FRESH START: Graeme Black, head of the women’s ready-to-wear design team at Salvatore Ferragamo, is preparing to launch a women’s collection bearing his own name. Come September, the Scottish designer will present a test collection of about 20 to 25 pieces to retailers and journalists to gauge interest and market needs. “We don’t feel the need to rush into this,” Black said.
Black and his business partner, interior designer Jonathan Reed, are negotiating with Italian manufacturers to produce a more full-fledged collection for fall-winter 2006. Black said there’s a niche in the market for high-quality clothes, especially leather pieces and knitwear, with a customized fit. “[There are] people who want to buy but they are not finding what they want,” he said.
Black will continue to design for Ferragamo and consult for other brands. The designer left Ferragamo in April of last year after a reported clash with management. He returned to the house on a consultancy basis last September. Black said he just inked another two-year contract with Ferragamo.
EAST MEETS WEST: Leave it to Donna Karan to help Westerners get a better understanding of the East. The designer kicked in a few bucks to help Robert Wilson stage the 14th-century Indonesian epic “Il La Galigo” at Lincoln Center through Saturday. Karan considered, but passed on, the chance to design the costumes for the masterful production, which features 50 actors, dancers and musicians.
Joachim Herzog and Yusman Siswan did the honors, creating regal attire, darling frog costumes and a scene-stealing rainbow-colored sarong. Some struggled to sit through the three-hour, intermissionless production, but Mikhail Baryshnikov was one guest happy to be seated.
FRENCH WOMEN DO GET PRESS: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton expects its designers to do their share of headline grabbing, but this year, Veuve Clicquot chief executive officer Mireille Guiliano has been giving Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld a good chase. Her bestseller, “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” is available in 29 countries, with more than one million copies sold in the U.S. Needless to say, her day job at Veuve, an LVMH-backed company, gets a mention every time she is interviewed.
GOLDEN EARS: Fred Segal in Santa Monica was rechristened as the second happiest place on earth last Wednesday night, when Fred Segal Fun owner and Disney Vintage designer Jackie Brander celebrated Disneyland’s 50th anniversary with the help of more than 300 Mickey fans, including Melissa Rivers, Jason Biggs and Jose Canseco. Watercolored martinis were a-flowing as the crowd moved from station to station — from a beading table to a photo op with Minnie. They also shopped Brander’s store, which featured the limited-edition Disneyland 50th Collection. Skull-and-bones Mickey shirts appealed to Rivers, whose four-year-old son, Cooper, was away visiting with his dad. Rivers planned to make it up to him with a trip to the Magic Kingdom thanks to a pair of free tickets in the VIP goodie bag.