Women’s Wear Daily
04.24.2014
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GQ Throws a Pool Party in Milan

A who’s who of designers popped by for cocktails to celebrate Jim Nelson’s 10-year tenure as editor in chief.

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John Varvatos Thom Browne GQ

WET AND WILD: A who’s who of designers, including Stefano Pilati, Tomas Maier and Italo Zucchelli, popped by for cocktails by the pool of the beautiful Villa Necchi Campiglio to celebrate Jim Nelson’s 10-year tenure as GQ’s editor in chief.

“We are glad to ‘lend’ this special location to them,” said Diego Della Valle, who as usual will host guests at the mansion today to unveil the new Tod’s accessories and men’s wear collections.

“Of course, I would have liked to be there, but I preferred to give him some space,” said Giorgio Armani, referring to Andrea Pompilio, who on Saturday showed his collection at Armani’s theater on Via Bergognone. “I’m sure that there are many young talents here in Italy — I think that it’s extremely important to teach them that this is not a golden, easy world, but that fashion is a difficult business because you have to reach the public, make factories work and find the right product for the market.”

Boxer-turned-model Rob Evans faced a different predicament. Asked if he was walking in any shows, the “America’s Next Top Model” judge replied: “I’m too big. Basically, the only place where I can work is New York, in Europe everyone has to be like this,” he said, flashing his little finger, before stripping down to his boxers and taking a dip in the pool.

New York-based Thom Browne said he would soon return to Italy to spend his summer in Positano, while Turkish designer Umit Benan said for him it would be “some island. I will decide in the next couple of hours,” he said.

Benan divulged he is “close” to opening his own store in Milan and received offers from two investors — “one was a big one, but I didn’t feel like it was the right one. I really want to do it in a healthy way this time.”

John Varvatos’ business plans include his first European flagship, set to open in August 2014 in London. “We do great business in the U.K. and this is the prefect kickoff for me in Europe,” he said, though he was wondering if his little daughter would approve of the location. “The other day she asked me: ‘Why don’t you have your runway show in Paris instead of Milan?’ I don’t know where she got that from: She’s only five. She probably wants to see the Eiffel Tower.”

Hidetoshi Nakata, arguably the best-dressed retired soccer player next to David Beckham, said he has just launched a high-end sake brand called N, putting no more than 1,000 bottles a year on the market, while he is also acting as a sartorial match-maker promoting creative ventures between Japanese artisans and Western luxury fashion brands such as Gucci. “These craftsmen are an important part of our cultural heritage; it’s because of them that the products have such high quality. When they die, a part of our culture dies with them,” he said.

British actor Matthew Goode said he’s shooting a BBC miniseries called “Death Come to Pemberley” and a film with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley called “The Imitation Games.”

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