NOT SPONGEWORTHY: Sponges might have a squeaky clean image —even SpongeBob — but they can hide dirty little secrets, as designer Cynthia Rowley unwittingly exposed last week.
As part of a scholarship program sponsored by 3M’s O-Cel-O Sponge Scrubbers with Fun Designs, Rowley had mentored a group of 12 New York City high school juniors and seniors during a summer design course at Parsons School of Design. On Thursday, Rowley was reunited with the students to judge their final projects — a design for a kitchen sponge — and to select a winning image that will be embossed on an O-Cel-O product and sold commercially later this year.
One sponge in particular caught Rowley’s eye, and those of her fellow judges, Charles Nix, chair of the communications design department at Parsons, and Robert Rabinowitz, a professor of product design. It was the stylized image of Tupak Shakur, the rapper who was murdered in 1996, now memorialized in a household cleaning product designed by student Christopher Austin.
“This is really original,” Rowley said. “It’s cool and artistic.”
But apparently not cool enough for O-Cel-O, which markets its sponges to middle America. A publicist for the brand from DeVries Public Relations at first gently reminded the judges to consider a criteria of the contest: that the design should be true to the image of the brand.
“Isn’t that part of the brand, to say that it is creative?” Rowley asked, but the publicist insisted that the company would not be making a sponge in Shakur’s image. After a rousing debate, the panel selected a more cheerful design of colorful pies and cakes by Filana Turner, while Tupac was relegated to “runner-up.” Cockroaches, featured in a witty design by Leddy Rosario, were also acknowledged by the judges, given their prevalence in unclean kitchens.
THE SILVANOS: Not a regular at Da Silvano? Now you can fake it. Silvano Marchetto’s loyal customers have been snapping up the new T-shirts and tanks designed by preferred regular — and Marchetto’s girlfriend — cartoonist Marisa Acocella. “It shows the whole la dolce vita-ocity of Da Silvano,” says Acocella, whose illustration features a woman with Cyd Charisse’s legs dancing on a table dressed in a Zac Posen dress and Cesare Paciotti heels. “Where else, on any given night, can you find Ralph Fiennes dancing to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ with some lucky blonde?” she asks. The men’s and women’s limited-edition shirts are available at Da Silvano and the C. Ronson boutique. Other recognizable faces in the illustration enjoying the restaurant’s outdoor patio along Sixth Avenue include Marchetto, Acocella, and waiter Enrico. And no, regular Graydon Carter is not featured.MARK THE DATE: Donna Hanover’s newly minted husband, Edwin Oster, has one more reason not to forget his wedding anniversary — it’s spelled out on the soles of Hanover’s Stuart Weitzman shoes. In Swarovski crystals, no less. Weitzman designed the shoes for their wedding Sunday, and customized them with several hundred hand-applied crystals and pearls. Putting a new spin on the old adage, he borrowed the lace pattern from her gown for the design and studded the soles in blue stones with the pair’s initials and the date. How did she express her thanks to the New York shoe designer? Says Weitzman, “She promised she would kick up her heels all night.”
@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