An original curriculum vitae that McQueen drafted at the age of 24 in 1992 or 1993 will be sold at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be held from April 21 to 24 at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The hand-typed CV may come across as a little antiquated, given the digital age. The CV is from the Alexander McQueen collection of Alice Smith, who was his friend, muse and first publicist.
The designer died by suicide at the age of 40 in 2010.
McQueen spelled out some of his career highlights under such headers as “Personal Details,” “Education” and “Employment.” Those who only know McQueen as the master maverick that he was in fashion with his namesake label might be surprised to learn about his studious approach.
The CV has an asking price of $1,000 and is being sold at the fair by the Brooklyn-based book seller Schubertiade Music. The company is opening a retail space in the Crown Heights section this summer.
From September 1984 until November 1990, McQueen apprenticed with five different companies. After earning a master of fine arts in fashion design from Central Saint Martins, he started what would be four years on Savile Row and a post in Milan. His first stop was in the fall of 1984 at Anderson & Sheppard, before moving on to Gieves and Hawkes in July 1987. The creative later joined Bermans & Nathans in October 1988 and set out for Koji Tatsuno Ltd. 13 months later. There, he started out in a tailoring job that turned out to be a pattern cutter’s post. Responsible for Tatsuno’s made-to-measure clients, McQueen noted that because of “Yohji Yamamoto withdrawing all financial help, all ten members off [sic] staff were made redundant.”
Not as fastidious about typos as he was about his designs, McQueen wrote of learning the fundamentals of bespoke tailoring at Anderson and Sheppard Ltd., which had “a worldwide reputation for the softest jackets in the world and includes HRH Prince of Wales and Calvin Kline [sic] as there [sic] customers for whom I have had the pleasure of making for.”
By February 1990, McQueen was freelancing for the Milan-based Romeo Gigli. Highlighting how that post was solely for the purpose of creating “New Shapes” for Gigli’s main collections for men and women, McQueen noted in his résumé how the womenswear was cut by using a 16th-century method that had been devised in France. He explained that he learned the technique from an “old antiquarian book” that had been given to him by his employer at Bermans and Nathans.
McQueen’s CV detailed how he was employed by Romeo Gigli on a freelance basis “and thought it unwise to return to Italy, during his brake [sic] with Carla Sozzani in October 1990. However, I did continue to work for him from London.”
In the CV, McQueen noted how his personal interests included collecting new and antiquarian photography books and that he also liked cult and avant-garde cinema from the 1960s and the late 1970s. Interestingly, it lists the year of his birth as 1968, despite having been born on March 17, 1969. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
DESIGNED FOR CHANGE: With the string of in-person spring events still going strong, next up is Housing Works’ Design on a Dime’s 2022 Groundbreaker Awards.
The April 20 event at the Metropolitan Pavilion will salute actor and activist Patricia Arquette, Kering America’s president Laurent Claquin and pioneering model and activist Bethann Hardison. Design on a Dime’s founding chair James Huniford will be greeting guests with the dinner’s chairs Cliff Fong and Charlotte Moss, who are each interior designers.
As a model and later as the owner of her own modeling agency, Hardison has championed generations of talent. She took part in the legendary “Battle of Versailles” runway show in 1973, when American designers upstaged their European counterparts. With her agency Bethann Management, she helped to bring models like Tyson Beckford to the forefront of the fashion industry. Throughout her career Hardison has championed diversity and inclusion, and at times has called out the lack thereof. In the past few years Hardison has been mentoring on-the-rise designers and helped Black creatives accelerate their careers through the Designers Hub. The group has the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
A former consultant early on in his career, Claquin worked at Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume and Centre Pompidou before joining Kering in 2004. In 2011, he relocated to New York City to start Kering’s Americas division for the luxury group. More recently, Claquin has been integral to the Kerby Jean-Raymond and Kering-supported group Your Friends in New York.
Next week’s ticketed dinner will also provide attendees with VIP access to Design on a Dime’s opening reception on April 21. Elissa Grayer, Andrew Greene, Stephen Henderson, James LaForce, Charles King and Tatyana Miron are among the members of the dinner committee. This year’s dinner is being sponsored by Kering, Bloomingdale’s, Benjamin Moore, WarnerMedia and West Elm. — R.F.
The company is debuting a 430-square-foot unit on the tony island of Capri facing the Amalfi Coast and the Gulf of Naples, the brothers’ hometown.
“Being born in Naples, I was lucky enough to spend my childhood summers in the area between Capri, Ischia and Positano [all islands in the Gulf of Naples]. Even then, Capri seemed like a dream to me and now that I look at it from a distance, living in Milan, I perceive its unique charm even more,” said Giuliano Calza, describing the store opening as a return to his roots.
Located on central Piazza Umberto I, often referred to as “Piazzetta,” and home to other luxury brands including Tod’s, Kiton and Luisa Beccaria, the flagship combines GCDS’ signature pop-tinged aesthetics with references to local culture.
An amphora featuring paintings of lemons, the island’s hero fruit, welcomes visitors at the entrance, and is sure to make for a good Instagram op, while a bougainvillea- and lemon-bearing installation inside embellishes the yellow lacquered faux leather walls contrasting with the peacock blue carpeting.
Marking the store’s opening on April 16, GCDS is introducing a dedicated capsule collection, exclusively available at the unit. It includes sweaters, a varsity jacket, baseball caps and beach towels spelling “Capri” in a 3D font. Building on the island’s beachgoing visitors, the capsule features items such as bowling shirts, pajama sets and swimwear flashing a watercolor-like majolica print bearing the brand’s logo.
A true connoisseur of Capri’s lifestyle, Calza teamed up with pottery artisans based in the area around Vietri sul Mare, in the Campania region, to offer terracotta ceramics, such as plates, trays and pocket emptiers, decorated with drawings of a mermaid riding a seahorse and holding a pizza, the symbol of Neapolitan culinary culture.
The permanent store builds on the brand’s bullish expansion plan. Backed by the Italian private equity Made in Italy Fund, managed by Quadrivio and Pambianco, the company earlier this year opened three new stores in China — two in Shanghai and one in Beijing — signaling the importance of the country that has been on the company’s agenda since the beginning.
Overall, the brand operates 15 stores globally, including flagships in Rome and London and at Hong Kong’s K11. — MARTINO CARRERA
FRIENDLY RELATIONS: The French and American fashion worlds are coming together to talk sustainability in New York.
The French American Chamber of Commerce in New York will hold a daylong event at Apella on May 4. Neiman Marcus Group chief executive officer Geoffroy van Raemdonck and Gabriela Hearst will be among the more than 20 speakers. Investment banker Elsa Berry, founder of Vendôme Global Partners and Luxury, Fashion & Beauty Committee chair at the French American Chamber, will also have a conversation with The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman.
The event’s four main sessions will focus on sustainability and supply chain, retail of tomorrow, the circular economy and financing fashion’s future.
Count the event as another sign of just how deeply the notion of sustainability has planted itself in the industry, which is feeling pressure to go greener from employees and executives within and investors and partners without.
And if that’s not enough, governments are increasingly looking to force the issue. The proposed New York Fashion Act is seen by at least some as a good first step, aiming to require companies with more than $100 million in revenues to map 50 percent of their supply chain, from the farms that grow the raw materials to the factories that stitch the goods. — EVAN CLARK
MAKING NOISE: Photographer and publisher Rankin has helped to raise more than 5,000 pounds for The Legacy of War Foundation for Ukraine during a special exhibition called “Visual Noise,” the first art fair dedicated solely to the U.K.’s emerging photography talent. Rankin said he gave “free rein” to the 40 graduate photographers who took part in the show. They were students from around the world, and the U.K., whose final BA and MA degree shows were disrupted by COVID-19. They exhibited works produced during their studies at schools including London College of Communication, Central Saint Martins, Goldsmiths and the London College of Fashion.
“Visual Noise” partnered with the Legacy of War Foundation, with profits raised from tickets and the sale of prints and T-shirts going to the foundation’s partner organizations in Ukraine. Money raised will provide immediate assistance to the most vulnerable people, including children and those living with disabilities, according to organizers.
The Legacy of War Foundation is campaigning for an end to war and military intervention “as a tool for foreign policy.” The organization also helps to support the survivors and communities affected by war, and Rankin said he partnered with them because they could ensure the money went straight to victims.
Rankin worked with the curator Ellen Stone, chief executive officer of Public Offerings Ltd., to organize the show and choose the artists who took part. The brief was to “be creative” within a 6-by-6-foot space at Maryland Studio in East London and “to show the public work they will not have seen before.” Rankin said the point of “Visual Noise” was to “break down the barriers between established and emerging arts” and to highlight the value that new voices can have in contemporary culture.
“Like everyone in this industry, I had to get my start somewhere. I was lucky enough to find a community of artists, stylists, writers and musicians all launching themselves into the world at the same time as me. By bringing artists together from different universities and backgrounds I hope we can help build a new community of artists who will grow together over the coming decades.” As part of the show, Rankin sold a selection of his own publications, prints and one-of-a-kind archival imagery going back over the last 30 years, with money raised going to Ukraine. — SAMANTHA CONTI
PRIVATE LABEL DEAL: Meridian Brands has made its move and bought HMS Productions, a mainstay in the business of designing, sourcing, manufacturing and distributing branded and private label women’s apparel.
Although the private label apparel business has been flying under the radar for some time as companies push brands more than ever and focus on going direct to consumer, there is clearly still opportunity in the category.
And investor Matthew Bruderman, chairman of Sandy Hill Investors and vice chairman of Meridian, sees growth ahead.
“We are at a defining moment in our company,” Bruderman said. “Bringing together top leadership, vision and a proven track record for developing well-made, great fitting clothing at a great value. Meridian Brands clearly resonates with our consumers and retail partners, selling tens of millions of units per year through the world’s largest retailers. With the pandemic in our rearview mirror, new technology and top management, we now have the necessary framework to take Meridian Brands to a new level of growth.”
Jean Lewis, chief financial officer of Meridian, added: “This partnership is an important step in our medium long-term growth strategy. We welcome the opportunity to partner with Matt Bruderman and the Sandy Hill Investors team. Finding an investment partner with strong industry knowledge, and operational and omnichannel expertise is an asset to the company as we leverage our current platform to take Meridian to the next level.” — E.C.