THE NEW NORMAL: Kelly Cutrone will be the first to admit she is not one for convention. Just consider the title of her forthcoming book — “Normal Gets You Nowhere.” The publicist/TV personality/designer/mother hopes her HarperOne-published tome will make readers rethink who they are, what they value and what they want from life. Cutrone, whose first book was a New York Times bestseller, will no doubt be making the media rounds once her latest effort hits stores May 3.
HELPING HAND: More than $850,000 has been raised so far for the UJA-Federation of New York annual fashion luncheon on April 5 at Cipriani 42nd Street, where Frank Doroff, vice chairman of Bloomingdale’s, and Steven B. Tanger, chief executive officer of Tanger Factory Outlets Centers, will be honored. “We are raising a great deal of money. I felt a responsibility to do something,” Doroff said. In the past decade, $6.5 million has been raised through the event. Stacy London, co-host of TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” will emcee the luncheon. Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and ceo, and Laurence C. Leeds Jr. of Buckingham Capital Management Inc. will present the awards to the honorees.
AIDING JAPAN: Fashion designers aren’t the only ones getting behind Japanese aid efforts. Meeling Wong and Jim Conte of fine jewelry flash-sale Web site Ajaline.com have corralled 19 jewelry firms to donate pieces for auction on Charitybuzz.com, with a 100 percent of proceeds going to relief efforts. Among the list of donors: H.Stern, House of Waris, Buccellati, Kimberly McDonald, Mikimoto, Monica Rich Kosann and Robert Lee Morris. “We sought to bring together the many brands and individuals who, like myself, have experienced the extraordinary generosity of the Japanese people,” said Conte, who spent 17 years living in Japan. “We hope that through our efforts, we’re able to repay at least some of that kindness during a time of such immense sadness.” The “Jewelers for Japan” sale kicks off on April 5 and will close on April 19.
GUEST SPOT: Former-model-turned-designer Bibi Russell will be the keynote speaker today at Intersections International’s Powers and Values initiative in New York. Through her clothing line, she has provided work for thousands of Bangladeshis, and her business model has been replicated in such places as Africa, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Attendees will also get a glimpse of her designs.
CATCH A WAVE: Lorenz Bäumer, jewelry designer, engineering grad and…avid surfer? That’s just one of the fun facts gleaned from the second installment of the French Institute Alliance Française’s “Art de Vivre: Fashion Talks.” Bäumer, born in Washington, D.C., to diplomats, took the audience through his career from furniture designer and costume jeweler (selling $30 to $40 baubles to his mom’s friends at Tupperwarelike parties) to longtime fine jeweler for Chanel and his current gig at Louis Vuitton, where he revealed there’s a massive 30-carat diamond in the atelier. As for the biggest changes in the industry right now, Bäumer noted that the active market in China has been driving prices upward for gemstones — “the price of rubies has really gone crazy” — while technology was becoming more and more key. The Place Vendôme-based jeweler, for instance, currently employs 3-D software, traditionally used for airplane and car designs, to create some of his high-priced finery. Next up on the FIAF roster: a talk with Oscar de la Renta on Monday.
SAIL AWAY: Fifteen teams from 12 countries will participate in the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2013. China, Sweden, France and the United States are among those participating. The preliminary regattas, the America’s Cup World Series, will start next August in Portugal, will go to Plymouth in England and, by December, they will sail in San Diego Bay. The Louis Vuitton Cup will be held from July 13 until Sept. 1, 2013, and the America’s Cup from Sept. 7 to 22, 2013. The 34th America’s Cup, which will take place in San Francisco Bay, promises spectacular sailing races with futuristic boats.