Just in time for the holidays, The Book — yes, that one — is getting a fashion-friendly makeover.
After retiring as chief executive officer of Euro RSCG Scandinavia, where he masterminded campaigns for Björn Borg’s clothing line and the Stockholm Fashion Fair, Dag Söderberg took on perhaps the ultimate marketing challenge: making religion chic. He repurposed the New and Old Testaments, under the “Bible Illuminated: The Book – New Testament” title, as photo-heavy glossies. The text is mixed with stock imagery, like a Nigerian animal slaughter and an Andy Warhol self-portrait. “The bible is a very powerful object,” said Söderberg, who first produced his version of the Old Testament last year in Sweden (it was a bestseller in hotels and upscale coffee shops). “But it’s a little bit scary, too. It can be very uncomfortable if you see a bible someplace where you don’t expect.”
Söderberg has made sure that the U.S. version is as accessible as possible. “The New Testament” ($30) will retail in Barnes & Noble and Borders in addition to as-yet-unconfirmed boutiques and design stores on Tuesday. The cover features a heavily kohled eye and a series of cover lines suitable to Glamour or Cosmo. There’s “Questions About Marriage” (page 187) and “If Love Gets Cold” (page 260), references to the book of Corinthians and book of Revelation, respectively. Turn to the book of Mark, and such contemporary heroes as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. stare from the pages, as does the do-gooding Angelina Jolie. “This is just a bunch of icons — it’s a message people can relate to,” says Söderberg, adding: “A lot of teenage girls look at [Jolie] as a Mother Theresa.” Furthering its trendiness is Söderberg’s use of the Good News translation, a best-selling version published in 1966 as a Bible that would be readable for non-native English speakers.
Söderberg is the first to admit that fashioning The Book into a coffee-table attraction may have gone over more easily in his secularized homeland than it will in the U.S. He’s betting, however, that consumers weaned on tabloids and MySpace will snap it up. “Just look at how people read or take in information today — it’s the Internet or magazines, and that’s what you…get inspired by,” says Söderberg. The imagery, he explains, is meant to spark debate, as with the photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger taken during his pro-bodybuilding days, accompanied by a quote from the book of Corinthians on foolishness. Even the cover is open to interpretation. “Is it God’s eye? Is it your own conscience you’re looking at?” asks Söderberg. “We don’t know! I just want it to be eye-catching to the reader.”
And while the tome may not possess the gravitas of, say, those black hotel-room Bibles — Söderberg selected an image of a Chihuahua, perched on a pillow in the back of a limo, to illustrate the book of Romans — it has found unlikely fans. “The archbishop of Sweden gave it to the prime minister as a goodbye gift when he lost the election in Sweden last September,” says Söderberg. “Now that’s cool.”
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast