Retail Icon: Stanley Marcus Film Wins at La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival

The six-minute short highlights the achievements of Neiman Marcus’ longtime leader Stanley Marcus and features archived film from the luxury retailer housed at SMU and special footage from UNT.

Stanley Marcus

A film about Dallas retail pioneer Stanley Marcus received top documentary honors at the recent La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival in California.

Stanley Marcus [Photo courtesy of M3 Films]

Dallas-based filmmakers Mike Mullins and Miles Hargrove and producers Melina McKinnon Cain and Jason Cirone premiered their short documentary, “Mr. Stanley: The Merchant Prince,” at the ninth annual festival. 

The film portrays the life of longtime Neiman Marcus leader Stanley Marcus and his role in taking Dallas from a cotton market town to a high-fashion city. It beat out more than 80 other short films to win the “Best Documentary Prize for Global Excellence.”

“Mr. Stanley stood out for its outstanding conceptualization and execution,” Fred Sweet, La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival founder and producer, said in a release. “Great production values paired with iconic personalities spanning the globe made for one award-winning film.”

The documentary includes interviews with other fashion icons such as Pierre Bergé, Rosita Missoni, Laudomia Pucci, and Lawrence Marcus as well as Dallas philanthropists Margaret McDermott and Ebby Halliday.


Neiman Marcus was founded in 1907 in Dallas by Stanley Marcus’ father, Herbert Marcus, and his aunt and uncle Carrie Marcus Neiman and Abraham Lincoln Neiman. In 1926, Stanley began working in the Dallas store, where he started staging the first weekly fashion shows to be held in an American department store.

In 1950, Stanley succeeded his father and took over as president of Neiman Marcus, and in 1972, he became chairman of the board.

Stanley Marcus [Image courtesy of M3 Films]

Stanley gained international recognition for his eye for fashion, but also for championing a culture of inclusivity, shown through his hiring practices, philanthropic works, and community leadership.

“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.” 

Mike Mullins

Under Stanley’s direction, Neiman Marcus became known for its support of racial equality and was one of the first companies in the country who made it a priority to purchase from those who employed and trained minority employees in the 1960s.

The film includes images from the Neiman Marcus archives housed in Southern Methodist University’s DeGolyer Library and footage from University of North Texas Libraries Special Collections.

“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,” Mullins said in a release. “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.”

The Dallas premiere of the film is in discussion for the fall. The filmmaking team is raising final funds to complete a feature-length documentary.


Images courtesy of M3 Films.


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