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AnaMaria Pimentel on Boston, Blahnik, and Merengue Dancing

Image courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Image courtesy of Neiman Marcus

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Last Friday, Neiman Marcus clients and the Boston press were treated to a punchy presentation of Spring accessory trends. Held in Neiman Marcus Boston's shoe salon, attendees enjoyed bite sized breakfast snacks while Neiman Marcus Group's accessory director, AnaMaria Pimentel, broke down the biggest trends for the season. Pimentel, who oversees accessories for both Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, called out four major trends: cool blues, neutral oranges, relaxed Chic, and print mania.

Pimentel, sporting a Stella McCartney skirt and suede Manolo Blahnik pumps, punctuated the show with her infectious personality, adding in personal quips about what she's already ordered for Spring and which pieces she's coveting. After the show, we were lucky enough to chat with Pimentel about her Boston roots and what it was like to transition from the magazine world into retail.

Tell us a little about your ties to Boston.
I went to Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and I'm originally from the Dominican Republic so every person I grew up with went to either BU or BC and loved fashion. For all of us Neiman Marcus was like, Mecca. In our store meeting this morning I was telling [the team] a story – it was literally 1992, when Prada launched the backpacks. I bought my first Prada backpack here in black nylon with gold chains and I remember, literally, I was a freshman in college and I charged part of it to my mother's Neiman Marcus card, part of it was money my grandfather gave me for a holiday gift or something, part of it on my credit card, and I don't think I ate for two weeks because I had to have this Prada backpack so this store has a very special place in my heart.

What did you take from your jobs at Elle and Harper's Bazaar that you can apply to your job for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman?
I think my jobs are similar because we're constantly editing. My job as a fashion director is: 1. To find new talent and 2. To dissect the trends of the season, which is very similar to what we do with the magazines. The one thing that is different in this job is the face time with clients, which is something that I haven't done before and I'm extremely enjoying; especially because I think its easy to find a shoe and say this will make a beautiful photograph but [at Neiman Marcus] we have to think about how that fashion will eventually translate into sales, into real life. It's been amazing just travelling to all the different markets, we have 42 stores, and really understanding and talking to women about what they want and what they're looking for. That's been very eye opening.

Is there one trend you wish more people would get into?
You'd be surprised, I think that people are willing to embrace things. I think some markets are faster than others, for sure, but you'd be surprised by the diversity we have in terms of our clients. I was in Florida recently and I went to stores in Bal Harbour, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Fort Lauderdale and even in those four close markets, the women are so different. They all love to shop and they all love fashion but the way they bring it together is so different. I've never met someone who's too scared of something. It's all about how to wear it. That's what's been fun about these events – really showing people the how-to.

If you could only carry one bag for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Well I would never only carry one bag. I'll tell you brands I love, but I'm definitely not committing to one bag—that's very sad. I wouldn't have this job if I only picked one bag! Obviously I love Celine, I think Phoebe [Philo] is doing an amazing job there and she's influenced a lot of designers. I love Givenchy and Tom Ford. I love the Trapeze bag from Celine, the Antigona from Givenchy, the Jennifer bag from Tom Ford, and the Padlock from Alexander McQueen.

And what about shoes?
Oh my god. Okay, obviously, Charlotte Olympia. I'm a big fan. I love her Kitty flat. I love the Manolo BB pump; I have them in every color and incarnation of suede. I love Saint Laurent - anything from Saint Laurent. I actually have a pair of boots on hold here.

Speaking of Saint Laurent, what did you think of the much-discussed Fall

I think there's so much buzz about Saint Laurent. I think it's very controversial what's happening there right now and people are definitely speaking about it. I think you either love it or hate it, but it's definitely a buzz and a buzz is great. I think the boots were fabulous and I think the collection in the showroom was really strong.

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
I love to dance merengue and salsa. I'm Dominican and a lot of people don't know that about me. I love to dance. I never have time anymore. Now I feel like I only dance at weddings, it's so sad. I'm a mom too, so I have a family to take care of. Not much dancing. Although my daughter, I can see, is going to be such a good dancer.
?Justin Reis

· Neiman Marcus [Official Site]

Neiman Marcus

5 Copley Place, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 536-3660 Visit Website

Neiman Marcus

100 Copley Place, Boston, MA 02116