September 25
Making the Big Time at Neiman-Marcus

Last week I announced a quick trip to Dallas on Sunday. Several of you called to ask where I'd be flying and if you could join me. Thanks for asking but no, I didn't bring any kites. I was in Dallas shopping....

Most of you have heard of Neiman-Marcus and their fabulous "Christmas Book". This is the catalog that offers $20 million submarines, $100,000 custom ice carvings, limited edition T-Birds, and million dollar necklaces. Their gift selection motto is "more is more"...

Looks like kiting and GKPI have made the big time.

As the primary agent for some of the best kite designers and artists on the globe, GKPI was called late this spring for suggestions on a special "his and hers" kite presentation. We helped refine the concept, narrow the designs to a few traditional Japanese images, and recommend kitemaster Kevin Shannon to complete the job.

The result are a series of limited edition "his and hers" rokkakus featured on page 46 red of the "OHCOOL2000" book. (Right between the $1980 blue chalcedony and pav'e diamond earrings and the full length rabbit trench coat.)

"Don't worry that he or she already have rokkakus" says the gift-buying copy. "It is unlikely..."

Kevin has done a spectacular job on this pair of kites. They are 6 by 4 feet and contain over 100 individual appliquéd pieces. The colors are striking and the design dramatic. The price is $2000 a pair. Oh, and that includes the line and winder...

For the Dallas catalog opening, I was invited to meet the media, together with presenters of some of the other "fantasy gifts". The kites were covered by USA Today and I was interviewed by the E Channel. "So what star would you see flying this kite?", they asked. "Everyone that flies a kite is a star" I replied. "Yes, but we deal with celebrities, so tell us who you think would be best" they persisted. "Well" I answered... "Susie would probably like to deliver one to Sean Connery..."

The catalog opening gala was a high-tech marketing affair with a dozen special "fantasy" products showcased around the room. Kevin's roks were prominently hung at the left of the stage. On the right was the podium where the Neiman-Marcus president introduced the new catalog and its special contents. And across the rest of the stage in full-frame video?? The kites being flown against a Rocky Mountain backdrop!

The video played throughout the three hour preview. Cool!

For the record, the 200 custom Thunderbirds ($41,995) sold out in 1 minute and 47 seconds. Four of the Agusta motorcycles ($22,000) went in the first hour. But I believe the personal 15 passenger submarine ($20,000,000) is still available.

His and Hers Roks His and Hers Roks His and Hers Roks His and Hers Roks Custom Thunderbird - $42,995 and Personal Submarine - $20 million Diamond Necklace - $1.4 million Robot Family - $42,000 million

GKPI and Kevin Shannon are proud to be affiliated with this high profile project and to expose quality kite artistry to a new audience. We'll be even happier if we sell-out of the 25 limited edition sets.

The kites will be on display at the AKA convention next week, and can be viewed on-line at NeimanMarcus.com. You can also read more about us at USA Today Online or The Star Telegram

Or we can order up a few sets for your in-laws. They would look great hanging in the submarine...

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