Spring is in the air and your favorite fabric transforms shoes, handbags and jewelry into trendsetting must-have items for this season.
Who knew gladiators could look so chic in denim. This stud muffin will keep you in fighting style.
Gucci opens a pop-up shop on Crosby Street in Soho. Doors open on Saturday displaying the Gucci and DJ Mark Ronson collaboration sneakers that are sold out.
J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons for women’s and Frank Muytjens??™ men??™s spring presentation mixed dressy and utilitarian. This is my go-to store for great classically, well-made, affordable pieces that you can mix with jeans and more edgier pieces for a great updated look that will take you from day to evening for both women and men.
Read today’s highlights from WWD below.
–Nikki Cho Russo
Gucci Spotlights Mary J Blige Charity and Pop-Up Shop
Creative director Frida Giannini, Blige and branding impresario Steve Stoute gathered in Yonkers to open the new Mary J. Blige Center for Women, a partnership between The Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN) ??” the charity that Blige and Stoute cofounded in 2007 ??” and Westchester Jewish Community Services (WCJS).
The center has three central goals: to educate, empower and encourage women, noted Blige.
???As a child, I never saw a confident woman ??” I only saw women being abused,??? said the singer, who grew up in Yonkers. ???There was so much pain growing up ??” it would have been in vain if I didn??™t put myself out there. That??™s why I am here; that??™s why FFAWN exists. I want every girl and woman who walks through this door to know that she is loved ??” no matter who is telling her she isn??™t loved.???
Blige emphasized domestic abuse and low self-esteem know no socioeconomic boundaries. ???I??™m not just talking about helping women in the poverty-stricken areas ??” I am also talking about the broken homes of the wealthy where the child is watching mom and dad arguing, and she grows up being abused by some man, as well,??? she said.
???Mary is an inspiration for us all,??? said Giannini, who is also a board member of the PPR Foundation for Women??™s Dignity and Rights. ???She is a woman who really talks from her heart and from her own experiences, and she is a living example for all women in the world. And at the same time, Gucci is a very powerful brand that can communicate in a very strong way. I thought that, together, we could make something very impressive. I think it??™s important to show that fashion isn??™t just about clothes and accessories ??” it??™s about being involved with initiatives like this one and social responsibility.???
Giannini has designed a limited edition, stainless-steel women??™s Twirl watch, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit FFAWN. The watch, which retails for $1,895, is available at Gucci stores, gucci.com and select department stores.
The charity had its roots in a conversation Blige and Stoute had at the 2007 Grammys, noted Stoute. ???I asked her, ???In your highest of highs, what are you most passionate about???™ And she said, ???Giving back and helping women. I??™ve had support systems that have come into my life and helped me become who I am, and I want to be able to provide that foundation to as many women as I can.??™???
Next, Stoute and Blige plan to expand FFAWN workshop programming throughout the five boroughs of New York City, and in 2010 will implement scholarship programs which fund tuition for educational degrees and vocational training programs, as well as implement a grant program that suppor
ts women??™s organizations. Eventually, Stoute and Blige hope to take FFAWN??™s work global.
Meanwhile, Gucci??™s pop-up store on Crosby Street in Manhattan will open to the public Saturday morning, yet the company is hoping to close the space even before its two-week run is over. The boutique, its white-washed walls covered in the signature Gucci evergreen and red stripes, will pack up as soon as its wares ??” which include the Gucci Ronson sneaker, a collaboration with celebrity DJ Mark Ronson ??” are sold out.
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Unity Rules at CFDA New Members Bash
Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen
Jason Wu and Guest. Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen
NEW YORK ??” No one needs reminding that the economy is in tatters, so the CFDA??™s new members party Wednesday provided reason to present a united front.
???This is the Kiwanis Club of our business and it is good to be in it, especially in a time like this,??? said David Rees, co-founder of Ten Thousand Things, who was welcoming newbie Lorraine Schwartz to the fold.
Despite the ongoing catch-as-catch-can retail scene, a few of the rookies at the Four Seasons restaurant said they are more interested in seeing what they can give rather than what they can glean from others.
Olsen, who has been inducted with her sister, Ashley, said, ???Diane [von Furstenberg] said it best: ???It really feels like you are part of a family.??™???
Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen
After a few years on the designer circuit, the pair is committed purely for professional reasons, not publicity ones. Asked if she felt more at ease with the fashion crowd than the Hollywood one, Mary-Kate Olsen said, ???I don??™t really know the Hollywood scene. This is my day job. This is what I do every day. The clothes speak for themselves. The clothing is all made in the U.S., and there??™s a certain integrity to that.???
Having just been brought up to speed about the Save the Garment Center campaign, Olsen, who can routinely be found at her West 39th Street factory, said she was keen to pitch in. ???We need it, as well. I hope we can save it,??? she said.
Jason Wu said he was also on board. ???It??™s not so much what I can gain as it is what I can contribute. I produce 90 percent of my collection in New York, and I would love to preserve the garment center,??? he said. ???The CFDA has been really important in bringing American fashion to the forefront.???
Another inductee, Chris Benz, soon will be making his presence in the neighborhood better known. Next week he will relocate his showroom to 247 West 37th Street, where the space is twice as large as his current one around the corner. While packing was pressing on his mind, none of the more seasoned CFDA-ers had offered any pointers about business. ???Not yet, but the night is still young,??? he said.
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J. Crew Spring Presentation: Opposites Attract
In an upbeat presentation, J. Crew??™s Jenna Lyons started with a Hockney-inspired palette of neutrals with pops of neons. She applied this to looks rooted in counterpoint: whimsically ruffled and otherwise embellished pieces juxtaposed with boyish military-inspired outerwear. For the most part, the contradiction worked like a charm, even if one or two looks felt overstyled.
Frank Muytjens??™ men??™s lineup offered classic pieces in unexpected combinations. A dinner jacket with satin lapels, for example, was shown with distressed jeans, and an oilcloth fireman??™s jacket was paired with white jeans and a skinny tie. ???We??™re mixing dressy with utilitarian,??? said Muytjens, J. Crew??™s vice president of men??™s design. ???The inspirations are familiar but in a different context.???
On the financial front, J. Crew said Thursday its third-quarter profits would rise to 54 cents to 59 cents a diluted share, ahead of the 30 cents to 33 cents previously projected. The update drove J. Crew??™s stock up 15.2 percent to $43.49 Thursday.
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Stefanel Unveils New Store Concept
MILAN ??” After boosting the design, quality and image, Stefanel has unveiled the last step in its repositioning plan ??” a new store concept.
The blueprint was revealed last week during the opening of a new outpost in Frankfurt.
???Stefanel is going through a real and proper revolution aimed at repositioning the brand in the ???simple luxury??™ segment,??? said Giuseppe Stefanel, chairman of the brand. ???We feel we have intervened heavily on multiple fronts but always in the respect of a brand that has a 50-year-old heritage.???
Knitwear, the company??™s core business, now offers snazzier designs, partially thanks to capsule collections codesigned with young talents such as the British duo Cooperative Designs. More high-quality yarns, including cashmere, are being used, and 90 percent of Stefanel??™s production is done in Italy.
The ad campaigns are now in the hands of Mario Testino, who will photograph Daria Werbowy for the spring ads.
The Fashion Scoop: ROCKING FASHION, CHAMPAGNE WISHES…
ROCKING FASHION: In New York, style hounds with a passion for music and fashion can head to Openhouse Gallery in NoLIta for Rock N Shop. Beginning tonight with a VIP party and continuing Saturday and Sunday, when the event is open to the public, Rock N Shop offers emerging bands alongside brands that are anything but mainstream. The event is like a concert crossed with a sample sale held in a pop-up shop. Indie bands such as Audio Fiction, A Fragile Tomorrow, Lead Pipe Cinch, Nikki Kelly and Paperdoll will perform as consumers scour racks of Antik Batik, By Malene Birger, Elizabeth & James, Gryphon, Haute Hippie, Lewis Cho, Mike & Chris, Notify Denim, Pink Tartan and Yumi Kim. Rock N Shop is produced by Brand, a pop-up event marketer founded by Nancy Berger, who spent 20 years in the fashion industry working for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino. A portion of the proceeds of Rock N Shop will be donated to VH1 Save The Music.
CHAMPAGNE WISHES: Christian Louboutin made a brief stop Thursday at New York??™s Plaza Hotel to show off his latest collaboration. The accessories designer teamed with French Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck on Le Rituel ??” a special holiday package containing a bottle of bubbly and a crystal flute in the shape of a Louboutin heel, designed by the stiletto maestro himself. The partnership was inspired by an old ritual dating back to Belle Epoque Paris, when cabaret dancers would fill their shoes with Champagne to pass around for all of their male idlers to sip. Retailing for $500, Le Rituel is available at Colette in Paris, and hits select Neiman Marcus stores in November. Louboutin will celebrate the launch in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, beginning in Hollywood on Nov. 5. He also directed a 3-minute film on the concept, airing online at lerituel.com.
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Tags: CFDA, Christian Louboutin, Colette, Frank Muytjens, Gucci, J. Crew, Jason Wu, Jenna Lyons, Le Rituel, Mary J. Blidge, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Neiman Marcus, Openhouse Gallery, Piper-Heidsieck, Rock N Shop, Stefanel