STELLA IN LIVERPOOL: Stella McCartney is going back to her roots. The designer will host a presentation of her fall collection in Liverpool, her father Sir Paul McCartney’s hometown, at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on June 1. The show — set to take place in the school’s Paul McCartney auditorium — is part of a program that will celebrate Liverpool as the European capital of culture in 2008. And while Paul McCartney will be among the audience at his daughter’s show in the afternoon (he’s set to play a concert in the city later that evening) a clutch of yet-to-be-named British artists will perform live music sets alongside.
Tickets for the event will be sold through Cricket, the Liverpool designer boutique that’s beloved of England’s glitzy footballers’ wives set, and all proceeds will go towards LIPA. Paul McCartney is one of the founders of the performing arts school, which opened in 1996 on the site of the high school McCartney once attended.
MARC AT SAINT MARTINS: Marc Jacobs gave students at London’s Central Saint Martins College an insight into life in the design world beyond the college walls Monday night. Journalist Sarah Mower, a professor at the college, interviewed Jacobs on stage, along with two members of his design team at Louis Vuitton — Emilie Jacquet, who designs handbags for the house, and Fabrizio Viti, who designs shoes. And during the hour-long discussion, Jacobs was frank about the battles he’s waged with the business side of the design houses he’s worked for.
“I don’t understand corporate people — I always say the design team’s on the second floor and the corporate people are on the fifth floor, and it might as well be the distance between here and Mars,” said Jacobs, relating the difficulties of getting his Stephen Sprouse monogram collection for Louis Vuitton in spring 2001 into production, after Vuitton’s management team at the time was reluctant to endorse the reworked logo. “The press reaction to all that graffiti was so amazing…[but] they bitched and moaned, [saying] ‘we’re not going to do it’. I just couldn’t believe it…at the time, that’s how narrow minded they were…[but] $300 million later, they think it’s a good idea!” (Jacobs diplomatically added that those detractors no longer work at Vuitton.)
This story first appeared in the May 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
He also dished on hiring Tom Ford as a designer for the denim line Perry Ellis America, when Jacobs was appointed vice president of women’s wear at Perry Ellis in 1989. “Tom was a different person then,” said Jacobs. “Tom was this very, very sort of haughty, tasteful person, very Waspy…or that’s what he was affecting at that moment. I thought it would be great to do a jean line with someone who has a very sophisticated mind.”
Despite facing a packed hall of design students waiting with bated breath for the designer’s creative tips, Jacobs said there was no set formula to his own design process. “It’s a daily, weekly, monthly evaluation of whims,” said Jacobs. “I don’t do it all — there are hundreds of talented people who I trust, and who love what we do.”
SUMMER STOCK: Yigal Azrouël is headed out east for the summer. The New York designer opens his second freestanding boutique, which will operate seasonally, April through October, tomorrow in Water Mill, N.Y., where his edgy, downtown designs are taking up residence in an 18th-century carriage house. Azrouël was drawn to the town’s quaint, country vibe and lack of luxury retail presence — a far cry from his industrial, urban perch in the Meatpacking District. “I like the fact that’s there’s nobody there. The store is not in a shopping center,” he notes. “It’s more of a destination place.” Along with his women’s, men’s and accessories collections, the Water Mill store will carry one of a kind pieces and some of Azrouël’s “favorite things,” including D&L Candles, DVDs from Criterion, and vintage eyewear and jewelry. “It’s super personal,” he says.