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VERA’S DOUBLEHEADER: Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek became the first American man to win gold Thursday night since Brian Boitano did in 1988. And Vera Wang suited him up with a little extra sparkle to get the job done. For the clincher, the designer decked out the 6-foot, 2-inch Chicagoan in a sleek black skating costume with a Swarovski-encrusted serpentine collar. After orchestrating her runway show, Wang jetted off to see Lysacek’s on-ice showdown with Evgeni Plushenko. En route back from the Games Friday, Wang compared her Olympic experience with her Bryant Park one. “Both were extremely stressful…and all in one day — show in the morning, short program at night!”
BIG HEARTS: Italian designers and brands are lending support to Haiti’s earthquake victims. Piazza Sempione has stripped down its presentation on Feb. 26 and donated the rest of its budget to Save the Children. In separate initiatives, both the Valentino designers, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, and the Camera della Moda, in collaboration with seven up-and-coming designers, are creating T-shirts that will be on sale to benefit the Francesca Rava – Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Foundation.
Chiuri and Piccioli are hosting cocktails at Valentino’s Milan and Paris flagships to promote the initiative, donating a portion of fashion week sales from those stores and selling copies of fashion photographer Stefano Guindani’s book on Haiti. The Valentino T-shirts also will be on sale on the brand’s Web site starting March 15.
As for the Camera’s initiative, a total of 3,000 Ts designed by Italy’s Next Generation were produced free of charge by Stefanel and will be available on LuisaViaRoma.com from Wednesday to March 1.
THE VIRTUAL ME: It’s 2 a.m. Can’t bear to wait until stores open to buy a Louis Vuitton monogrammed bag? Well, the French leather goods house has satiated the desires of its round-the-clock shoppers with the launch of the Mon Monogram personalization service on its Web site. Customers can click to order their own unique Monogram canvas bag that can be customized with initials and 17 different colors and stripes for more than 200 million possible combinations. The colors are applied to the canvas before it is coated and sealed, to ensure long wear. Until this month, the service was only available in a select group of Vuitton flagships across the globe. Prices range from $940 to $4,070. “Since our founding in 1854, Louis Vuitton has catered to clients wishing to create custom pieces via special order,” said Daniel Lalonde, president and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton North America. “We are delighted to offer this new platform on louisvuitton.com and in Louis Vuitton stores worldwide.”
HERE COMES TROUBLE: Friends of Agnès Trouble — better known as agnès b., gathered at the designer’s Paris headquarters last week to see her be awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration in France, presented by Stéphane Hessel.
Among the crowd, that whooped and whistled in support, British actor Benjamin Northover marveled at her generosity. “What’s so magic about Agnès is that she carries so many people, she manages to be involved in so many things and be so completely present; she works so hard but also knows how to play,” said Northover who is filming “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.” “I play a baddie, but that’s all I’m saying,” he said.
“She’s always supported me through thick and thin,” echoed fashion photographer Steve Hiett, who has photographed agnès b.’s beauty line for the past 23 years. Hiett revealed he’s working on the design of an Assouline tome about the life of Vidal Sassoon. The book is due out this fall, in time for the release of a documentary about the legendary hairdresser’s life, he said.
HITTING MIAMI: For its second greater Miami store, Y-3 hit the beach. The 1,700-square-foot store at 1111 Lincoln Road marks Miami as the only metropolis outside New York with two boutiques. According to a spokesperson, the company wanted to be part of the tony project designed by Herzog & de Meuron, adding Y-3 was the first tenant to open. There are no intentions to close its Design District branch, which caters to a different market with more fashion and concept pieces. Miami Beach offers a larger general assortment of apparel, accessories and footwear, such as the best-selling Sprint and Kazuhiri styles, for men, women and children. Exclusives center on the upcoming World Cup. The spokesperson expects Miami Beach to generate the highest sales in the U.S., citing international tourism as a major boost.