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.”
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)