NEW YORK — Diane Von Furstenberg takes her role as downtown den mother seriously.
The designer, who stays in the loop by surrounding herself with young people who work in her studio and store, returns the favor by doling out advice and life lessons. She also lets her young friends in on her favorite resources for everything from lighting to table linens.
She’ll do the same for the public, when she unveils the Caravan Serai at her West Village Theater at 385 West 12 Street on Dec. 6, replete with handmade products from an international group of designers. The event closes Dec. 8.
The Caravan is inspired by bazaars Von Furstenberg has seen in central Asia, but it’s doubtful that Christian Louboutin’s bejeweled and embroidered Cinderella shoes — designed specifically for the Caravan — or Princess Marie Chantal of Greece’s children’s apparelwould be found in any market in Marakesh or Istanbul.
The princess is the sister of Von Furstenberg’s daughter-in-law, Alexandra.
Other participants include Lainey Keogh, the Irish knitwear designer; Sandra Muller, a jewelry designer who is opening her first store in Los Angeles,and Gaia Franchetti, who makes handwoven and hand-dyed table linens and pillows for Indoroman. Zina Ghandour, a friend of Alexandra’s, will be showing her beaded handbags for Orest London.
"I get a thrill when I see people with ideas and dreams, and if I can help, that’s nice," Von Furstenberg said. "They come and they run their own little shops. I’m really giving them a roof and exposure.
"The Caravan Serai is something I’ve always fantasized about," she added. "The merchants who traveled the Silk Route opened their trunks and showed their treasures. I have a lot of friends who sell things you can’t find anywhere else."
Von Furstenberg’s finds include Project Alabama’s T-shirts, leather wear by Studio 109, which has made pieces for Lenny Kravitz, jewelry by Kirat Young, photos by Konstantino Hatzisarros and handbags by Debra Linse and Pauline Solnik of Notorious, a Houston-based design team.
Jean Paul Beaujard will show his furniture and lighting. Romio Shrestha, a Tibetan artist Von Furstenberg met "either through Madonna or Deepak Chopra, I don’t remember," will exhibit his intricate murals of Buddhist deities. (Von Furstenberg bought one of his monumental paintings for her dining room.)She’ll donate 10 percent of sales to the Robin Hood Foundation.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion