"Kim Kardashian," writes Benjamin Wallace for the New York magazine fashion issue, "may be the world's first human avatar in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game." What, exactly, is a Californian reality T.V. star famous for her sex tape and her televised wedding and her tireless ability to shill to her fans doing on the cover of this magazine? Well, "she's the ninth most-followed person on Twitter," for one (she has 15.7 million followers):
[W]hy, according to one branding expert, she was recently tied with Snooki at the pinnacle of the celebrity-loyalty index; and why she was the second highest-earning TV actress in the year ending this past May.
Recently tied with Snooki. The chain she and her sisters own, Dash, opened a boutique in New York last year, she has a fragrance, and a line of licensed apparel. Oh, and she's dating Kanye West. But Kardashian has hardly been embraced by the fashion establishment. Anna Wintour reportedly banned her from the Met Ball, and her embrace of the industry is seen as even more suspect than West's. The magazine puts this down in part to her body:
While the attacks may derive partly from a good-faith aesthetic response to some of the clothing she wears, at least as much of it seems to stem from an aversion to non-eating-disorder body types and a broader snobbery and classism. Fashion likes to celebrate and appropriate street culture and even trash culture, except when it doesn't. [...] Kim and Kanye brightly stand on opposite sides of the line between fashion's dos and don'ts. With Kim, says a fashion executive, "I think she sees fashion as another means for making money. I don't think she's ever going to want to go to a fashion show for her love of clothes. She's going to want to get paid for going to that show."
What does Kim have to say for herself? Nice, inoffensive things about liking people, liking fashion, liking Kanye, and hoping to be with him "sitting somewhere when we're 80." The piece closes with Kardashian's side of a conversation with the rapper:
"Hello? Hey. Just leaving the zoo. I'm finished with my shoot and I'm just finishing up. I'm heading actually to your place right now. Where are you? Okay. So maybe I'll go in and change and then I'll eat … What time is that at? Seven? Will you be done? … Okay, so, that's an hour. So I'll just wait at the place. Will you come get me? Okay, well, I don't have a car. Do you want me to just take a cab? Or can your car come get me first? … Where is ‘up here'? Is it far? Okay, well, um, maybe-" etc., etc. Kim signs off: "Okay, bye. Love you, too. Bye."
In other Kim Kardashian news, the aforementioned licensed clothing line, the Kardashian Kollection, is expanding to 13 countries (kountries?) this fall. The family is working with the Australian Jupi Corporation, the licensee, and Topshop founder Philip Green's Arcadia Group. [WWD]
- Gird your abs, ladies: Spanx is opening its first three standalone stores this fall in malls in Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. [WWD]
- Tyra Banks flew to Singapore to promote Asia's Next Top Model, which Women's Wear Daily describes as "the first international spinoff of 'America's Next Top Model' to span more than one country." Apparently WWD doesn't know about Scandinavia's Next Top Model. Or Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model. Any other multinational editions they missed? [WWD]
- Here is everything you've ever wanted to know about leather-daddy starchitect Peter Marino — and more. Marino, who is straight, styles himself like a bear and designs stores for Chanel, Dior, Céline, Yves Saint Laurent, and many other brands besides. Here he is laying a dis on one Rem Koolhaas:
If Marino's personal style is specific and indelible, his architecture and interiors are much harder to pin down. Marino's boutiques do not instantly assault with their Marino-ness, like, say, Rem Koolhaas's Prada store on Broadway and Prince. ("Where are the clothes?" Marino asks. "And by the way, has Rem Koolhaas ever been asked to design another store?")
- Torrid, which is owned by Hot Topic, believes it can grow. C.E.O. Linda Harper argues that the Torrid customer "wants to look like everybody else. She is everybody else. She's more than half of the population. We are serving up not an explanation, not an apology, not a Band-Aid. We are just going full force into fashion for this woman, and she's loving it." Torrid is changing its selection of clothing, opening new stores at a fast clip — 50 will open their doors by the end of this year, for a total of 192 nationwide — and launching a new ad campaign. [WWD]
- Karl Lagerfeld has reportedly volunteered his services to design Keira Knightley's wedding dress. [Vogue UK]
- The headline reads, "Georgina Chapman to Make Directorial Debut," Which makes it sound like Chapman, having nursed a secret talent for years, is submitting a feature to Cannes or something. But it turns out the Marchesa designer is just doing some promotional thing for Canon. [WWD]
- W founding editor John Fairchild wrote a foreword for the coffee-table book that will celebrate the magazine's 40th anniversary. It includes this passage, presented without comment:
I remember having dinner with Coco Chanel in her studio on rue Cambon and listening to the machine gun bullets she fired at every other designer. The meal started with Dom Pérignon and continued with various Rothschild wines, until she announced, "Mon cher ami, don't be frightened about everything we have had to drink because I will give you a little blue pill which cures you of everything." After taking the pill, we fell asleep on her beige suede couch. I woke up, walked her to the Ritz, and left her in the hands of her nurse. The next day, we felt fine — and I never did determine what was in that little blue pill.
Friends: what do you think was in the blue pill? [The Cut]
- Fashion's Night Out will be happening again this year. News of plans for the New York City area is only beginning to trickle in, but it seems like Kardashians will be at Lord & Taylor (Kim) and Macy's (Scott Disick) if you want to avoid those places. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with actor Michael Pitt. Michael, you're a face of Prada. How do you feel about fashion?
I'm not really into fashion actually. I have a strange relationship with it. I've been supported by the fashion industry a lot and it has really helped me out in my career. It allowed me to support myself so I didn't have to take movies I didn't want to. I've been able to meet some really eccentric, really wonderful, crazy, brilliant people. But as far as being on the cusp of fashion, I am not. I'm a jeans and a t-shirt kind of guy.