Jewelry designer Arthur Koby has had an unusual career, with several unexpectedtwists. He created accessories for Geoffrey Beene’s runway in the Eighties, and the same pieces appeared on Beene’s runway and that of Oscar de la Renta each season for years (a fact known to de la Renta but not to Beene). Singer Lauryn Hill wore hisI Ching necklace, with its four coins, on the cover of Time magazine in February 1999. Gloria Vanderbilt owns one of his pieces. And now Kent State University has given him a retrospective, which will open today, called, “Arthur Koby: The Creative Eye,” which features 50 of his works. Thirty came from one of his top collectors, 12 from another and the others from a variety of sources.
Koby, who was born in Brooklyn and studied architecture at Cooper Union, spent 10 years as an architect working for a small firm. As a sideline, he opened a gift shop. Jewelry was among the items sold there, but its profit margin wasn’t very good, so Koby decided to start designing and making it himself.
“It started out as a complete fluke,” he recalls. It was the hippie period, so he created some necklaces out of African trade beads, and they sold. Beene saw them and “freaked out over my work,” Koby says. “I met up with him, and he gave me three weeks to create a collection. I just scoured the market for components, and I did it.” Beene talked up his creations to everyone he met, and soon his line was in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue. “It was overwhelming,” Koby says. The designer uses lacquered wood, crystals, scallop shells, resin, stone beads, drawer hinges, buffalo horn and other materials. He says he buys as many milagros — the representation of a hand or leg that is put on an altar in Mexico to heal an illness— as he can. He saw an elaborate chandelier in a shop, and immediately started breaking it down into components in his mind. Since he is self-taught, he has created most of his own techniques, and prides himself on the fact that his big, flamboyant necklaces are never heavy. “I’ve never had a complaint,” he says.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia