NEW YORK — Donna Karan’s special bond with her late husband Stephan Weiss is the stuff of fashion legends.
Now, 10 years after his death, the designer has created the Urban Zen Stephan Weiss Apple Awards to honor his memory and celebrate the life of the artist and sculptor. The first set of honorees, to be feted at her Stephan Weiss Studio on Thursday, are President Clinton for preservation of culture, Dr. Mehmet Oz for health care and Courtney Ross for education.
Health care, education and the preservation of culture are the cornerstones of the Urban Zen Foundation, which Karan founded in 2007.
Karan cited several factors as motivations to launch the awards, from June 10 marking 10 years since Weiss passed away to his Apple sculpture sitting a few blocks away on the Hudson River and the 9/11 attacks, which also happened a decade ago. “I thought, ‘What better tribute can I make to why we’re all here at Urban Zen than presenting the Apple Award?’” she said. “I always knew I wanted to do something on June 10 in his honor, so we decided to give the Apple Award to people who have really been the inspiration for Urban Zen.”
Clinton, she added, has been a key inspiration in her work. Karan has known the president since designing the suit he wore for his first inauguration, and became more acquainted with him through the Clinton Initiative and her humanitarian work in Haiti. “For me, Bill Clinton encapsulates the true meaning of what Urban Zen is about, as a leader, a visionary and a force,” Karan said. “It’s about connecting the dots. Stephan’s whole method was to put dots on a piece of paper and connect them, and I truly think that is what President Clinton does.”
She added that the same goes for Oz and Ross, who, in the fields of health care and education, have served as inspirations to Karan’s Urban Zen programs.
This is the first fund-raiser to exclusively benefit Urban Zen, and the night will kick off with cocktails and an auction followed by a dinner and awards ceremony. Karan drummed up an impressive host committee, which includes Barbra Streisand, Calvin Klein, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, Goldie Hawn, Bruce and Emma Willis, Mary J. Blige, Keith Richards and Patti Hansen, Andre Balazs, Kenneth Cole, Susan Sarandon, Sting and Trudie Styler and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman, Michael Douglas, Martha Stewart, Russell Simmons, Kelly Klein and Betsey Johnson are also expected.
Karan said the awards are kicking of a series of events honoring Weiss. They include a candle-lit ceremony around the Apple sculpture on Sept. 11; the launch of the first exhibition around Weiss’ work, and a book about him that she is putting together called “Journey of a Man.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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