NEW YORK — When it comes to career advice, trust Simon Doonan to deliver it with abundant humor.
“Think of me as a gay male version of Maggie Smith’s character in ‘Downton Abbey,’” Doonan said in his keynote speech at Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards Tuesday. Like the Dowager Countess of Grantham, his quips came with the right timing to add a necessary lightness to the lengthy luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street.
“When you become established, do not make the mistake, as many designers do, of giving away free frocks to overpaid movie actors,” he told the crowd, which included Graziano de Boni, Hal Rubenstein, Ruffian’s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, Steven Stolman, Amy Astley and Mickey Ateyeh. “Celebrities are very high-maintenance and should be forced to pay 10 percent more than regular people. That’s the celebrity surcharge.”
He also said, “Make sure your star is on a dimmer, so that you can adjust it and give the rest of us an occasional break from your blinding, twinkling fabulosity.”
And that was just a sampling. Whether or not the winners in the nine categories took Doonan’s wisdom to heart remains to be seen, but at least they got to have a good chuckle.
In women’s ready-to-wear, this year’s winner was Giovanna Randall of Honor; in men’s wear, it was a tie between Ian Velardi and Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. The latter’s heartfelt acceptance speech touched many of the guests. “I want to thank my girlfriend for letting me max out all our credit cards,” Jean-Raymond said. “Chase, American Express, Capital One, every other credit union.”
He promised to get her a ring when all are paid off.
The accessories award was a tie between Edmundo Castillo, who has been designing shoes for more than a decade, and Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa. The fine jewelry award went to Margery Hirschey and retail to Rachel Shechtman of Story. Michael Preysman of Everlane took home the Karen Harvey Business Innovator Award.
Fashion Group’s beauty/fragrance entrepreneur trophy went to Belle Fleur’s Tony Perez and Meredith Waga; the beauty/fragrance corporate trophy was given to Ruhi Patil of International Flavors & Fragrances.
Finally, Anna Karlin won in the home/interior design category.
@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