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COMMENCEMENT TRIFECTA: Members of the 2011 graduating class of the Fashion Institute of Technology were treated to wise words from a trifecta of successful role models on Tuesday. Aerin Lauder, creative director and chairman of Aerin LLC, and Tony Hsieh, chief executive officer of Zappos.com, shared with the audience the things that have inspired them during their careers, such as Lauder’s five life lessons that draw upon focusing on the details and believing in yourself. Also on Tuesday, Simon Doonan, creative ambassador-at-large for Barneys New York, accepted The Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor that has been bestowed upon Calvin Klein, Anna Wintour and Oscar de la Renta. He likened his cap and gown ensemble to something fashion icon Daphne Guinness might wear.
A GIFT FROM TIFFANY: Tiffany & Co. just made a $1 million gift to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for a three-year partnership that includes a one-time, $250,000 business development grant for one of the nine jewelry designers who are CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund alumna since its 2004 launch. They have each received an application for the grant, and can submit them before July 8. The winner will be named this summer. “As a leader in the jewelry industry, it is important to us that the next generation of talented jewelry designers is able to succeed in the face of the many business challenges they face,” said Tiffany chairman and chief executive officer Michael J. Kowalski. “Partnering with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, this grant is intended to continue to develop jewelry as an important field of design.”
ON TRACK: Moncler SpA, which filed documents to list on the Italian Stock Exchange last month, is expected to fix its price range during the week starting June 6, according to sources. Moncler’s filing did not disclose the amount of shares it plans to list, although sources have said it was looking at floating up to 50 percent of the company. They estimated the float would value the group at about 1.1 billion euros, or $1.5 billion at current exchange.
PICTURE THIS: Mike Mills’ third feature film “Beginners” hit theaters June 3 but the ambidextrous director will be at Opening Ceremony tonight signing copies of a book of drawings featured in the film. Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer bring his drawings to life in the flick, but McGregor’s character is most like Mills’ own life. Both are graphic designers, own dogs, have fathers who came out of the closet very late in life and designed record covers for a very real band called “The Sads.” In the Damiani-published “Drawings from the Film Beginners,” Mills sketches detail what he considers to be all the important things in life — love, sexual freedom, history and Neanderthals.
But Mills, who has done textile design for Marc Jacobs and who created the identity for X-Girl Clothing, didn’t dress his cast for The Stone Ages. Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg suited up McGregor in the movie. Through The Directors Bureau, a 15-year-old production company he founded with Roman Coppola, Mills has directed a galaxy of films and music videos for Yoko Ono, Air and others. But he’s not the only creative force on the home front — his wife is the artist and author Miranda July.