FOOTLOOSE: Look who’s back in the fashion melee: Josephus Thimister. WWD has learned that Charles Jourdan will today announce that Thimister is its new creative director. He will succeed Patrick Cox, who left the French luxury footwear and accessories firm in December after a two-year stint. The Dutchman’s first full collection for the house will be for summer 2006. The former Balenciaga and Genny designer had laid low in recent seasons as he traveled and collaborated with various interior design magazines. He also was known for his own Thimister brand, which he founded in 1997 to favorable reviews, but closed a few years later as the environment soured for smaller, independent designers.
FASHION-WARD?: Melanie Ward, Harper’s Bazaar’s senior fashion editor and longtime Helmut Lang consultant, may launch her own fashion collection. Rumors are ripe that Ward is toying with the idea of becoming a designer now that Helmut Lang has left his namesake house. Ward was brought to Bazaar by the late Liz Tilberis in the early Nineties and has been a stylist there since. She has also been an instrumental figure at Helmut Lang, where she styled the shows and even starred in the designer’s advertising campaigns. Through her assistant, Ward would only say that she is is exploring all options and nothing is definite yet — including her future at Helmut Lang.
POWER OF 10: How time flies: Two European designers strongly associated with all things young and edgy are already celebrating their 10-year anniversaries with career retrospectives. Hussein Chalayan’s conceptual works — including dresses that can be trimmed like hedges or convert into a coffee table — will be showcased at the Groningen Museum in northern Holland from April 17 to Sept. 4. Meanwhile, Raf Simons was selected for a retrospective that will bow in June during the Pitti Uomo men’s wear fair.
SARAH JESSICA’S SPRING?: Sarah Jessica Parker may have given a hint of what she’ll be donning come warmer weather with her purchases last week at Olive & Bette’s on Bleecker Street — cashmere sweaters. The former “Sex and the City” star bought up a slew of henleys by Maya along with V-neck sweaters in the luxe knit that had just hit the floor.TO THE LOO: Fashion editors are known to be extra-finicky about the smallest design detail, so the prospect of using the restrooms during fashion week must be particularly painful to them. Typically, the cubicles are so tight even a waif would have to suck it in, the locks don’t always work, and the faucets for washing hands merely trickle. But relief is in sight this Olympus Fashion Week. Kohler, the kitchen and bath design firm, is a first-time fashion week sponsor, and it is marking the occasion by presenting its newest product in the tents. The minimally designed, tankless and electric Purist Hatbox toilet will be showcased in the main lobby of the tents, and in addition, Kohler also updated the restroom facilities. Now worthy of a VIP, they come with a temperature controller, full-length mirrors, music and art work. Kohler is also teaming up with entrepreneur Amy Sacco and will be displaying the new toilet at her restaurant Bette, to be opened this month at 461 West 23rd Street in New York.
BLUE HAND GROUP: Well, at least it’s not another blog. Bart Sights of Sights Denim, art director Daniele Kim and the owners of Nabe press, Julia Kim and Wilfried Dickhoff, are gearing up for the launch of their new denim lifestyle Web site. Handsblue.com, a fashion news, streaming video and denim auction destination, goes live on Feb. 7 and will feature the sort of rotating talent roster that hasn’t been seen online since the late Nineties Internet boom. In mid-February, videos by fashion photographers Carter Smith and Craig McDean will be posted on Handsblue. For his part, Smith will create a live-action yearbook at a high school in the Midwest, while McDean will film Alexander McQueen designing a couture denim dress on a model. (The model will then perform a striptease of the dress on camera.)
Handsblue has also partnered with eBay.com on auctions ranging from new designer jeans to denim pieces raided from celebrity closets. Reporters stationed in New York, London and L.A. will tackle the news portion of the site, including reviews of the upcoming 7th on Sixth shows. Susan Kirschbaum also serves as senior news director in New York.PRETTY KNITTY: Finally, something fun to do while you’re waiting for the start of a show. At Friday’s Pierrot presentation, the goody bag will have balls of yarn, needles and a Pierrot knitting pattern to keep all those fashionistas busy. The bag comes courtesy of Lion Brands, a yarn manufacturer that is sponsoring the presentation. A favorite hobby among models backstage for years, knitting is also said to reduce stress. Just the thing everyone needs this week.
SILVER BELLE: Industrial design diva Andre Putman ran rings — or, more precisely, silver rings — around French silversmith Christofle during couture week, unveiling her new jewelry line. “I liked the idea of the imperfect circle,” said Putman, whose collection features slightly wonky sterling silver bangles, chokers and earrings as well as a vase-shaped brooch that you can pop a flower into — or perhaps a nip of rum.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)