MANOLO MADNESS: The temperature was soaring inside London’s Burlington Arcade on Wednesday night, but the guests — not surprisingly — refused to go home. They were there to mark the opening of fashion footwear doyen Manolo Blahnik’s first men’s store, an Edwardian jewel of a space, and they were in a joyous mood.
Blahnik, who was looking cool in a sky-blue suit and artfully undone bow tie with stripes, played host to press, stylists, fellow luxury retailers and industry investors at the Mayfair arcade, which had been closed off for the night.
Evangeline Blahnik, the designer’s sister and an architect of the business, and her daughter Kristina Blahnik, the company’s chief executive officer, mingled in the arcade, which had been lined with flower carts showcasing the men’s shoes and a rainbow of colored paper lanterns ahead of the Pride in London parade on Saturday.
There were do-it-yourself ice cream sundae and cotton candy stalls, while guests drank Pimm’s, Britain’s fruity (but alcoholic) summer drink, and Champagne and dipped into icy buckets filled with oysters. At the entrance, dapper men passed out copies of The Blahnik Chronicles, a newspaper dedicated to the designer and his style.
Features included “The Gospel According to Manolo,” with rules to
LONDON — Manolo Blahnik continues to strengthen its position in Asia with a retail location set to open in Singapore next month.
The store will be located at the Marina Bay Sands shopping mall, which has the largest portfolio of designer boutiques in Asia.
The triple tower complex, one of the biggest attractions in Singapore, also brings together a luxury hotel, casino, museum, restaurants and theaters topped with an infinity pool and a sky park.
“Marina Bay Sands is one of the most recognized places in Singapore. It has been at the forefront of uniquely combining innovative architecture, luxury shopping and leisure, so I am very excited that now Manolo Blahnik will be part of this special concept,” said Kristina Blahnik, the label’s chief executive officer.
The space was created by the architect Nick Leith-Smith, a longtime collaborator of the brand, who approaches each retail project by melding Blahnik’s vision with elements of local architecture, materials and cultural context. The aim is to create unique retail spaces that tell the stories of their locales.
The Marina Bay Sands location, opening its doors to the public on May 16 and spanning 474 square feet, blends traditional and modernist influences to reflect the mix of architectural styles
ALTUZARRA IN CHICAGO: Joseph Altuzarra’s clients surrounded him at a cocktail fete last week to celebrate his new shop-in-shop at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
“How’s this?” one woman asked, showing off an embellished blazer from the designer’s fall collection. Altuzarra gave his approval and selfie shots ensued.
“It’s always very humbling when people come to see your clothes and even more so when they decide to spend money on it,” said Altuzarra, taking a break from the hosting and socializing fanfare, in a dressing room off the boutique. “It makes me very happy to meet people who enjoy my work.”
The 250-square-foot shop, located next to The Row’s in-store boutique and on the same floor as Brunello Cucinelli, Givenchy and Céline, was even designed by the designer — including a printed rug, two statement chairs and a glass block wall, reminiscent of his home growing up in Paris.
Perhaps part of the appeal of Altuzarra, whose fans include a roster of names from Carine Roitfeld to Michelle Obama, is that he’s let his clothes tell the story.
“The really nice thing about the celebrities that we work with is a lot of them came to us because they were clients first,” he said.
WASHINGTON — The judge in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial moved opening arguments to Thursday because of the uncertainty over whether there will be a court shutdown because of an incoming snowstorm. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes were expected to attend the opening arguments. The trial, which started on Monday […]
It looks like Hermès is headed to SoHo.
The luxury retailer, which already operates four stores in Manhattan, is said to be close to signing a lease at 63 Greene Street between Broome and Spring Streets. The 4,800-square-foot space with 30 feet of frontage facing Greene Street, will not be a full-line store, sources said.
In spring 2019, Hermès also plans to open a three-level, 10,000-square-foot unit at 46-48 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. Once the new SoHo and Meatpacking units open, Hermès’ will have six Manhattan stores, an unusual expansion at a time when many other retailers are shuttering stores and downsizing.
Greene Street is considered one of the most sought-after streets in SoHo for luxury retail. Hermès’ neighbors will include Dior, Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney, Chloé, Etro, Saint Laurent and Brunello Cucinelli.
SoHo along with many other prime retail corridors in Manhattan has seen rents plummet in recent years. The city’s average asking rent in 2017 hit its lowest point in 17 years, while asking rents in SoHo declined by one-third. There have been some hopeful signs in the neighborhood and brokers said deals are getting done, albeit, most retailers are have been averse to signing long leases. Hermès will reportedly lease
No Paris, Milan or New York for Opening Ceremony. The trendy New York City-based brand is planning a more novel location to show its spring collection — Disneyland.
Opening Ceremony will reveal this morning that it will host what it says is the first fashion show to be staged at the Disneyland resort in Anaheim, Calif.. The show is slated March 7 and will feature current-season merchandise.
Opening Ceremony declined to provide further details at this point, directing interested parties to its social media channels for more announcements.
Walt Disney and its characters have long been popular with the fashion community. Just last month, Stuart Vevers, creative director of Coach, created a custom outfit for Minnie Mouse to wear when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And in 2016, Vevers created a Disney x Coach 1941 collection featuring Mickey Mouse that was a commercial success, selling out at retail.
Whether Opening Ceremony plans to incorporate the characters into its collection is unknown.
Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” has debuted strongly in its platform opening with $ 495,000 at nine sites for Friday-Sunday for an impressive $ 55,000 per location average. “The Post,” starring Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, is projected to take in another $ 215,000 on Christmas Day on Monday for a $ 720,o00 four-day […]
A new Porsche Design concept store — the company’s first in the U.S. — will open at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Nov. 15. The unit replaces a store that first opened in the Southern California mall in 1988.
The new store is nearly 1,600 square feet and located in the Carousel Court in the center of the plaza. It is a collaboration with Porsche Cars North America and will feature a rotating collection of Porsche cars that will serve as the centerpiece of the floor. There will also be a 16-x-9-foot video wall.
In addition, the store will offer men’s apparel, timepieces, electronics, luggage, writing tools, fragrances, smoking accessories, leather goods, eyewear and home accessories.
The only other store featuring this concept is in Milan and it opened in February.
“F.A. Porsche founded Porsche Design in 1972, with the design of a racing-inspired chronograph made for Porsche race car drivers,” said Dr. Jan Becker, chief executive officer of The Porsche Design Group. “Now, nearly 30 years after opening the original store, shifting gears and taking our retail concept to the next level with Porsche cars is a logical progression for us.”
Becker added that since it has operated a store three for
Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is heading for a massive North American opening weekend in the $ 115 million range at 4,080 locations, early estimates showed Friday. Friday’s total will be around $ 45 million, including $ 14.5 million from Thursday night previews. It’s the fourth-highest preview of 2017 after “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” at $ 17 million, “Beauty […]
The summer box office was an absolute circus. Apparently, all it needed was a clown. Enter “It,” Warner Bros. and New Line’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel, which is expected to scare audiences back into theaters with a record-breaking opening. A $ 65 million opening is expected from 4,000 locations (3,500 spots for Thursday previews). Since… Read more »
Opening Ceremony won’t forget the victims of Hurricane Harvey even during New York Fashion Week.
The designers and retailers will showcase their fall/winter 2017 collection in a dance performance on Sunday, Sept. 10 called “Changers.” The show was written and directed by Spike Jonze, choreographed by Ryan Heffington and will feature Mia Wasikowska and Lakeith Stanfield.
Now Opening Ceremony said the performance at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, 66 E 4th St in the East Village, will also be open to the public for four nights, Sept. 11, 12, 14 and 15. All proceeds from the ticket sales — which are $ 15 — will be donated to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The performance explores the evolution of relationships and will be told through movement and dance. Following the show on Sept. 10, the Opening Ceremony fall collection will be available for pre-order.
In the past, Opening Ceremony’s founders Humberto Leon Carol Lim have teamed with Jonze on other projects including “100% Lost Cotton,” a play at the Metropolitan Opera, and a collaboration for Jonze’s movies “Her” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
IVANKA READY FOR FALL: The Ivanka Trump brand will be opening a boutique in Trump Tower this fall, according to sources.
As for whether the label’s full selection — dresses, sportswear, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories — will be available remains to be seen. A spokeswoman for the company declined comment Friday about any specifics regarding square footage, the actual launch date and whether company president Abigail Klem is concerned that the store may appear to some to be a conflict of interest even though Ivanka has stepped away from the company.
Prior to her father’s inauguaration in January, Trump announced that she would give up her role running her fashion brand as well as her post as executive vice president of acquisitions and development at the Trump Organization. Her stepping back followed the appointment of her husband Jared Kushner in as a senior adviser to the Trump administration. At that time, her husband’s attorney Jamie S. Gorelick said in a statement issued to Vanity Fair that Trump would also “sell all of her common stock and restructure her participation in Trump Organization transactions so that she no longer benefits from the profits.”
The new Ivanka Trump Collection store will not be the only
What to do with “The Emoji Movie’s” box office debut? Should it get a thumbs up? A thumbs down? Should we simply throw up our hands and leave it alone? Here are the facts: Sony Animation’s latest opened this weekend in second place at the domestic box office behind “Dunkirk,” and as recently as Saturday was… Read more »
Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is dominating the box office and heading for a surprisingly strong opening weekend of at least $ 50 million from 3,720 North American locations, early estimates showed Friday. Opening day for the highly praised Warner Bros. World War II drama is heading for more than $ 20 million, including $ 5.5 million in Thursday night… Read more »
“War for the Planet of the Apes” is on track to pound up $ 102.5 million worldwide during its opening weekend. The latest from Fox and Chernin is eyeing $ 46 million from international markets. It’s opening at four major markets, and 46 total, accounting for about 36% of the film’s eventual footprint. The epic, directed by… Read more »
Spider-Man is officially a box office overachiever. As of Sunday morning, the latest cinematic depiction of the webbed-hero, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” is looking at a $ 117 million opening from 4,348 locations. $ 10.6 million of the domestic total came from 392 Imax screens. That’s a huge win for Sony, Columbia Pictures, and Marvel Studios for the film,… Read more »
Illumination-Universal’s “Despicable Me 3” has opened in China with an impressive $ 20.1 million on its first day — the best opening for an animated movie ever in the country. The figure is 17.5% above the opening of Illumination’s “Minions,” which set the record two years ago. It’s also the sixth-biggest debut day of the year…. Read more »
Los Angeles has another fine arts museum feather to add to its cultural cap. Maurice and Paul Marciano finally opened their Marciano Art Foundation in L.A.’s historic Hancock Park (the building itself is an old Masonic temple) with two exhibitions and a pair of celebrations.
“Unpacking: The Marciano Collection,” which includes works by Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha and Sterling Ruby, and “Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum” were unveiled before a dressed-up crowd of 600 over the weekend followed by a more casual barbecue.
Among the art supporter celebrities in attendance were Sharon Stone and Owen Wilson, also frequent supporters of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) gala, where Maurice Marciano serves as chairman; Ryan Seacrest (who is a member of the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, or LACMA’s, board) and the heads of those respective institutions, Philippe Vergne and Michael Govan and their spouses Sylvia Chivaratanond and Katharine Ross. There was also Eli and Edythe Broad of The Broad Museum; art dealers Larry Gagosian, Mary Boone and Jeffrey Deitch, and artists Murakami, Alex Israel, Catherine Opie, Doug Aitken, Jeff Koons, Jonas Wood and Thomas Houseago.
From the cultural mix there was Benedikt and Lauren Taschen, Brandon Davis, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz and Bruce
Supreme is said to be opening its second New York location in Brooklyn.
According to the @supreme__hustle Instagram account, which is dedicated to all things Supreme, the streetwear brand will open a store in Williamsburg and a real estate source said Supreme had been eyeing a 3,000-square-foot space on Grand Street.
Resellers say rumors of a Brooklyn store have been percolating for a couple years because of the crowds Supreme draws at its SoHo store on Thursdays when new product drops. In 2014 the New York Police Department temporarily shut down the location due to safety concerns surrounding the release of the Supreme Nike Air Foamposite sneakers. The NYPD recently closed Palace, a streetwear brand based in London, due to unruly customers during its store opening.
Andre Arias, who resells Supreme, said talks of a Brooklyn store started to dissipate once the company created a new drop system that alleviated crowds on Lafayette Street. Arias said customers now meet in a park the Monday before Thursday drops and put their names on a list. They then receive a number that dictates when they can enter the flagship, thus eliminating the need for a line.
Despite its overzealous fans, Supreme has maintained a relatively small retail
Made is back for a second helping. Made L.A., the two-day, two-night fashion, music and cultural event, today announces its return to L.A. Live on June 9 and 10. This year’s highlights include consumer-facing fashion shows and live performances from Opening Ceremony and Wiz Khalifa, respectively.
The event will also feature unique, independent fashion brands, designers and activations set in a special retail section called Shop Small at Made L.A., presented and co-curated by American Express. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. PST on May 1; with a pre-sale for American Express Card members that began today.
“We’re excited to return to the West Coast for the second edition of Made L.A.,” said Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director at IMG Fashion. “From Opening Ceremony and Wiz Khalifa headlining to the burgeoning brands and designers being featured at Shop Small at Made L.A., we’re welcoming a group of unique talent in the fashion and music industry to our stage. We’re excited to continue celebrating the increasing intersection of fashion and entertainment in L.A.”
While Opening Ceremony is no stranger to throwing events in L.A., Friday evening’s showcase will be the brand’s first Los Angeles fashion
“Beauty and the Beast” is already having a magical weekend at the nation’s multiplexes with an estimated opening of $ 155 million-plus already in sight, estimates showed early Friday. Disney indicated that it expects the live-action musical to finish in a range between $ 140 million to $ 155 million while a rival estimate placed the number in the $ 167… Read more »
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon aren’t ones to shy away from expressing their political and social beliefs. In recent memory, their shows and performances have focused on migration, grounded futurism and political pageants. Given what’s happening in the world today — in particular America’s current immigration ban — their latest collection, which was inspired by immigrant travel and the romantic ideology of beauty in diversity, was even more poignant. They created a melting pot, if you will, of fashion drawn from different cultures, representative of the America they believe in, with an aesthetic thread that balanced easy feminine flair and traditional menswear.
Beginning with their show in September 2016 — at a moment when the industry was experimenting with ideas of see-now-buy-now and questioned the need for an overhaul to the current fashion week model — Kim and Leon positioned Opening Ceremony in-season with an approach unlike their contemporaries; this “summer” collection, for example, generally an interchangeable term for “pre-fall,” will begin hitting stores as soon as March 15, whereas pre-fall delivers in May. It’s a methodical approach to truly satisfying what customers want and desire immediately.
For summer, the designers studied images of people who have entered America, from all different cultures, who wore clothes ranging from evocations of celebration to protection,
Opening Ceremony’s evening at the New York City Ballet, held Saturday at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, was perhaps as poignant and engaging as a non-fashion fashion show could ever hope to be. Hitting the mark on several levels, it addressed a host of industry and broader political issues — see-now-buy-now, a creative show format, hope and fear in the Trump era — without forcing them.
In lieu of a standard fashion week fashion show, Opening Ceremony cofounders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim invited guests to a performance of “The Times Are Racing,” a new ballet by New York City Ballet’s resident choreographer Justin Peck for which Leon designed the costumes. They, in turn, inspired the spring 2017 Opening Ceremony collection. Set to music by composer and electronic musician Dan Deacon, the ballet is most untraditional, a fact underscored by the two pieces — “Fearful Symmetries” and “The Shimmering Asphalt,” both relatively classic in movement and their uniform costumes — that preceded it on the evening’s program.
Deacon’s score was the driving force behind “The Times Are Racing,” a story of American identity, and ultimately diversity, which premiered Thursday. It imagined strangers encountering each other on city streets. Peck’s contemporary
ACCESS DENIED: President-elect Donald Trump and Kylie Jenner share a similar communications strategy: rely on social media to drive news. Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics pop-up store at Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park, Calif., made its debut to much fanfare Friday, but it certainly wasn’t due to traditional press. Prior to the opening, a spokesperson for Jenner said media appeals to photograph or visit the store wouldn’t be accommodated. After it, a request for statistics on the success of Kylie Cosmetics’ retail premiere was denied. The snubs didn’t stop some journalists from showing up, not that they had any luck getting inside. Fashionista and Bustle were among the publications that sent reporters to check out the store, only to discover observing from the sidelines was the best that could be mustered. “No press was invited to preview the shop, or even stand anywhere near it,” wrote Bustle’s Sara Tan.
Although both Trump and Jenner have occasionally entertained old-school press outlets (Jenner was the subject of a cover shoot and profile for Allure’s August issue), their enormous social media audiences mean they don’t have to depend on them to generate buzz. Jenner boasts 80.9 million followers on Instagram and has been a whiz at
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Disney’s “Moana” sailed to the top of the Thanksgiving box office, earning a mighty $ 81.1 million over the five day holiday period and $ 55.5 million for the weekend.
Its success builds on the studio’s hot streak. Disney has released five of the year’s ten highest grossing films, is the leader in terms of market share, and is poised to set a new record for annual grosses. Its hits include “Captain America: Civil War,” “Zootopia,” “Doctor Strange,” “Finding Dory,” “The Jungle Book,” and now “Moana,” with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” waiting in the wings. Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis said that the success of “Moana” and others like it justified the company’s decision to make fewer films, while taking bigger bets. Part of that strategy involved shelling out billions of dollars to buy Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm, the brands behind “Toy Story,” “The Avengers,” and “Star Wars.”
“We are working with the greatest brands and we’re doing big, broad storytelling that resonates domestically, but has the power to transcend borders and languages and cultures around the world,” said Hollis.
While “Moana” thrived, other new releases weren’t as fortunate. Paramount’s “Allied” earned $ 18 million over the five-day period and $ 13 million for the weekend, a weak result given its $ 85 million budget. The film stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as spies who marry only to have their love affair become entangled in a larger conspiracy. Robert Zemeckis (”Flight”) directed the picture.
Pitt has gone through a bruising divorce from Angelina Jolie that limited his participation in publicizing the film. The actor didn’t do television interviews or magazine spreads, which might have helped raise “Allied’s” profile. The film also drew a much older crowd, with 39 percent of ticket-buyers coming in over the age of 50. Paramount suggested that might mean that its core group of ticket buyers may be slower to embrace the picture, even as it acknowledged that the results were disappointing.
“It’s just okay, and over Thanksgiving you always hope for something a little better than okay,” said Megan Colligan, Paramount’s head of marketing and distribution. “The bright spot is that there’s not a lot of competition in the marketplace over the next few weeks and our audience takes a minute to get to the theater.”
Paramount is coming off a series of bruising failures such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Zoolander 2.” As its parent company, Viacom, prepares to merge with CBS, there are questions about studio chief Brad Grey’s leadership of Paramount. Last month, Grey hosted a preview of the studio’s film slate for media, during which “Allied” was positioned as a key component in Paramount’s revival. The studio did enjoy a hit with “Arrival,” a brainy sci-fi thriller, but after “Allied’s” struggles, it will now have to look to “Fences” and “Silence,” two awards hopefuls from Denzel Washington and Martin Scorsese, to close out the year on a high note.
Broad Green and Miramax’s “Bad Santa 2” also failed to ignite. The follow-up to the 2003 cult comedy “Bad Santa” earned $ 9 million over the five day stretch and $ 6.1 million for the weekend. It cost $ 25 million to produce and had been tracking to open in the mid-teen millions. Broad Green, a newcomer to film distribution, has also been floundering of late. It has released a number of flops and disappointments such as “The Infiltrator,” a thriller with Bryan Cranston, and “99 Homes,” a drama with Andrew Garfield, and has only had one true breakout hit with “A Walk in the Woods,” a Robert Redford comedy that debuted last year.
Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply” was roundly rejected by moviegoers. The romantic comedy about Howard Hughes bombed, earning a disastrous $ 2.2 million over five days and $ 1.6 million over the weekend. Beatty hasn’t been on screens in more than a decade and has spent years trying to assemble financing for the film. Hughes, the famously reclusive billionaire was something of an obsession for the actor. To realize the passion projection, Beatty tapped a network of one-percenters that includes Steve Bing, Steven Mnuchin, and Ron Burkle to pull together “Rules Don’t Apply’s” $ 25 million budget. Fox is distributing the picture. Its opening is one of the worst ever recorded for a movie that debuted on more than 2,000 screens.
“Moana” centers on a girl in the Pacific Islands who journeys across the ocean to save her people. Disney did not release a budget, but most animated films cost between $ 150 million to $ 200 million to produce. “Moana” now ranks as the second biggest Thanksgiving debut ever, behind only “Frozen,” which made $ 93.6 million in its first five days.
As many new releases floundered, Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” continued to draw crowds. The Harry Potter spin-off picked up $ 65.8 million for the five-day period and $ 45.1 million in its sophomore weekend. The fantasy adventure has earned $ 156.2 million in two weeks of release.
In limited release, EuropaCorp’s “Miss Sloane” bowed in three theaters where it made $ 63,000, for a per-screen average of $ 21,000. Jessica Chastain stars in the thriller as a driven lobbyist who takes on the gun industry.
The Weinstein Company’s “Lion,” a drama about a man who uses Google Earth to reunite with his long-lost family, debuted to $ 128,368 in four theaters for a $ 32,092 per-screen average.
“Lion” is seen as a potential Oscar winner. One of its chief competitors, Amazon and Roadside’s “Manchester by the Sea,” expanded from four to 48 screens this weekend, where it earned $ 1.3 million. The drama about a grieving janitor has made $ 1.6 million since it opened.
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NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: Following the launch of its new house on Fifth Avenue last week, Coach let the good times roll with a party to mark the opening of a Regent Street flagship on Thursday night.
Located on 206 Regent Street, next door to Stuart Weitzman (which is owned by Coach) the new 27,500 square feet space showcases the brand’s new retail concept.
Designed by creative director Stuart Vevers in collaboration with William Sofield, the shop aims to embody the concept of modern luxury and focuses on customization, with stations offering monogramming and made-to-order services.
It also highlights the brand’s playful spirit, with a metallic sculpture of Rexy the dinosaur, who stomps his way across the brand’s rtw and accessories collections, at the entrance of the store. Rexy also appears in street-facing windows, in the form of a neon pink light installation.
Dancers dressed in dinosaur costumes were the main attraction for party guests, including Kate Moss, Henry Holland, Poppy Delevingne, Erin O’ Connor and Daisy Lowe.
“It feels like a home-away-from-home because my house is filled with dinosaurs. I had a sweet chat with Stuart about it and he said that the message is embracing the child within, which is great. He
NEW YORK – Nike has been forced to delay the opening of its 55,000-square-foot store in SoHo here, planned for today, due to permits. This is after a week of promoting the store with press walkthroughs and a party Nov. 9. The company issued this statement:
“We look forward to bringing New Yorkers the best of Nike at our new Soho store. Due to permitting issues, the store will not open to the general public as planned on Friday, November 11th. We will communicate the new opening date as soon as possible. Scheduled product launches and consumer events are postponed until opening.”
NEW YORK — Brendon Babenzien might come from the school of Supreme — he was formerly the creative director at the popular streetwear brand — but he’s taking a different approach to building his new men’s wear brand Noah.
That’s made clear at his new store, which sits on the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare Streets in NoLIta and opens Thursday.
Unlike Supreme’s retail locations, which are typically stark vessels for product, Babenzien’s shop has a residential feel. The 800-square-foot space features a proper seating area along with warm wooden fixtures. Clothes are displayed on racks held up by leather straps attached to the ceiling. Old music magazines, which Babenzien wants customers to actually read, are sprinkled throughout the store. There’s no cash register in sight and associates will check out customers on an iPad.
“We wanted it to feel welcoming and like you could spend time here,” said Babenzien, who will also use the store as an office. “I grew up working in a surf shop and it was a real place for activity. We wanted people to feel comfortable in the space.”
Although the assortment includes graphic T-shirts and beanies — streetwear staples — the collection is much more grown up than
HOT STUFF: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim stirred together some of the fashion pack’s favorite ingredients – a hot young chef and a smartphone with razor-sharp picture quality – for a dinner in Paris celebrating the new partnership between their Opening Ceremony label and Samsung on a special accessory collection.
The duo flew in Angela Dimayuga, executive chef of cult New York eaterie Mission Chinese Food, to cook up a meal for friends and editors in town for Paris Fashion Week. “Carol and I love food, and we’re not shy about it,” said Leon. “It’s super exciting to have everyone be able to experience this.”
Dimayuga whipped up a feast including braised peanut and woodear mushroom, drunken fish en papillote, mapo tofu and tea fragrance rice for guests including Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol, Susanna Lau, Leaf Greener and Kenzo chief executive officer Eric Marechalle.
The Chongqing chicken wings, packed with “explosive chili,” lived up to their billing. Lim confessed she knows the menu by heart.
“You know how some places you go and you’re like, ‘That was an amazing experience, maybe I could go once a year’? But this restaurant has this quality about it where all the dishes are so unique, and
Look for Backpacks & Bookbags? Buy this 9 in 1 Multifunction Repair Opening Pry Tools Kit Set for iPhone/Cellphone Blue tmart.com store provides cool gadgets, cell phones, consumer electronics, LED flashlight, car accessories, phones accessories, computer accessories, games accessories, holiday gifts and security camera.
Then, there’s all the issue of anti-Semitism, which is addressed quite pointedly with the number If You Could See Her in which the Emcee serenades and dances with his “partner” – an actress dressed in a gorilla suit and wedding dress.
This performance of Cabaret is, however, far from as dire as the stage appears prior to the show starting. In the beginning, the Kit Kat Klub is shown as it would be after the Nazis took over, but it magically transforms into the glittery, extravagant setting where almost anything is available and possible when the Emcee enters and begins introducing “the beautiful girls and boys.”
The Emcee is brilliantly played by Jason Collins, who morphs from one lavish costume to another while weaving a plot filled with both meaning and entertainment. Collins is beyond flashy, and he maintains the mantle of master showman while keeping the show both inviting and intriguing.
The other principle player who can’t be missed is Billie Wildrick as Sally Bowles. Wildrick dances and sings with a vibrancy that leaves the songs stuck in your head days later. And these two key cast members are brilliantly supported by the other actors, the highly innovative staging and a “house band” that becomes a character in and of itself as it rolls out to center stage on a moving platform from time to time. All of this makes Village Theatre’s performance of Cabaret a show that should not be missed. It’s well worth a drive from Seattle to Issaquah (or next month to Everett).
Cabaret plays at the Village Theatre in Issaquah through July 3 before moving to the Everett Performing Arts Center where it will run from July 10 to August 2.
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Courtney Cole’s first time singing in front of an audience was almost her last. The wide-eyed eleven-year-old spent weeks preparing to sing in front of her Louisiana church for the first time. She was so confident in her preparation and eager to make her debut that right before she went onstage, she asked her piano accompanist to forego the song’s introduction.
“It was a disaster,” Cole recalls. “I started singing in the wrong key. I knew it right away, but I couldn’t figure out how to switch when the piano came in. I barely finished, and then I immediately went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. I told my mom I would never, ever sing again.”
Despite the traumatic experience, Cole’s fifth-grade resilience kicked in and she was singing in church again a couple of weeks later. Church performances soon turned into musical theater, which led Cole to attend the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts near her hometown of Mandeville, Louisiana, as a high schooler.
“I’ve always loved to perform and feel so at home on stage,” Cole says. “I know this sounds so generic, but I love Wicked. My family names all of our animals after Wicked; my mom had a fish named Glinda, and her dog’s name is Elphaba. There’s a spell that Elphaba says in the play, ‘Eleka nahmen nahmen ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen,’ and that’s my dog’s name. I call her Ellie for short. Now I just need a boy dog to name Fiyero!”
Musical theater came so naturally for Cole that she almost pursued the passion after high school until a conversation with her church’s worship pastor helped change her course. “I had a scholarship to go to school in Alabama for musical theater,” she says. “My worship pastor said, ‘You don’t need to go do that that. You need to do your ultimate dream, which is touring and being onstage and singing music that you’ve written.'”
Inspired by the conversation, Cole applied to Belmont University in Nashville. “I got in at the last audition they had for the year and moved to Nashville, and I’ve been here ever since.”
“I majored in commercial voice,” Cole says. “Thank God that’s a major! What else would I have majored in? Accounting? I couldn’t!” she adds with a laugh. “Music is the only thing I’m good at. There’s nothing else I would want to do. I respect and appreciate the people who do the business side of [music] so much because it’s just so hard. I did it for a while, and I couldn’t even think. It just wasn’t me.”
Cole calls her journey “your typical Nashville story.” She explains, “I worked my way up. After I graduated, I got an internship at a publishing company…from a guy I met on MySpace, actually,” the singer adds. “I worked there doing a bunch of odd jobs. I would work from 9 – 5, then sing and write from 6 – 10, because that’s what I ultimately wanted to do. The company executives saw what I was doing and decided to give me a publishing deal! That’s where my journey as a professional songwriter and artist really began. I’ve been refining my writing and crafting my sound over the last couple of years, and here I am now. “
Here is a place Cole describes as “exactly where I’ve always dreamed I would be.” She has a new music video, “Drunk,” which is making waves on CMT and GAC. Her Spotify-exclusive acoustic EP, #NoFilter, has been received well by fans and critics alike, and she’ll join one of her country idols, Miranda Lambert, on an all-female country tour this fall.
“Making the video for ‘Drunk’ was one of the best experiences of my life,” Cole gushes. “When we were finished, I looked at my manager and said, ‘Can we do that again?’ It was just a really fun day. It brought in the music side and my theater side.”
The video was shot in Nashville, but Cole infused elements of New Orleans as a tribute to a town that she says has been a constant inspiration. “Personality-wise, music-wise, color-wise, it’s just so inspiring,” she says. “That’s all the stuff I want to bring out in my music. We couldn’t film in New Orleans because Mardi Gras was going on, so we decided to bring Mardi Gras to Nashville! If you look closely, you can see fleurs-de-lis in a few places in the video.”
The song “Drunk” was the product of a writer’s retreat between Cole and co-writers Catt Gravitt, Gerald O’Brien, and Shirazi.”We wrote five songs that trip, but we knew right away there was something really special about ‘Drunk,'” Cole says. “What you hear on Spotify is actually the acoustic work tape that we did in the cabin that day. I knew it would make the perfect first single and be a great stepping stone for the album.” (Fans can find the fully-produced version of “Drunk” on iTunes.)
Cole’s Spotify-exclusive debut also includes the beautiful ballad “Fall Like Rain,” which provides a great balance to the fun, upbeat “Drunk” and “Can’t Buy Love.” The inspirational “Cool Girl” finishes out the four-song collection, making it a very strong showing for the Louisiana native, who is road-tested, to say the least.
She has played hundreds of shows supporting acts including Chris Young, Thompson Square, and Kip Moore. But she shows she’s most excited about are yet to come. This fall, she will join one of her country-music heroes, Miranda Lambert, on a resurrection of Lambert’s Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour at venues across the country. The all-female lineup includes Lambert, Cole, “God Made Girls” singer RaeLynn, Lambert’s Pistol Annies partner-in-crime Ashley Monroe, and up-and-coming country artist Clare Dunn.
“I’m so excited for the tour. It feels so surreal,” Cole says. “Miranda’s music changed songwriting for me. She changed the way that I view music in general, and writing from a personal standpoint. Her writing helped me get down to the truth of who I am as a writer and find what I want to say to the world, and it just made me want to be better.”
Although landing the tour with Miranda is a dream come true for the young artist, she’s quick to note that there are many dreams left to achieve. And the best way to make those dreams come true? Believe in them, she says.
“If I could sum up my story in one sentence, it would be that dreams really do come true, and with a little hard work and staying positive, you can make anything happen,” she says with conviction. “Your thoughts really do become your life. When I was a little girl, I would sit in my room and pretend like I was on tour. I would see the arena in my head. And the fact that I’m here now, and get to go out and play my music live on the road, it’s amazing! But I knew that was going to happen from the time I was a little girl, because I believed it.”
Country fans had better believe they’ll be hearing a LOT from Courtney Cole in the future. Between now and the kickoff of the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour in September, country fans can enjoy her acoustic EP, #NoFilter, exclusively on Spotify. For more information, visit CourtneyColeMusic.com.
Live photo courtesy of Courtney Cole. Professional photos by Ivan Clow.
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UNIQLO FINDS A HOME IN QUEENS: Uniqlo has lined up an 8,000-square-foot space at The Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing, Queens. Scheduled to open later this spring, it will be joining a 700,000-square-foot shopping complex that includes such stores as Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Nike Clearance Store, The Children’s Place, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Marshall’s.
With 39 stores across the U.S., the retailer has three more in the works. Slated to open in the fall is a 13,000-square-foot unit at The Bellevue Collection in Seattle and a 10,000-square-foot store at Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Va., while a 22,000-square-foot unit at the Denver Pavilions in Denver will bow in spring 2016.
The sketch included long, uncut “Birdman”-style shots, a shout out to J.K. Simmons’ “rushing or dragging” speech in “Whiplash” and just the right amount of slapping to confirm that this is definitely not the Oscars. Watch below.
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