Maison Di Prima Spring Summer 2017 collection presentation

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Coco Rocha on Her DKMS Ambassadorship, Her Daughter’s Shoe Obsession, & Life as a Blonde

Eric Vitale

What brought Jimmy Choo and Coco Rocha together this week? They teamed up for a shopping benefit to support DKMS, a nonprofit that spreads awareness and raises profits to fight blood cancer, at Jimmy Choo’s store on Madison Avenue. We caught up with Rocha about her ambassadorship for the charity, why she got involved, and naturally, shoes.

So Coco, how did you come to be an ambassador for DKMS?
I met Katharina [Harf, daughter of Jimmy Choo’s Peter Harf] on a shoot four years ago, which was about different women in different fields and how they’re giving back. I had the chance to talk to her about her causes, and DKMS is her foremost focus. I thought, how inspirational is this woman? This is what she does every day. We stayed in touch, and whenever she had an event, I would be there. But I wanted to be way more involved.

Why did the cause strike a chord with you?
It is the only cancer that there’s a cure for. Isn’t that crazy, that there is actually a cure for cancer? You just need a bone marrow donor. It’s frustrating that we can save a life, but we might not be aware of it. All you have to do is swab, write some information, and that is it. After having that talk with Katharina, we decided I’d be an ambassador. I’d come to events whenever I have the chance, talk about it, raise awareness, raise money, and get people swabbed. 

Jimmy Choo is also teaming up to show support. Do you remember your first pair of Choos?
No, I don’t! It was that long ago [Laughs]. I’ve been modeling for 14 years, and it was during my modeling career. I did not have any Jimmy Choos when I was a girl in Canada, Irish dancing. I wouldn’t even know what Jimmy Choo was—I’d be like, a who?

Ha! How many pairs of shoes are in your closet?
Under 100—I actually destroy shoes. I love the shoes I’m wearing now, but I’ll probably destroy them in a few months, and then I’ll have to get rid of them. I hate that I’m that person!

And what about your daughter’s shoe closet?
It’s two shelves. They’re so little, so you can fit lots on the shelves. [Kids] go through them so fast, and you start to realize what’s really practical. What’s cute is not always practical for a child. We definitely have found that boundary.

Has she started playing dress-up in your closet yet?
She loves going into my shoe area and her shoe area—she doesn’t love clothes so much, but when she gets new clothes, she knows it. I’ll put it in the closet, and she’ll be like, ‘Nice, nice! Bring it out, let’s look at that!’ But she does love shoes, which is just odd. She’s a year and a half—why does she know what shoes are? But she does know when shoes go on her feet, she gets to go outside, so it could be that.

You recently got a major hair makeover! What’s your favorite part about being a blonde?
It’s hard—I’m going straight to what’s hard!—because if you have to shower, you have to blow-dry it. If you don’t blow-dry it, it’s going to be like a Bichon Frise. On the other hand, there’s lots you can do. I literally walk around with this Balmain spray conditioner and spray that in wherever I go. It gives that wet look. There’s a lot of looks I can do, and maybe that’s just because I was tired of being a brunette and having long hair. New is always exciting to me.

And what’s new at your modeling agency, Nomad?
We have a great team, and now that we’ve found new models, we have to expand with new agents, which is not a bad thing at all. We want to make sure that girls have enough focus on them. Finding new models is so much fun—[my husband] James [Conran] and I do that on a daily basis. I was in IKEA and I saw this girl and I had no card, nothing. I said, ‘This might be awkward…I am scouting you.’ This poor girl was like, ‘What is a scout, what are you talking about, who are you?’ I said, ‘Maybe Google me? Just to see that this isn’t as weird as it seems?’

Is it strange for you to be on the other side of the industry?
Now that we’ve scouted a few times, it’s fine. I have the creepy story of when someone came up to [scout] me, but I don’t want to be that creepy person! But now I have my official “You’ve been scouted” card with my name, and it’s all good. Now that we can find girls, and establish them, whether it’s a career you and I know about or even if she’s in catalogs—the fact that we can all do that together is pretty exciting. And they’ll remember me as one of their main mentors and one of those first people who helped them out.

Dsquared2 Collaborates with Manchester City Football Club

manchester

Dsquared2 has just joined the Manchester City football team! Well, sort of—the English Premier League has tapped the brand as its official fashion partner, meaning it’ll design the team’s pre-match uniforms for the next two years. This summer, Manchester City debuted a new badge, which inspired designers Dean and Dan Caten to mix Italian and English tailoring codes with a contemporary twist.

“We have designed a unique suit for the players and the staff, modern fit and elegant fabrics,” the Catens said in a statement. “[Team manager PepGuardiola and his team represent and embody Dsquared2 style and tailoring on sports. This is just a sneak peak, one of their new looks ‘the casual sport traveller.’ We look forward to seeing them all suited up.”

Vetements and MatchesFashion.com Stage a Garage Sale in Seoul

Vetements Garage Sale

These days, the mere whisper of Vetements is enough to spark a frenzy among fashion fanatics—perhaps more so in Seoul than anywhere else, where the logo hoodies and patch-worked jeans so perfectly suit the city’s irreverent, youth-driven style. It’s a love affair so obvious that designer Demna Gvasalia and his Vetements collective have taken note—announcing today that the world’s coolest garage sale will be held tomorrow afternoon in the town of Deokso, on the far northwest outskirts of Seoul.

On special offer is the “Official Fake” capsule collection, a limited edition remix of signature pieces from Spring 2015 through Fall 2016, tailored to the Korean market in partnership with MatchesFashion.com. The name itself is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the countless Vetements “parodies” (in some cases, outright copies) that flood the street and ripple through the local fashion scene. “We have discussed coming to Korea ever since couture season,” they shared in a statement, adding that they thought Korean fans would “embrace this collection the most.”

Social media teases of the guerilla takeover have already generated buzz: hints that striped athletic socks and Reeboks from Spring 2017 might be on the docket. Staged in a warehouse nearly two hours from the city center, the unorthodox location recaptures a bit of the underground spirit from the brand’s early days, but will do little to deter the crowds from getting their share—just in time for Seoul Fashion Week, which begins Tuesday. A match made in street style heaven.

Vetements “Official Fake” Capsule Collection and Garage Sale
Monday, October 16, 2016
2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Deokso 01
167-7 Gungchon-ro, Namyangju-si
Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
MatchesFashion.com

YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Announces 2017 Honorees

For almost 80 years, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund has helped fund fashion students’ education at schools around the country. This year, in addition to awarding over 200 scholarships, it’s honoring three industry names at its annual awards dinner in New York: John Tighe, EVP, chief merchant at JCPenney, will receive Retailer of the Year; Judy Person, EVP and group president at Randa Accessories, will be recognized as Wholesaler of the Year; andMichael Strahan, former NFL player and fashion entrepreneur, with a men’s line for JCPenney, will take home the Future of Fashion Award. Eight Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship finalists will also be awarded.

Industry insiders will celebrate the honorees at a dinner at NYC’s Grand Hyatt on January 12. Schools that partner with the nonprofit include FIT, Parsons New School, RISD, UPenn, Harvard, Brandeis, and SCAD, to name a few. Past honorees have included Ralph Lauren, Manny Chirico, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Geoffrey Beene, Iris Apfel, Alber Elbaz, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Zac Posen, Mark Weber, Tim Gunn,and most recently, Tim Baxter, Ronny Wurtzburger, and Jessica Simpson.

Whoopi Goldberg Designs “Ugly Sweater” Holiday Collection for Lord & Taylor

Whoopi Goldberg | All Together Now

Whoopi Goldberg has been dipping her toe in fashion recently, but as of today, she’s going for the less fashionable approach. The View co-host and actress is designing a collection of eight kitschy holiday sweaters for Lord & Taylor. Whoopi and her family uphold an “ugly sweater” tradition, which inspired the all inclusive designs, including whimsical prints like an octopus menorah, a turtleneck paying tribute to the modern family, a zip-up with Santas of different ethnicities, and classic sweaters made from a mix of alpaca, wool, and cashmere.

“I wanted my love of the holidays to come to life with this ‘ugly’ sweater collection,” Whoopi said in a statement. “There’s no better way to celebrate the season than by wearing or giving an ‘ugly’ holiday sweater and spending time with family and friends, which is really what it’s all about.”

To celebrate the collection, Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue flagship is creating a special installation in one of its iconic windows, which Goldberg will help unveil on November 15. The sweaters are available on November 1 at 37 Lord & Taylor stores and lordandtaylor.com for $139.

In case you had doubts about Whoopi’s holiday sweater experience, here are a few Instas of her modeling her personal collection.

Gaga Stylist Brandon Maxwell Has Glamorous New Designs on Your Wardrobe

Nieves Zuberbühler, in Brandon Maxwell, with the designer at the Russian Tea Room, NYC Photographed by Matthew Kristall, Vogue, November 2016

Brandon Maxwell, once an East Texas dreamer, is now a red-carpet-ready master of unabashed opulence.

There is one lonely gay kid in every small town in America glued to the Tony Awards while everyone else is tossing around a football or smoking pot behind McDonald’s. In Longview, Texas, in the 1990s, that boy was Brandon Maxwell, who grew up to be a designer of sinuous confections worthy of the red carpets he once worshipped from afar.

Maxwell, 32, first came to national attention when he put Lady Gaga in the satin gowns to which she graduated after her notorious meat dress. (For the record, Maxwell says that he loves both aspects of her persona—and anyway, he was working for Gaga stylist Nicola Formichetti at the time and actually assisted on that sartorial slabfest.) The two are in fact now such close friends that Maxwell relishes talking to her while she soaks in the bathtub.

Gaga is hardly alone in her affection for Maxwell’s classic vision. The designer’s most recent show, held at the Russian Tea Room (the kind of historic venue he adores), was a major hit of New York Fashion Week—maybe because the clothes, unapologetically lovely with no irony or subtext, spoke loud and clear to young women eager to don something frankly glamorous. Suddenly there seems to be a collective desire to dump the hipster high jinks and slip into the types of silhouettes that have flattered women for decades: perfectly cut slim skirts and tailored trousers, cropped camisoles, and dramatic organza ball dresses.

Maxwell arrived in New York in 2009, photography degree in hand, to find work as a stylist—after all, hadn’t he been styling since those Longview days, when he bought clothes at the Goodwill, refashioned them, took hair and makeup into his own young hands, and then shot the results on his sisters? Didn’t he spend countless after-school hours at Riff’s, the local boutique where his grandma worked, watching the women of his hometown transform themselves into East Texas glamour-pusses?

He sold his car, lived in what he describes as a spare closet in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, sent out thousands of résumés, and was pretty much down to his last roll of quarters when stylist Deborah Afshani took a chance on him. She gave him words to live by: “Come early and stay late!” she said. “Be nice to people.” At his second job—he was third assistant stylist—he worked with Pat McGrath, Naomi Campbell, and Steven Meisel for Russian Vogue. “This is what I want life to be like,” he remembers thinking.

Things moved fast: If once he could only dream of dressing women like his heroines Lady Di and Jackie O, now his ivory crepe frock was gracing Michelle Obama at a state dinner. When he saw the First Lady in that dress, Maxwell was a total puddle. “She really is the embodiment of the women that I love and adore and create for,” he says. His client Nieves Zuberbühler (Maxwell is creating the dress—it’s top secret for obvious reasons—for the 60 Minutes producer’s upcoming wedding to Colombian music producer Julio Mario Santo Domingo) puts it more simply: “Every time I wear his clothes, I feel fabulous. What I love about him is his lack of egocentricity—he’s extremely talented, and I trust him blindly.”

The designer has always been politically active. “I’m a young gay guy from a small town—any sort of women’s, racial, LGBTQ issue matters to me. I think those of us in fashion should do our part in our way.” He insists that his clothes are intended to embody everything that he is not—rather poignantly, he lists “all the things I don’t inherently feel: confident, sexy, strong, powerful, classy, chic.” Nevertheless, this shy mouse who confesses that he cries before his shows—“I don’t want to let my family down, my friends down!”—managed to pepper the front row at his latest show with his pals Gaga, Campbell, and Steven Klein, bouncing his baby on his knee. The music was buoyant, the models a fabulous mix of shapes and ethnicities, and the clothes—sophisticated halters and pencil skirts, sleek sheaths and sexy jumpsuits—had an unmistakable youthful exuberance.

“A lot has changed in such a short time,” Maxwell muses. “A year ago, I was going around with my little rack of samples.” Still, no matter how successful he becomes (and he wants to do it all—shoes! bags!), he insists he will remain true to his inclusive vision. “I never want to be the one who says, ‘You can’t sit with us’—regardless of age, income, color, size.” In a sense, he is doing it all for those young souls stuck in the middle of nowhere, mesmerized by glittering stars on the red carpet. “There is some kid out there,” Maxwell declares. “I want him to know that was me, too! It’s possible!”

 

Hair: Kayla Michele; Makeup: Georgi Sandev
Sittings Editor: Katie Burnett
Produced by Liebling Productions