NEW YORK — As the newest additions to the Fashion Walk of Fame, Ralph Rucci and Donald Brooks will always be represented on Seventh Avenue.
Moved as he was to receive the award, Rucci, the designer of the Chado Ralph Rucci label, managed to make light of the situation. Once the applause died down, he told the crowd about the advice Vivian Van Natta had given him the night before: “She told me, ‘Don’t cry, just shut up and tell your story.’”
Harold Koda, Joan Kaner, Marylou Luther, Ruth Finley and Valerie Steele were some of the faces in the crowd that shared the laugh at the Bryant Park Grill Wednesday morning. Organized by the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, the Fashion Walk of Fame celebrates such notables as Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Halston. “If you don’t know me, I take this so seriously,” Rucci said.
The designer made a point of thanking several people who have played key roles in his 30-year career, most notably Kaner, who picked up the collection during her Neiman Marcus days. In 2002, he became the first American designer in more than 60 years to be invited to show in Paris by the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Fittingly, Rucci also closed his remarks with advice that James Galanos had given him. “He told me, ‘You own this.’ I am going to own this and it will inspire me to do even better work,” Rucci said.
Brooks, who died in 2005, along with Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene, were known as “the three Bs of fashion.” As for Wednesday’s accolade, his sister Kay Brooks Blick said he would have been “very pleased and a little overwhelmed” by the honor.
After the presentation, the designer’s longtime friend Gerald Blum discussed how Brooks blended his interests in design and theater. Brooks, who was said to have designed 3,500 costumes in his lifetime, won three Coty awards, an Emmy for his costume design in 1982 for Lee Remick’s attire in “The Letter” and three Oscar nominations. “The thing about Donald was he was very much into design but he also had a big sense of theater,” Blum said. “That’s why Adrian and Mainbocher sort of pulled it all together for him.”
When Brooks got word that the 1962 Broadway show “No Strings” would center on a fashion model, he asked Mary Rodgers, whose father Richard wrote the musical score, if his clothes could be featured in it. She promised to arrange that. “When the clothes were shown in a fashion show scene, they were so overwhelmed they asked him to do the costumes,” said Blum. “That was the first time anyone who did fashion clothes did something in the costume business.”
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)