WEDDING TOASTS: Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld along with Marianne and William L. McComb, Liz Claiborne Inc.’s chief executive officer, hosted a dinner Tuesday to celebrate Claiborne’s new partnership with Narciso Rodriguez. Of the approximately 50 guests at il Cantinori, most (at least the bold-faced names) didn’t fall on either the Seinfelds’ or McCombs’ side of the aisle, but rather were there to cheer on the designer, whose name and trademarks Claiborne bought a half-stake in last month for $12 million. Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Rachel Weisz and Tory Burch (perhaps Claiborne’s next target?) all showed their support. Jerry Seinfeld toasted the union, calling it — in true Seinfeld fashion — “not a wedding, but [it] is kind of like a wedding.” Claiborne’s new chief creative officer, Tim Gunn, slipped out early to film the upcoming season of “Project Runway.”
CHANEL ON RODEO: Chanel, which recently showed its cruise line in a hangar at Santa Monica Airport, is getting ready for another West Coast extravaganza. The Paris house will unveil its 14,700-square-foot, Peter Marino-redesigned flagship at 400 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in August. Art, luxury’s new must-have accessory, will get prominent play. Five specially commissioned art works referencing the house’s DNA will be scattered around the shop, including a Johan Cretan porcelain torso with camellia flourishes and a François-Xavier Lalanne bronze sculpture of a stag, inspired by a piece that belonged to Coco Chanel. Peter Dayton, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Paola Pivi round out the house’s artistic stable. Furniture designers Patrick Fredrikson and Ian Stallard also created a piece. Architect Marino modeled the store’s façade after a Chanel No.5 perfume box, carving out two separate entrances for the contiguous fashion and fine jewelry outposts. Marino’s other standout design flourish promises to be the rooftop terrace’s facade, where thousands of tone-on-tone LED-lit double-C Chanel logos will shine. Perfect for Tinseltown?
ANNABEL’S SOLD: It’s the end of an era. Mark Birley has sold his legendary London nightclub, Annabel’s, to Richard Caring, the London clothing supplier and owner of The Ivy and Le Caprice restaurants. Sources said Caring purchased Annabel’s and private clubs Mark’s Club, George, Harry’s Bar and the Bath & Racquets Club for upward of $180 million. The deal was signed Tuesday. Birley is on holiday in Morocco and could not be reached for comment, and Caring declined to comment. As reported, Caring, a close friend of Topshop boss Sir Philip Green, had been in talks with Birley for a number of months. The perma-tanned, 58-year-old Caring ranks 177th on the Sunday Times of London Rich List with a net worth of $900 million. He bought The Ivy, Le Caprice, Daphne’s and J Sheekey in 2005. Birley founded Annabel’s more than 40 years ago, and over the decades it’s hosted everyone from European princes to Middle Eastern magnates to London pop stars. The sale follows a Birley family feud, which resulted in Birley’s son, Robin Birley, being banished from the club last year. Sources say the club’s namesake and Birley’s ex-wife, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, is none too pleased about the sale to Caring.
This story first appeared in the June 7, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
ARMANI SNIFFS OUT CELEBS: Roberta Armani, Giorgio Armani‘s 36-year-old niece, is becoming a more visible face for the company as it continues to deepen its relationships with celebrities. After dressing Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney for their Cannes premieres last month, Armani jetted to Madrid for Beyoncé Knowles’ European debut as the new face of Emporio Armani‘s Diamonds fragrance, and will land Stateside with the star in August. “For someone so young, she has accomplished so much and is always so together,” said Armani, explaining the house’s decision to sign its first singer spokesmodel.
Armani’s friendship with Katie Holmes has caused speculation that Mrs. Tom Cruise may become the next famous face for the brand, but Armani says, “The timing wouldn’t be right, considering we just signed Beyoncé.” But she does give the thumbs-up to Holmes’ style: “She is a model for how young women today should dress. There aren’t very many good examples in Hollywood these days.” For that, Armani looks to Holmes’ European counterparts, Sienna Miller and Marion Cotillard, whom she feels would represent the brand well. Future deals on the horizon, perhaps?
HIGH TIMES AT TOPSHOP: The dust may have barely settled since the media scrum at the launch of Kate Moss’ debut collection for Topshop last month, but the model isn’t resting on her laurels. The next Kate Moss Topshop collection, for high summer, launched in U.K. Topshop stores and on the retailer’s Web site Wednesday, and the 30-piece range includes a one-shouldered, textured cotton dress in white, lemon and black; a simple black string bikini, and plenty of embroidered caftans, bikinis and maxi-length dresses. “This is an essential holiday capsule collection inspired by my travels,” said Moss. “I love the one-shoulder dress. A friend bought me something similar so we changed the length and added the inverted pleat, it’s so easy to dress up or down.” The new collection is the second installment of the four collections a year the model is set to design for the store, with a fall line featuring tweed pieces and beaded dresses set to land in August, and a winter collection due in October. In between collections, there will be intermittent drops, such as a collection of vivid summer dresses that will arrive in July.