New York's West Village might need another restaurant like Marc Jacobs needs one more tattoo, but designer Cobi Levy is taking the plunge anyway with his first eatery, Charles. The hotly anticipated spot, in the former Deux Gamins location on the corner of West 4th and West 10th Streets, will open with a bang on Sunday night for a Purple magazine and Audemars Piguet dinner. But it won’t be just another “contrived box,” Levy avows, and, as part of that effort, he has tapped Waverly Inn chef John DeLucie to oversee the Mediterranean menu and former designer-turned-architect Rafael de Cárdenas for the interiors.
“For the prices people charge to eat in New York City, you should get something for your money,” says Levy, who heads men’s line Dillen & Co. “All too often, people forget this. Frankly, I wasn’t going to cheap out on the design to not give Rafael the opportunity to have his vision.”
For his part, de Cárdenas, who went to Rhode Island School of Design and spent three years designing men’s wear at Calvin Klein before heading to architecture school at UCLA, looked to such touchstones as Alfred Loos’ legendary 1908 American Bar in Vienna and Halston’s town house.
“I kind of fetishize that era,” admits the decorator, who, with his company, Architecture at Large, has done homes for friends such as Parker Posey, Jessica Stam and Jeanine Lobell, as well as stores for Charlotte Ronson and Cynthia Rowley. For Stam, for example, he decorated her East Village abode in a mere two months while the model was traveling for work. As with many of his projects, he sourced pieces of Thirties French wallpaper and hard-to-find Seventies and Eighties furniture from dealers in Miami and Los Angeles. “I don’t buy new furniture,” he says. “There are times when I’m climbing in the back of a truck container, saying, ‘What’s that piece in the corner?’”
For this project, he preserved the original bar area and the tin ceiling, but little else remains. The space is now divided into two, with a private back room that can be curtained off, the better to conceal any dinnertime shenanigans. He lit the restaurant with 112 dressing room lights and swathed the rooms in shades of gray and luxe materials such as suede, velvet and polished nickel.
“I’m interested in producing moods,” de Cárdenas explains, pointing out that his choice of using velvet for the restaurant banquettes is hardly the most practical.
Of course, he’s sacrificed boring utility for glamour before: “I had one client we did a black kitchen for... Sometimes you have to take a risk,” he says.
Levy definitely agrees. “I paid Rafael for his vision. If I wanted to make economic decisions, I’d hire a [chief financial officer],” he says.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye