UNTOLD STORY: Diane von Furstenberg is considering writing a book about her late mother, a survivor of three concentration camps. Before a reading of the documentary play “Seven” at her Meatpacking District showroom Thursday, the designer recalled how she recently came across the note her mother had hurriedly written on a piece of cardboard with instructions to deliver it to her own parents and had thrown it into the street after she was arrested. “It read, ‘I don’t know where I’m going but I want you to know I’m leaving with a smile,'” von Furstenberg told the audience.
On Thursday night, she feted Vital Voices, an organization that helps disenfranchised women around the world. First came the play about the womens’ lives, written by Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith and Susan Yankowitz. Then a discussion with the women on whom it was based. “I went to a lunch Tina Brown arranged for them and the minute I walked in, I knew I wanted to be involved,” said von Furstenberg, afterwards. “It was earthy and real, and not condescending.” Others in the crowd included Fran Leibowitz, Chiara Clemente, Anh Duong and Fabiola Beracasa.
This story first appeared in the March 10, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LIGHTS OUT: As of April 1, guests retiring to the Mandarin Oriental’s top-tier suites in New York and London will find a complimentary Donna Karan black cashmere eye mask. There also will be a card for them to redeem at the designer’s Madison Avenue boutique for a coordinating pair of ballet slippers. But don’t look for Karan to be joining the ranks of Dame Edna or David Tang in the luxury resort’s “I’m-a-fan” brand campaign.
ROAD TRIP: Fred Segal, Marc Jacobs, Kid Robot, Paul Frank and G-Star are about to get a new neighbor on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles — Johnny Cupcakes is moving in. John Earle, founder of the multimillion-dollar Boston-based T-shirt and accessories label, is readying to open his first West Coast store at 7959 Melrose Avenue in mid-May. The 25-year-old college dropout, designer and entrepreneur launched his cupcake-themed line by selling items from the trunk of his 1989 Toyota Camry.
EXIT POLL: Fans of Francisco Costa and any other designer can now weigh in on which designers should join the ranks of James Galanos, Bonnie Cashin, Oscar de la Renta and other notables on the Fashion Walk of Fame in Manhattan. A public opinion poll is now up at the Fashion Center Business Improvement District’s Web site, fashioncenter.com.
COUTURE CLUB: The London-based designer-cum-illustrator Charles Anastase, who is said to count Beth Ditto, Yoko Ono and Rei Kawakubo among his clients, is the latest ready-to-wear designer to switch to showing during couture week. The designer will count among the Chambre Syndicale’s list of invited members this July.