SEPARATION ANXIETY: It looks like tensions between Helmut Lang and Prada Group could see a denouement as early as today, with the designer departing. A source in Europe said Friday that Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli was slated to wing his way to New York on Sunday, possibly to make the announcement to Lang employees. As reported, the designer and the Italian owner of his fashion house are at odds to the breaking point over the direction and development of the Lang business, of which Prada gained full control last fall.
GALAXY QUEST: Couture week in Paris is shaping up to be a VIP- and celebrity-studded affair. Penelope Cruz is among the glitterati expected at Giorgio Armani’s show today, and Valentino’s front row tonight awaits an arms-length list of royals and social powerhouses from Lily Safra and Betty Lagardere to Countess Jacqueline de Ribes. And Christian Dior, while tight-lipped about its guest list beyond Sofia Coppola, is said to be corralling a vast international constellation of stars, possibly even Julianne Moore.
BEAUTY FASHION: It seems makeup artist François Nars has caught the fashion bug. Nars has paired with longtime friend and fashion designer Sophie Theallet (formerly of Azzedine Alaïa) to create a line of resort and beachwear called Motu Tane. Named after Nars’ private island in Tahiti, the line will include a variety of warm-weather wear, including bathing suit cover-ups and cocktail party attire, in fabrics like satin and chiffon. The collection is being developed for a May launch and executives are now securing distribution — it will likely be sold in high-end specialty stores and boutiques, according to Jennifer Lister, president of the brand. Lister added the fashion collection and Nars’ cosmetics line are not related in any way.
FLYING INTO APPAREL: Footwear brand PF Flyers is the latest company to cash in on the retro craze sweeping through the fashion world. Now owned by athletic giant New Balance, the brand, which had its heyday in the Fifties and Sixties, will introduce its first line of men’s and women’s apparel at Project Tradeshow, the men’s wear show that kicks off today. The collection of casual lifestyle looks was designed in conjunction with DDC-lab owner Savania Davies-Keiller and will be feted at a soiree Tuesday night at Manhattan’s M Studio.
This story first appeared in the January 24, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WEST SIDE STORY: Could New York’s Meatpacking District possibly get any hipper? You bet. Karl Lagerfeld, who just signed off on the sale of his trademarks to Tommy Hilfiger, is angling to open a design studio in the artsy neighborhood.