Fashion Scoops: Oprah’s Valentino Fix … Open Season … Comeback Kid …
OPRAH’S VALENTINO FIX: Can Oprah Winfrey do for couture what she did for books? The talk-show queen, who attended her first Valentino couture show in July, is filming an episode with the designer about his couture and ready-to-wear...
OPRAH’S VALENTINO FIX: Can Oprah Winfrey do for couture what she did for books? The talk-show queen, who attended her first Valentino couture show in July, is filming an episode with the designer about his couture and ready-to-wear empire. While attending Valentino’s show in Paris earlier this summer, Winfrey told WWD that “couture is what keeps fashion alive,” although her pronouncement came just as designers were bailing left and right from the couture calendar. Now she’s looking to expose the designer to her weekly audience of an estimated 21 million. A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s production company said, “We are going to be doing a show with Valentino, but we haven’t set a date yet.” A Valentino spokeswoman declined to comment on the plans, but Oprah’s Couture Club sure has a nice ring to it. At least she can afford it.
OPEN SEASON: The large contingent of Russian female tennis players at the U.S. Open this year is being celebrated by at least one compatriot: Ukraine-born ice skater Oksana Baiul. “I love watching all the Russian players,” Baiul said at a party Monday night at Arthur Ashe stadium that was sponsored by the USA Network. “They are so tall and beautiful.” Baiul, who has her own fashion line for ice skaters, also said she planned to take in a few fashion shows next week, including Luca Luca and Heatherette. Hosted by John McEnroe, Tracy Austin and Jim Courier, the USA party drew celebs and starlets not necessarily known for their athletic prowess. Actor Anthony Michael Hall said he doesn’t play tennis but is a big fan of Serena and Venus Williams, while actress Sonia Braga, best known for her role as Samantha’s lesbian lover on “Sex and the City,” said she recently started playing and is now becoming more serious about her game. Among other partygoers were Star Jones of “The View,” model Maggie Rizer and actress Sylvia Miles, who mingled briefly before heading off to watch the night matches.COMEBACK KID: Kenzo Takada, who “retired” four years ago from the now LVMH-owned Kenzo house he founded, is readying a boutique in Paris. The 65-year-old designer said it should open early next year in the former Kugel antiques gallery on the tony Rue Saint-Honoré. It will be called Gokan Kobo, which loosely translates from Japanese as “studio of the five senses.” “The idea is to be very exclusive,” said Takada, noting that the three-level, 6,000-square-foot store will stock women’s and men’s ready-to-wear as well as linens and home decor items. Takada launched his Gokan Kobo label earlier this year with a line of silk scarves and ties under license with Italy’s Ratti.
O PIONEER: Maverick designer Rei Kawakubo is taking fashion retailing to yet another unforeseen frontier: under a bridge. For a forthcoming Comme des Garçons “guerrilla” store in Warsaw, the designer has signed a lease for one of the structure’s support columns — accessible from land, mind you, before the bridge spans the Wisla River. The unusual space was previously occupied by a publishing company and has tools embedded in the concrete walls as one design feature. The rent? Around $600 a month. Guerrilla stores exist for one year in emerging neighborhoods with local partners selling a mix of Kawakubo’s lines. The Warsaw unit is slated to open Sept. 24, headed by a Polish professor of demography. Other guerrilla locations bowing this month include Ljubljana, Slovenia; Stockholm, and Helsinki, Finland, the latter located in an old pharmacy — with all its nifty Fifties wooden cabinetry intact.
GET SPORTY: The Olympic Games may be over, but for the London-based design duo Eley Kishimoto, the sporting life has only just begun. Next month, Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto will unveil their first capsule collection in collaboration with the Italian activewear label Ellesse. The collection, Eley Kishimoto Ellesse, is the first in a three-season deal and features tennis-inspired separates. The clothing will have its own runway show, on schedule, during London Fashion Week.
DIEGO FOR PRESIDENT?: It’s a well-known fact that Tod’s chief Diego Della Valle is setting his sights beyond loafers and handbags. The executive owns a soccer team and has invested in both a publishing house and a bank. But could politics be his next aspiration? Della Valle and his close buddy, Ferrari chief and Fiat chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who also heads Italy’s powerful business association, Confindustria, met up with Tony Blair for lunch last month during the British prime minister’s Tuscan vacation. Tod’s press office is mum on the details, and the encounter produced next to no press coverage. Maybe it’s because journalists here are still busy giggling about Blair’s recent Sardinian visit with a bandanna-bearing Silvio Berlusconi. The incident prompted speculation that the Italian leader is getting hair plugs.
@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