On the eve of the launch of her latest collection for GapKids, we spent a few minutes chatting with the fabulous Diane von Furstenberg. The designer has been creating her iconic wrap dress since 1972, and last year marked her first collaboration with Gap, scaling her eponymous look down to little girls' sizes. Click through for photos of the launch party for DVF's latest "Young Explorers" collection, and read our interview with the designer.
Sneak a Peek at Diane von Furstenberg's New Collection For GapKids and BabyGap Before It Hits Stores!
Diane von Furstenberg is at it again . . . and we couldn't be happier! As announced last month, the iconic designer is lending her hand to a second collection for GapKids and BabyGap that will hit store shelves (it will be available at GapKids, BabyGap, and DVF stores, as well as online) on April 25, and based on this sneak peek, it's bound to fly off store shelves.
This year's theme, Explorers, is filled with African-inspired prints and wild-animal illustrations all meant to express girls' natural desire to discover the world around them. Of course, the capsule collection includes the iconic DVF wrap dress — though it is reworked into a shorts romper to be a bit more child-friendly — as well as printed skinny jeans, rompers, tees, swimwear, shirtdresses, leggings, lace-up espadrilles, sunhats, and more. Expect to see plenty of safari-themed and hibiscus bud graphics, the DVF signature heart, and some Gap/DVF graffiti on the various pieces.
The first collaboration, which featured the DVF Loves GapKids theme, was an instant hit with parents and kids alike, so click through our first look at the collection, and start making your shopping lists now!
- Karl Lagerfeld photographed Cara Delevingne for the cover of Plastic Dreams' Winter 2013 issue. [Yahoo! News]
- Kimberly Ovitz says that 3D printing may revolutionize the way brands handle supply and demand. [The Business of Fashion]
- Tennis star Novak Djokovic is set to appear in his first ad campaign for Uniqlo after becoming brand ambassador last year. [WWD]
- Christie Brinkley may join the cast of The View. [Styleite]
- Could Kate Spade outpace J.Crew? Some insiders think so. [Racked]
- Natalia Vodianova will receive the Inspiration Award at this year's DVF Awards ceremony. [Style.com]
- Karin Gregersen has been named the new president of Vince. [WWD]
- This is what it would look like if nostalgic childhood cartoons like Doug, My Little Pony, and Pokémon collaborated with designers. [Lucky]
Vanessa Hudgens delivered an outfit that we want to re-create — immediately. For the DVF Loves Roxy Swim Launch, Vanessa styled up a basic canvas punctuated with a cool beige and black blazer, snakeskin heels, and bohemian jewelry. The DVF Loves Roxy collection is full of bold prints in Roxy's signature surf-inspired swim styles. We'll be showing you our favorites from the line, but for now, get a glimpse when you check out Vanessa's latest look! On Allison McNamara: Bebe suit, Topshop blouse.
Tongues are still wagging about Alexander Wang's appointment as the creative director at Balenciaga: Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, and some other powerful industry players have now chimed in on his new job.
Eric Wilson talked with Wintour, von Furstenberg, and a number of other people who have observed Wang's work since his career started. Like Karl Lagerfeld and much of the Twittersphere, many of the people Wilson interviewed wholeheartedly support Wang's move. Below, the rest of the industry reacts to Wang's big news.
Anna Wintour on whether Wang's age is a problem: "Oh, please, come on. How great is it to be young? That is when designers are at their most fearless. That is when you do your most creative work."
Wintour, again, on Wang winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund: "He was so articulate. He said he wants to dress the girls of his age and his generation. That's what you see in everything he does. He lives and breathes the Alex brand."
PPR chief Francois-Henri Pinault, who is similarly unconcerned about Wang's age: When he started at Balenciaga, Ghesquière "was designing uniforms for Air France, and who would have said that Nicolas would become such a great talent?"
Isabelle Guichot, CEO of Balenciaga: "We're not asking him to be an entrepreneur. But luxury fashion is a business with some rules, and he understood that very early in his career, without ever compromising the creativity."
Robert Burke, industry consultant: "There were some feelings after what happened with John Galliano at Dior that the brands were promoting the individual designers too much. Now they're thinking, what is it going to take to keep a brand relevant and alive?"
Diane von Furstenberg on whether Wang is ready for the new job: "It was a coup for Alex, and a coup for American fashion," she said, adding, "he's going to need some mentoring in Paris."
And one designer who chose to remain unnamed, on Wang and other designers like him: "They're not fashion designers. They're fashion curators. They're sitting at a computer copying other peoples' ideas."
Photo: Wintour and Wang in 2010.
When Diane von Furstenberg speaks, people tend to listen. And hopefully her new PSA for an online auction benefiting the victims of Hurricane Sandy will get people to open their wallets, too.
The CharityBuzz auction is a partnership between the CFDA and Vogue and includes some "amazing fashion experiences," von Furstenberg says in the video. "You can have lunch with me, attend a fashion show with Anna Wintour, or meet Michael Kors." Proceeds will go to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and other relief organizations in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Current bidding on a week-long stay at Tommy Hilfiger's private estate in Mustique stands at $21,000, and one donor has ponied up $16,000 to attend next year's Met Gala with Wintour and Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. But there's still time to bid on those and other lots, like the chance to attend Victoria Beckham's Fall 2013 show, or to take home the entire Prabal Gurung for Target collection before it reaches stores. The auction closes on Dec. 5.
"Yvan is a really talented designer," von Furstenberg said. "He joined DVF almost three years ago, and he helped me to brand it. He was very, very helpful. I think he had a good time. He saw a whole other way of seeing fashion and doing fashion, and then he felt like his mission was accomplished, so we parted."
Citing a press release from von Furstenberg's team, previous reports said Mispelaere would not be replaced, and that an in-house team would lead the design process. But the designer herself — who has counted Catherine Malandrino among her creative directors — seemed open to bringing another young designer into the fold.
"I think that he put together a really dynamic team," she said of Mispelaere. "There's a lot of talented designers, and I love the idea of having a laboratory."
Von Furstenberg was similarly vague about the implications of another staff change: the hiring of former Tommy Hilfiger executive Joel Horowitz as cochairman. Some have suggested Horowitz will help the company go public, but von Furstenberg wouldn't discuss specifics of his job.
"I realize that I have created a brand. And I look back and there's a big body of work and there's a huge recognition," she said. "I really have an asset — that's something that can go on after me. . . . It's a platform to build the next step."
Just when it seemed that the DVF label was hitting its stride with creative director Yvan Mispelaere at the helm comes the sudden news that he is out the door. His departure, the brand says, is effective immediately.
"I am so grateful for the contributions Yvan brought to DVF and fully support him as he takes the next step in his career," Diane von Furstenberg said in a statement released by the company Tuesday. "Yvan joined us almost three years ago and has added enormous value. He also put together a highly skilled design team to support our growth both in fashion and accessories. I am very thankful and proud of his accomplishments here and I look forward to our strong team continuing to create the signature DVF look for women everywhere." As of now, the company says it has no plans to replace him.
With stints at Chloé, Valentino, and Gucci under his belt, Mispelaere was largely credited with bringing a renewed sense of polish, as well as a refined eye for color, to the DVF brand. The collection he and von Furstenberg presented for Fall 2012, for example, was one of that season's more memorable New York Fashion Week shows. And though Spring 2013, shown only a few days ago at Lincoln Center, somewhat lacked that same sense of power and focus, it was still plenty gorgeous. One has to wonder if that lack of cohesion was the result of Mispelaere knowing he may have soon been on his way out.
"I came to DVF to help further the brand's mission and create a world-class design team. I am confident we have been able to achieve that during my time with the company," Mispelaere said in the statement. "I can't thank Diane enough for the opportunity to work with her and such talented people. The group is now well-positioned for even greater success, and I am eager to take on my next challenge." Yvan, we're looking forward to that too.
Since creating her iconic wrap dress — a piece just two years shy of its 40th birthday — Diane Von Furstenberg has become a legend in the industry. We caught up with the iconic designer backstage at her Spring collection, where she revealed the significance of the piece that started it all, and what the latest collection means for her (hint: it takes her back to her days as a princess in Rome!). Get a backstage pass with Diane right here with our Fab Flash. Hair by Justin Woods from Kérastase and Makeup by Angelica Perri
It was a total color explosion on the runway at Diane von Furstenberg — though the brand is known for its use of bright hues and standout prints, the Spring 2013 collection left us reeling. Get a load of all the slinky, sophisticated looks and the punchy color palette when you press play now.