Fran Drescher, Nelly and the $50,000 evening clutch.

<STRONG>INK-STAINED WRETCH</STRONG>: <STRONG>Hedi Slimane</STRONG>’s dream of being a journalist came true on Friday when the issue he guest-edited for France’s left-leaning newspaper Liberation hit newsstands. Called “London...

INK-STAINED WRETCH: Hedi Slimane’s dream of being a journalist came true on Friday when the issue he guest-edited for France’s left-leaning newspaper Liberation hit newsstands. Called “London Calling,” the front (and back) page featured a photograph Slimane took of Pete Doherty, companion of Kate Moss, frontman of Babyshambles and formerly of the Libertines. Slimane’s fascination with London’s rock scene unfolded throughout the paper he designed via photographs — many taken by himself — and pieces written by the likes of Paul Simonon of The Clash and Alison Mosshart of The Kills.

DESIGN FOR A LIVING: Reed Krakoff, Coach’s creative director and an enthusiast of contemporary design, is so keen on Ron Arad that he not only wrote the book to go with the Israeli-born designer’s first exhibition and retrospective in New York in almost 20 years, he even helped hawk some of the pieces on display at the Barry Friedman Ltd. gallery. Krakoff enthusiastically showed off Arad’s sculptures and furniture to potential buyers, including Arad’s most famous pieces — the “Big Easy” chair collection and his “After Spring” and “Before Summer” chaise lounge collection of polished bronze. Arad designed the carbon fiber and Nomex honeycomb paper desk that sits in Krakoff’s office at Coach headquarters on 34th Street.

“I love the idea of collecting art that was created by someone who is still around, having it be something of our time,” said Krakoff.

In attendance at the opening were Richard Meier, Coach chairman and chief executive officer Lew Frankfort and Delphine Krakoff.

LOB ONE FOR FASHION: Anna Kournikova may soon become a fixture on the fashion scene.

The former tennis star, who was in New York this past weekend to help open the Adidas store in SoHo, said she enjoyed going to the Y-3 show in Paris in March so much that she wants to start attending other runway presentations. “It was my first fashion show and I loved it,” she gushed about Y-3. “I couldn’t believe how long it took to start and how short it was.” Clad in a bright blue Adidas jersey, dark blue cropped Adidas pants, and white Adidas sneakers, Kournikova, still an Adidas-sponsored athlete — who’s often cited for her own sense of style — drew throngs of paparazzi to the opening of the 30,000-square-foot store, located on the northeast corner of Houston and Broadway. Among other athletes on hand were boxer Lailia Ali and NBA player Sebastian Telfair.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The store opening festivities were almost upstaged by a march and a rally to promote the legalization of marijuana use, which was staged, across the street, at the same time as the Adidas event.

IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE: Nelly and Judith Leiber are an unlikely pairing, but the story of how the rapper ended up hosting an auction at the Judith Leiber boutique uptown is not as farfetched as one might assume. After his sister told him that women love Leiber bags, Nelly gave the glitzy brand a “shout out” in his 2004 single “Flap Your Wings.” Sadly, his sister lost her battle with leukemia earlier this year, and so, on Thursday, Nelly appeared at the Leiber boutique to benefit his foundation 4Sho4kids, which supports children with leukemia. He auctioned off some rare Judith Leiber pieces, including a Hello Kitty minaudière designed by Kimora Lee Simmons, a T-Mobile Sidekick case with alligator and diamonds that he designed and VIP backstage tickets to his upcoming Sweat & Suit Tour for the charity.

“It’s all about the kids,” Nelly said in between signing autographs for afflicted children. “Anything I can do for them, I will.”

A crowd from all walks of show business came in support, including actress Fran Drescher, Kwame Jackson of “The Apprentice,” designer Alice Roi and O Oprah editor-at-large Gayle King. Russell Simmons was absent but phoned in the winning bid of $50,000 for the Hello Kitty minaudière. It was said he bought it for wife Kimora Lee’s upcoming birthday. You’d think being married to the bag’s co-designer would get him a discount.

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