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- Blue Nile Taps Monica Rich Kosann for Exclusive Collection
- Gap’s Art Peck and Levi’s Chip Bergh Speak Out Against Discrimination
- Lawsuit Against Estée Lauder to Proceed
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The Right Mix: Donatella Versace will have plenty of designer company at the 25th annual Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars honoring “The Alchemists.” While Versace will pick up the Superstar Award, Christopher Bailey, Francisco Costa, Carla and Franca Sozzani and Christian Louboutin will be the fashion award honorees. Bobbi Brown will take home the beauty prize, Philippe Starck will pocket the one for architecture and Harvey Weinstein will receive the entertainment award. Simon Doonan will host the festivities at Cipriani 55 Wall Street. The corporate leadership award will go to Net-a-porter’s Natalie Massenet, while Paul Mitchell’s John Paul DeJoria will accept the sustainability award and Bill McComb will do the honors for the humanitarian award on behalf of the Liz Claiborne Foundation.
In Model Fashion: Ben Grimes is the latest model making the transition from mannequin to designer. Grimes, a former face of Burberry’s Brit fragrance, has teamed up with her designer friend Lily Parker to launch a capsule collection called LPBG. The collection will focus on silk dresses and separates, and is set to make its debut during London Fashion Week in September. “We have strived to bring old-school detailing to modern pieces,” said Grimes. “There are no full-length dresses in the collection. We wanted the clothes to be more about kicking up your heels and dancing.” Grimes and Parker — who has stints at Richard Nicoll‘s design studio under her belt — also have produced cropped jackets and shorts as part of their line. Grimes added that the two have taken their inspiration from fashion editorials in Seventies editions of Vogue and the idea of the perfect dress. Prices for the line are yet to be confirmed.
Pinault, Hayek Split: PPR chief executive officer Francois-Henri Pinault and actress Salma Hayek have called off their engagement, which was announced in March 2007. Their daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault, was born in September. In a statement, Hayek’s representative said: “We are sad to announce the engagement of Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault has been canceled. There will be no further comment.” PPR declined to comment.
Button Up: A year after apparel executives, seamstresses, jobbers and other tradesmen first pooled together to try to save the garment center by wearing pins that said as much, the New York district is still in peril. As a reminder to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others, activists have advised supporters to dig out their pins as a sign of solidarity. Just last week the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Yeohlee Teng and GIDC’s Fatiah Hosein sent letters to CFDA members urging them to e-mail Jed Howbert in the Mayor’s Office.
Climb Every Mountain: Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest, had some succinct wisdom to impart during a luncheon Thursday at — where else? — the Explorers’ Club in Manhattan. What’s a mountain climber’s first thought after scaling the world’s highest peak? “How to get down,” said Whittaker, 79, of his 1963 trek. The event was the first of what Eddie Bauer president and chief executive officer Neil Fiske promised would be many more partnerships with renowned outdoorsmen as he seeks to return the brand to its roots. Whittaker will consult with Eddie Bauer on marketing and product development, including a performance expedition line, to launch in April.
Crystal Palace: Baccarat, the French crystal maker, is getting into the luxury hotel business. The company, which is controlled by Starwood Capital, has announced that it has agreed to build a Baccarat resort in the new Dubai Pearl complex in Dubai. Baccarat artistic director Chasik Gasmi will oversee the project.