“I don’t consider myself from anywhere. I’m a man of the world,” says jewelry designer Tom Binns, who hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has found a home in a somewhat different climate in Venice, Calif. “But I enjoy living in Venice. It’s cool, dude.”
Occupying an 1,800-square-foot loft on a nondescript stretch of Pacific Avenue in the fabled Los Angeles beach town, Binns’ studio is a minimalist space punctuated by his own bright crystal and metal creations, spread out on artist tables and stacked in boxes against the walls. In the back room, the creative nucleus that he calls “my spot,” Binns designs his newest pieces and often trots up a narrow staircase leading to a loft where he keeps more than 500 archival pieces, which he revisits for inspiration.
For breaks, Binns, who also lives in the neighborhood, enjoys hopping on his bicycle for lunch at chic spots like Axe on Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Via Veneto on Main Street, as well as coffee at Groundwork Coffee Co. (with branches on Rose and Westminster Avenues) and tea at Jin Patisserie on Abbot Kinney. Although the trendy street is packed with boutiques, Binns eschews shopping in favor of power walks on the beach and people-watching on the Venice boardwalk, or reading a book picked up from Equator Books.
“I get inspired seeing all sorts of people down here: the trendies, the rich people, the surfers… even the skaters who try to run me over,” he says. Up next for Binns is a store in New York and a retrospective this year at Phillips de Pury & Co. in London, accompanied by a book published by Assouline.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast