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Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Lauren’

Vera Wang to Receive CFDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award


Vera Wang during a conversation with Fern Mallis at New York’s 92nd Street Y.

“It was like being in designer heaven.” That’s how Vera Wang describes her stint at Ralph Lauren. “We had everything, anything we needed as designers, particularly as a design director, as a team. It just magically appeared,” she told Fern Mallis during an on-stage conversation earlier this year at New York’s 92nd Street Y. “If Ralph believed in you, he really believed you. And he really supported and believed in me. It was very hard to leave.” That difficult decision paid off and more than twenty years later, Lauren remains a Wang fan. He’ll be on hand this evening at Lincoln Center to present her with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the special honors at tonight’s Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards ceremony.

What began as a bridal business backed by Wang’s father (who saw an opportunity in a low-inventory venture that would require a limited range of fabrics) has grown–smartly and steadily–from ready-to-wear and accessories to flatware, stationery, and lines for the likes of Kohl’s, David’s Bridal, and Zales. (Did you know that she designed the uniforms for the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders?) According to Wang, she is very involved in the array of licensing deals. “With all of these lines, you have to come up to speed, not only from a business sense but technically,” she told Mallis. “That learning curve is something I embrace because I love to learn. I’ve worked hard at it for over a decade, but it’s challenging.”

With her name synonymous with a brand that sells everything from perfume to pillowcases in 35 countries, are there any product categories still on Wang’s wishlist? Looking back to her years as an elite figure skater, Wang is eyeing activewear. “I think that for women and men today, there’s such a natural desire to be comfortable,” she told Mallis. “I’d like to do athleticwear. That kind of clothing, it’s just kind of joyous to be able to walk around in. Especially if you can bring a sense of fashion to it. I’d wear it.” She could also be sweet-talked into another deal. “I do love donuts,” she said. “I think I could do a mean donut.”

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Overheard In Miami

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And now, before we collapse in a full-on post-festival coma, it’s time for our favorite feature of every design gathering, the Overheards. For all our Art Basel/Design Miami coverage, look here.

Man wearing a shiny, light-colored suit whispers on his cell phone in a dark corner of the garden at the Delano.
Man: Listen, I’m just trying to make this deal as lucrative as possible for BOTH of us.

A hip-looking couple stroll towards the convention center exit.
Woman: Do you want to go to the design show now?
Man [visibly agitated]: NO. For the LAST TIME I do NOT want to go to that DESIGN STUFF.

Guy at Photo Miami walking around with a computer and a phone, and apparently, with a live feed to his class.
Guy: Want to say hello to my students? We have to do it two ways–by phone and by picture. This is my new media class.

Art shopper: How much for the shoes?
Dealer: $275,000

Ultrathin “booth babe” on the convention center floor gazes at a painting; potential male client gazes at her.
Booth Babe: It really is a beautiful piece.
Male Client: You look amazing. Have you lost weight?

Festivalgoer: Are you here for the art or the Basel?

A Design Miami maintenance worker tells two festivalgoers that he saw Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Steven Spielberg milling around during the Thursday night opening.
Worker: You been inside? I wouldn’t pay two bucks to see this shit.
Festivalgoer: Did you like anything in there?
Worker: Yeah. The Audi.

A dealer describes a sculpture to a potential buyer.
Dealer: The inside is softer than the outside.

Woman: You want to eat at the fried rice place?
Man: Yeah, but I don’t want to eat fried rice.

Two metrosexuals stare at a photograph of a nude woman.
Man #1: I just don’t get any of this stuff when it’s about sex or madness.

Dealer: What happened last year happened this year.

A man returns a piece shortly after buying it.
Man: It just doesn’t go with the rest of what we have.

One extremely well-dressed older couple converses with another extremely well-dressed older couple.
Older Woman #1: So, are you taking any of this art home with you?
Older Woman #2 [puzzled]: Well, yes. But we’re having it shipped, of course.

And not really an Overheard per se, but perhaps more mention-worthy in our celeb-spotting round up: Pharrell Williams was spotted by several informants who saw him rolling into the Visionaire party with Arik Levy as part of his posse. Hip hop hearts design.