CFDA UPDATE: While half the fashion industry is on vacation this week, the other half seems to be keeping itself busy buzzing about Peter Arnold‘s potential replacement as executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Arnold’s contract with the CFDA expired on Monday, and many believe Robert Burke, Bergdorf Goodman’s senior vice president of the fashion office, has the job if he wants it. But Burke’s deal with Bergdorf’s is said to be a stumbling block for the moment. Burke declined comment Wednesday.
Other names being bandied about include Katherine Ross, Prada’s senior vice president of communications and public relations, and Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York’s fashion director. Ross declined to comment and Gilhart could not be reached for comment.
“Rumors are rumors — I can’t do anything about rumors,” said CFDA president Stan Herman. “There are a lot of names and that’s all I can say at this point. The process has just started. There are a number of people being talked to. All the names will go through the committee that I have appointed, and that process hasn’t started yet. I will probably be meeting Karen [Harvey of Karen Harvey Consulting Group, who is conducting the search] next week.”
There’s also always the question of Herman’s own job. He is expected to step down next year, with Joseph Abboud and Diane von Furstenberg said to be in the running. The latter said she has fielded a few calls from people spurring her on, but “we’re definitely not there yet. Right now, we need to fill Peter’s role and take it to the next level.”
GALANOS TAKES AIM: Seven years after shuttering his business, James Galanos has rolled up his sleeves to take another shot at beauty. But this time his focus is photography, not fashion. He is piecing together an exhibition that may go up early next year. Trying to protect the content, Galanos said: “There are things that I see and how I see them. I try to make my own take. I’m working a little bit on abstractions. They are not just pretty little pictures.”
Despite interest in the project from “quite a few,” Galanos said he is in no rush to complete it. “The problem being I am not releasing it until I am totally satisfied with what I’m doing.”
ROCK THE CASBAH: Carolyn Powers went all out with the Middle Eastern-inspired Dennis Basso fashion show she hosted at her Aspen ranch last week. Building on the designer’s embroidered and bejeweled pieces, she decorated the pool area and garden like a Moroccan casbah, replete with models lounging on oversized pillows. Nancy Crown, Nancy Magoon, Paula Crown and Lauren King were among the guests who liked the looks of a $32,500 sheared mink, a sable-trimmed coat with hand-embroidery and a $26,500 shearling coat with sable trim.