As president and founder of the downtown showroom The News Inc., Stella Ishii is typically a behind-the-scenes kind of girl; her firm has long been an incubator of young talent such as Vena Cava’s Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai, Alexander Wang and Wayne’s Wayne Lee. Spring, however, marks the first time the fashion veteran — she spent 14 years at Comme des Garçons and previously helmed Staff USA — will launch her own collection. Still, Ishii notes, it’s anything but a solo project.
“Creative Growth for Everybody” is a collaboration between The News and Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center, a nonprofit group that provides support for artists with disabilities. The debut lineup of cotton tanks, T-shirts and T-shirt dresses, priced $24 to $34 wholesale, will feature the artwork of eight of Creative Growth’s artists, from Donald Mitchell’s crowded cartoon figures to Aurie Ramirez’s fanciful dancing desserts. “The organization is a great place to see outsider art,” says Ishii. “We’re trying to get the exposure for them. The same way I represent my designers, I’m working with these artists.” Ishii, in fact, has long been a supporter of Creative Growth, ever since Paper magazine’s Kim Hastreiter clued her in a decade ago. In the early years, Ishii’s showroom even held a few outsider art exhibits of its own, including one for the famous Judith Scott, during the lull between market weeks.
The impulse to start this collection, however, only came about in the fall, when Ishii was looking to bring a T-shirt line into her showroom. “The things I happened to see, I didn’t really find all that exciting,” she says. “Then I thought, ‘Maybe I could collaborate with some artists.’” By coincidence, she received an e-mail from the director of Creative Growth about its new gallery space in Paris. A lightbulb went off, and the two set the creative gears in motion. Proceeds from the sale of the collection — which has been picked up by Barneys New York, Ikram in Chicago, Confederacy in Los Angeles, MAC/Modern Appealing Clothing in San Francisco and Ron Herman and Tokishirazu in Tokyo — will go directly to Creative Growth.
To help produce and manufacture the line, Ishii brought in Joe Knoernschild, a founding partner of Hurley International and Billabong USA, and his wife, Cindy. (Their son, Joel, has his own men’s wear line, KZO, which is repped by The News.) As for marketing and promotions, Ishii has that part down. To punch up the collection’s look book, she enlisted her roster of designers to serve as models. Richard Chai, Doo-Ri Chung, Robert Geller, Wayne Lee, Vena Cava’s Mayock and Buhai and Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg are just some of the names showcased. And the pairing of artist with designer, it turns out, was no accident: Chung, whose Under.Ligne collection features handwritten text, sported a dress with Dwight Mackintosh’s doodles. “I also realized when we shot Doo-Ri in her studio,” adds Ishii, “that she had a wall covered in similar scribbles.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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