HONORABLE MENTIONS: An eclectic group of designers and fashion figures have been named in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2009 New Year Honors list. Milliner Stephen Jones, who earlier this year had a retrospective of his work at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, as part of the list, published today. Jones said he was “delighted and honored” to be named an OBE, which he received for services to the fashion industry. “Around the world, millinery is seen as a uniquely British art and I am proud to be part of that tradition,” said Jones. “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my talented staff and faithful clients who, like me, believe that self-expression in fashion need not stop at your neck.”
Amanda Wakeley, the London-based designer known for her red-carpet gowns, was also named an OBE. Her award recognizes both her services to the fashion industry and her work as founding co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in the U.K. Wakeley, who completed the process of buying back her label from an investor earlier this year, described the award as “an incredible way to end an extraordinary year.”
Michelle Mone, founder of the Glasgow, Scotland-based lingerie company MJM International — which produces the label Ultimo — was also named an OBE, for services to the lingerie industry. Meanwhile Luella Bartley, whose label Luella ceased trading earlier this year, was named an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, one step down from an OBE, for services to the fashion industry. Cath Kidston, the home wares designer known for her quintessentially English floral prints, was made an MBE, as were London men’s tailor Timothy Everest and Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, co-founders of London’s River Café. Architect David Chipperfield, who currently holds a CBE, or Commander of the Order of the British Empire, was named a Knight as part of the Diplomatic and Overseas list, for services to architecture in the U.K. and Germany.
PLANET LEVI’S: Is Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Elysées in for a major case of the blues? According to a recent report in French daily Le Figaro, Levi’s is set to take over a site formerly occupied by Planet Hollywood on the legendary avenue. A spokeswoman for Levi’s declined to confirm the report. As one of France’s most popular tourist destinations, a high-low range of brands operates stores on the avenue, from H&M to Louis Vuitton. Levi’s, meanwhile, currently counts three company-owned stand-alone stores and seven franchises in central Paris, which are said to generate 20 percent of the company’s sales in France.