Stanley and Edward Marcus had the foresight to preserve examples from the work of top designers featured in the store. First assembled in 1938, the brothers founded the collection in honor of their aunt Carrie Marcus Neiman. Aunt Carrie was a co-founder of Neiman Marcus with Herbert Marcus in 1907, and she became known as the arbiter of taste for the store, especially in the realm of fashion.

After her death in 1953, the collection was maintained by the Carrie Marcus Neiman Foundation. During the early sixties, the Dallas Fashion Group became the first to show an interest in starting their own fashion collection. This motivated group of volunteers secured space in the Apparel Mart and caught the attention of Stanley Marcus. He eventually turned over the Carrie Marcus Neiman archives to the Dallas Museum of Fashion. In addition to staging exhibitions, the Dallas Fashion Group was successful in generating donations of designer clothing from Dallas women.

Known as the Dallas Museum of Fashion when it was first brought to the UNT campus in 1972, the name was later changed to the Texas Fashion Collection. Today, the Welch Street Complex I houses more than 18,000 items of historic dress as a valuable resource for students and researchers. The Texas Fashion Collection is overseen by Professor Myra Walker. Director and curator since 1987, she has organized numerous fashion exhibitions in Dallas, Fort Worth and New York.