3 posts tagged "Stella Ishii"
“Boyfriend jean” imposters, beware. Where once there were only ill-fitting baggy pants masquerading under that nebulous title, today there’s a variety of more convincing options. At the forefront is industry vet Stella Ishii’s 6397, a brand born of Ishii’s own quest for the correct ratio of slouch to slimness.
Ishii, who started her career as a translator to Rei Kawakubo in the late seventies, quickly made a name for herself, and by the mid-nineties was helming Staff USA, where she brought the likes of Maison Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood stateside. Departing just after Renzo Rosso acquired Staff International, Ishii launched The News in 2001. The airy Soho loft-cum-sales and press agency became a quick favorite among the industry and aided in the successes of bold-faced brands like The Row, Alexander Wang, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. In the fall of 2012, spurred by forays into tailoring men’s denim to fit her own frame, Ishii launched 6397 and found acclaim and a burgeoning fan base that includes such categorically cool women as Lauren Hutton, Patti Smith, and Jamie Bochert.
Fast-forward to present day, and what began as a quest for the perfectly slouchy jean has grown rapidly: Today, denim makes up about only 35 percent of 6397′s offerings. The label’s keen eye for detail (its cult favorite Twisted Seam denim was an homage to the way a man’s pant leg naturally rotates inward over the course of the day) translates into collections of impeccably cool, androgynous basics. Mechanics suits, cashmere loungewear, elegant silk camisoles, a buttery camel coat—6397 boasts all the building blocks of the ultimate easy wardrobe. A fruitful long-term partnership with graphic designers Studio 191 spawned a series of emblazoned tees last year, bearing enigmatic slogans such as “High as the hills”; another boasts the reproduced scrawl of a (damned good) Nirvana set list. Per Ishii, “We have known and worked with [Studio 191] for almost fifteen years, so there’s a real sharing of aesthetics and humor that makes it fun.” And while the 6397 woman at first glance would seem to share some sartorial DNA with both 21st-century Parisian gamines and downtown Manhattan girls, Ishii is hesitant to put geographical boundaries on her brand’s ethos. “I think it’s more of a mind-set that’s universal.” It pays to be fluent in the language of cool.
The Fashion Girls for Japan—a synod of the fashion world’s powerful Japanese women and those who support them, including Barneys’ Tomoko Ogura, The News Showroom’s Stella Ishii, and 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Chiaki Yamamura—came together last year in the wake of the East Japan earthquake and tsunami to host a sale benefiting Japanese relief efforts. A year later, they’re reconvening to do it again. With much still to be done in Japan, the FGJ have marshaled more than 60 designers to donate items to be sold at more than 50 percent off to benefit the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund and Home for All Foundation by KISYN, a Japan-based organization founded by architects Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Hiroshi Naito, Kengo Kuma, and Kazuyo Sejima, which builds communal gathering spaces for the displaced. Last year’s sale, which included donations from Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, Thakoon, and Thom Browne, raised $275,000. The addition this year of menswear and jewelry—including much discounted pieces by Judy Geib (pictured), whose prices usually hover in the four-to-five-digit range—should help to match and hopefully exceed that sum this time around.
The Fashion Girls for Japan Second Anniversary Designer Sample Sale will be held Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, from 12 to 7 p.m. at the Bowery Hotel Terrace, 4 East 3rd Street, NYC, (212) 505-9100. For more information, visit www.fashiongirlsforjapan.com. A donation-based admission fee can be purchased online at the Web site or at the door.
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).