August 31 2014

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8 posts tagged "John Lennon"

150 Years of Frye


Jasper Johns' "Flag" and Frye's limited-edition bootsFrye, the oldest continuously operating footwear company in the U.S., turns 150 this year. To celebrate, the label’s creative director, Michael Petry, designed a limited-edition collection of boots for men and women that riff on Jasper Johns’ famous American Flag painting (above). “The Johns painting has so much depth,” said Petry, a veteran of Prada and Polo Ralph Lauren. “We knew that with our handwork and vegetable-dyed leather, we could get a boot to have that kind of weathered look and feel.” Antiqued and stained by hand, an Engineer and a Harness style also feature inlaid stars—a direct homage to Johns.

Beyond the new boots, which just went up for sale on Frye’s Web site, Rizzoli will publish a book in October showcasing photographs of many of the company’s most famous fans. A long-haired, sixties-era James Taylor, along with John Lennon, are particular standouts for Petry, but a black-and-white of Jerry Garcia was unearthed too late to be included. Also in October, the Discovery Channel will air a one-hour documentary shot inside the company’s Wynne, Arkansas, factory. New stores in Chicago and Washington, D.C., are in the works, and Boston just opened. The Newbury Street flagship was a homecoming of sorts; Marlborough, Massachusetts, the company’s birthplace, is a forty-minute drive away. Continue Reading “150 Years of Frye” »

Opening Ceremony Says “Oh, Yoko!”


Opening Ceremony is famous for its wide-ranging collaborations—so famous that we rounded up our favorite 25 for its tenth anniversary not long ago—but its latest co-conspirator is a doozy: the one and only Yoko Ono. As a wedding present for John Lennon in 1969, Ono sketched out a collection she called “Fashions for Men”: an imagined range of cutout tops, lion-tailed trousers, incense-spouting boots, and bits of inspired oddity she created, she says, to spotlight Lennon’s “very sexy bod.” (A particularly randy vision of Ono emerges from these sketches and her writings about them—note the hand over crotch in the suit she envisioned, above.) Now, some 43 years later, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are putting them into production, along with Ono’s sketches in book form.

“I knew that my present to John was a conceptual one,” Ono told on the occasion of the big reveal. “Never thought it would be realized. But now it is, and it’s great!” The world may have changed since the late sixties, but, Ono says, “Men’s fashion has not changed that much. That’s why I wanted to say with my designs, ‘Hey, loosen up, guys!’ I think they will have a lot of fun wearing these clothes I visualized in 1969.” The collection arrives in Opening Ceremony’s New York and L.A. stores next week, followed by its London outpost on the 30th and Tokyo December 9. The full collection of 52 pieces (a lucky number, per Ono) ranges from $75 for a tank to $750 for the incense boot pictured below; posters with her drawings begin at $25.

Illustrations: © 2012 Yoko Ono (drawings, 1969)

Jason Schwartzman, Multi-Talent


In an era of celebrity designers, it’s the rare actor who can admit his few, occasional limitations. “It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be to design sunglasses,” Jason Schwartzman says. “My initial versions were a little Hollywood—like, Mannequin. I had to simplify them.”

But when Lookmatic, the online optical site offering bargain rates on frames-and-prescription combos, came knocking, the actor and musician pledged to create his own frames and made good with a pair—available in optical and sun versions—on sale now. (Lookmatic’s founder, Joe Cole, co-owns the L.A. boutique Tenoversix with his wife, Kristen Lee, and Schwartzman’s wife, Brady Cunningham.) The actor and musician started with a vintage pair that came from a family heirloom of sorts: a pair worn by his new frame’s namesake, Uncle Leonard, his father’s brother. Apparently Uncle Leonard spotted a pair of thick-framed black glasses at his nephew’s house one day and remembered that he had a similar pair as a medical student in the 1950s. “On my birthday, I opened the mail and there was an old glasses case and these glasses,” Schwartzman recalled. They became the inspiration and the blueprint for his new frames. “I love all kinds of glasses, and of course I love the John Lennon little wire ones,” he goes on, “but I am taking my glasses on and off a lot; I’ve always said in my personal life that I need something a little less fragile.” With a few tweaks for shape and for weight (“his feel like they’re made out of iron—they were borderline bulletproof”), his new style was born. They’re only the first of a forthcoming series of Lookmatic collaborations. The Tenoversix team designed a frame, too, and collaborative pieces are on their way from Waris Ahluwalia, Loeffler Randall co-founder Jessie Loeffler, and Aubrey Plaza.

The original Uncle Leonards—circa 1958—are still with Schwartzman, though, he says, “the prescription is very powerful; you can’t actually look through them.” That would suggest that Uncle Leonard himself might want to avail himself of a pair of the new ones, but they’ll likely be prescription-free. “I think by this point he’s had Lasik surgery.”

Uncle Leonard frames, $130, are available now at

Brad Elterman, The One-Man Factory


Don’t call him a paparazzo, but photographer Brad Elterman (pictured, above) pioneered celebrity photography, capturing rare moments in the lives of music and fashion icons like David Bowie, Joan Jett, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono from a very young age. “They thought the camera was a novelty,” Elterman, now 55, tells WWD. “Today, everyone is armed with an iPhone and can beam a picture around the world, but this was an age before PR and management controlled the imagery.”

Tomorrow, Elterman (who founded one of the first L.A. photo agencies specializing in celebrity photography, California Features International Inc.) is set to debut a series of his works, some of which have never been printed, at the Kana Manglapus Projects in Venice Beach. In the exhibition, titled Factory 77, there are behind-the-scenes images of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Cherrie Currie, Jett, and more. “Joan and I would eat huge burgers at a coffee shop called Duke’s and play softball in the Valley,” Elterman, whose first published photo was in 1974 of the legendary Bob Dylan, says. Elterman is still in the game today, shooting for publications like Purple and running his photo agency Buzz Photo, and he will soon launch a blog, under the same name as the show, with more of his archival shots. Here, a look at some of the rare images on display in the exhibition.

Photos: Brad Elterman



Yoko Ono’s bringing her Imagine Peace anti-violence initiative to London just in time for the Olympic Games. For the 12-week-long London 2012 Festival (starting June 21), Ono translated her Imagine Peace message into 24 different languages, and it will appear on the London Live Sites screens, along with screens at Victoria Park, Hyde Park, and Art on the Underground/Canary Wharf, paired with John Lennon’s 1971 iconic “Imagine.” As part of the project, Art Production Fund (the presenter of Ono’s art installation project) will be selling Imagine Peace items under the artist-designed Works on Whatever (WOW) line at Selfridges. Here, has a first look at the limited-edition Imagine Peace towel ($95; there’s also a water bottle, $28) going on sale at the department store June 21 and online at

Photo: James Ewing / Courtesy of Art Production Fund