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An arty crowd streamed into the Museum of Modern Art Tuesday night to celebrate the opening of a show from a different kind of designer: the iconic Ron Arad. He is better known for his circular chairs and spiraling book cases than anything wearable—until now that is.

In collaboration with the evening’s hosts, Notify Jeans owner Maurice Ohayon and supermodel Linda Evangelista, Arad has created a purse (which Evangelista proudly modeled). “I just wanted, like, one of his chairs to carry,” said the model, a design junkie who had initially been approached by Ohayan to help create an accessory. “But I said the world doesn’t need another handbag, unless it’s something special.”

This story first appeared in the September 17, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

True that, so Arad’s name came up. “I threw Ron’s name our there, never thinking he would accept it,” said Evangelista. “It was a long shot.” Not many bags end up on pedestals in MoMA, so everyone must be pleased with the results.

Among Arad’s many other fans who showed up to congratulate him and tour the exhibit included Mary J Blige, Ines de la Fressange, David Byrne and designers Behnaz Sarafpour and Richard Chai.

A busy Josh Hartnett stopped by with friends, in between Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld’s exhibit and his late dinner at Indochine. “I’m heading to Australia next week and then Korea,” said Hartnett, who is trying to lay low this fashion week and was taking a party break in the museum’s garden.

Inside, guests were clamoring for the food, done by chefs Daniel Boulud and Yannick Alleno. Even the models were scarfing treats like scallops with foie gras and truffle, and sausages and grits.  “Incroyable, incroyable,” said a chuffed Boulud as he watched one twiglike figure cleaning her plate.

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