THE WINNER IS: As of June 1, online shoppers at ideeli Inc., an invitation-only online site, which specializes in sought-after merchandise, will have a chance to win a one-of-a-kind dress by Oscar de la Renta. Through a new partnership with the designer’s company, they will have 30 days to enter to try to score the floral silk faille bubble-hemmed cocktail dress, as well as a sketch of the design signed by de la Renta.
HITTING HIGH NOTES: From her childhood in Quebec to training in Vienna to career highlights, such as meeting Lady Diana Spencer, Hélène Mercier Arnault, wife of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault, recounts her daily life as a classical concert pianist in a new tome, “Au Fil des Notes” (“As the Music Flows,” in English). A fan, alongside Bernadette Chirac and Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Diana was moved to write to Arnault (the letter is reprinted in the book) after seeing her in concert in London in the Nineties. The tome, written in French, will be published by Editions Plon in June.
This story first appeared in the May 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SIGHTING: Barbara Walters was spotted at La Grenouille on Tuesday having a laugh-filled ladies’ lunch with a late-arriving Jayne Wrightsman and an even later arriving Annette de la Renta. Gee, wonder what they were talking about?
TAKE A BIKE: In what will no doubt be one of next month’s more unlikely gatherings of notables, Marion Cotillard, Hilary Duff, Donna Karan, LVMH honcho Renaud Dutreil and first deputy mayor Patricia Harris are expected to be on hand when the Bike in Style Challenge winners are unveiled June 2 at the LVMH Tower in Midtown Manhattan. In support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s battle cry for more bike commuting, LVMH teamed up with the Department of Transportation and the Fashion Institute of Technology to round up students to design clothing worthy of a ride to work.
MODERN KINGDOM: Fans of designer Richard Mishaan, including Helen Schifter, Beth Rudin, Nina Griscom, Allison Rockefeller and Gigi Mortimer turned out Thursday evening to inspect his lavish redo of the Presidential Suite atop the St. Regis Hotel. “It’s a modern interpretation of the 18th century. If Louis XV had a flat-screen TV, this is what it would look like,” said Mishaan, showing off a black lacquer and gilt commode equipped with hydraulic life to raise or lower the screen.
POPPED COLLARS: Gant is opening its first pop-up shop this summer in the resort town of Newport, R.I., inside the historic Hotel Viking. The 275-square-foot space, situated off the grand main lobby, will bow at the end of June and close in September. “We chose Newport to open our first American pop-up store because of our deep roots there and our strong ties to coastal living,” said Ari Hoffman, president of Gant USA. Founded in 1949 in New Haven, Conn., and now headquartered in Sweden, the preppie brand is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and will hold a global company conference in Newport at the end of the summer.
IN THE FRIDGE: Fashion designers have long made their mark using a variety of media, but this summer, Pepsi Co. will try to break into the design world using an unconventional one — refrigerators. The beverage powerhouse has employed members of the streetwear set to put their own stamp on the household appliances — all as part of Pepsi’s bid to recast the image of its AMP Energy Drink as the beverage of choice for the fashion, art and lifestyle crowd. The cross-promotional fridge program has fashion designers, musicians and artists design custom AMP-branded refrigerators, which will be stocked with energy beverages and placed in each designer’s home base to push the drink to customers. The adorned appliances will debut in 25 markets across the country by the end of the summer, including Los Angeles area outfits Crooks and Castles, Rogue Status and DJ Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak record label offices, as well as Huf Clothing in San Francisco and Reed Space in New York City. AMP refrigerators are already in Los Angeles streetwear shops Undefeated and Staple Design. The next custom coolers will debut this month in Hall of Fame and Gourmet stores in Los Angeles, with Flight Club in New York to follow. The marketing push also involves a documentary series that will run on AMP’s Web site profiling influencers of pop culture. The series will include Gen Art’s Fresh Faces of Fashion: Topher Chin, Aoki, Omar Epps and Han Cholo.