West Watch: Ford’s Friends … Ship Shape … Hurley Girl

<STRONG>FORD’S FRIENDS:</STRONG> Tom Ford is making more connections in Hollywood. <BR><BR>Ford will join legendary television director-producer Norman Lear as a speaker Saturday at the first annual “Ready to Share: Fashion and the...

FORD’S FRIENDS: Tom Ford is making more connections in Hollywood.

Ford will join legendary television director-producer Norman Lear as a speaker Saturday at the first annual “Ready to Share: Fashion and the Ownership of Creativity” conference, a daylong event at the University of Southern California. Inspiration, creativity, piracy, counterfeiting and other issues involving the creative process in fashion, as well as film and music, will be explored.

The by-invitation-only guests will include people working in fashion, film, music, academia and law. Others taking the mic include designer Kevan Hall, “Sex and the City” creator Michael Patrick King, musician T-Bone Burnett and vintage guru Cameron Silver.

“We had been looking at the question of creativity and ownership of ideas for several years now,” said Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center and associate dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communications, where the event will be held. “In movies and music, there is a raging debate in this country about sampling, remixing, piracy, inspiration, derivation and rip-offs. We wanted to expand that discussion to include a realm where the traditions, practices and laws were really quite different. I thought fashion would be a way to do that.”

“[The fashion industry] exists without many of the high walls that people in music and film believe are necessary in order to protect creators,” Kaplan said. “It’s something of a mystery, and we wanted to figure out how that could be.”

The conference will be followed by a reception celebrating the opening of the 13th annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition at the nearby Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, featuring costumes from 2004 films nominated for Academy Awards.

SHIP SHAPE: Surf company Rip Curl is in the midst of a sea change. Beginning in March, Rip Curl is moving its U.S. headquarters north to Costa Mesa, Calif., from Carlsbad, Calif., to a 70,000-square-foot facility. The location gives Rip Curl better access to top design talent in Orange County and Los Angeles, said media relations director P.J. Connell. At the same time, it’s bringing new captains aboard. Chief executive officer Jimmy Olsson, a former divisional merchandising manager at Coach, is leaving in March after two years at Rip Curl’s helm to join a new apparel company in New York. Group ceo David Lawn, who oversees the entire Australian-based firm, will assume Olsson’s responsibilities. Chief operating officer Shane Fallscheer replaces Leigh Tonai, who left a year ago to return to Hawaii. Group art director James Taylor has been promoted to group creative director to work more closely with the marketing department. And creative director Jennifer Koll, who will oversee the juniors’ business, replaces James Sowins. He left three months ago to work at Guess Inc. as vice president of women’s design.

This story first appeared in the January 26, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“These changes will help mold the brand beyond just a surf company and into an edgy, streetwear label,” Connell said.

HURLEY GIRL: Hurley International has appointed Laura Sanders to be director of marketing, a new position for the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company. Sanders, 31, is the former vice president of sponsorships for the Vans Warped Tour. She will oversee men’s marketing and will work with Lyndsey Roach, Hurley’s juniors’ marketing manager, in developing the brand image for Hurley. Sanders reports to Paul Gomez, Hurley’s vice president of marketing.