PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia University awarded Tommy Hilfiger its 2011 Spirit of Design award on Saturday night amidst the gilded grandeur of Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. The award, first given to Geoffrey Beene nine years ago, is presented to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the world of fashion and design. Past recipients have included Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, Mary McFadden and “Project Runway” season one winner Jay McCarroll.
Carson Kressley was tapped to present the award to Hilfiger, and kept the well-heeled crowd of Philly philanthropists and student designers entertained. After a video montage of Hilfiger’s ad campaigns, runway shows and celeb sightings set to Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” Kressley said, “Wow, that was like preppies gone wild. I just want to start drinking and start layering.” He earlier made a personal plea to Hilfiger, imploring, “Let me work on your ad campaign. Let me style it, or at least apply oil to the abs of those models.”
A decidedly more subdued Hilfiger graciously acknowledged the award via telecast, saying “Mentoring young people, improving their lives and providing for their futures is extremely important to me, and that is why this award is so meaningful.” Allen Sirkin, president and chief operating officer of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., the parent company of Tommy Hilfiger, and a 1964 graduate of Philadelphia University, was on hand to accept the award.
The award was presented during the fashion show portion of Philadelphia University’s Evening of Innovation gala. The capstone runway show saw student works ranging from an ombré wedding dress to a Lichtenstein-inspired cut-out gown, which won Best of Show.
Dorothy Roberts of Echo Design Group and Tomio Taki of Takihyo — and former owner of Anne Klein and Donna Karan — received the Leader of Innovation Medal at the Spirit of Innovation gala following the fashion show.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast