RICHARD WHO?: Even after all these years, Louis Vuitton’s blockbuster collaboration with Takashi Murakami continues to generate interest from bagaholics. Those who didn’t get to buy some of the special accessories at Murakami’s recent Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art retrospective will get a second chance next month, when the exhibit moves to the Brooklyn Museum on April 5. Vuitton is opening a store offering a mix of multicolor monogram handbags and small leather goods, as well as actual limited edition art canvasses with a new design by Murakami and Marc Jacobs called “Monogramouflage.” They will preview a new Vuitton collection, which will launch in the Brooklyn store on June 1, and be sold at select Vuitton stores worldwide starting June 15. The exhibit will kick off on April 3 with a “Brooklyn Ball” featuring a special performance by Kanye West. But the pièce de résistance may come from the French luxury leather goods house itself, which is cooking up a special performance that evening to raise attention to the worldwide problem of counterfeits, though the company remained tight-lipped about details. That said, sales from the Brooklyn Museum’s store that night will benefit the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.
ALL CORNERS OF THE GLOBE: Saks Fifth Avenue continues to search for more licensed sites overseas, on top of two already operating in the Middle East, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, and a third in Mexico City. Next up could be the oil and mineral rich Kazakhstan, the world’s largest landlocked country, which has been checked out. As one source said, “Saks is looking at various markets for licensed stores, but has not signed any other deals in Asia. It’s a possibility. But it’s a slow. slow process,” involving finding the site, lining an operating partner and making sure the key brands will sell the store, among other things. “It’s a very long process, and not a core strategy.”
PARTY PEOPLE: Los Angeles event maestro Bryan Rabin has parted ways with his Robin Rodgers partner David Rodgers to found Bryan Rabin Inc. Those familiar with the creative fetes Rabin and Rodgers orchestrated for Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Paul Smith, Dolce & Gabbana and Stella McCartney can expect more of the same, but Rabin also is branching out into full-service branding for fashion clients as well as musicians and other product categories. To that end, he’s now offering everything from store merchandising, creating musical landscapes for stores and hotels and customized printed materials — including hangtags and record album packaging. Working from his corner office in Los Feliz Towers, Rabin is continuing his relationship with client Sir Paul Smith, producing Tuesday night’s Martin Parr photo exhibit in the Melrose Avenue store’s gallery in conjunction with a Los Angeles County Museum of Art show. Among the guests were Debbie Harry, Dita Von Teese, Jonny Lee Miller, Michelle Hicks, Mark Romanek, Carmen Electra and Tatiana von Furstenberg, all of whom turned out to meet Parr. “There now needs to be a cultural element,” said Rabin.
In other event buzz, party planner Jeffrey Best is also creating a subdivision of his Best Events called The Best Table, specializing in intimate dinner parties. “There’s a magic number for celebrities. They are uncomfortable with eight people unless they know everyone, they get nervous when there’s more than 100 people, so the sweet spot is somewhere between 15 and 50,” said Best.