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Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing to Receive Westphal Award

PHILADELPHIA, April 26, 2013

Ken Downing, fashion director for Neiman Marcus
Fashion visionary Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus will be presented with the second annual Westphal Award on May 1

Fashion visionary Ken Downing, the senior vice president and fashion director of American luxury department store Neiman Marcus, will be presented with the second annual Westphal Award from Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. The award ceremony will take place Wednesday, May 1 at 6 p.m. at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery in the URBN Center Annex (3401 Filbert St.). This event is free and open to the public. 

Through a profound understanding of the luxury retail customer and industry, Downing has established himself as Neiman Marcus’ definitive taste-maker, stylist and arbiter of fashion, refreshing the luxurious style and image of the brand.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor someone who has succeeded in the fashion world not only as a creative visionary, but also as a conceptual innovator,” said Allen Sabinson, dean of the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. “At Westphal, we encourage our students to become dynamic creative leaders in their own right by broadening their comprehension of design to include the latest marketing and business practices that will drive their visions.”

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.

Neiman Marcus also will host a champagne reception on May 1 at 11:30 a.m. in honor of Downing at its store located at the The Plaza at King of Prussia (170 N Gulph Rd, King of Prussia). The reception will take place in the department store’s third floor Fine Apparel department, and will be followed by a Runway Report Spring 2013 fashion presentation and a luncheon.

Tickets are $150 for the event at Neiman Marcus and are required. They can be purchased by contacting Megan Snell at meh358@drexel.edu or 215-571-4301. All proceeds will benefit Westphal College’s Fashion Scholarship Program.

The Westphal Award, named in honor of Antoinette Westphal, a Drexel graduate and longtime supporter of the College, is awarded to a leader in one of the many fields of design, media and arts taught at the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. The award is given to honor not only the recipients’ business and creative success, but also their humanitarian efforts to inspire and nurture the next generation of leaders

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Alex McKechnie

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