WINNING SCHOLARS: Fashion types descended on Diane von Furstenberg’s Meatpacking District headquarters on Wednesday to fete the new Liz Claiborne Fashion Scholarship and its first winner, Gohar Rajabzadeh. The senior at Miami International University of Art & Design didn’t miss a beat when asked how she hopes to make use of the $25,000. “I can do my master’s now,” the Sweden native said.
The two runners-up for the scholarship were Niloufar Mozafari of Parsons The New School for Design, and Laura Schmits of California College of the Arts. Art Ortenberg, who initiated the scholarship in the name of his late wife, was on hand with Cathy Horyn. He explained how the scholarship can go beyond just the annual prize. Recent Parsons graduate Robert Fitzsimmons, for instance, was looking for an internship opportunity in Paris, but needed additional financial support. With Ortenberg’s help, Fitzsimmons is interning at Lanvin in Paris. “We want to be able to develop people,” Ortenberg said.
Other guests included Elie Tahari, Andrew Rosen, William L. McComb, Erin Fetherston, Richard Lambertson and John Truex.
CALVIN’S TURN: Calvin Klein is the latest brand to reveal it will be live streaming its men’s and women’s runway shows during New York Fashion Week simultaneously on calvinkleincollection.com and Facebook. There will also be a live chat function on the brand’s Facebook page. The men’s collection will broadcast live from New York at 2 p.m. on Sunday, and the women’s collection at 3 p.m. on Feb. 18.
GOING GLOBAL: There will be numerous ethnic group shows this fashion season, including the Arise African, Unreserved American Indian and Flanders Fashion Institute presentations. But on Saturday and Sunday, as a group of six South Korean labels — Andy & Debb, Juun.J, Kuho, Doii Paris, Roliat and Park Choon Moo — take over the New York Public Library, the event will be just Act I in a two-year partnership between the CFDA and the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Korea Creative Content Agency. Titled Concept Korea, the project will take on an exchange-program approach with a CFDA shop-in-shop in Seoul, highlighting emerging American designers, in the upcoming year. Though that roster has yet to be determined, there is talk of presenting the Stateside designers at Seoul Fashion Week. Samsung Fashion & Design Funds also will be lending its support.
As for this New York leg, Doo-Ri Chung will cohost an opening party on Friday night, which will feature a performance by South Korean pop star Jeong Ji-hoon, aka Rain. The two-day presentation will also include photography by Jack Pierson and art installations by Curtis Anderson and Rosemarie Trockel.
QVC ON LOCATION: After last season’s New York Fashion Week performance for QVC — its two Bryant Park broadcasts sold 101,886 units — the home shopping giant returns to Bryant Park this week with an amped-up roster of runway-related coverage. A total of five fashion week shows will air over the course of five days, including two live broadcasts (Feb. 13 and 17), during which Isaac Mizrahi, Rachel Zoe, Erin Fetherston and network bestseller Lori Goldstein will hawk their home shopping collections, as well as three additional shows broadcast from QVC’s West Chester, Pa., headquarters. Among those being initiated into the QVC fold over the week are Thuy, Mara Hoffman, Erica Davies, Pamella Roland and Christian Francis Roth, all of whom will debut their home-shopping lines. But perhaps the biggest first for the network will be the presence of a QVC Fashion Closet in the Tents, the first time shoppers will actually be able to try on QVC clothes before they buy them.
ART SUPPLIES: Anya Hindmarch is the latest designer to dabble in the art world. For spring, Hindmarch has produced a collection of tote bags in collaboration with Ben Eine, a London-based street artist who’s known for the bold, colorful letters he spray paints onto walls and shop shutters across London. “I’ve always been a fan of graphics and love the huge letters Ben Eine paints,” said Hindmarch. “I couldn’t resist the chance to work with Ben to replicate these ideas on bags.” The four-piece collection is made up of canvas totes emblazoned with Eine’s cheeky slogans in oversize type, such as “Loot,” “Booty” and “Back Britain.” The totes will retail for 145 pounds, or $235 at current exchange, and will be sold exclusively at Anya Hindmarch boutiques and at Dover Street Market in London and Colette in Paris from April.
FEELING THE LOVE: Natalia Vodianova is joining with De Beers and Harper’s Bazaar UK to stage a second annual Love Ball that will take place on Feb. 23 during London Fashion Week. The event, which took place in Moscow last year, will raise funds for Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation, a charity that builds safe play areas for children in Russian cities, and a percentage of the money raised on the night will also go to children’s play parks in three U.K. cities. Dinos Chapman is the creative director of the evening, which will take place at the Roundhouse in Camden with dinner and auction featuring art by names including Jeff Koons, Sir Peter Blake, Keith Tyson, Marc Quinn and Francesco Vezzoli. The top lot is a pink and white diamond necklace, designed by Vodianova and created by De Beers.
ROCK AROUND THE CROC: Nancy Gonzalez, busy working on her latest handbag collection in Colombia, was the most conspicuous no-show at a dinner party Tuesday night at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris to fete a new Assouline book tracing her career. Instead her son, Santiago Barberi Gonzalez, held court, joined by fashion curator Pamela Golbin, who penned the tome. “One day you’ll meet her. I did not invent her,” he assured guests, hastening to add with a laugh: “One day in Florida an old lady came up to me, gave me a hug, and said, ‘Nancy, I love your bags.’” Gonzalez revealed he’s designed a luxury crocodile soccer ball for the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup in June. Among guests, Hervé Van der Straeten said he was gearing up for an exhibition of light and furniture designs at Ralph Pucci’s store in Los Angeles in March, followed by a show of exclusive pieces in April at the Pierre Bergé & Associés gallery in Brussels. As the Champagne flowed, Ruinart’s Jean-Christophe Laizeau disclosed the brand has hooked up with India Mahdavi for a Valentine’s Day box set packaged like a book of poems, containing two glasses designed by Mahdavi plus a bottle of the house’s bubbly.
CHOO BIZ: If location is key, then Jimmy Choo came out trumps for the Paris stop of its touring presentation of the Choo 24:7 line, held Thursday night at the former apartment of Jean Cocteau overlooking Palais Royal. Guests admired the wallpaper, covered with charming Cocteau-esque illustrations by Pierre Le-Tan, and sneaked into the storeroom to pore over a blackboard bearing faint chalked phone numbers scrawled by Cocteau, including Pablo Picasso’s. “Look at the view,” cooed jewelry designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac, who revealed that for fall, in reaction to soaring gold prices, she’s designed a collection of elaborate scarves and cashmere knits with jewel motifs embroidered on them.
ESCADA’S NEXT DIMENSION: Escada’s presence on Fifth Avenue is likely to shrink or disappear altogether. The retailer’s landlord, Jeff Sutton, has reportedly bought out Escada’s lease, which would give him the right to downsize the flagship or relocate it around the corner to East 55th Street. Sutton declined to comment. Sources said he could replace Escada with a single tenant or break the space into two stores. Tenants likely to replace Escada would undoubtedly come from the realm of jewelry or fashion. Escada in 2001 moved to the 17,000-square-foot space at 715 Fifth Avenue after 10 years in a smaller location on East 57th Street. Escada USA, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August after parent company Escada AG began insolvency proceedings in Munich, can no longer afford the rent. While it could not be learned what Escada is paying, Fifth Avenue commands the highest worldwide rent per square foot — $1,700 for ground floor space — according to a 2009 report by Cushman & Wakefield. Sutton, whose Wharton Properties has a history of buying out the leases of distressed tenants to maximize his investment, used a similar tack with Hugo Boss at 717 Fifth Avenue, paving the way for Giorgio Armani’s massive 40,000-square-foot multibrand flagship.