The Savannah College of Art and Design held its Style Etoile Awards at the James Cohan Gallery on Monday night. The evening's honorees included Russell Simmons, Amanda Burden, Cornelia Guest, Robin Givhan, and William Ivey Long (left), and attendees at the event included Cynthia Rowley, Agnes Gund, Michael Fink, Yigal Azrouël, Mario Buatta, Bobby Zarem, music exec Michael Mauldin and his wife Judy, producer Tom Fontana, SCAD president Paula Wallace, Ann Slater, designer Lars Nilsson, and Russell's brother and girlfriend—Danny Simmons and Julie Henderson. [PMc, Wireimage, WWD, NYSD]
Keri Russell turns 33 today. Kenneth Cole turns 55. Chef Tom Valenti is 50. Author Jonathan Ames is 45. Ex-con shoe mogul Steve Madden turns 52. Real estate broker Leslie Garfield turns 77. Actress Catherine Keener is 50. Disgraced ex-Times reporter Jayson Blair is 33. Chaka Khan is turning 56. Actress Michelle Monaghan is turning 33. Perez Hilton is 31. Ric Ocasek of The Cars is 60. Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, is turning 19. And John Bobbitt—remember him?—turns 42 today.
• Why do people like to watch models falling down? "Is it because us mere mortals love to take pleasure in seeing the beautiful go down? Is it fashion show turned fashion spectacle? Is it the same logic as watching a car crash?" Yes, yes, and yes. [Pipeline]
• Editors who turned up to Gareth Pugh's show in Paris were shown an 8-minute video instead of a runway show. The same one that appeared online. Surprise! [Fashionologie, Fashionista]
• Meet Ruth, Marc Jacobs's secret weapon on Bleecker Street. [Racked]
• Kenneth Cole cut 10 percent of his workforce last week. [Reuters]
• PETA's new anti-fur campaign features strippers. Classy. [Gawker]
• Lou Doillon is opening a concept store in Paris later this year. [Fashionista]
• Rebecca Taylor is introducing a line of shoes and jewelry. [FWD]
• Badgley Mischka's new ad campaign was shot by Annie Leibovitz and features Eva Longoria, Brooke Shields, Lauren Hutton and Anjelica Huston. [SW]
• What you can expect to see when Topshop finally opens on April 2. [NYM]
• Fashion tycoon Kenneth Cole has managed to sell his penthouse at 101 West 79th Street, albeit for substantially less than the original asking price. The four-bedroom apartment, which was priced at $18.95 million and reduced to $16.95 million in December 2008, has sold for $12.5 million to an entity called Fundo Azul LLC. So who's behind this Fundo Azul? No clue, although if you know more, feel free to drop us a line and let us know. [Cityfile]
• Hotel owner Jeffrey Carlstead has listed the one-bedroom at 15 CPW that he bought for $2.54 million in August. It's now $4.6 million. [Cityfile, Corcoran]
• No 740 Park apartment for you! Both banker Peter Huang's apartment and Courtney Sale Ross' 32-room duplex have been taken off the market. [MGross]
• Ivan Lendl has gone into contract to sell his mansion in Goshen, Conn. The 43,000-square-foot home had been listed at $25 million. [NYP]
• Disgraced financier Alberto Vilar recently listed his 11-room co-op at 860 United Nations Plaza for $5.5 million. But it may be too late. It's scheduled to be sold at auction on March 11th. [Page Six, BHS]
amfAR kicked off Fashion Week with a gala at Cipriani last night, where the long list of attendees included Donna Karan, Mary J. Blige (left), Anna Wintour, Calvin Klein, Rachel Zoe, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Liza Minnelli, Candy Pratts Price, Robbie Myers, Jessica Stam, Lily Donaldson, Kenneth Cole, Stefano Tonchi, John Demsey, Stacy Bendet, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Lisa Dennison, Terence Koh, Vito Schnabel, Noemi Lenoire, Harry Belafonte, Mary Alice Stephenson, Jennifer Creel, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci, Taylor Momsen, Maggie Rizer, Doutzen Kroes, Robert Verdi, Mario Cantone, Eliza Dushku, Kipton Cronkite, Derek Blasberg, and Howard and Cindy Rachofsky. [PMc, Wireimage, WWD, NYO]
• Kenneth Cole has sliced $2 million off the price of his penthouse at 101 West 79th Street. Cole originally listed the four-bedroom apartment for $18.95 million. He just reduced it to $16.95 million, but it's unlikely Cole and wife Maria Cuomo will have much stuff to move out if they find a buyer. Although the fashion mogul has owned the apartment since '85, the family spends most of its time at homes on Sutton Place and in Westchester. [Cityfile, Carol E. Levy]
• Billy Joel has taken his Centre Island mansion off the market after failing to find a buyer for the $32.5 million property. Joel bought the waterfront estate, which is known as Middlesea, for $22 million in 2002. It's also where he tied the knot with Katie Lee back in 2004. [Newsday]
• Katharine Muir has listed her five-story, eight-bedroom townhouse at 42 West 71st Street for $7.3 million. [Cityfile, TE]
Middling designer Kenneth Cole is well known for writing his own pun-tastic advertising copy after only seconds of thought, and he hasn't lost his razor-sharp mind. Yesterday there was already a Kenneth Cole billboard up for Obama's election: "A precedent we can be proud of.—Kenneth Cole." He had one ready for a McCain election, too: "Out with the old...In with the older.—Kenneth Cole." In case of a third party victory, he could have gone with: "OMG I'm so surprised I didn't even think one up! Well okay how about like, 'Third is the word.' Yea, I like that because it has, like, different levels. Raoul, send that one over to the billboard people.—Kenneth Cole." [NYT]
Kenneth Cole is not just a middling designer and outspoken advocate for responsible journalism; he's also, for reasons we can't fathom (narcissism), his own advertising copywriter. A bad advertising copywriter. It's not every CEO of a massive fashion brand that's too cheap to hire someone to write his own billboard taglines. But in Kenneth Cole's case, coming up with them only robs him of mere seconds of thought. That's how his poor clothing line ends up with billboards like this one on Houston St.—presumably the balls are there to distract you from the slogan itself:
Middling designer Kenneth Cole is upset that tawdry media outlets these days spend all their time covering sensational stories, rather than important things like, you know, his blog, for which he is plastering ads all over NYC. It's not that his underlying point is wrong—the media does specialize in "fueling the paranoia." The problem is the cognitive dissonance involved in being lectured by Kenneth Cole in a blog post titled, "Is Responsible Journalism an Oxymoron?" I'll tell you what's an oxymoron: "Kenneth Cole... good." Yea, score one for the media!
If this weekend's Journal Pursuits is to be believed, the centuries-long mega-trend of boys who want to be pretty like girls has colonized one more of the 5.5 human senses. Guys are buying perfumes by the likes of Burberry, John Varvatos, as well as Kenneth Cole's R.S.V.P., and Tom Ford's "Tuscan Leather" and "Tobacco Vanille"—many of which are "more evocative of women's perfumes than traditional male fragrances." But compared to such foppish florals, say the Journal's sniffers, Armani's new Attitude "exudes old-school machismo" with its lemon-coffee- lavender-cedar blend and Zippo-lighter bottle. Then again, Armani's new scent—let's call it 'Tude!—and its manliness might actually stem from something else altogether, according to crazy court records.
Today is, as we hope you know, World AIDS Day, and it's as good a time as any to remember that, two decades into the pandemic, millions of people worldwide are still dying and there is still no cure. This year, AmFAR chairman and lefty shoe designer Kenneth Cole created the "We All Have AIDS" awareness campaign. While it has goals we share and a King Christian of Denmark sensibility we admire, we're entirely unconvinced that selling this particular t-shirt is necessarily the best way to raise money for the cause.