WEARS JOHNNY: U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir reportedly opted to stay in the Olympic Village rather than a Vancouver hotel due to threats from antifur activists. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wasn’t responsible, according to president Ingrid Newkirk. “He said he got calls at home. That’s not our style. We go directly to people and point out the why of it,” she said Monday.
The group did make a written appeal to Weir a few weeks ago asking him to stop wearing fur. Last month, he competed at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships wearing a fox-trimmed outfit. The Olympian recently said he will not wear fur during the Games, but that decision was driven by style. Executives at U.S. Figure Skating did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
“Now that Johnny has acquiesced, we wish all the best for him and hope he goes for the gold,” Newkirk said. “We will look at other targets that need to be educated.”
Asked if it was likely that PETA would still have rooted for Weir had he not changed his costume, she said, “Not particularly. We like kind people to win everything and cruel people to go to the back of the pack.”
ART AND COMMERCE: The Whitney Museum of American Art found itself a new fashion industry friend for the 2010 Whitney Biennial, which opens to the public on Feb. 25. Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc. will be this year’s Biennial fashion sponsor, and, as part of the partnership, Tommy Hilfiger is launching a few initiatives. In addition to hosting the opening night’s after party at his Fifth Avenue flagship with writer Bob Colacello, 2010 Biennial artist Ari Marcopoulos and Whitney director Adam D. Weinberg on Feb. 23, Hilfiger and Marcopoulos have collaborated on a special limited edition tote sold at the Whitney and the Fifth Avenue store for $98 from Feb. 24. Half the proceeds from sales of the totes will go to the museum. The first 1,000 visitors on Feb. 27 will also be able to enter the exhibit for free, courtesy of Hilfiger, who is underwriting their admission.
A TOUCH OF BRITAIN: For anyone who couldn’t make it to Paris for men’s fashion week, Dunhill has brought its fall collection to New York. Through Feb. 18, the collection hangs in a temporary installation on West 13th Street in the Meatpacking District, where Dunhill has suspended die-cut aluminum panels that mimic the lines of Bourdon House, the brand’s London home. Glass cases display archival objects including pens, games and leather envelopes. Designer Kim Jones came for the opening night on Thursday and put on a brave face for guests although he was bereft about his friend Alexander McQueen. Jones did say he was pleased with Dunhill’s progress and eager to locate permanent space for a New York store.
COMPETITIVE EDGE: France’s ANDAM fashion award just got a double boost, with the arrival of French Vogue editor in chief Carine Roitfeld as head of the jury and an extra 60,000 euros, or $81,758, in prize money. The move was revealed just three weeks after a meeting between Roitfeld, French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi and U.S. Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, at which Wintour told the government official that France was not doing enough to support emerging designers. Organizers of the prize said it would carry a reward of 220,000 euros, or $299,781 at current exchange rates, in 2010 — more than the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and other leading awards, they remarked. The award is bestowed by the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts on local or foreign designers under age 40 seeking to expand their businesses in France. Previous winners include Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh and Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren of Viktor & Rolf. Finalists are to be unveiled in May, with the awards ceremony taking place in October.
CAMPING OUT: Sean Lennon and his girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, cohosted a party with Paper magazine on Saturday for the opening of the latest Camper flagship on Madison Avenue. Kelly Osbourne and actress Alison Brie checked out the 1,500-square-foot space, along with Lorenzo Fluxá Jr., son of the founder of the Spanish footwear brand. Camper operates four stores in the U.S. and more than 200 globally.
INDIA, VIA LONDON: India’s leading designers are out to capitalize on the growing overseas market for south Asian fashion by showcasing their collections at London’s first all-Indian fashion week. Indian Premier London Fashion Week, which is to be held April 7 to 11 at the Truman Brewery in London’s East End, is being organized by Idea Weavers, an Indian events management company, and Elite Model Management in Stockholm. It will take place twice a year.
The event hopes to tap into Britain’s large and increasingly prosperous Asian population. Asians — chiefly Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis — constitute some 4 percent of the U.K.’s population, and they are thought to generate an even higher percentage of gross domestic product. “British Asians are an affluent class who are not yet being catered to,” said Vivek Agarwal, Idea Weavers’ chief events coordinator.
Those expected to take part in the event include Anamika Khanna, Narendra Kumar and Ritu Beri, alongside newer upcoming designers.
Khanna, who was one of India’s first designers to show at Paris Fashion Week, said she found it tough being the only representative of Indian design when she started showing overseas. “It’s really tough if you do it by yourself, even though anything from India automatically arouses interest,” she said. “But to do it collectively, as the best of Indian talent, that’s exciting.”
MAC, RODARTE TEAM UP FOR COLOR: MAC Cosmetics and Rodarte will collaborate in the fall to produce a limited edition color cosmetics collection. Due in September, the line is inspired by Rodarte’s fall 2010 show and is expected to be available in all MAC doors globally. MAC has provided makeup artistry support to Rodarte’s runway shows since 2006, including today’s show.