The CEO of Neiman Marcus has been criticized for showing off his luxurious Texas mansion amid a bankruptcy saga that saw staff furloughs and pay cuts, report said.
Geoffroy van Raemdonck and his husband, Alvise Orsini, donned matching blue dress shirts and white slacks as they posed in Paper City Magazine, a high-end publication that touches on subjects 'at the heart of the Texas luxury lifestyle.'
The 11-page spread, featured in the coveted September issue, walked readers through the couple's opulent 'Italianate-style house' in the Lakewood neighborhood in Dallas.
The white-collar community has an average household income of $138,500 and the median household income in $85,200.
Paper City Magazine released the story before van Raemdonck helped Neiman Marcus emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, but the massive financial blow didn't seem to hinder the mansion's luxurious adornments.
Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck (center) and his husband, Alvise Orsini (right), angered some company staffers when they flaunted their Texas mansion in a magazine spread
The couple featured their home in Dallas, Texas, (pictured) in an 11-page spread in the September issue of Paper City Magazine
Pictured: a photo showed a gorgeous dinning area outfitted with wooden adornment and paper lights hanging above
As originally reported by New York Post, the couple's mansion housed magnificent decorations, including 'silk-covered walls,' 18th century European furniture and artwork by Andy Warhol.
'In the entry, a grand staircase leading to the bedroom floor is flanked by two large leaded-glass windows, infusing the hall with fold-tinted light like that of a sunset radiating from Venice's Grand Canal.' Paper City Magazine wrote.
A guest bathroom was dubbed 'the most glamorous guest loo ever.'
'Silver and mirrored cabinets from the 1930s, along with hand-painted walls depicting oneiric landscape, create a fantastic portal into an old Hollywood movie set,' Paper City Magazine wrote.
And a chicken coop nestled near the pool was described as 'more Versailles than farmhouse!'
Employees at Neiman Marcus told the New York Post they were baffled.
Geoffroy van Raemdonck and his husband, Alvise Orsini, have decorated part of the exterior of their Dallas home with beautiful columns, greenery and a pool
Paper City Magazine: 'In the entry, a grand staircase leading to the bedroom floor is flanked by two large leaded-glass windows, infusing the hall with fold-tinted light like that of a sunset radiating from Venice's Grand Canal'
'He either doesn’t care or he’s tone-deaf,' one staff member told New York Post. 'Everyone is wondering why [he] agreed to show off the house while health care, bankruptcy and layoffs are the main topics for Neiman Marcus.'
In May, Neiman Marcus became the the first major US department store to crumble amidst the economic setbacks from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Reuters reported the company had few options after the coronavirus spurred lockdowns that shuttered non-essential businesses, including all 43 of their stores.
The company has struggled to stay afloat with brick-and-mortar stores as consumer shopping increasingly shifts online.
Two months before that, Neiman Marcus revealed that it would furlough most of its 14,000 employees or serve them temporary pay cuts. At the time, van Raemdonck promised to waive his entire salary.
CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck (pictured): 'We emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger, more innovative retailer, brand partner, and employer'
But it was later discovered that van Raemdonck and other executives could receive up to $9.9million on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Van Raemdonck stood to get the largest cut at $6million after he was paid $4million in bonuses in February.
On Friday, Neiman Marcus emerged from the bankruptcy filing with a 'strengthened capital structure.'
'The Company emerges with the full support of its creditors and new equity shareholders, now operating with a strengthened capital structure that eliminated more than $4 billion of existing debt and more than $200 million of cash interest expense annually, with no near-term maturities,' a statement read.
'We emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger, more innovative retailer, brand partner, and employer,' van Raemdonck said.
New York Post reports that Neiman Marcus previously said it would pay van Raemdonck and top executives well if the company survived the bankruptcy protection and had no more significant debts by September 15.
They'd receive a smaller pay day if the tasks were completed by November 15.
The new strategy would result in an undisclosed amount of 'selling and non-selling associates' employee layoffs, and one person told New York Post that firings began last week.
Even more, employees claimed that van Raemdonck billed them thousands of dollars in health insurance premiums that the company covered amid furloughs.
Neiman Marcus group is prepared to file for bankruptcy after financially struggling for years, Reuters reports
Van Raemdonck has allegedly given his staffers two months to repay the costs, which would typically be taken from paychecks.
A source told New York Post that those employees who cannot afford to do so have been instructed to 'take out loans to cover the costs.'
'There’s no way people can do this,' an employee told the publication. 'Rent is a stretch.'
Experts agreed that companies don't typically ask to be repaid for covering furloughed staffers' shares of their heath care premiums.
Dana Fried, managing director of national tax services for CohnReznick, said: 'I haven’t heard of anyone asking for the money back.'
Other companies, like Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue, paid for furloughed employees shares of health care premiums during the pandemic. Neither of them have asked those employees for repayment, according to New York Post.