pocket watches: gears, dials, springs, and other mechanical thingamabobs. Each arrives under glass on a handsome walnut display base, adorned with a brass plaque. Mike also will sign, label, and number the underside of each one.
($8,500.00; page 59)

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