FIFTY STRONG: Friends old and new turned up at Le Cirque Tuesday night to raise a glass to Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, who had made their 50-year union official earlier in the day. Conrad Black, Barbara Walters, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Liz Smith, Tory Burch, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Mica Ertegun, Gillis Addison and Stan Herman were among the well-wishers. Scaasi said he had never really given much thought to marriage until New York State made it legal for same-sex couples to wed. Nevertheless, the guests of honor have worn for years gold bands of his design that were made in Capri. Ladd said, “This room is full of the history of our friendships and relationships. We are very grateful that you showed up and it turned out to be an amanuensis. We won’t say we’ll see you in another 50, but maybe in one.”
Smith recalled vacationing with them in Capri years ago. Much to Scaasi’s chagrin, one night out on the town she asked a cigar-smoking man to exhale elsewhere. The designer was so peeved with her behavior that he gave her the cold shoulder for three days — out on the open water. “I like to call Arnold ‘The Man Who Must Be Obeyed,’” she said. “We finally made up and I love him.”
This story first appeared in the July 28, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Black was also in high spirits. The former media mogul has two books on deck — “A Matter of Principle” centers on what he described as his “legal travails” and hits stores in September, about the time he is due to head back to prison at the order of a Chicago judge. And one about the strategic history of the U.S. will make its debut around Christmas. Asked how he expects the Rupert Murdoch situation will shake out, Black, who is no stranger to major inquiries, said, “I think he can manage it in England. If the prosecutors get hold of him here, God help him. But I certainly give him presumed innocence.”
DEPARTURE AT J. CREW: Trish Donnelly, executive vice president of J. Crew Group Inc.’s direct business, is leaving the company as of Monday and her duties will be assumed by other members of the retailer’s executive team, headed by chairman and chief executive officer Millard “Mickey” Drexler. J. Crew was taken private by Drexler, TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners in March. Donnelly joined the company in 2004 as a divisional merchandise manager and worked her way up to her current role, which she took on in November 2009. Prior to working at J. Crew, she held positions Cole Haan and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.
LUCKY’S NEW STYLE DIRECTOR: Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Lucky Brand is adding to its creative team with a new style director. Karin Cole, who has been a creative consultant at Lucky for the past two years, is joining the $386.9 million denim company full time in the newly created position. Prior to Lucky, Cole served as vice president at Williams-Sonoma and West Elm, where she worked alongside Lucky’s current chief executive officer Dave DeMattei and creative director Patrick Wade. Her previous fashion industry credentials include managing the visual merchandising teams at Coach.
GRAY SKIES: Socialites, celebs and industry sorts sipped drinks at the DKNY Sun Soiree held at the Dream Downtown’s outdoor bar, the Beach, in New York on Tuesday, despite some decidedly un-beachy weather. Under a threatening sky, waiters served mini burgers and tuna tartar in sesame-encrusted cones to guests who mingled poolside and tried on DKNY sunglasses. Katie Cassidy, Kellan Lutz and Jessica Szohr were in attendance as was eldest Jonas Brother Kevin Jonas, who hovered in the VIP corner with his wife, Danielle Deleasa. Olivia Palermo, a table away, sat alone. Looking a bit preoccupied, the socialite and former reality star, told WWD that she was getting ready to go on vacation to Berlin, a place she often visits with her German boyfriend, Johannes Huebl. Wearing a DKNY dress and sandals adorned with hot pink and fuchsia feathers from the Stuart Weitzman Young Hollywood Cares Collection for cancer research, Palermo said: “I’m working on a blog coming out in August.” Aptly named oliviapalermo.com, the site will be “travel-focused” and be about fashion, emerging designers, accessories, shopping and “everything that I love,” she said.
FORD PARKS AT HARRODS: Tom Ford has opened his first women’s wear boutique in the U.K. at Harrods. The 720-square-foot space opened this week on the first floor in the International Designer Collections space. In addition to ready-to-wear, the boutique stocks shoes, bags, and a selection of jewelry. There is already a Tom Ford men’s wear boutique on the store’s lower ground floor. Marigay McKee, fashion and beauty director at Harrods, has not held back in her praise of Ford’s latest efforts: “The entire collection is stunning, as in having the ability to render living creatures momentarily breathless,” she said Wednesday.