CITY SWITCH: After four seasons, German designer Wolfgang Joop is saying adieu to New York Fashion Week and shifting his Wunderkind show venue to Paris. As part of the official show calendar, Wunderkind will make its Paris debut Oct. 1 in the Palais de Chaillot. A Paris market showroom will open in Salle Erard. Timing prompted the decision, said managing director Edwin Lemberg. “We loved New York. We were well received, and Wolfgang still has his apartment there. But technically, because of shipping and Customs, the New Yorkers had two or three more weeks [to prepare] than we did. The poor guys from Brandenburg were always the first to have to be finished,” he quipped.
The Paris move is part of a wider international expansion of the Potsdam, Germany, fashion house. Wunderkind is putting the finishing touches on a Milan showroom, on the corner of Via Montenapoleone and Via Verri, and has set up a sales office in London for the U.K., North American and Northern European markets. Karim El-Barbari, formerly senior vice president of DKNY, has been named to the new position of brand president, and the international sales team will be headed by Sarah-Jane Godman in her new job as vice president of global marketing and sales. Marita Gottinger is joining Wunderkind as director of public relations, and MO Communications will oversee global p.r. activity from its offices in London and Paris.
REM IN THE SHADE: Rem Koolhaas, who designed Prada’s Epicenter stores in New York and Los Angeles and who collaborates on the production of the company’s fashion shows via his think tank division, AMO, is designing the preview for the spring 2007 collection of Prada Linea Rossa sunglasses on Thursday night. The event, open to editors and select Prada customers, will take place at the firm’s SoHo store in New York. Fifty-four frames in black, mulberry and military green will be set against mountain scenes to represent the consumer who wears the sunglasses for sport, while a sea theme conjures the consumer who wears the glasses for leisurely activities — say, sunning on Capri.
REAL NICOLE?: Nicole Miller hosted a dinner at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles Monday night that drew actresses Elizabeth Banks and a very pregnant Pell James and Hollywood stylists Jennifer Rade and Taylor Jacobson. Miller, who was in town to interview architects to renovate her Los Angeles store, also took a meeting with representatives from the William Morris Agency to “discuss TV possibilities,” she said. The designer played coy when asked if a reality show — à la “House of Boateng” — was on the table, but said, “They have lots of interesting ideas — TV shows, dressing opportunities.”
Banks, who intimated she wants to get pregnant in the next year, chatted with guests about designers giving dresses to actresses as gifts. “My mother doesn’t understand the whole thing,” she said. “I keep telling her that most people need two great gowns in their entire life. We need one every week.”
ROOM SERVICE: Heatherette is the latest designer to join forces with Nicky Hilton in her new hotel venture, Nicky O, which makes its debut in South Beach this fall. Richie Rich, who, with partner Traver Rains, designs the funky clubwear-inspired line, flew to Miami Monday to begin work on the ocean view suite. “Nicky and I have been talking about doing this for a while, now it has become a reality,” said Rich, who met Hilton, his sometime runway model, when she was 16. “Nicky has become our muse, and it’s such a natural progression for her from fashion designer to hotelieress,” he said. The suite will have a boudoir-like feel, which Rich described as “Versailles with a modern pop culture twist. Imagine Marie Antoinette dancing to the beat of Studio 54.” The palette will be neon and stark white with pastel accents. “You won’t even need to go to a club that night, you’ll just want to hang out in the room and sit in a champagne bubble bath all night,” said Rich, who also plans to add interactive touches like an arts and crafts bar where guests can add crystals to their outfits. “The meek need not apply,” he said.