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JUMPING INTO JEANS: Rachel Bilson was in New York on Tuesday to promote the release of “Jumper” on DVD and Blu-Ray with co-stars Hayden Christensen and Jamie Bell. The DVD hits stores on June 10, but Bilson had something else on her mind. The 26-year-old actress was sitting on a bench in the rooftop garden at 230 Fifth Avenue, talking about the launch of her Edie Rose for DKNY Jeans line, which will hit stores in time for back-to-school. “I know nothing about manufacturing, so it has been great to partner with DKNY Jeans. They seriously know what they are doing,” she said. “They have been so great, so helpful.” Meanwhile, in her spare time, Bilson said she’s learning to sew. “My friend’s grandmother helped me make a skirt, and I was so excited about it,” she said. “But then it came out something like 10 sizes too big. Oh, well — it was just my first lesson.” Bilson said she recently finished shooting the ad campaign for her Edie Rose line, which will be in September fashion magazines. “We are still approving the images, but it’s all very exciting,” she said. “I just really hope that people like it.”
DOUBLE SALUTE: Puma will fete both its 60th birthday and the 40th anniversary of the “Silent Gesture” at the 1968 Mexico Olympics in Paris this month. The German activewear giant has created a collection dedicated to former athlete Tommie Smith, who with teammate John Carlos raised a black-gloved fist at the 1968 games in a protest against racism that fast became legend and just as quickly ended their respective careers. The mixed, vintage-style collection features graphics recalling the iconic salute and includes black sneakers, which Smith symbolically took off to represent poverty; a track jacket, and a T-shirt. Smith is due to attend the party, which will feature music by hip-hop act De La Soul, at Paris’ Olympia on June 26, while the collection hits stores including Colette, Sneakers Gallery and Shinzo this summer.
This story first appeared in the June 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
GUCCI AND THE MOVIES: There’s a chance now to catch a glimpse of the press-shy and low-profile Alessandra Gucci, daughter of the late Maurizio Gucci. The young Gucci, who this year launched her AG Limited Edition collection of alligator bags, will attend a gala dinner tonight to celebrate the Italian movies that were presented at the Cannes Film Festival. The 13th edition of “The Streets of Cinema from Cannes to Rome” and the French Embassy will hold the gala in Rome’s imposing Renaissance Palazzo Farnese. The event also will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa book, “Il Gattopardo.” The dinner will be inspired by both the book and the 1963 movie by Luchino Visconti. Gucci said she decided to participate “to celebrate the great talent of Italian cinema in this exceptional place that blends our cultural tradition and contemporary achievements in a cosmopolitan atmosphere.”
DIESEL’S WHEELS: Diesel might be adding some hip details to Italy’s hot car of the moment — Fiat’s modern rendition of the automaker’s iconic 500 model. Sources said a 500 by Diesel style is expected on the market soon, although Diesel declined to comment. The buzz is that Lapo Elkann’s Independent Ideas advertising agency is working on a campaign for this comarketing initiative. Family ties, however, are not necessarily a shortcut to secure the job. Fiat heir Elkann is only one among several others pitching a campaign, a source said.
SHOE BIZ: Putting its best feet forward, Berluti, the LVMH-owned luxury men’s footwear brand, will be kicking off couture week with its own Paris show. The house will unveil some of its latest designs in a mini runway show to be held at the Libéral Bruant hotel on June 30.
BYE-BYE, BIBA: Barbara Hulanicki is putting some distance between herself and the brand she created more than 40 years ago. The designer, who founded the iconic fast-fashion label Biba in 1964, is making it clear she was not involved with the brand’s 2006 relaunch and its subsequent demise last month, when the label went into receivership. “I think it’s sad,” said Hulanicki. “Biba originally was straight to the public — it stemmed from a shop. The people who [took on Biba] aren’t retailers — it’s a different way of designing.” While Hulanicki didn’t rule out ever being a part of Biba again, she allowed that yet another revival would be challenging since the brand “has been battered around so much.” The designer’s current projects include a wallpaper collection for Graham & Brown and jewelry for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s boutique. A fashion and accessories line is also in the works, to launch later this year, with an as-yet-unnamed retailer.