WARM AND FUZZY: Upper East Siders Gigi Mortimer and Courtney Moss have teamed up to create a line of accessories just in time for the fall chill. Called Glamourpuss NYC, the collection of Rex rabbit fur neck warmers and fox fur mittens — which retail for $199 and $315, respectively — will arrive at boutiques such as Kirna Zabête and Calypso beginning later this month. Items are already available for purchase on the company’s Web site, glamourpussnyc.com. The fashion-savvy duo — Mortimer designed accessories for Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang, while Moss has worked in public relations at Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani — came up with the idea for the line while suffering through their grade school sons’ early-morning hockey practice in Central Park. “Everyone there was pale and ugly and miserable,” recalls Mortimer. “And we thought, ‘Even though it’s cold, why can’t we be glam?’” Friends Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Stephanie Clark and Elizabeth Lindemann appear in the Glamourpuss look book, but Mortimer knows she is her own best advertisement and already has been spotted wearing her neck warmers around town. Presumably, Mortimer also will be wearing her wares when she and Moss host an official launch party at Calypso’s Madison Avenue outpost on Oct. 29.
This story first appeared in the October 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
BLUE FAIREY: Artist Shepard Fairey is creating a co-branded capsule collection with Levi’s that will go on sale in select Levi’s stores beginning Oct. 29. Created in partnership with Fairey’s Obey clothing label, the line includes T-shirts, denim and jean jackets, which will incorporate Fairey’s artwork. The line will be branded Obey x Levi’s, and hangtags are emblazoned with Fairey’s seminal Andre the Giant graphic. Pieces will retail from $34.50 to $148. Fairey, known for his street art as well as creating the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster during last year’s election, will install an original work outside the Times Square Levi’s flagship during a party on Oct. 29 to celebrate the collection. Previous Levi’s collaborations with artists on capsule collections include those with Damien Hirst and the Warhol Foundation.
BARTLETT’S QUOTATIONS: With the decision by Liz Claiborne Inc. to move the Liz Claiborne and Claiborne by John Bartlett labels exclusively to J.C. Penney and QVC, designer John Bartlett is exiting the company. He will stay on at Claiborne for a few more weeks to ensure a smooth transition of the brand, as well as put the finishing touches on the spring men’s line, the final collection helmed by Bartlett that will ship to retailers, including Bon-Ton. “It was wonderful working with Liz Claiborne, and I learned so much,” said Bartlett, who has won two CFDA men’s wear awards during his career. “I have a nice blank slate now to consider what I want to do moving forward.” The designer began work on the Claiborne by John Bartlett label in 2008, and he held a three-year contract with the company. Bartlett operates a small John Bartlett store in New York’s West Village, for which he produces a men’s wear collection under his own name. He does not wholesale the line but said he may work to expand the line to other retailers.
MOVING DAY: Celine is moving to a temporary store in Paris while its Avenue Montaigne boutique goes under renovation for a few months, according to a spokeswoman. The luxury fashion house will move into long-vacant premises previously occupied by Fendi, next to L’Avenue restaurant nearby. Phoebe Philo’s pre-spring collection will go on sale in the temporary store from mid-November.
ARMANI TECH: It looks like Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer is becoming a fashionista. “There’s no question. This is the most glamorous venue I have ever had the chance to speak in and frankly…the most fashionable phone I’ve ever had the chance to talk about. And that is as good as it gets for me,” he said at the Armani Teatro in Milan at the launch of the Giorgio Armani-Samsung smartphone, which features Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 software. He added: “I even got a tie today. The phone is beautiful, but Mrs. Ballmer’s going to love the tie, signed by Mr. Armani himself.” Ballmer declined to be drawn on whether the deal prefaced closer links between Microsoft and fashion companies, saying only the Armani-Samsung-Microsoft tie-up was “unique.”
JUST THE ESSENTIALS: Naeem Khan is the latest designer to be wooed by HSN. The designer is rounding up friends to raise a glass Thursday to celebrate this month’s launch of his Timeless collection of evening essentials made exclusively for the shopping network.
BARBIE BOY: Christian Louboutin is the latest designer geared to give Barbie a makeover, with three dolls he’s conceived top to toe due to be released over the coming months. Louboutin has even reshaped the dolls’ figures as he doesn’t find the classic Barbie’s morphology très flattering. “He found her ankles were too fat,” said a Louboutin spokeswoman, who revealed one of the dolls would be released in time for the Cannes International Film Festival. “They’re completely wild and even come with mini Louboutin boxes for the shoes,” she said.
ON THE HUDSON: Jennifer Hudson will perform at the Whitney Museum of American Art Gala and Studio Party on Oct. 19. The event is being sponsored by Versace and this year honors Leonard A. Lauder. Those expected at the event, which is chaired by Donatella Versace, Penelope Cruz and Liz Swig, include Mischa Barton, Taylor Momsen, Lauren Santo Domingo, Gerard Butler, January Jones and Mamie Gummer.
THE PRADA TOURIST: At Prada, new print means blueprint. The Italian fashion brand this month will launch a collection of souvenir T-shirts for men and women called JWP Epicenter, which reproduce graphic prints, façades, floorings and blueprints of some of Prada’s most famed stores in Tokyo, Beverly Hills, New York, London and Milan’s Galleria, and men’s and women’s stores on Via Montenapoleone. Colors will range from white for the Tokyo, Los Angeles and Via Montenapoleone Women’s banners, and red for the New York store, to light blue for the Via Montenapoleone Men’s boutique, light green for the London one and white or black for Milan’s Galleria store.