5 posts tagged "Bridget Foley"
What’s old is new, according to Marc Jacobs. Today, WWD ran a lengthy interview with the designer about his departure from Vuitton and his plans to take his own company public. But amid questions about Jacobs’ future, Bridget Foley inquired why, at his final show for Vuitton in Paris, did he decide to make the clock on his set run backward? “That was a very last-minute decision. I thought of Vivienne Westwood and World’s End. The clock in front of World’s End, the punk store on King’s Road, ran backwards,” explained Jacobs. “This was my cynical comment on everything that I had read from people like Cathy Horyn about what was new,” he continued. “I had just been so fed up with hearing what’s new and what’s modern and all that stuff. One has to define what new is…. And then I went back to that Chanel quote, “Only those with no memory insist on their originality.” So this thing of, like, there’s nothing wrong with looking back. Looking back creates something new, which is exactly what I felt we did…we made a new collection for Louis Vuitton by looking back.” Sometimes, you’ve just gotta turn back time to find the way.
This year’s WWD CEO Summit featured candid discussions with fashion superstars such as Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Yesterday afternoon, Karl Lagerfeld gave an interview to Bridget Foley for the conference’s grand finale. The likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour, and model Brad Kroenig and his son (and Lagerfeld’s godson), Hudson, came out for the talk. Foley began by acknowledging last year’s numerous designer shake-ups and asked Lagerfeld what makes a successful designer/fashion house relationship (he’s been at Chanel since 1983, so presumably he has a good one). “I think the important thing is that you have to be behind the label and not use it as something that pushes your fame,” said Lagerfeld, adding later that his biggest irritations are “people who create complications” and “make things messy” because they think it causes them to seem serious. “This I hate. It’s the worst.” On the subject of Chanel as a business, he boasted that he’s never attended a meeting in 31 years (“Maybe there are marketing people, but I’ve never seen them,” he laughed) and noted that the house’s owner, Alain Wertheimer, never interferes with his creative process.
But that’s not to say Lagerfeld is out of touch with the house’s business side. In fact, he embraces his role as a “commercial” designer. Well aware that his Scottish Métiers d’Art show got him “100 million Euros in free advertising” from press, he feels his outrageous sets and locations make Chanel appealing to those viewing the collections online, rather than just to “fashion freaks.” He revealed that his next show stop is Dallas, because, after Coco Chanel reopened her atelier in the fifties, Neiman Marcus and the American press were supportive, while the French were not. “The Texan detail is a little [one], but with a little detail, you can tell a whole story. And I’m a storyteller.”
Couture, according to Karl, is not dead—apparently, Chanel’s couture clientele is up from twenty years ago. And when asked about designers who think the fashion schedule is too demanding—a topic about which he’s sounded off before—Lagerfeld quipped, “Don’t tell me that story. If you accept a job, you know the conditions of the job. After a certain amount of time, don’t start to play the victim…It’s like Olympic sports. You have to keep that level. And if you think it’s too much for creativity, don’t accept. Nobody’s forcing you to do the job. I do it because I enjoy it.” Other notable tidbits included his opinion on French politics (“I pay taxes in France, but I wouldn’t pay a cent more.”), whether technology has tainted fashion (“Oh no, no. We couldn’t do without it.”) his favorite artist (Jeff Koons: “He’s the right spirit of our times.”), and his sources of inspiration (“Everything. I’m a voyeur.”). Foley ended by asking Lagerfeld what his steps to success were. Naturally, this called for a Karl-ism: “A good staircase.”
Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez kicked off today’s WWD CEO Summit, participating in an engaging discussion moderated by Bridget Foley. (Karl Lagerfeld wrapped the summit this afternoon. Check back for more on that later.) The interview centered around a number of topics, namely their ascension as one of the most sought-after labels in fashion, as well as their surprisingly successful turn in the accessories business with the breakout of their PS 1 bag. “We didn’t want to put out a bag until we felt like we had something to say,” said McCollough. “It was the height of the It bag moment and at that time, all of the It bags were covered in buckles and hardware and logos, and we wanted to do the antithesis of that in a way, something more stripped down, incognito, easy-wearing. Something that could stand the test of time.”
The pair discussed the reasons behind their meteoric rise, one being that Barneys purchased every look from the collection they made in 2002 during their senior year at Parsons. “It was very much a mixture of timing and talent,” said McCollough. “It was a time when all of the different generations in fashion were shifting. The Calvin Kleins and the Donna Karans, they were the designers of these mega-established brands, and it opened up a gap where people were ready for some new blood in the game.” Foley recalled going up to their apartment to see that first collection before placing it on the cover of WWD. She offered an anecdote about getting off on the wrong floor and finding two men in bed.
The conversation also explored the concept of successful creative partnerships, and how these designers are able to combine their ideas and inspirations season after season. “No one ever works in a vacuum, and we’re no different,” said Hernandez. “When one of us wants black and the other wants white, we do gray.” They also spoke of the benefits of technology, both in terms of intricate patternmaking, and how the “randomness of the Internet” has served as a theme for their runway collections. “Twitter, Facebook, blogs—together all of these images create the feeling of contemporary culture,” said Hernandez. When asked if he ever tweets on behalf of the brand, he laughed. “I think you have to be in your twenties to do that.”
Marc Jacobs was the guest of honor at the WWD CEO Summit dinner last night. With Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Olivier Theyskens, and Pamela Love, among other New York design stars, looking on, Jacobs sat down with WWD’s Bridget Foley for an engaging interview that ranged from subjects like his favorite living designer (Miuccia Prada) and current projects (a beauty line with Sephora) to his recent absence from Page Six (“Kanye and Kim have taken my thunder,” he said) to the virtues of living in New York City in the pre-cell-phone age. “Everything felt like a first. It didn’t get tired,” Jacobs said. “Now it’s different, but then there were places where young artistic people could live. Madonna performed at the Roxy before anyone knew who Madonna was. Or Jean-Michel Basquiat. So many people were coming up. There were pockets of creativity. And all of that seemed new. And it was pre-computers, too, so people actually talked to each other, and they did go to clubs. I don’t think there were iPhones or text messaging, so everybody either talked to each other or ignored each other, but they did it face-to-face.”
Describing the nonstop work as “like one prolonged day” between now and the Louis Vuitton show in early March, Jacobs alluded to an upcoming meeting about his Louis Vuitton contract. “So the contract,” Foley said, pressing him for more information, but Jacobs demurred. “We’re discussing that this week,” he said, as if to indicate that anything could still happen. When his boss at Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, came up another time, Jacobs was more forthcoming. “I always feel like Babe the Pig, with the farmer, where Mr. Arnault will say, ‘That’ll do, Pig.’ He was very pleased with [Daniel] Buren [our Spring collaborator], and he was very pleased with the train [from Fall 2012]; he’s been a lot more forthcoming. But there’s been a good ten out of fifteen years where it was, ‘That’ll do, Pig.’ “
At the end of the interview, Foley invited the audience to ask questions. Martha Stewart was among the guests who spoke up. “I asked my Twitter followers what they’d like to know,” she began, “and they asked, Who’s your greatest inspiration? And if you cook, and your favorite color.”
“I love red, I don’t cook at all, and who inspires me? Well, all of the people I work with inspire me, and my friends inspire me. I couldn’t give you one name.”
Stewart pressed, “They also asked, Who’s your favorite porn star?”
“Well, my favorite ex-porn star,” he said, “is a guy named Eddie.”