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.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
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For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
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Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews