‘ROCK’ ON THE BLOCK: Money can’t buy you love, but starting Sept. 5, it can buy you entrée into the fashion industry’s inner circle. The Fashion Rocks online charity auction, created by Condé Nast Media Group and Citi and benefiting Stand Up to Cancer, will feature a two-week internship at Giorgio Armani, dinner for two at the Waverly Inn and seats at Diane von Furstenberg’s show in February. Other big-ticket items include a leather jacket worn and autographed by Keith Urban, a tennis racquet signed by Venus Williams and backstage passes to a Duffy concert.
HEADING EAST: Opening Ceremony next week is pushing America aside to make way for Japan, the latest nation chosen for the store’s rotating international shtick. “We always kind of go off of our own personal hunches of things that we’re interested in,” said Humberto Leon, the store’s co-owner, of putting the spotlight on Japan and its less-established labels. “There are so many well-known Japanese designers — the Comme des Garçons, the Junya Watanabes, the Yohji Yamamotos — that are very established, but you don’t hear too much about young designers.” Leon and his partner, Carol Lim, spent a month scouring Tokyo for under-the-radar collections and absorbing the culture. They came back with a mix of clothes, concepts and lots of exclusives. In addition to introducing a slew of Japanese lines to the U.S. market, the store will carry products by classic American brands, such as Nike, Converse and Pendleton, previously sold exclusively in Japan. There also will be exclusive toys by Sanrio, parent company of Hello Kitty, and vending machines (“Vending machines are huge in Japan,” said Leon), as well as a Comme des Garçons “market” featuring the full fragrance and wallet collections. Shoppers also can find looks fit for their favorite subcultural style icon: garu girls, harajuku girls and kawaii girls. “Counterculture and alternative culture are really heavily embraced in Tokyo, and people really go all out,” said Leon. “That was a really exciting point to capture visually.”
WEST COAST TOAST: After meeting fashion designers at a dinner held at Calvin Klein’s Perry Street home in June, Michelle Obama will get her chance to meet fashion and entertainment types in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, Creative Artists Agency’s Bryan Lourd is opening his Beverly Hills home for a Barack Obama fund-raiser, which Michelle Obama is slated to attend. The event’s host committee includes Tom Ford, CAA’s Kevin Huvane and Ann Philbin, director at the Hammer Museum at UCLA.
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