LOS ANGELES — For designer Todd Oldham, creating fashion didn’t end when he sold the trademarks for his name six years ago to Jones Apparel Group.
Although he has since reacquired them, Oldham has focused his energies on the fashion of home interiors in recent years — from his two-season project for Target to his long-term contract with La-Z-Boy.
“I’m not really into the idea of investment furniture for everything in your house. ‘Sofa’ and ‘investment’ don’t belong together,” said the 42-year-old ultimate outsider, who spoke to an audience of more than 300 people last month at the California Market Center as part of the Otis College of Art and Design’s “Inside the Designer’s Studio” series.
Patterned after “Inside the Actor’s Studio” on the A&E network, Otis’ version puts fashion department chairwoman Rosemary Brantley in the interviewer’s chair — a giraffe-print sectional from Oldham’s La-Z-Boy collection — and features an audience of mostly students from the fashion school based in the CMC building.
Oldham’s collaboration with the furniture maker offers some 300 textile options, making it more in-line with the temporary whims of fashion than old notions of furniture as quasi-permanent fixtures.
Although it has been six years since the boyish designer from Corpus Christi, Tex., put out his ideas on the fashion runways, he has remained in the public eye through his home design collaborations, including air time on MTV’s episodes of “Crib Crashers.”
This April, he will release his second book, a how-to on midcentury-modern furnishings called “Hand Made Modern” (Regan Books/HarperCollins, $29.95).
The book will offer doable step-by-step instructions on making home accessories — vases, pillows, throws and furniture — end tables, daybeds and room dividers. It also includes essays on midcentury pioneers such as Charles Eames, Eva Zeisel and Charles Harper, among others, some penned by Oldham himself as well as journalist Julia Szabo.
He kicks off a national book-signing tour April 15 with a “Today” show appearance in New York; in Los Angeles, he’ll stop at Barnes & Noble on April 21.And there are other partnerships in the works for this year, although Oldham and his team are reluctant to reveal them just yet. But they will have to do with interior design, and they will come out of his design lab in Manhattan’s SoHo.
“Manufacturing is a real bitch,” Oldham told the Otis crowd, “so I admire anybody who can do it well. Our business has become a lot more streamlined and profitable since we stopped doing manufacturing. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is the great basis of good design.”
Oldham recalled during the hour-long talk that he got his knack for working on interiors, and exteriors, from his family. He described them as “amazing free spirits…Putting up Sheetrock and putting beads on a dress are very similar,” he said.
So will he ever go back to frocks?
“It’s good to never say never,” said Oldham, admitting he doesn’t follow fashion much anymore, although he is a fan of Built by Wendy and Isabel Toledo. “But I don’t know what I have to say in it, I don’t know what I could bring to it. I think it’s your time to bring some nice new ideas to the table,” he told the students.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)