PRADA GOES VROOM: After Armani, Hermès and Dolce & Gabbana, another Italian luxury brand is sliding into the driver’s seat — Prada. According to Hyundai Motor Company, Prada’s design team will work closely, over a four-month period, with the car company’s engineers and own designers to create three special editions of the Genesis Sedan. “We’ve made a name for ourselves as a quality automaker, and are now focusing on raising our brand image,” said James Choi, Hyundai Motor’s president of international sales. The first Prada Hyundai Genesis Sedan will be unveiled at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show and then be displayed at Hyundai’s headquarters in Seoul, while the other two will be auctioned at the Prada Transformer, a temporary building in Seoul that will accommodate a range of cultural, artistic and fashion events scheduled to take place from March to July. The earnings will be donated to a charity under the joint Hyundai-Prada Transformer name, but further details were unavailable.
SMOKING ROOM: A giant retrospective exhibition dedicated to the late couturier Yves Saint Laurent is being readied in Paris. Pierre Bergé said the exhibit, likely to include some 300 pieces, should be held at the Petit Palais in 2010. The Foundation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent has some 5,000 couture garments plus some 15,000 accessories, sketches and assorted objects spanning Saint Laurent’s 40-year career. Bergé, meanwhile, is guest of honor at next month’s La Grande Braderie de la Mode (“The Big Fashion Stock Sale” in English) being held in homage to Saint Laurent. The biannual event offers designer wares at discount prices to raise funds for an AIDS charity.
PUPS AND PROENZA: Barneys New York last week threw a sequel to the party hosted earlier this month to fete Proenza Schouler’s foray into handbags at the department store’s Beverly Hills outpost Thursday. But instead of an Italian dinner feast, a light lunch of tuna and vegetables was on the menu. And dogs replaced the gaggle of cool chicks. Lisa Eisner, rushing in after entrées were served with pooch Beatrice in tow, explained, “Sorry I was late, I was at the vet.” Lazaro Hernandez didn’t mind. While petting Beatrice, he gushed, “You don’t know how obsessed I am with your dog.” Jack McCollough passed around his phone for those at his table, including Cameron Silver, Shiva Rose and Rosetta Getty, to take a look at a picture of his pup, Buster, sporting sunglasses. “He’s so sweet,” mewed the proud owner. With Proenza Schouler’s aggressive push into accessory categories, perhaps dog collars could be up next.
LOOSE LIPS: Outed former CIA covert operations officer Valerie Plame is at work on a book but was typically tight-lipped about the specifics. After speaking at Thursday’s Women’s Leadership Exchange in New York, she said, “I think I have had a few good stories in my life.” The tome isn’t due out until next year, but Plame’s name is already back on the airwaves thanks to the Decemberists, who recently named a song for her. “Have you listened to it? It’s hysterical,” she said, before running through the Sheraton Hotel & Towers’ lobby to retrieve a copy someone had given her.
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