>> While working on her Spring 2012 collection, Reece Solomon had sunshine on her mind. "I was thinking about a tropical beach," the designer explained after her presentation Sunday night. Not that it would have been difficult to guess; nestled along driftwood-strewn tables were any number of bags just perfect for a seaside getaway. There were jute totes in stripes and chevron; oversized clutches in turquoise and cobalt; and weekend-ready carryalls in sunflower yellow. But even if it's true that everyone loves a beach, Solomon is still a downtown girl, and she definitely knows her customer. For all the bright colors and light, there was still a whole lot of city spirit on display: shapes were structured, lines were clean, and the details had just the right amount of grit.
>> In the gilded Plaza Hotel ballroom, Thakoon Panichgul took the season's pervasive super-vibrant color scheme up a notch — “It’s more saturated — spicier — than ever before” — with hues like saffron, turquoise, orchid, marigold, and jade.
“It started with an idea of the American West, of cowboys, but went into a lot of other influences from there,” said Panichgul, who topped the models' spray-painted hair with cowboy hats, incorporated "Indian paisley" all over, and mixed in sari wraps with those cowboy yolk shirts.
She continues: “Look. I understand their point of view [at Dior]. I understand they couldn’t just say, ‘Bad boy! We forgive you! Come back!’ But it’s really a pity. And I will never believe he believed what he said. I think he was drunk and alone in a bar. When people go crazy, they go crazy. It’s a human case, it’s not political or religious. He didn’t kill anyone!”
She also gives an opinion on her former Vogue colleague Carine Roitfeld, who she says was “very good at building up her own image.” Sozzani suggests that Roitfeld forgot she worked for Conde Nast and became too interested in having her picture taken. “I’m not a celebrity, I’m an editor,” Sozzani says. “If you feel that to be the editor of Vogue you have to be a celebrity, something is wrong in your life.”
Madden, who worked with the Olsens on launching their shoe line for Elizabeth and James, says that it was the Olsens who first approached him about doing something with Superga: “We do a lot of business with Mary-Kate and Ashley. They’ve become friends."
Ashley Olsen adds: “We were at a meeting with Steve, and we were wearing Supergas — two years later, it kind of fell into our lap. I really don’t think there’s anything like this brand. It’s a tennis-shoe brand with 100 years under its belt.”
The Olsens will launch an upscale Superga sneaker collection co-branded with The Row for Spring 2012, and will develop all creative and marketing initiatives for the brand, in addition to overseeing retail lines of distribution. “At first, Superga just needs to start off in the right stores and be on the right people’s feet,” said Ashley Olsen. “We look at a million opportunities a day; it’s very personal for us.”
>> Last month, Marc Jacobs was said to be frontrunner for the currently-vacant Christian Dior creative directorship. That still seems to be the case, according to WWD sources, but there have been a few sticking points.
One such hitch in the talks? It's believed that Jacobs and his long-time business partner Robert Duffy are seeking a substantial increase on their current salary and benefit packages from LVMH, which already place them among the highest-paid designers and fashion executives in the world.
Dior is a more demanding job than Jacobs's current position at Louis Vuitton, with two couture collections in addition to two ready-to-wear shows and pre-collections. And Jacobs would be required to spend more time in Paris working with the atelier, given the intense craftsmanship involved with forming a couture collection.
If Jacobs does make the move to Dior, Phoebe Philo has been reported to be first in line to succeed him at Louis Vuitton. But according to WWD's sources, as of last week, she had yet to commit to the project or enter negotiations.