NEW YORK — From the podium of Cipriani 42nd Street here, former Texas governor Ann Richards surveyed the crowd of 300 media and fashion figures, saw Henry Grunwald, Dominick Dunne, Liz Smith, Nan Kempner and Herbert Gallen, among others, and...
NEW YORK — From the podium of Cipriani 42nd Street here, former Texas governor Ann Richards surveyed the crowd of 300 media and fashion figures, saw Henry Grunwald, Dominick Dunne, Liz Smith, Nan Kempner and Herbert Gallen, among others, and declared, “As my daddy would say, ‘I am in high cotton.’”
The ex-governor hosted Lighthouse International’s Third Annual Henry Grunwald Award Luncheon last Thursday, where the always impeccably dressed Philip Miller, former Saks Fifth Avenue chairman and chief executive and now a consultant, received the award. Miller has long been active raising funds for Lighthouse and helping the visually impaired find employment.
Having Richards host a New York fund-raiser filled with fashion types seemed strange, but then again, Miller’s daughter, Laura, is now the mayor of Dallas, and Richards, with her Southern charm and dry humor, can enliven any crowd. At one point, Richards recounted another situation filled with pomp and ceremony, when she and her granddaughter visited the Queen of England for a private tea at the palace. Afterward, she asked her granddaughter what she remembered most about the experience, and she replied, “She had lipstick on her teeth.”
On a serious note, Richards said her father suffered from macula degeneration. “Watching family and friends lose this vital sense renews our commitment to help this organization. It’s the gift of independence that the Lighthouse makes possible.”
In introducing Miller, Kenneth Cole, who co-chaired the luncheon, said Miller has helped raise over $12 million to support Lighthouse initiatives. “The problem is, it’s very expensive to be one of Phil Miller’s friends,” Cole joked. In recognition of Miller’s commitment to the cause, the Lighthouse named its employment center the Philip B. Miller Center for Career Services in 1999.
The event brought in more than $200,000 in donations for the Lighthouse, where Miller has served on the board for nine years. Miller said he had several reasons for supporting Lighthouse. His father suffered from glaucoma and cataracts, and Frank Reilly, a former Brooks Bros. president who worked with Miller at Saks and Wallach’s, and Kitty D’Alessio, who once ran Chanel in the U.S., encouraged him to participate.Grunwald, the former editor in chief of Time Inc. and author of “Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight,” was the first to receive the honor in 2001. Harry Belafonte received it in 2002.
“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