Last night, despite a cold, blustery rainstorm, the fashion industry elite put on their black-tie best and headed down to Cipriani Wall Street for Fashion Group International’s Annual Night of Stars Gala. The event is known for it’s glittery mix of designers, retail execs, editors and celebrities, and this year’s event was no exception. Elle’s Kate Lanphear (in an incredible YSL cape) told us, “This is one of my favorite events of the year. I’m a big fashion nerd, and I always try to come if I’m in town.” Spotted in the glamorous crowd were fashion luminaries like Proenza's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Harper’s Bazaar Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, model Lindsey Wixson, and style legend Lee Radziwill, who accompanied Star Honoree designer Giambattista Valli.
Many designers in attendance were excited to support Corporate Leadership Award winner Andrew Rosen, the President of Theory and an investor in young fashion brands. Stacey Bendet Eisner, founder and designer of Alice and Olivia, a company that Rosen has invested in and mentored, said, “I worship him. I talk to him every morning at 6am, or around that time. He’s the most amazing person in this industry; he’s the Godfather.” Misha Nonoo of Nonoo NY added, “Andrew Rosen is one of the most exciting people in fashion at the moment. He recognizes talent at a seedling level.”
Some highlights from the awards ceremony:
--The award ceremony kicked off with a moving speech by Barneys’ Simon Doonan about how AIDS has affected the fashion business and the industry’s responsibility to remember those who were lost. “The next generation needs to know that Perry Ellis was a real person and that Moschino isn’t just a wacky name in the label of a frock. Let’s always speak their names and pass on their legacies.”
--T Magazine’s Sally Singer introduced Andrew Rosen, thanking him for “investing in new names, not old or dead ones.” Rosen spoke about being mentored by his father, garment industry icon Carl Rosen of Puritan Fashions. He said of his achievements, “I love coming to work and running seven different companies, all with different cultures and aesthetics. Those people I work with think that I inspire them, but really, it’s their talent and fresh perspective that inspire me.”
--Jessica Biel, wearing a breathtaking white poofy-shouldered Giambattista Valli couture gown, fondly recalled going out for caviar and pickles with Giambattista Valli after his first couture collection presentation. Valli, who just launched his Macy’s collection this week, thanked industry members and the “Valli Girls” for helping him to grow his business.
--W’s Edward Enniful sweetly honored Rodarte’s Mulleavy sisters, who accepted the Star Honoree Award. Kate pushed her sister Laura to speak first, and both sisters gave a heartfelt thanks to all those who had helped them along the way, including Brian Phillips, president of PR firm Black Frame.
--Cathy Horyn shared the story of running to a 2004 Raf Simons show in Paris at a time every editor dreads, Saturday at 9PM, because she didn’t want to miss out. She said of his work, “He has an amazing accuracy into the future. His perspective is really that of a romantic. He makes mystery but isn’t a mystery at all. He can understand the world just by looking at it.” Simons, for his part, thanked a wide variety of influencers including Picasso, Giacometti, Stephen Sprouse and his mom and dad. Most of all, he wanted to thank Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli for offering him the Jil Sander position.
--Valerie Steele of FIT’s Museum, standing in for David LaChappelle, bestowed the Fashion Provocateur Award upon Daphne Guinness. “Daphne flies a flag for individuality and is in search of what’s new and original”. Guinness seemed genuinely touched by the win, and agreed with Doonan that “the thread of future generations lies in the past twenty years”.