The Accessories Council staged its 21st annual ACE Awards Monday night, where fashion designers and celebrities mingled in celebration of shoes, handbags, jewelry and eyewear.Eva Longoria, Victoria Justice and Brooke Shields attended the event, held at Cipriani 42nd Street.They cheered as Betsey Johnson, the evening’s Style Icon award winner, was saluted with a 75th birthday cake and when Monica Rich Kosann’s daughters, Danielle and Laura Kosann of The New Potato, presented their mother with the Trailblazer Award.Between courses, designers and executives mulled changes within the accessories and fashion industries — particularly focusing on the topic of shoe design.While sneakers have begun to decelerate in popularity — following a multiyear reign — designers recognize that women are conditioned to wear comfortable shoes, rather than towering heels.“I think there is a sense that women want to feel unencumbered and walk freely and comfortably,” said ACE Designer of the Year winner Joseph Altuzarra, who paraded a small army of Imperial Russia-inspired looks, accompanied by combat boots for fall. “I think that, for me, the combat boot was such an excellent symbol of female strength and confidence. I do think that women want more fashion options that are not high-heel shoes,” he added of the design.Neiman Marcus president and chief merchandising officer Jim Gold said of the state of women’s shoes: “There is no question that footwear has seen a big movement toward more comfortable shoes. We ask ourselves all of the time: ‘Now that women have become really used to comfortable footwear — are they going to go back to wearing higher heels?’"“I think the eye will eventually shift — women still love a heel. I know they are painful, but the eye will shift and there will come a day when women will hoist themselves up again. But it’s about balance. The amount of creativity today in footwear certainly exceeds what we saw a few years ago — now women can build wardrobes of sneakers, loafers and flats. We used to have a hard time finding product to carry and now, the offering is phenomenal.”Gold added that the breadth of handbags available today has also enriched the accessories category. "The innovation in handbags continues — the leaders get stronger and stronger. Handbags today — compared with what we used to be able to select from in the marketplace five years ago — is night and day. As long as the industry continues to operate in same way, good things will come.”Global Brands Group North America president Jason Rabin — this year’s ACE Business Visionary Award winner — is enacting similar change in his own backyard. The executive has retooled GBG’s corporate culture to provoke innovation within his own employees. GBG has built a giant respite space at its headquarters where Millennial employees can work with few boundaries.This September, GBG will kick off its LIO program — an acronym for leaders, innovators and opportunities. The initiative welcomes 10 new college graduates from across the country to create innovative concepts in GBG’s lab without bosses, supervision or guidelines.“I felt that the industry is changing rapidly. I’m 47 years old — I feel old in this industry. The mentality today of the employee coming to work is different than it was 20 years ago. Millennials want to have an experience when they come to work. We’ve created an environment to attract the Millennials, so they can come in and be creative,” Rabin said. “I pride myself on not being a dinosaur and being ahead of the curve. I want them to want to work and not leave.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.