Fewer parties could have made for a drab New York Fashion Week had Giorgio Armani not come to the rescue. Armani blew off the recession and opened his huge, expensive new Fifth Avenue flagship, a 43,000-square-foot emporium featuring several of Armani’s collections, an Armani Dolci bar and a restaurant serving modern Italian fare.
Created by architects Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, the store’s focal point is a staircase reminiscent of the dinosaur skeletons in the nearby American Museum of Natural History. The Milanese designer intended the megastore as a way to thank New York and the U.S. for embracing his aesthetic almost from the get-go, and his continued belief in the American market, even though all financial news spells doom and gloom these days.
“Sophia Loren said grazie to America when she received the Oscar,” Armani noted. “This is my way of saying merci to the first market to open up to my world.”
In lieu of a splashy dinner party or runway extravaganza, Armani held a press conference at the store, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Caroline Kennedy, vice chair of The Fund for Public Schools, and Joel I. Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, to unveil a $1 million donation to The Fund for Public Schools. The fund will establish the multiyear Armani Arts Institute umbrella program to support arts programs in public schools in underserved New York City neighborhoods.
Armani’s good deed was rewarded with some equally good karma. Armani’s early evening soiree to introduce the store drew everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Alicia Keys, Josh Hartnett, Alison Pill and John Mayer— who were oohing and aahing at the store interior and schmoozing with the designer via his omnipresent translator, whose presence didn’t faze Victoria Beckham. “He speaks a lot more English than he lets on,” said Beckham, who just starred in the Emporio Armani underwear campaign. “And he’s really funny.”
@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