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July 30 2014

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26 posts tagged "Julie Gilhart"

The Winery’s Winners

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The early bird catches the worm—that saying was certainly appropriate this morning when, before rush hour, a crowd of industry insiders flocked to the Museum of Arts and Design for breakfast to fête the winners of the 11th annual Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation awards. The birds? Designers Tim Coppens, Sunhee Moon’s Sunhee Huang, Titania Inglis, Eighteenth’s Alexa Galler, Haus Alkire’s Julie Haus and Jason Alkire, Correll Correll’s Vera and Daphne Correll, and Dezso’s Sara Beltran. The proverbial worm? $25,000 grants to fund their Fall presentations at New York fashion week, starting next Thursday.

“This is not something I would typically do on a Wednesday morning,” mused Coppens, who launched his menswear collection in April. “I was surprised to win, but it feels really good.” The judges, including former Barneys fashion director Julie Gilhart, Gilt Man’s Josh Peskowitz, and Paper‘s Kim Hastreiter, were all on hand to congratulate the recipients. “We all know how hard it is to get a solid footing in this business,” Peskowitz told Style.com. “This industry requires new people to be able to put forth new ideas, and having this award ensures that process continues.” Meanwhile, retail guru Gilhart bestowed some words of wisdom to the newly coronated designers. “Show up and bring something different to the table,” she advised. Adding, “This is not an award that is about lights, camera, action—it takes time.”

That is certainly true for industry veteran Huang, who has been working on her collection for the past 15 years. “I started crying when I heard the news,” Huang admitted. “I tried to launch the line several times, but it was difficult financially. This is the third time and I feel like it’s the start of my career.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Ecco Domani’s 2012 Winners Announced

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Now in its 11th year of awarding $25,000 grants to emerging fashion designers, including past recipients Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, and Rodarte, winemaker Ecco Domani announced the latest round of winners this morning. A team of fashion industry insiders, including T‘s Sally Singer, former Barneys fashion director Julie Gilhart, and Paper‘s Kim Hastreiter, judged the the womenswear, sustainable design, and accessories categories, while the menswear designer was selected by Barneys vice president Jay Bell, Park & Bond/Gilt Man style director Josh Peskowitz, and WWD‘s men’s fashion director Alex Badia. The women’s designers are Correll Correll by Vera and Daphne Correll, Eighteenth by Alexa Galler, Haus Alkire by Julie Haus and Jason Alkire, and Sunhee by Sunhee; the accessories winner is Dezso by Sara Beltran; the sustainable design category winner is Titania Inglis; the menswear winner is Tim Coppens. Each label, chosen from a group of 200 applicants, has $25,000 to use for their collections at New York fashion week.

Photo: WWD.com

Pleather Principle

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“Vegan. Vegan. Leather. Vegan. Leather. Leather.” That was Victoria Bartlett last night after dinner, playing show-and-tell over a small display of her Spring 2012 VPL shoes set up in the corner at Gemma’s Wine Room. However, it was the animal product-free portion of the collection that served as the reason for this happy and homey little get-together for friends like co-host Julie Gilhart, Hannelore Knuts, and dashing Last Magazine duo Magnus Berger and Tenzin Wild.

The designer has been a fur-free, vegetarian animal lover for almost three decades—despite her very English roots. “Oh, I grew up with my mum serving me liver, cow’s tongue, rabbit. You name it,” she said. (Though high fashion’s other purveyor of vegan accessories Stella McCartney is also English, and Bartlett noted that former McCartney BFF and fellow Brit Phoebe Philo was also vegan back in the day.)

Bartlett had long since made her peace with leather as a by-product but was spurred on by socialite and fashionable free spirit Arden Wohl to toss some non-leather options into the mix, and into an apparent market void. “Arden basically told me there’s not that much fashion stuff out there except for Stella,” said Bartlett. For Spring, Wohl and other conscious shoppers can choose between VPL’s strappy low wedges in faux leather—good solid Italian-made stuff that took Bartlett a year to find—in colors like putty, buff, and forest, and bright neoprene sandals with zips up the back.

This vegan venture is just a first phase. In the offing for VPL are fake leather bags and even coats. But don’t expect Bartlett to be flogging them as a marketing gimmick. The mix of cruelty-free and vero cuoio isn’t strict and neither is she. “It can be a selling point for people who want it,” she said. “But otherwise, it’s just fashion.”

Photo: Courtesy of VPL

Julie Gilhart’s Next Act

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On Friday, the audience at the Sustainability and Philanthropy panel at the AFINGO Fashion Forum got to hear Julie Gilhart speak—her first public pronouncements since her departure from Barneys, where she’s been senior VP fashion director these past 18 years, and where every fashion-loving New Yorker fell in love with her.

“I’m super-excited,” she said. “All those things I wanted to do at Barneys I can now do.” Such as? Gilhart has been talking to “the big guys” about sustainable fashion—but in a practical way. “I don’t think there’s enough philanthropy in the world to save the world,” she declared, explaining how it’s the mass brands like Wal-Mart that ultimately need to change. “But I have lots of hope. [Luxury fashion groups] LVMH and PPR are working up to it. I just heard [François-Henri] Pinault speak at a sustainability conference in India. It was a bit disappointing—it was not about sustainability, it was about sustaining your business in India. But he’s super-smart, and he’s committed to it. His wife is committed to it.” (That’d be Salma Hayek Pinault.) “He sees it as the future of cross marketing, thinking of new ways for people to buy things. He’s going to up the ante.”

At Barneys, Gilhart always had an eye out for fresh design talent—particularly fresh, conscious talent. And AFINGO, a new social networking site-cum-marketplace for the fashion industry, is especially concerned with new designers. So, asked the moderator, how do young designers struggling to be green and putting so much sweat and thought into their lines get ahead in fashion? “You have to have great design,” said Gilhart. “Work on your craft. I can make brownies and put a whole lot of thought into it. But if they don’t taste so great, nobody’s buying.” Eighteen years at Barneys didn’t go to waste.

Kate Sekules is the founder of the haute-cycling swap site www.refashioner.com .

Photo: Courtesy of AFINGO

The Fashion Girls Of Japan Organize A Benefit For Japan

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The fashion community of New York has been swift in organizing benefits, special products, and donations to Japan in the weeks since the earthquake and Pacific tsunami devastated the country. But for some industry players, the disaster is closer to home. For those Japanese and Japanese-American designers, buyers, and executives, the event is even more personal—and with their newly formed Fashion Girls for Japan, they’re doing something to help.

Spearheaded by Kikka Hanazawa (president of VPL), Tomoko Ogura (women’s fashion director of Barneys Co-Op), Stella Ishii (owner of the News showroom), and Kyoko Kageyama of 3.1 Phillip Lim, who was in Tokyo during the quake, and with the support of Julie Gilhart, Fashion Girls for Japan has organized a two-day sample sale, 60+ Designers/60+ Rolling Racks, to raise money for the Red Cross, the Mayor’s Fund, and the Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. What will you find? Exactly what the name promises: More than 60 racks of clothes at deep, sample-sale discounts (starting at 50 percent off retail) from more than 60 participating designers, including Altuzarra, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler, and Thakoon. A $5 ticket is all it takes to get entry to the two-day sale, which will be held next weekend at the Bowery Hotel Terrace. For more details, visit fashiongirlsforjapan.com. And because no event is official without its own logo, the group drafted Magnus Berger and Tenzin Wild of Berger & Wild—designers and founders of The Last Magazine]to create a cool a graphic as we’ve seen yet (left). Here’s hoping for a T-shirt (well—another).

Illustration: Berger & Wild/fashiongirlsforjapan.com