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On the Moon Landing and Space Travel

On the eve of the anniversary of man first walking on the moon, WWD asked designers and others their views of the event — and whether they dream of ever going into space.

The WWD front page of the moon landing coverage from 1969.

Josie Natori

I watched it on TV in New York with a date. I remember it as a not-to-be-believed awesome moment. My date proceeded to say he would take me to the moon one day!

On going into space: I am very happy being on Earth and have no real desires to go to space!!!

Rebecca de Ravenel

I have always been fascinated with the stars. When I was little I would fall asleep looking at glow-in-the-dark stars and constellations I had scattered across my bedroom ceiling. I always wanted to be closer to the moon and stars…I now have a dog named Luna!

Thoughts on the anniversary: When I think about the monumental advances made in tech, AI, medicine and science over the last few decades, it amazes me that the moon is still such a great source of mystery and has such a huge effect on our emotions, moods and state of being.

Would you like to travel in space?: I am perfectly happy here…dancing in the moonlight.

Coqueline Courrèges

Speaking of herself and her husband, the late designer André Courrèges: “We were in Paris watching television. We thought it was a feat. On the other hand, contrary to what was written by others about us, this event did not impact the fashion house.

“The technical achievement of the first step on the moon was great, but by no means inspired us: The astronauts’ clothing was designed for daily use and survival in zero gravity in a rocket. At the time, we were turned to the daily needs of the earthly woman!

“With regard to the term ‘Space Age,’ I much prefer the word ‘futurist.’ We created ‘Couture Future’ — we were turned toward the future of human beings on our planet.”

Tory Burch

Tory Burch

It is hard to imagine that it’s been 50 years.…Landing on the moon shows us that anything’s possible.

Interest in space growing up: I thought I did until I took astrophysics at Penn…

On going into space: Never say never…

Jean Paul Gaultier

At that time, my grandmother was the only one with a television. It was black-and-white in those days, of course, and I watched it, and it was pretty amazing. But my memories of it are very fuzzy, because I always have my head in the clouds anyway.

On going into space: I’m claustrophobic, so the idea of the trip makes me nauseous. I already have trouble with long-haul flights, so you can image, I couldn’t deal with being in space for months at a time. I would go nuts, or else I would have to bring all my friends along for the ride.

Rebecca Minkoff

Interest in space growing up: I did, but my most visceral memory was when the space shuttle blew up and all I could think about was those kids losing their mother and was devastated for them.

Thoughts on the anniversary: Excited. Disappointed we have not yet figured out space travel by now?

Would you like to travel in space? Nope! Very happy to die an earthling!

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano  Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

I had tons of interest in space growing up. I would play with dolls and action figures, and they were always in some sort of outer world and lived on different planets. I always felt that there had to be another world where we could go.

On the anniversary: It’s so unreal that 50 years ago we as a culture were able to come together and explore something so completely new. It’s so inspiring to know that if we could land on the moon 50 years ago, then the possibilities will be endless in my lifetime/in the next 50 years. I can’t wait to see what happens and where we go next.

On going into space: I would love, LOVE to go to space. I just did an entire collection inspired by this idea that there is another world out there in space for us to thrive in, and I might even be closer to space than some might think with a special project coming soon!

Wes Gordon, Carolina Herrera

Interest in space growing up: What child doesn’t dream of space? The magic of the constellations, the infinite unknown, and the promise of infinite possibility. And aliens.

Thoughts on the anniversary: The fact that it has been 50 years makes me think we’re long overdue for our next space milestone.

On going into space: If I could blink and be in space? Absolutely. But the rigorous training and journey itself is something I’m happy to leave to the professionals.

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Oscar de la Renta and Monsie

We were both interested in fashion and only fashion from a very early age. Fernando preferred watching red carpet events to anything else. In the past we’ve found inspiration from the celestial objects, but neither of us have a desire to travel into space. Travel and dressing our customer for travel has been on our minds for recent collections, so if she wants to go into space we can certainly outfit her for the trip.

LaQuan Smith

Everyone always has interest in the unknown, and space has always been that for me. A new frontier of sorts just begging to be explored and used. I can’t believe it’s been 50 years since our first moon landing. My dream is to design a space collection for the first colony to live out there.

Mark Badgley

My twin sister, my parents and I all got in the car and drove to my grandparents’ home to watch the Apollo landing on their TV, which was the size of a Volkswagen with a tiny screen. It was super exciting; we all watched it in a hockey-game atmosphere — bowls of popcorn and plenty of sodas, whooping and hollering. The actual telecast was jaw-dropping.

James Mischka

We were living in Malibu when Apollo 11 happened. My father was traveling for work, which meant we three boys got to have ice cream for dinner – sundaes and the first man on the moon, a perfect combination.

Victor Glemaud

Victor Glemaud

I remember a Helmut Lang collection from the late Nineties when I was in my first or second year at FIT which made me want to travel to space because I knew what I would wear. The silver flag jackets and pants and orange spacesuit are scorched into my visual memory as the ultimate space travel look. Sensational! Space! Style! I always had a fascination with the idea of space travel as a kid. But now as an opinionated and particular adult — who enjoys unplugging and disappearing on holiday — I’m not so sure. I am very much looking forward to the anniversary, however.

Jason Alkire

I was into astronomy when I was a kid — huge family telescope, Carl Sagan, science fair projects, the whole thing.

On the anniversary: I look at the accomplishment as human progress at its best.

On going into space: Hell yes.

Julie Alkire

I grew up in Texas where stars dominate the night sky. I was fascinated with space, and dreamed of what life existed there.

On the anniversary: I like to think of that time in America when everyone worked together to achieve the impossible and celebrated the moment together.

On going into space: Yes!! Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been looking forward to the day aliens arrive.

Daniella Kallmeyer

Daniella Kallmeyer

I don’t recall having a specific interest in space growing up — perhaps a vague memory of the Mars Pathfinder landing being an exciting and anticipatory moment! Regarding an interest in space now, as I’ve found my way in the world, my interest in space is more about how it relates to time as a construct, or the metaphysical unknowns as an interesting discussion for me since leaning into more spiritual practices. As far as going into space, I’m still trying to figure out life down here. But I hope the anniversary brings up opportunities to discuss the importance of encouraging and accessing STEM, especially amongst young women and girls.

Pierre Davis, No Sesso

I’ve always been super fascinated by space: the galaxies and dimensions, moons, planets, the colors, the rings of Saturn, etc. In fact No Sesso has always been inspired by futurism and what other beings are wearing in different galaxies or what people will be wearing in the future.

Thoughts on the anniversary: It was an amazing feat for human advancement and since then so many advancements have been made. But with Hollywood around the corner from us it makes you wonder 👀🤔

On going into space: Yes absolutely!

Yeohlee Teng

[I was] wandering the canyons of the city, feeling like an alien, which I was, having just recently transitioned from a hot tropical island in the Straits of Malacca to a hot, humid summer in Manhattan.

My experience of the moon landing was in re-runs rife with conspiracy theories and echoes of “One small step for man…” Everything felt surreal, and I felt like a Stranger in a Strange Land.

On going into space: No. We have a lot to uncover and discover right now, here in our own backyard.

Adam Lippes

While I didn’t have particular space interests growing up, I have vivid memories of the Challenger program in elementary school. We were always brought together to watch the lift-off and landing. They were some of the most inspiring and uplifting days, and of course, one of the most tragic — a day I’ll never forget. It was the first time I remember feeling real unity — those rare moments when everyone is one.

On going into space: Travel is a passion of mine — but Earth-based.

Giambattista Valli

I’m the generation of “The Jetsons.” But that moment of the moon landing [before I was born] and the Space Age fashion was interesting. I was very attracted to the work of Lucio Fontana, Courrèges, Mila Schön, and interior design around that time, like François and Betty Catroux’s apartment, Pierre Cardin’s ‘Bubble’ villa near Cannes. I just bought a sofa by Pierre Paulin that’s very much in this space kind of mood. It’s something really deep in my DNA.

Nicola Bulgari, Bulgari

That day was very emotional. I vividly remember the euphoria felt seeing the first man step onto the lunar surface; it was such a big moment for humanity and truly one of those epic occasions one can never forget!

Christopher John Rogers

I’ve always had an interest in space and the cosmos. Astrology, aliens, and the ability to imagine life beyond our confines on earth have always been inspiring.
The fact that we sent men to space 50 years ago and they were able to successfully land on the Moon and return is remarkable. To know now how technologically advanced we are, and all that NASA is working on uncovering, is exciting to see what even’t we’ll get to celebrate next.

On going into space: Although I find space really Interesting, I definitely wouldn’t willingly go! I have a huge fear of heights and I’ve seen too many movies about people dying in space. Not for me!

Jonathan Simkhai

Jonathan Simkhai

I wasn’t alive for the moon landing, but I have seen the iconic pictures and appreciate it being a sense of pride for our country.

On going into space: I don’t think so. I am more into tropical destinations and good food! Nothing freeze-dried for me!

Have you ever been inspired by space suits?: For sure, I love aerodynamic things, quilting and tech fabrics, beautiful patches, too. There is something really modern about the Apollo suits even though they are now 50 years old.

Dean and Dan Caten

We were just little kids when we watched the moon landing on TV from a window in a mall because we we didn’t have a TV at home, and we were captivated, it opened our minds. We always knew we wanted to go beyond our little home town of Toronto where we grew up to see the world and live a different story, and the moon landing was like an affirmation to us that anything is possible. Now we see the moon in perspective of our planet, one day humans will have the technology to send people to live there, and it makes us want to embrace Mother Earth more, travel her many countries and swim in her oceans and snowboard down her mountains. We’d still love to take a trip on a rocket ship to see the moon for ourselves because we were born under a full moon, we’re the lunar twins!

Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali  Stephen Lovekin/WWD/Shutterstock

I love everything about the future and technology!
This was what I thought would be the beginning of the kind of news we heard every day!
I just started my business, Kennedy, MLK and Gandhi were in the news! Walter Cronkite told it straight and dreams and promises were all surely to be filled!

Kay Unger

Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, I was transported to the moon, just as I was transported into space when I first saw “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I was one year out of Parsons, living in New York with my (first) husband. I had just starting working with Geoffrey Beene as his assistant with my friends Issey Miyake and Michael Vollbracht. I was obsessed with space and looked to July 20, 1969 with more excitement than the change of the century 21 years later. So that night, Gary Unger and Michael Vollbracht and I were glued to the television waiting for the actual landing, which was around midnight. It was not unusual for me to stay up so late as I always did, event or no event, nor was it unusual for Michael to be sleeping under our Mies van der Rohe glass coffee table, as he often did when he hung out at our home, and he did regularly. Space outfits were on our minds as we tried to get Geoffrey, without success, to incorporate those space suits in his space-like designs. When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s dusty surface it was like we were watching the sequel to “2001.” (I had a huge crush on [“2001” star] Keir Dullea until Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.) My husband and I broke out a bottle of Champagne and toasted Neil, toasted the moon and toasted our freedom. Michael sketched through the whole thing and then, again, fell asleep under our coffee table.

Christopher Bevans, Dyne

If I could teleport myself to the 1969 moon landing, to see it for myself, I would. To travel as far as we did, to bring those astronauts back, safely, must have been mind-blowing. I would have loved to be part of the engineering, the design behind it.

On going into space: To the moon and beyond. I would love to travel into space. I’m passionate about the science of space travel, to see what’s beyond what we know right now. And we will in the future. My grandkids will see us on Mars and be able to come back.

I’d take a camera, to look at Earth. To capture everything I experience. And the freshest looking spacesuit that you’ve ever seen.

What would a Dyne space suit look like?: Dyne is about form, fit and function. First I’d learn more about the fundamental things your suit needs to do, and all the engineering that goes into that. I’d talk to my big bro, Leland Marvin, an engineer and retired NASA astronaut, who was on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. I’m an MIT Media Lab fellow, I’d talk to some of my colleagues who have experience with this. I’d design a spacesuit that allows you to propel yourself with greater thrust, allowing you to navigate space with a bit more control. And I’d have every flag of every nation, sublimated on the exterior of the space suit fabric. To represent that it’s about the human race.

Batsheva Hay

Growing up, my grandfather always wanted me to be an astronaut, and I played along as much as possible. I pretended up until I graduated from college with a psychology degree that I was trying to get to the moon. For him, the moon landing was such a wild, important event, and his wonder held me mesmerized throughout my childhood. My grandfather passed away this year, and I am feeling tenderness for him as I ponder the impact of the moon landing. Plus, I would love to go to outer space at this particular moment in our country’s history. There would be no escape like that!

Raffaella Hanley, Lou Dallas

Growing up I was interested in space not in a scientific way but through science fiction. I watched the “X-Files,” and was totally terrified — I watched through my fingers — but completely fascinated by the thought of extraterrestrial life forms. I love the idea of other forces guiding our lives. It’s mind-boggling that there are other solar systems out there.

On the anniversary: It’s pretty extraordinary and it still blows my mind that people can go to the moon. I’m sure this event means more to the people who got to live through that moment. I think I’ve taken space travel a bit for granted because it’s been happening my entire life.

On going into space: It would be amazing to view the Earth from a space ship — that would be so cool.

Monika Tilley

I was in Italy at Lake Como, looking for huge squares of very thin cotton in glorious prints to drape over swimsuits like a shawl. It was on the radio, radio, radio [laughs]. It was very different then. The television [coverage] may have only come into my mind in the years afterward, when it was replayed. It seemed so outer-worldy and impossible, when it happened. I remember feeling incredibly joyful and wishing that Leonardo da Vinci could have seen that, or any of the big minds that went before us could have been part of it, too. The unfortunate part was that it was played as a thing between Russia and America. It was really for mankind — such a wonderful happening.

Marylou Luther

As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were landing on the moon, I was landing in Los Angeles to begin my l6-year career as fashion editor of The Los Angeles Times. I remember thinking that this “giant leap for mankind” fulfilled President Kennedy’s commitment that we would “get to the moon.” At that instant, I felt that anything was possible, that ‘everything was there for the taking. It was truly an earth-shattering moment.

Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso  Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstoc

I was 14 years old with all of my friends at our beach club. It all seemed so foreign to us. We thought that walking on the moon was only in sci-fi movies. Neil Armstrong walked first, followed by Buzz Aldrin, who I interestingly became friends with later in life.

Ralph Rucci

I do hope that younger people especially connect to this. It seems that we have a divergence in technical advancement and sensibility. The divergence has to due with the immediacy for everything now, and the lack of patience. The moon landing was all about a very patient operation led by the NASA control station. Imagine the discipline those men had to go through in training. That is one of the most extraordinary things. We get impatient if we’re sitting in traffic for 20 minutes. Those men had to sit there for days. They couldn’t move from module to capsule, as we have seen happen in later years. They were in that one module.

This event mirrors the horror that we are living under with this administration and how it treats people and treats values. With the Apollo landing mission, you had a unified sense of pride.

I was 12 years old. It was a very hot evening. My family would always take homes by the water in New Jersey beach communities in the summer. We had a house with windows that looked out on the ocean. My entire family was there including my grandfather, who was born in Italy. He saw this as such a profound moment. He had such pride in this country. To be a child in the room watching it with my grandfather, who I adored, added a dimension to this particular night and made it especially special. Seeing it through the eyes of this incredible man who came here through Ellis Island with one suitcase and $20 in his pocket. I wasn’t totally hooked into how significant it was in terms of the technology that they developed. Of course, it was a different intellectual world then especially in the U.S. where things like this were appreciated. It was on every major network. You couldn’t get anything but the coverage. I became a little bored so I went upstairs to my bedroom overlooking the ocean. There was a very calm sea with the moon shining on it — it was almost full that night. I remember falling asleep, thinking of the extraordinary possibility that can exist — and boredom because I was a kid.

Agnès b

I was in Port Navalo in Brittany.  I woke up the children to watch on a small tv.  It was incredible to know that was happening at the time. Later I bought beautiful photos from NASA. I still have them in my art collection.

Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley  Amy Sussman/WWD/Shutterstock

Everyone has a bucket list. Mine has only one item on it — space travel. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. I think it’s inspired me to go on far-flung adventures and see the world as an explorer. As a teen , Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of the Moon” seemed like the ultimate dreamy frontier. Now the dark side of the moon holds the promise that mankind could someday grow plants and live there. All I know is, if there’s a way to get there…I’m down!

Nick Graham

Graham has hosted a celestial-themed fashion show with Buzz Aldrin as one of the models, created a special limited-edition bomber jacket for a gala at the Kennedy Space Center for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. At the event, which was earlier this week, the designer presented the “Nick Graham Golden Galactic award to the best-dressed attendee: it’s a rocket covered in Swarovski crystals,” he said. “The Swarovski NASA-logo baseball jacket I designed is going to be auctioned for space education. On top of that I just released a music video called Mission to Mars, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Apollo 11.”

On the moon walk: I was in the prairies of Alberta and remember watching it on TV. I went out that night and looked at the moon and I thought how cool is that. I was awestruck.

On going into space: Yes, I would love to go to space, but I’m a bit claustrophobic so the space capsule needs to be large! Ten years ago, Richard Branson and I put a flight on Virgin Galactic in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog and I remember telling him at the time he needs to have big windows on his ship or I couldn’t’ fly on it. I guess he listened.

 

Joseph Abboud

As a freshman at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, I had a part time job at Louis of Boston selling beautiful clothes making $2.65 an hour. After Neil Armstrong’s historic moment of being the first human to walk on the moon, I specifically remember thinking, “What should one wear on a moonwalk.” So, on that note, I’d love to journey through the vastness of space, but only if I had the right wardrobe. And, since I’ve always been known for Earth Tones, what a fantastic opportunity to create a new paradigm, Moon Tones! That’s one small step for JA, one giant leap for men’s fashion!

Ariel Ovadia, Ovadia New York

Did we really ever land on the moon? I’m not convinced. How could it be that with all of modern technology no one has been back in 50 years?”

On going into space: Going into space would be cool. I’m waiting for Virgin Galactic or Tesla. Richard Branson, Elon Musk, call us.

Todd Snyder

He was only one in 1969, “so I was at home in Ames, Iowa” and doesn’t remember much about the landing itself. And traveling to the moon himself isn’t at the top of his list.

On going into space: “I  have no desire to go into space myself these days, but when I was a kid I dreamt of it. I used to build and launch model rockets and pretend to be an astronaut. I drank Tang and loved Astronaut Ice Cream. I think it’s a dream for all kids. I love seeing all the cool collaborations that everyone is doing today…my favorite is the Peanuts collection.”

But if he did ever travel there, he’d “definitely wear my 1976 Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch. I bought it from Hodinkee last year. It’s what they wore to the moon 50 years ago as it would tell time in zero gravity.”

Stephen Jones

I was 12 years old and watching the landing on black-and-white TV at boarding school. We were all dressed in gray shorts, shirts and ties, looking like we’d walked off a Thom Browne runway. We had special dispensation each week to watch TV, and mostly it was shows like “The Banana Splits.”

I was absolutely so excited. The Eagle had landed, and we all wanted to be astronauts! When Neil Armstrong said ‘That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,’ he took space exploration out of politics, and made it bigger, bigger than national borders.

Every collection I do is inspired by space. Hats are about air and space. They are up there in the heavens. Space travel continues to be a source of inspiration – the elegance of line, the Gemini rockets.

 

Backstage at JordanLuca Men's Spring 2020 photographed in London on 08 June 2019

Backstage at JordanLuca Men’s Spring 2020 show. The model is wearing one of Jones’  towering planet hats  Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

 

Stephen Jones in the NASA jacket he bought during a visit to Cape Canaveral. The image appeared in a 1994 edition of British GQ  Courtesy

 

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