POLAR PROJECT: Sophia Bush and Brooke Shields feted jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald’s new line, Ursus Maritimus, last week at a downtown New York studio. The space was dolled up in winter white, much like the polar bear that bears the collection’s name. The event not only showed off McDonald’s exquisite pendants featuring pavé diamond bears on top of geodes, but also raised awareness for Conservation International, an organization that protects the Ursus Maritimus as well as other endangered species. “I have loved the unique, organic quality of her jewelry since I first saw it, and I love the heart and purpose behind this collection,” said Bush. “To help her do good with something so beautiful is an honor.”
SHOP TALK: Consumers may not feel like shopping much this holiday season, but a charitable tie-in may make spending feel a little better. Today, Net-a-porter.com is featuring 12 limited edition copies of the “American Fashion” book on its site, signed by the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Francisco Costa, Doo-Ri Chung, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez. They will each retail for $1,000, with all proceeds benefiting Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s initiative. Those who can’t get their hands on one of the 12 books can still contribute to FTBC this holiday season by way of a $25 FTBC Latitudes International Beach Grass scented candle, available at Space NK stores.
On Monday night, CFDA’s executive director Steven Kolb and Space NK founder Nicky Kinnaird hosted a party to launch the candle. Von Furstenberg, Yigal Azrouël, Jeff Halmos, Adam Lippes, David Chu and Cindy Greene braved the cold and made it to the Space NK store on Greene Street.
NEW PALS: The massive Christmas tree wasn’t the only thing on display at Rockefeller Center on Tuesday afternoon. Just a few feet away, Ivanka Trump and Brian Reyes were showing off of their respective spring collections to the likes of Celerie Kemble, Marjorie Gubelmann and Olivia Chantecaille at Christie’s. The event was the duo’s first collaboration. “We just met, like, six minutes ago,” said Reyes of his co-host, who donned a dress from his pre-spring line for the occasion. “I was rockin’ this at the office earlier,” said Trump, who paired the diaphanous frock with an even less office-appropriate accessory — a 6.5 carat pink diamond necklace from her jewelry line.
BATTLE AT BASEL: The art set turned violent on Saturday during Andrew Cramer’s Art War, a paintball tournament at The Raleigh hotel in Miami Beach hosted by the Accompanied Literary Society and Create the Group. Socials, media types, artists and hoteliers battled each other in white, Martin Margiela-inspired jumpsuits and face masks. André Balazs, team captain for “The Raleigh Stags,” donned a red armband as he led his team in a battle against “The Droogs,” lead by Paul Sevigny and Ryan McGinley. Sevigny couldn’t even fit into his suit, so he cut off the top and wore the “Ghostbusters”-like pants with a T-shirt.
But for some, minimal protection was intentional. Brooke Geahan of “The Socialistas” wanted a war wound, so she purposely cut off the arms of her jumpsuit before engaging in battle. And sure enough, an hour later, she donned a large bandage around her bicep, but was all smiles. Fabiola Beracasa, who was supposed to join “The Socialistas,” backed out at the last minute.
Some warriors, however, were less excited about their bruises. Artist Aaron Young winced as he showed friends a large bruise on his neck. For many, the paintball experience represented a return to the original Art Basel. In the first year of the fairs, artists rushed to finish their paintings and walked from booth to booth covered in paint. “It really was a place where artists were doing more art during the actual week and experiencing each other in a playful way,” Geahan said.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: Yigal Azrouël and Lars Nilsson have gone back to school. Both designers have been enlisted by Savannah College of Art and Design to mentor students enrolled in Style Lab, which was introduced last year with Ruffian’s Claude Morais and Brian Wolk at the helm. Over the course of the class, Azrouël and Nilsson periodically fly in from New York and Paris, respectively, to meet with the students, who also travel to the designers’ studios. While Nilsson studied at Paris Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, this is the self-taught Azrouël’s first trip to fashion school.
GRANITE GETS AMANDA WAKELEY: Jason Granite, a former debt trader at Deutsche Bank in London, has bought the fashion house Amanda Wakeley from its Saudi owner Walid Juffali. Wakeley has a minority stake in the fashion house she founded in 1990 and remains creative director. Wakeley has a store in London and concessions in Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. A spokesperson for the company declined further comment on the details of the deal, as well as the purchase price.
HARRODS FETES TRAUB: Marvin Traub certainly has no shortage of fans: On Monday night, the Veuve Clicquot Bar at Harrods in London was the backdrop for the third party to fete the retail veteran’s book, “Like No Other Career,” after launches at Bloomingdale’s in New York and the American Embassy in Paris earlier this year. Guests including Marie Helvin, Zandra Rhodes, Bruce Oldfield and Harrods’ fashion and beauty director Marigay McKee — who told the crowd that Italian designers refer to Traub in hushed tones as “their American godfather” — all turned out to raise a glass of Champagne to him. Traub, who said he’d already been on a tour of London’s retail landmarks including Westfield, Selfridges and South Molton Street since he landed in London on Monday, gave Harrods due respect for having “the largest amount of full-priced merchandise I’ve seen” at a time when retailers are particularly discount happy. “I think things are more up here than in the U.S.,” he added.
PARTNERS AGAIN: Paris-based APC has partnered with Nike Inc. for a small lineup of tennis shoes, which will be in stores this spring. The white canvas styles are based on Nike’s classic “All Court” model from 1975 and come with three available “swoosh” colors: red, white or blue. “We had a longing to make an elegant and simple sports shoe,” said APC founder and designer Jean Touitou. The $140 sneakers will be available in APC stores and wholesale accounts like Los Angeles’ Confederacy, Berkeley’s Bows + Arrows and Madison’s Context. This is the second time the French brand has partnered with the American footwear giant, with the previous collaboration occurring four years ago.