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.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion