TWEET HEAT: Kimora Lee Simmons sure knows how to whip her fan base into a complete frenzy. When Simmons used Twitter late last week to reveal that she was exiting Phat Fashions, the division of Kellwood Co., many of the 189,668 followers were surprised, and some even in total despair over the departure, expected to be effective Sept. 1. Kellwood declined comment.
Simmons, who was president and creative director of Phat Fashions, with labels such as Phat Farm and Baby Phat, also declined to comment on the reasons for the split on Twitter, though that didn’t stop her from continuing to tweet in her usual dramatic manner about it. “Sometimes we have limited choices in life,” she tweeted. “We have 2 RIDE the WAVE baby! Team FABULOSITY!”
This story first appeared in the August 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The television personality and former model, who was once married to Russell Simmons, isn’t likely to say goodbye to fashion, though. “We still have lots of beautiful things to do 2gether!” she tweeted. “Hold on! Can’t hold Team Fabulosity Down!!!” she added. “Like Dust….We Rise!”
WESTWOOD STEPS OUT: Thursday will see the launch of an exhibition celebrating Vivienne Westwood’s out-there shoe designs at Selfridges in London. “Vivienne Westwood Shoes: An Exhibition 1973-2010” will open in the Ultra Lounge, its basement arts and exhibition space. The exhibit will showcase almost 200 of Westwood’s memorable footwear designs, such as her Rocking Horse, a geisha-style platform shoe, which she showed in 1986, to her ever-popular Pirate boots, which made their debut in 1981, to the Super Elevated Gillie platform, in which Naomi Campbell famously toppled as she strutted down the runway in 1993. The show is supported by Brazilian shoe company Melissa, with which Westwood collaborates, and many of the plastic shoes Westwood has designed for the company are in the show.
And Westwood has another artsy project up her sleeve. On Sept. 8, she will launch an online art installation called “100 Days of Active Resistance.” The installation, which coincides with the launch of her second Vivienne Westwood Anglomania collection for Lee Jeans, will invite people to upload a photograph of a work of art they have produced, which represents the idea of active resistance, to the Web site Ar100days.com. Each day for 100 days, a different work will be selected to go up on the site. Then, following the online installation, all the winning works will be exhibited in a London gallery. “Active Resistance to Propaganda” is the title of Westwood’s manifesto, which the designer launched in 2007 to urge readers to escape propaganda through the pursuit of art and culture.
LEPORE CHECKS IN: Saving the Garment Center is just one of the subjects Nanette Lepore sounds off about in a new video on the Gramercy Park Hotel’s blog. Her cameo follows in the footsteps of Demi Moore, Uma Thurman and other fans of Ian Schrager’s park-side retreat. The designer, who recently shot an online catalogue at the hotel, also talks shop, style and motherhood in the five-minute post. Next up is a little something from Doug Keeve — the “Unzipped” and “Seamless” director pictures Eva Longoria Parker impersonating Victoria Beckham’s British accent during a recent commercial shoot. Major.
WRITE ALL ABOUT IT: Simon Doonan, the consummate multitasker, has a new gig: stationery designer for Dempsey & Carroll. The premier collection has four designs imprinted with such “Doonan-isms” as “Battleship grey [sic] is the new choccie brown,” “Skinny jeans are the new panty hose [sic]” and “Pickles are the new macaroons.” There is also a fifth unfinished option that allows letter writers to fill in the blanks.