BACK INTO DESIGN: Trussardi relaunched its Design line this week in occasion of the Salone del Mobile fair with a retro chic home collection designed by Michael Young, who was inspired by the company’s interior pieces of the Eighties and Nineties. Recently departed creative director Milan Vukmirovic had also previously introduced a furniture line, but it was more as an extension of the Piazza Scala concept store with items made to order, explained president and chief executive officer Beatrice Trussardi. Young was chosen not only for his expertise in the industry and his aesthetic, but also for his extensive experience in China. “We would like to explore the advanced Chinese manufacturing techniques,” said Beatrice Trussardi, “but keep craftsmanship here.”
As for who would be replacing former designer Milan Vukmirovic, Trussardi remained tight-lipped, adding with a smile, “We’re here to talk about furniture, no?” The collection marks the company’s 100th anniversary.
DEJA VIEW: To Prada fashion show regulars, the “ex limbo” exhibition, inaugurated Wednesday at the Fondazione Prada during the Salone del Mobile, could seem a bit familiar. Brussels-based Rotor, a collective of six creatives from various fields aged 25 to 39, built an installation using the materials and structures from a decade of Prada fashion shows.
A walk through the exhibit reveals the green and hot pink polyethylene benches used during the spring 2008 and fall 2010 shows, the wood islands, which led to the bar at the spring 2009 show and a yellow circular structure that was once a part of the fall 2010.
“The idea at the foundation of this project is that you can give a new voice to something that used to have a different one and show that all these things still mean something,” said Tristan Boniver. “For us, there is a huge different between recycling and reusing,” pointed out Lionel Devlieger. “The process of recycling implicates the fact that you destroy something, but when you reuse something you respect the object, keeping its nature visible.” This concept extends right down to the exhibit catalogs whose cover is made of the vinyl used for the catwalk of the fall 2011 shows.
GETTING ACQUAINTED: Wednesday evening, in the midst of Milan Design Week, Ginevra Elkann and Stefanel launched a book called “May I Introduce You?” profiling 25 creative talents throughout the world. The guide spans industries from art to fashion including the likes of Christian Louboutin, Opening Ceremony co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon and Yoox founder and chief executive Federico Marchetti. A Jil Sander-clad Elkann, who curated the book, said she selected each of the 25 subjects based on her personal idea of creativity, which according to her, lies in those who present “new ways of looking at things and new ways of thinking,” adding, “you know, those who make it happen.”
Stefanel ceo Giuseppe Stefanel, who partnered with Elkann for the project, emphasized the importance of emerging talents, having collaborated with the young designing duo of London-based Cooperative Designs for a 50th anniversary capsule collection last spring. “You always have to be innovative,” said Stefanel. “Working with new talents stimulates us to be fresh and always gives us new ideas.”
After the inaugural cocktail, Peter Sartogo and Martina Mondadori hosted a dinner for Elkann where both Louboutin and Marchetti were in attendance along with a bevy of glamorous guests including Fiat chairman John Elkann with wife Lavinia Borromeo and Italian Vogue editor in chief Franca Sozzani. Conversation soon turned from design to soccer, however, as guests sneakily took in the latest European Champions League match, which saw local team and former title holder Inter Milan’s qualifying chances come to an end.
ROCKWELL’S TAKEAWAY: As art director for the new Broadway show “Catch Me If You Can,” David Rockwell took a few cues from fabric prints of the early 1960s for the set design. That’s when the real-life con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr., who managed to forge more than $1 million in checks while passing himself off as a pilot, lawyer and even a doctor. In-n-Out Burger signs were another source of inspiration — perhaps because Rockwell’s firm has just dressed up The Whitney Museum of Art’s canteen, Untitled, which is now open early for uptown power breakfasts.
THE KATIE SHUFFLE: Katie Couric caught the second half of Ballet Hispanico’s spring gala Monday night at The Plaza, but the newscaster wouldn’t dole out any clues about her next move. “I can’t,” she said. As for when she will be able to spill it, the anchor said possibly “in a couple of weeks. I hope so. I can’t stand all the speculation.”
Asked what she thought of Monday’s front-page New York Times article about her, Couric said, “I didn’t read it.” So the dialed-in newsie doesn’t read her own press clips? “I usually do,” she said with a laugh. “But it seems it gets too distracting. I have a lot of work to do. I find it takes a lot of psychic energy to read it all.”
But she already has at least one new gig: she’s collaborating with Eyebobs, the Minneapolis-based eyewear company, to offer an exclusive, limited-edition frame called “Katie’s Close Up.” Couric’s frames coincide with the launch of her book, “The Best Advice I Ever Got,” which hit bookstores on Tuesday with proceeds going to Scholarship America.
Another guest at the $1 million fundraiser, Norman Lear, who presented an award to his daughter Kate, chatted about his own career. The “All in the Family” creator said “Happy Feet 2” and “Sherlock Holmes 2” are coming up and his company Concord Music Group still handles all of Starbucks’ music. And after 10 years of planning, he is at work on his memoir “Even This I Gotta Say.” While the publishing date has not yet been set, it’s still early going in his written life. “Right now I’m 20 years old just returning from World War II, having flown 52 missions.” As for his real life, the 88-year-old Lear said, “I find a lot to like about getting up in the morning.”
LAM AT HOME: Derek Lam may favor minimalism in his work but he’s old fashioned when it comes to home design. “I prefer the table to look more formal when I entertain,” Lam said in a feature story in the new issue of Elle Decor. The magazine asked him about his design preferences and he listed the 12 things he can’t live without (such as Tod’s driving shoes, Baccarat’s Dionysos Decanter and Buccellati flatware). Lam said the ultimate luxury is having his SoHo office four blocks from his favorite home furnishing shops. “The problem is, we get so spoiled that we never want to walk more than five blocks!”
GILT’S HELPING HAND: The fashion industry continues to rally in support of the victims in Japan. On Saturday, Gilt Groupe will hold a full price sale and 100 percent of the revenue will be donated to GlobalGiving. Brands from fashion, accessories, jewelry and beauty that will participate in the sale include Helmut Lang, Mikimoto, Joie, Bochic, Elizabeth & James and Gryson.
NEW KICKS: Ali Larter and Josh Duhamel are known for taking on their own stunts in their Hollywood action flicks. So Reebok turned to them Thursday morning to help it debut its latest running shoe, the RealFlex, designed as a safer alternative for those intrigued by the new barefoot running craze. With the help of some stunt men and women, Larter and Duhamel led a group of editors through a training exercise to learn some real stunt moves such as bouncing off the hood of a taxi and jumping through a window. “I love to do whatever stunts they’ll let us do,” Duhamel said. “That way you get dirty instead of letting someone else [do the hard stuff] and just step in for the closeup.” RealFlex, which features 76 sensors on the sole to twist, bend, expand and support natural movement, will begin being advertised this weekend. They’ll retail for around $100.