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Dillard's celebrates 75 years of style (Video)

By Caty Hirst - CHIRST@VICAD.COM
March 2, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.


Cobalt blue and bright silver balloons danced on the displays, and employees dressed in blue, black and silver throughout the store.

The freeze models - people who showed clothes but did not use a runway - standing outside the Dillard's entrance, from the 7-year-old to the grandmother, wore bright blues from the Gianni Bini and Antonio Melani lines.

They are all celebrating 75 years of style, said store manager Aimee Jaunal.

"That is exciting. We have a lot of very devoted customers in the store every day; some of them are even friends of associates now," Jaunal said. "I think that we are the most upscale retailer in Victoria."

Started in 1938 in Nashville, Ark., Dillard's came to Victoria in 1981, Jaunal said.

Alice Whitmire, business manager over Estee Lauder, started with Dillard's in 1985 in the clothing department, making her one of the store's longest-tenured employees.

She said she has never really considered leaving.

"I like to work with clothing and makeup. I have always been kind of a prissy, prissy girl," said Whitmire, laughing, adding that Dillard's has been like family and a second home.

Whitmire said the whole store is getting in to the 75th anniversary events, which are scheduled to take place throughout the year. In addition to the freeze models, Saturday's events included a cake for customers and a $250 gift card drawing.

"I just love what I do. I enjoy it because I want to make the customer feel beautiful. I think everyone is beautiful," Whitmire said. "Sometimes, you just want to enhance that beauty a little bit. I just want to make people feel good, and I think I have done that."

Customer Viola Tristan, of Edna, was one of the freeze models. She said she comes into Dillard's about three times a week and was excited to participate in the event.

"It is great because you can stay in town and don't have to go to Houston to buy good clothes," Tristan said.

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