The collection was founded in 1938 by Stanley and Edward Marcus in honor of their aunt, Carrie Marcus-Neiman. Ms. Marcus-Neiman was one of the founders of the Neiman-Marcus department store, and an important arbiter of taste and quality. The nucleus of the collection came from the work of top designers featured in the Neiman-Marcus store. In 1962, the Dallas Museum of Fashion was established by the Dallas Fashion Group as a collection preserving the history of clothing as well as highlighting modern designers. Housed at the Apparel Mart in Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Fashion was given the Carrie Marcus-Neiman Collection in the mid-1960’s by Stanley Marcus and the Carrie Marcus-Neiman Foundation. In 1972, an agreement was reached to bring the collection of about 2,000 items to Denton and become part of UNT’s Department of Art, under Dr. Edward Mattill. At that time the collection was renamed the Texas Fashion Collection.
The collection now consists of approximately 20,000 items. The focus is on works from the later 19th century onwards, with a focus on post-mid-20th century designers from England, France, and the United States. There are items dating back to the 1700’s, with one piece from the 11th-12th century. The collection also includes items from various traditional cultures around the world. Students and researchers are able to study garments by some of the world’s greatest designers, including Cristobal Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Hubert de Givenchy, and Chanel.
The Texas Fashion Collection has had its items featured in exhibits in the Kimbell Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meadows Museum, and have been loaned to the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the de Young Museum, Museum at FIT, and the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Texas Fashion Collection is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and documentation of historically significant fashion. The Texas Fashion Collection is administered by the College of Visual Arts and Design. Learn more on the Texas Fashion Collection website, and view collection items online.