SWEATER WEATHER: Sonia Rykiel, who is celebrating 40 years in business with a runway blowout and party on Oct. 1 in Paris, has enlisted some high-profile fashion folk to help celebrate. Rumor has it Rykiel’s daughter, Nathalie, has asked a host of international designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Donna Karan and Jean Paul Gaultier, to design an outfit in the spirit of Rykiel to pay homage to the sweater queen as part of her jubilee.
PRINTS CHARMING?: Does Pucci have its eye on Paris-based designer Peter Dundas? According to sources, the Florentine fashion house, which is searching for a successor to Matthew Williamson, has been in talks with Dundas, a Norwegian native who is at French furrier Revillon after a stint at Emanuel Ungaro. Reached this week, Dundas would only say, “I’m very happy at Revillon,” and declined further comment. Pucci officials had no comment. As reported, Williamson is exiting Pucci at the end of his contract this fall in order to focus on his growing signature business.
ARMANI TOUR: Roberta Armani, niece of Giorgio and the brand’s ambassador, will embark on a three-city U.S. whirlwind to show the house’s fall signature and Emporio collections. Armani will hit the Rodeo Drive Giorgio Armani boutique on Sept. 10 and the Beverly Hills Emporio Armani store the next day, where celebrity clients such as Kerry Washington will be in attendance. On Sept. 13, she sets out for the Boston store, and winds up in New York on Sept. 16 and 17.
TENNIS SIGHTINGS: Never mind castings, fittings and other things related to the crunch before fashion week: There is always time for the U.S. Open. On Monday night, Neal Hamil of Elite Models and Eddie Trump of Trump Group International hosted a group of fashion types at the opening night of the Grand Slam tennis tournament. They included Council of Fashion Designers of America executive director Steven Kolb, Sari Gueron, Vena Cava’s Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock and Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright. They were joined that night by a group of up-and-coming Elite models, including Emma Bean and Alice Burdeu.
NOT THE SIZE THAT COUNTS: Don’t be surprised if you see a fleet of 10 lilliputian cars, emblazoned with the Club Monaco logo, zigzagging through Manhattan during New York Fashion Week. The retailer has teamed up with Smart Fortwo, the compact Mercedes-Benz double-seater, on a marketing initiative dubbed “The Ultimate Urban Trunk Show.” The vehicles, also bedecked with images from the store’s fall ad campaign shot by Walter Chin, will be hitting SoHo and the Meatpacking District on Sept. 7, Times Square and Wall Street on Sept. 8 and Bryant and Madison Square Parks on Sept. 9 with free giveaways. Goodies will include cashmere scarves, leather gloves, jewelry and sunglasses from the new fall line. But make sure you get to the cars quickly; only 75 people will be given gifts at each site.
Meanwhile, for those fashion week flockers lacking a car service, Cole Haan is providing free taxicabs all week thanks to its “Lucky You” program, celebrating the firm’s 80th anniversary. Starting Sept. 5, those taxis displaying the “Lucky You” logo will be on-the-house, as will cups of coffee in the Wall Street area. Participating hotels in Midtown will also offer free upgrades during the week as well as spa services and meals. Other cities getting lucky include San Francisco, Dallas, Glendale, Calif., and Las Vegas. The program kicks off there Monday, in time for the WWDMAGIC trade shows.
TEAM SPIRIT: Tokyo has set its sights on hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics — with a little help from the fashion community. At the Beijing Games, the Tokyo bid committee devoted a small corner of its showroom to fashion.
The display featured three mannequins clad in monochromatic Issey Miyake dresses from the designer’s A-Poc collection in the Olympic hues of green, yellow and red. The dresses were cut from specially designed tubes of double-layered knit fabric, which were stretched into geometric backdrops for the garments. “[Miyake] is very excited about the possibility of having the Olympics in Tokyo,” said Robert Magyar, vice president of Weber Shandwick, which is representing Tokyo’s bid. “He actually started sponsoring the bid on his own and is trying to gather friends and other famous people in favor of it.” Miyake also designed exclusive Pleats Please scarves and neckties for members of the bid committee in red, green and blue. The International Olympic Committee will select the final host city at its meeting in Copenhagen next year. The three other contenders are Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.