Gilbert Harrison and his wife, Shelley, opened up their Manhattan home to launch the Retail and Apparel Leadership Group of the UJA-Federation of New York last Thursday night. The support was strong with a crowd of 70 including chief executives Millard "Mickey" Drexler of J. Crew Group, Richard Crystal of New York & Co., Haim Dabah of Regatta Pacific Alliance, Bud Konheim of Nicole Miller and Charles Jayson of Andrew Marc. Also attending were Ken Seiff, founder and former head of Bluefly; Abbey Doneger, president of The Doneger Group, and Jerry Levin, chairman of Sharper Image and incoming chairman of the board of the UJA-Federation of N.Y.
"The UJA is a unique organization that takes care of everybody in the community," said Harrison, chairman of Financo Inc.
Ambassador Dan Gillerman, permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, addressed the audience, stating, "Israel is still licking its wounds with the brutal and bloody war last summer," which tore through Lebanon where Israel sought to quell Hezbollah rocket attacks and retaliated after the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is under pressure to resign following criticism of the invasion by a government-appointed commission.
"The country is in the process of remorse, recrimination and soul searching," the ambassador said. "Israel is always perceived as involved in conflict and nothing else."
He encouraged those who haven't visited Israel to do so. He characterized Tel Aviv as teeming with young people at night, and the country overall as "a very fashionable place, though less formal and more casual than most countries….The retail industry is very well developed. We have beautiful malls, and many foreign and international brands," he said, citing Polo, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Prada, Gucci and Façonnable. "Many, many brands are there. Israel is ready for more American brands. Brands selling in Israel do very well. Israelis like to shop. Israelis like to spend and Israelis like to dress well."
He also said the nation is eager to make peace with all Arab countries and the Palestinians. But he warned against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East."What worries me is the eerie sounds of silence," the ambassador said. "Muslims are killing Muslims but not a single Arab leader is saying, 'Enough.' When Muslims kill Muslims, nobody cares," he lamented.
But there's hope for the region. "Israel will come out of its problems stronger and better," although he acknowledged that currently, "Israel is in one of its most difficult moments."
The UJA helps feed the hungry, care for the sick and find jobs for the unemployed as part of its range of services offered to Jews and non-Jews around the world. In the New York metropolitan area, the UJA-Federation network includes more than 100 organizations ranging from human service agencies to Ys, community centers, camps and education and health facilities.
@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