July 28 2014

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283 posts tagged "Karl Lagerfeld"

Is New Balance Really Suing Karl Lagerfeld?



Karl Lagerfeld is being sued by New Balance over a pair of “confusing” kicks, according to TMZ. The sneaker giant claims that Lagerfeld’s black-and-white leather, suede, and mesh sneaker (complete with “K” block letters) is a blatant copy of a classic New Balance design. (Lagerfeld’s shoe is available for $360 at Net-a-Porter, if you’re interested.) It seems New Balance is being a bit sensitive here. Not only has Lagerfeld designed fashion sneakers for years (most notably for Chanel), but the man has built a career on taking an irreverent approach to luxury fashion. These shoes aren’t a copy—they’re simply an appropriation of a classic, decidedly unglamorous shoe. It’s an homage, not a knockoff. And really, who sues the Kaiser? The debacle brings to mind Jeremy Scott’s debut collection for Moschino, which featured a prominent McDonald’s motif. There was no legal squabble over Scott’s Happy Meal handbags, nor did Nickelodeon and Hershey lawyer-up about his SpongeBob sweaters and candy-wrapper gowns. With that, we rest our case.


Karl Lagerfeld, Cindy Sherman, and More Collaborate With Louis Vuitton


Karl raf

An LV punching bag by Karl Lagerfeld? Why not! Today, WWD reports that Nicolas Ghesquière and Delphine Arnault are launching a new project, The Icon and the Iconoclasts, in which six heavy-hitting creatives will put their own spin on monogrammed bags and luggage. The designers, artists, and architects include Lagerfeld (who is, in fact, producing a punching bag), Cindy Sherman, Rei Kawakubo, Christian Louboutin, Frank Gehry, and Marc Newson.

The project instantly calls to mind the collaborations Marc Jacobs championed during his tenure at Vuitton: Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama all interpreted the LV monogram in a unique way. But Ghesquière’s take brings Vuitton’s team-ups to a whole new level.

Images won’t be revealed until later this fall and prices will range between $2,725 and $5,450. That’s a pretty penny, but considering the bags will be available only for a few months, we’re thinking they qualify as the ultimate splurge.

Photo: Getty Images 

Jason Wu Curates for a Cause


Bruce Weber

On June 11, Jason Wu will merge good art with a good cause when he hosts the Second Annual Young Friends of ACRIA Summer Soirée. But his involvement with the AIDS research and education foundation goes far beyond turning up at the benefit and smiling for Billy Farrell. “I want to help pave the way for my generation to get involved,” said Wu, who sits on ACRIA’s board. “I love what ACRIA does, and it’s great for me to be able to work with people I admire, like Francisco Costa and Donna Karan.”

In order to help raise funds for the organization, the designer has put together an extensive auction of photographs (fashion and otherwise), the proceeds from which will naturally go to ACRIA. “Last year I collaborated with artist Nate Lowman on T-shirts, and I wanted to continue the art-and-fashion element,” said Wu. “So I thought it would be nice to curate a collection of photographs by young and established photographers that I admire.”

Inez & Vinoodh; Herb Ritts

Open for bidding now on, the auction includes Inez & Vinoodh’s Guinevere Descending a Staircase; Herb Ritts’ 1991 portrait of a pensive Karl Lagerfeld; and Bruce Weber’s erotic snap Gregory and Sacha, Nantucket, Mass, 2012, as well as works by up-and-comers, like Kevin Tachman’s moody shot from Rick Owens’ Fall ’13 show, Kelly Klein’s punk-tinged image, and Gregory Harris’ uplifting 2008 photograph New Hope.

Rick Owens“I’d like the younger generation of creative people to be able to afford and have these things,” offered Wu. To wit, starting bids range from $400 (for Simon Burstall’s grayscale image) to $6,000 (for a Weber or Steven Meisel). Sure, it’s no small investment, but these are pretty appealing prices when it comes to big-name photographers. “This is a great way for people who are really interested in collecting to get an incredible work that most people in their 20s and 30s wouldn’t be able to buy.” A collector as well as a philanthropist (his latest acquisition was an Inez & Vinoodh-lensed print of his Spring ’14 campaign with Karen Elson), Wu places himself in this category. “I’ll definitely be bidding on everything!” he laughed. Why not join him?

Photos: Bruce Weber, Inez & Vinoodh, Herb Ritts; Kevin Tachman; all courtesy of

Why Thomas Tait Won the LVMH Prize


taitIt’s the 300,000 euro question: Why did Thomas Tait win the inaugural LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers? What sets him apart from all the other qualified finalists? After his victory yesterday afternoon, Tait told me he had no idea. “I was shocked,” admitted the London-based 26-year-old.

To be honest, I was not.

When I attended my first Tait show back in 2011, I had a feeling he was going to be “big.” Maybe it was because the then-24-year-old designer—the youngest to graduate from Central Saint Martins’ prestigious MA Fashion program—had managed to draw hugely important buyers from hugely important stores to his second-ever show. Perhaps it was the fact that his strict yet subtle designs were so entirely different than the work of his often-eccentric LFW peers. But sitting in that presentation, you could feel that you were witnessing the beginning of something special.

The Canadian-born talent launched his line back in 2010, and quickly earned sponsorship from the BFC’s NEWGEN. He’s carried by such retailers as Jeffrey, Louis Boston, and 10 Corso Como, and has a knack for convincing top editors to trek to the most inconvenient, albeit spectacular, London show spaces, like an abandoned grass-filled warehouse or a graffitied skate park. His success is made all the more impressive by the fact that his East London studio was founded with no independent financial backing and boasts only one full-time employee. “I’d like to grow it, as quickly as possible!” the designer laughed over the phone. “It’s really small-time.”

That may be the case, but Tait’s vision and dedication to doing things properly is anything but. “I told LVMH I have goals and, regardless of whether I win the prize, I’m going to go after them,” he explained. “Now they might happen sooner and smoother than I had planned. It will be nice just entering next season not wondering how I’m going to keep my head above water [financially] like I usually do.”

thomas tait

There are a few projects, though, that the prize will finally allow him to pursue. Handbags, for example, are on the horizon, and he’s aiming to produce shoes, which he’s previously created only for the runway. The M word came up, too. “Menswear isn’t urgent, but I’d be lying if I said that it isn’t something that interested me,” said Tait, who’s been known to wear his own sharp cashmere coats or trousers when the sample’s just right. “I haven’t really had much money to go shopping, so I’ve gotta make do!”

But back to the question at hand: What makes Tait so darn exceptional? For one, he’s old school, whether it comes to technical skills (he’s involved in the creation of each garment he produces), delivering his collections on time, or even sketching. “Karl Lagerfeld mentioned that he liked my illustrations. He said that it was a dying art in fashion, that it was rare, and that was really touching.”

There’s the fact that Tait doesn’t aim to please anyone but himself. “I never feel like I’ve done something that I regret to satisfy someone else’s desires.” Except his clients, of course. “I’d like to think that people approach what I do because they care about how they feel, and they think about how they’re dressing.”

He’s never relied on celebrities to push his wares. “I don’t necessarily lend to celebrities because I prefer to [dress] people I have a personal connection to or an appreciation for.”

And his ability to simultaneously remain constant and tweak his aesthetic, shifting from streamlined elegance one season to slick streetwear the next, is terribly sophisticated. “There’s a common thread throughout each collection,” he said. “But when it comes to the look, it varies from season to season because there’s too much to talk about and experience for me to limit myself.”

In short, Tait is talented, creatively stable, and his abilities extend far beyond those of any other 26-year-old fashion star. “Most of our struggles boil down to financial needs,” he conceded, adding that he’d like to expand his wholesale distribution and open a flagship down the line. But he acknowledges there’s a long road ahead. “I still have a lot to learn,” he told me. “This is just the beginning.”

Photo:Yannis Vlamos/

Thomas Tait Is Top Dog, But Everyone’s a Winner at LVMH


Thomas TaitThe atmosphere at the LVMH headquarters was electric this afternoon, as reporters, photographers, finalists, jury members, and designers all mingled before the big reveal of the inaugural LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers winner. London-based Canadian designer Thomas Tait, who won the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize back in 2010, came out on top. “I was shocked,” he told us while sitting next to his gilded trophy. “I thought, Did that just happen?” Tait is now looking at 300,000 euros of financial support and a year’s worth of business mentoring and production advice, and naturally we were curious as to his next move. “A nice dinner, a good night’s sleep, and I need to call my mom and dad,” he said. But after that, he might take another step toward that handbag he’s been thinking about. Menswear, though, is “not such an emergency.”

The ten runners-up (formerly eleven, but Julien Dossena shuttered his line Atto to focus on his work at Paco Rabanne) were not forgotten—and they were awarded for their efforts. After taking the podium, LVMH’s Delphine Arnault first presented three students, Flavien Juan Nuñez, Peter Do, and Teruhiro Hasegawa, with 10,000-euro grants plus one-year internships with Dior, Céline, and Givenchy, respectively. Then, Arnault announced that the jury, which included designers Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Humberto Leon, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons, and Riccardo Tisci, had decided to create a special prize of 100,000 euros each for two runners-up. Those honorees were Shayne Olivier of Hood by Air and Indian sisters Tina and Nikita Sutradhar of Miuniku. Currently based in Mumbai, the latter are moving their camp to London next year, with plans to show at London fashion week.

LVMH prize

Even those who walked away without a hefty purse were grateful. “It’s already been incredible in terms of exposure and meeting people—it’s like you win right out of the gate,” mused finalist Chris Gelinas. When asked about the final presentation, in which each designer, accompanied by two models, got ten minutes in front of the jury, he replied, “It felt a little like the Last Supper—all these important people lined up at one long table. I remember thinking, What did I just say to Karl Lagerfeld?

“I really appreciated the very different personalities and expressions. It was very interesting,” said jury member Ghesquière. “They all really have a vision, a story to tell, an expression, and a signature. That’s formidable. As for the jury, there was a real camaraderie,” he added, before slipping out of the room and back to work. Lagerfeld noted that the best part of the process was “having everyone all together, we never see each other because we’re working. But I hate that I want everybody to win and that’s not possible.”

“I am thrilled. It was so interesting and original. All eleven candidates were of such excellent quality; each had their style,” offered Arnault. “They are tomorrow’s great talents.” Asked if she thought the contest would draw even more than this year’s 1,221 candidatures, she replied, “I hope so!”

Photo: Getty Images; Tina Isaac-Goizé