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.
@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