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SOUTH OF THE BORDER: Mexico City got a dose of Italian glamour Wednesday night when Gucci celebrated the opening of its newest store, a two-story boutique on Presidente Mazaryk Street. Following a cocktail party at the new location, chief executive Mark Lee joined Mexican heartthrob Diego Luna at a private dinner for 20 at hot spot Pujol to celebrate a collaboration between the luxury brand and Luna’s latest venture, “Ambulantes Gira de Documentale,” a roving documentary festival he cofounded with Gael García Bernal and producer Pablo Cruz. Though his friend, Bernal, was stuck editing a movie to make a Cannes Film Festival deadline and couldn’t attend, Luna had good reason to be happy: As part of the deal, Gucci will fund grants for two documentaries by Mexican directors that will premier at the 2008 festival.
Joined by Mexican socialites and filmmakers, Luna mingled with local movie stars Camila Sodi and Martha Higareda, the stars of “Las Ninas Malas,” currently a major hit at the Mexican box office. And in true Mexican style, the dinner went until the wee hours, and guests took liberal advantage of the Champagne and tequila on offer.
MILLA TIME: The multitasking Milla Jovovich gave a rare concert Wednesday night at the revamped Parisian cabaret Bobin’o. The event was for the European launch of the Jovovich-Hawk dress-centric capsule line for Mango, which will hit stores April 15. Lou Doillon, who stars in its campaign, watched from the balcony, while backstage, rising all-girl teen rockers the Plastiscines discussed their plans to take over the States. “Our album’s coming out there in May so we can’t wait to get going,” said guitarist Marine. “A glass of Champagne always helps calm the nerves,” joked Jovovich after her performance, adding Jovovich-Hawk already has agreed to design an accessories line for Mango for next season.
MARIE GRAY SPEAKS: Following news that St. John continues to search for chief executive officer candidates, and the return of Marie and Kelly Gray to design roles at the company, Mrs. Gray, as Marie is known, spoke exclusively to WWD late Wednesday after returning home from a day of fittings at the company’s Irvine, Calif., compound. “The search still continues,” she said of the quest for a new ceo, “but I’m not ready to talk a lot about that. I can say that I am consulting in a lot of areas and spending a significant amount of time doing that — hopefully, less time in the future, as my golf game is suffering,” she added with a laugh.
This story first appeared in the March 16, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I want to continue to do that as well because I enjoy it, as much as the creative work at St. John and the technical parts of the creative work that are involved in the product. I also have a home life and a charity life, so it’s definitely a challenge, but it keeps me out of trouble.”
Gray is key in overseeing the fit and technical aspects of the apparel, while she defers to her daughter, Kelly, on the style of the clothes. “We already have a great design team. I’m just fine-tuning and adding some 45 years of ‘Done that’ and ‘Tried that.'” Of the April 13 fashion show at the Island Hotel in Irvine, where legions of her loyal fans inevitably will line up to chat with her, Gray said: “I haven’t had a chance to think much about that, to be honest, but I know it will be great fun. I’ve been busy, you know, with work in the trenches,” as she jokingly called the technical fittings she did all day. “It’s a labor of love, more so for me than for Kelly,” she said before adding, “Actually, for both of us, it’s a labor of love.”
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES: Nordstrom’s has special-events fever. The Seattle-based specialty chain kicked off a season of designer runway shows, luncheons and book signings with a visit last week from Diane von Furstenberg. The designer adhered to a busy schedule as she presented her spring collection, “All About Eve,” during the 41st Annual Fashion Ovation, which drew 700 people and raised a record $125,000 for the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Von Furstenberg then went to Nordstrom’s downtown flagship, where she gamely signed copies of her book, “Diane: A Signature Life,” and helped customers choose dresses. A couple wrap styles, the Kitty and the Justin, were two of the top sellers. Over the next few months, Nordstrom has lined up for various in-store events Scarlett Johansson for Reebok, Gwen Stefani for LAMB, Zac Posen, Carmen Marc Valvo, Robert Danes, Zang Toi and Tory Burch.
THE BIG BOSS: Doo-Ri Chung got a surprise visit at the personal appearance for her first-ever trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman on Wednesday. Burt Tansky, president and chief executive officer of the Neiman Marcus Group, which owns Bergdorf’s, showed up on the third floor to greet the designer and check out her fall collection, which was presented on mannequins throughout the store. “It’s so nice to meet with a client like this because the Bergdorf’s shopper is so attuned to what is going on in fashion,” Chung said, adding with a laugh, “I feel like they know a lot more about fashion than I do.”
SEVEN’S BIG PUSH: Premium denim company Seven For All Mankind is prepping to launch its first consumer ad campaign this fall, in time to help promote the opening of its first freestanding shop. With the ad blitz, Seven For All Mankind will join a growing circle of denim labels — including Rock & Republic, AG Adriano Goldschmied and Joe’s Jeans — that have plastered their logos on billboards and in the pages of glossy magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Alex Sum, the company’s vice president of creative for advertising and branding, said the ad campaign will break in September or October, depending on when the first store will open. A possible location in Los Angeles is on Robertson Boulevard, in the 2,500-square-foot space that is currently occupied by specialty store Scott Hill, in which Peter Koral, Seven’s chairman and president, is a financial partner. Seven announced last year that it intends to open five units this year.
As for the ad campaign, one thing is certain: “It’ll be [about] lifestyle,” Sum said, noting the ads also will promote its new bags and shoes that are bowing for fall.