NEW YORK — Though the main course was filet mignon, a roast topped the menu at Cipriani 42nd Street here Tuesday night.
In conjunction with Vogue magazine, Neiman Marcus chief executive officer Burt Tansky presented St. John Knits and its founders, Bob and Marie Gray, with an American Fashion Lifetime Achievement Award. The Irvine, Calif.-based knitwear firm is celebrating its 40th year in business.
In a speech before handing over the award, Tansky made his admiration for the St. John business clear — they’re Neiman’s largest account, after all. But it was his comical roasting of St. John and its founders that had guests going. "Only 1 in 100 sheep has passing wool quality standards for St. John," said Tansky. "The other 99 Bob uses for barbecues."
Tansky also joked that the family opened their factory in Mexico so they could use it as a vacation spot and that Marie Gray is still paid 40 cents an hour — the same wage when the company started in 1962. The company uses more than 40 million paillettes, many of which fall off at the best parties, Tansky joked.
"Today, St. John’s annual sales are $600 million, all of which comes from Neiman Marcus," Tansky said. "Oops, I didn’t mean to say that."
The Grays responded by thanking their retail partners, friends, family and the roughly 5,000 employees that make up the firm.
"We’re awed and overwhelmed," said Marie Gray. "We don’t often reflect on our past. When you’re busy with tomorrow, you don’t often think of yesterday."
Daughter Kelly Gray was also on hand, having just flown back from the Greek islands Mykonos and Santorini, where she shot the upcoming St. John campaign.
The speeches were followed by a performance from Natalie Cole, who sang numbers from her latest album "Ask A Woman Who Knows," which was released Sept. 17. Some St. John supporters present included Vogue’s publisher Tom Florio and editor Anna Wintour, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, designer Barry Cord, Saks Fifth Avenue senior vice president of fashion merchandising Jaqui Lividini, and Burberry’s ceo Rose Marie Bravo, who stopped by for a quick hello.
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)