Meet the Expert: Ken Downing

Ken Downing - DFW Beauty Guide

Name & Professional Title: 

Senior Vice President & Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus


As the Senior Vice President & Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus I travel the globe in search of the top trends, hottest designers and most tempting ideas the runways of the world put forth.  As the global fashion ambassador, I spend as much time away from the runway curating Fashion Shows to share the news of the season, as I do Front Row. Leading my brilliant buying team to the new, note worthy and best looks from each collection is a passion, not a job. Formally educated in Fashion Design in Seattle and at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York gives me a unique perspective on fashion and style. Fashion found me at an early age, with a mother obsessed with style, I was quick to be bit by the fashion bug! My early career took me in front of the camera and onto the runway modeling, behind the camera styling, and cut my chops in retail working in the visual departments creating dreams in store windows at I. Magnin, and then to Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. Neiman Marcus Dallas was my next stop as Director of Visual Presentation for the company, then Vice President/Public Relations and Fashion Presentation that all prepared me for my role today as the Fashion Director. 

DFW Beauty Guide - Ken Downing

What are some of your favorite Fall/Winter beauty trends?

I am currently obsessed with a Matte Lip!

Goodbye Gloss, just for the moment, although a glossy lip still looks great, I'm just feeling major about matte. 

It's EVERYTHING, and perfect for the holidays! 

Bright, brilliant red of shocking pink, a matte lip looks magnificent with all of the decorated, adorned and embellished looks of the season. I am also a fan of a Strong Brow! The return of the fuller brow creates a perfect frame for the face and highlights the eye, the window to our soul. 

Why is Neiman Marcus a great place for beauty lovers?

On track beauty trends, unique and exclusive products, talented Make-Up Artists, color, treatment, and exceptional Neiman Marcus service, all create a customer experience that is beyond parallel for the beauty enthusiast. Shopping in store or online, the customer experience is seamless, the selection, superlative!

What are your personal grooming regimens and tips?

My personal regime is very simple, I am an enormous fan of Sisley products, Siselya is a favorite product, and a necessity as I spend most of my life living on an airplane.  I find Sisley products work exceptionally well. Their eye contour mask is addictive! I always have Sisley's eye and lip contour in my tote, "don't leave home without it!" Tom Ford, Black Orchid is my signature fragrance.  I'm a huge fan of Toms fragrances, his color line for women is truly inspired! 

What are some of your most trusted beauty brands?

Neiman Marcus has a brilliantly edited collection of superlative color, treatment and fragrance collections: Chanel Beaute, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Cle de Peau, Bobbi Brown, Le Métier de Beaute, Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Tom Ford and Sisley, as I mentioned, amongst many others, only begin to give you a sense of the brilliant brands we carry at Neiman Marcus. 

What's on the horizon for you? Any exciting projects that you're working on?

I do many collaborations with Le Métier de Beaute, they are a great company and give me absolute artistic freedom! Eye Palettes, Lip Colors and Glosses, creating is a passion! I always have new Ken Downing signature products with Le Métier de Beaute.

Nest Fragrances, create the most delicious fragrant candles by the way, is another group I collaborate with often. My "Exotic" by Ken Downing candle is a favorite in its tortoise vessel and tiger box! 

I'm currently working on beauty ideas for Fall a year from now, fashion never sleeps, and being one step ahead keeps my customers curious!

What do you love about DFW women?

I LOVE Dallas women! They love looking great and always look flawless. I don't believe in regional fashion trends, but hands down, Dallas women love to look their absolute best! Growing up in Seattle with a mother that would have never left the house in curlers, YES! I said curlers, or without makeup, I appreciate women who appreciate looking great. 

Effortless, with great personal style has always impressed me about Texas women!