Rumor has it that Vera Wang has moved in with the Olympic champion ice skater Evan Lysacek. The 63-year-old designer and her husband of 23 years, Arthur Becker, announced their separation last month. Lysacek, 27, apparently came to stay at Wang's Beverly Hills home around that time. (He trains at a nearby ice rink.) The exact nature of their relationship is not clear: one friend says that while Wang is "enamoured with" Lysacek, it's not romantic, another says "something is going on." Whatever sexytimes are happening or not happening, they met when Wang, herself a former competitive skater, designed some of Lysacek's uniforms. Wang is also understood to have had a facelift this summer. [NYDN]
SLana Del Ray
- Hedi Slimane has remained publicly tight-lipped since being named the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent in March. But he gave his first major interview — albeit via email — to a publication that has long championed his career: Vogue Paris. The eight-page spread is mostly photographs, but Slimane does say in the Q&A that the house could return to showing couture. "Haute couture is a legitimate subject for Yves Saint Laurent and could resume one day," Slimane writes. "The priority today is to revamp and redeploy the luxury ready-to-wear." Meanwhile, he's rumored to be shooting the brand's first campaign under his creative leadership this week in New York. [WWD]
- Move over, Target and Neiman Marcus. EBay is launching a whole raft of designer collaborations for the holiday period. Billy Reid, Chris Benz, Fallon, Jonathan Adler, Ruffian, Steven Alan, and Tibi will each work on men's and women's apparel, accessories, and homewares under the banner of something called the eBay Holiday Collective. Each designer made at least five items, and all of the products will sell for $50-$100. [WWD]
- The Times parses North Korea-watchers' attempts to grasp the significance — or, conversely, to reconcile the lack of significance — of the regime's increasing willingness to permit women to wear shorter skirts:
For weeks now, those analysts have puzzled over photos of women sporting miniskirts and heels in downtown Pyongyang, a stunning change from the years when Western wear was mostly shunned in favor of billowy traditional dresses or drab Mao-style work uniforms.
Then, Mr. Kim himself was shown on state TV giving a thumbs up to a girl band featuring leggy string players performing for him and his generals, and the debate over deeper meaning began in earnest.
- Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Lily Cole, Stella Tennant, Lily Donaldson, and Georgia May Jagger are rumored to be participating in the Olympic closing ceremony, where they will walk in a runway show. Their fees for taking part? £1 apiece. [Telegraph]
- Nine Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Olympic Committee to accept only uniform sponsorship that comprises garments and accessories "sewn or assembled in the United States with fabrics formed and cut in the U.S. or components knit to shape from yarns wholly formed in the U.S." that meet F.T.C. standards for the "Made in the U.S.A." label. Meanwhile, the British Olympic team is in hot water over its uniforms, which are by Stella McCartney for Adidas. The Telegraph reported that the uniforms are being manufactured in a Cambodian sweatshop:
A factory working for Adidas suppliers in Shen Zhou, on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, was paying workers $120 a month for 10 hours' work per day, six days a week. It said the workers were living in "squalid conditions" and sleeping three to a bed.
Adidas says it pays those workers $130 per month, "which is well above the minimum wage." Capitalism. [WWD]
- The U.S. Olympic team's Ralph Lauren uniforms may not be made in the U.S., but the clothes worn by NBC's sportscasting team covering the events of London 2012 will be. Men's wear brand Hickey Freeman won the contract. [WWD]
- Now that people care about where various countries' Olympic uniforms are made, it might interest you to learn that Russia is in contract negotiations to get its 2014 uniforms manufactured in the U.S. By none other than American Apparel. According to R. Crumb-character-made-human Dov Charney, the Russian Olympic officials "said they didn't want anything that was made in China." That makes them and Harry Reid, then. [NYPost]
- Charney also volunteered the American Apparel factory's services to Ralph Lauren to re-make the disputed Chinese-sewn Olympic uniforms on U.S. soil. "American Apparel could start working on uniforms today and have them in London within 7 days," said a company spokesperson. [Fashionista]
- This year's Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Fund/Vogue Award finalists are: Tabitha Simmons; Suno's Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty; A.L.C.'s Andrea Lieberman; Assembly New York's Greg Armas; Giulietta's Sofia Sizzi; Illesteva's Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman and Alina Silberman; Jennifer Fisher; Jennifer Meyer Maguire; The Elder Statesman's Greg Chait; and Wes Gordon. The winner and two runners-up will be announced (and awarded $300,000 and $100,000 each to invest in their businesses, respectively) in November. Past winners include Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang. [WWD]
- When Tamara Mellon left Jimmy Choo last year, the rumor was that she would be starting her own lifestyle brand company fashion thingamajig. The Cut wonders if Mellon confirmed, in a roundabout way, that that is in fact what she is doing in an episode of the ABC Family show Jane by Design in which she guest-starred. This is what happened:
Gray Chandler Murray, creative director for the fictional company Donovan Decker, runs into Tamara in Soho. She asks Gray, "Well, now that I have you here, how am I going to lure you over to my new company?" adding, "At least listen to my offer - you know you'd be happy with us." Gray responds, "Thank you, but if Donovan were to know that we're even here together, I'd be out of a job by tonight." Tamara takes it in stride, saying, "Well if you change your mind, you know where to find me."
Jane by Design is a fictional program, so we'd say it has no bearing on Mellon's business plans, but hey. [The Cut]
- Burberry is buying out its licensee to take its lucrative perfume and cosmetics products in-house. It'll cost the company some $222.6 million, not including tangible assets and inventories. [WWD]
- Louis Vuitton is adding a customized handbag service to its offerings. Customers with the cash will be able to choose between some 80,000 different combinations of design features. [Vogue UK]
- Miu Miu saw 30.8% year-on-year sales growth, to a total of some $141.6 million, in the quarter just ended. The brand recently opened its first store in Brazil. [WWD]
- Joe's Jeans had a good quarter. Same-store sales rose by 10%, year-on-year, and net income climbed 88.8%, to $1.4 million. [WWD]