December '05
Hint pays attention to retail

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Gary Webb is the latest artist recruited by Hedi Slimane to whip something up for the dressing rooms of his Dior Homme store in Paris. The Brit's sculptures (left) are sandwiched between layers of glass at 25, Rue Royale...In other DH news, the Dior Digital department is doing its part to keep Apple fresh with the release of three black leather cases for your iPod Nano, just as they did years ago with the regular iPod, which now feels like a barbell. Available at Dior Homme stores in New York and Paris...You heard it here first: Opening Ceremony has chosen Sweden to succeed Great Britain as the next lucky country to be featured on its racks for a full year, beginning in fall '06. Specific designers have yet to be finalized, but a selection from the Stockholm branding firm ACNE will be previewed in January...UK milliner Stephen Jones, who's framed famous heads from Kylie Minogue to John Galliano, is paid homage by Comme des Garcons' Rei Kawakubo with C1/4, an exhibition of his heady headwear from the last twenty-five years. Spread across all six levels of Dover Street Market in London, the show will remain on view until January 7...As reported here eons ago, Martin Margiela has been looking long and hard for the perfect New York retail space. Though not yet finding one, the bashful Belgian has, at least, settled on a temporary outlet at 803 Greenwich Street. Designed similarly to his stores in Paris, the space is lit by photo-shoot lighting and the fixtures are painted white...DKNY footwear collaborator Chris Lee has relocated his hit concept store Microzine to Central London with the opening of One, a highly-edited mini-shop selling scarce, limited-edition sneakers, denim, sportswear and gadgets. There's no sign; just look for the blue triangle at 3-4a Little Portland Street, W1...In requisite Barneys news, Balenciaga's Messenger bags have arrived in exclusive holiday colors of burgundy, olive and cadet blue. But even at $985, they're selling out fast. Meanwhile, also hitting Barneys' shelves just in time for merry madness are gold rings ($4000) from vintage guru Cameron Silver, each wrapped in crocodile skin and trimmed in diamonds...In Tokyo, Bruce Weber has opened The Original True Store, a temporary dog-friendly shop, named after one of his golden retrievers, selling his new Weberbilt clothing line, art books, T-shirts and dog bowls designed in collaboration with Paul Smith and signed by both.

Long a collector of decorative arts, Paul Smith shakes up the merch at 9 Albemarle Street, the name and address of his new London store, a shoebox of a shop dedicated to all things kitsch. Reflecting his magpie nature, Smith has assembled one-of-a-kind items from across the decades and continents, ranging from flea-market-found buttons, mirrors and teacups to antique furniture reupholstered in his signature prints. The store is cleverly located between high-end Bond Street and cutting-edge Dover Street, home of Rei Kawakubo's Dover Street Market, meaning shoppers can get their old-school fix while nabbing their forward finds. -Stephen Morriss
"I call it romantic futurism," says Patrik Ervell of his one-year-old menswear line, pointing to a red windbreaker made of a silicone-coated parachute material developed by the military. "It feels otherworldly, almost glowing as you look through it." The 27-year-old, a native of Northern California who graduated not in fashion, but in political science from UC Berkeley, makes no bones about using modern technology, combining American-style sportswear (performance fabrics, hoods, elastic, Velcro) with European-style luxury (hand-made suits, embroidery, mother-of-pearl buttons). It's a brave new look. "There's a tendency in fashion to fall back on tradition," he continues, between references to Ayn Rand and Dune, "but you end up relying on things that don't work anymore. I'm about pushing fashion forward." No surprise, then, that the former V Man editor held a design stint at Opening Ceremony, the little store that could where the complete—and pricey, be warned—current collection can be found. Also available in Japan at United Arrows and Side by Side.
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Following in the success of his street-wise aNYthing (pronounced "a New York thing") label, native New Yorker Aaron Bondaroff (aka Aaron the Don) has finally opened up under his own shingle. The new Lower East Side shop, designed by architect Rafael Cardenas, acts as a clubhouse for the art/fashion scene, both established and scrappy. In stock are Ryan McGinley's exclusive t-shirt line for aNYthing, United Bamboo, vintage Ben Cho pieces, Tinsley lingerie by Jen Brill, Jacqueline Schnabel's shoe line, an As Four box set of their fashion show music mixes, jewelry by Ryan Kearney, aNYthing collaborations with Supreme and Stussy, T-shirts by Terry Richardson and fanzines by artists Dan Colen, Dash Snow, Neckface and Mark Gonzalez. Cardenas says the look is "classically symmetrical like the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks," using common industrial materials with customized finishes. aNYthing really does go at 51 Hester Street. -Robyn Dutra

Things may have not gone the way some people wanted during last year's presidential election, whose run-up saw Downtown for Democracy's first major drive to help bring about political change by mobilizing creative folks working in literature, art, fashion and so on. Still, the grassroots committee's efforts were an unqualified success in two major respects. They attracted a record number of first-time political donors and gave us politically-minded T-shirts by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Surface 2 Air and Rachel Comey, which were snapped up by discerning—and no doubt cause-minded—shoppers faster than you can choke on a pretzel. Thankfully, D4D has just launched a second collection of agitprop tees by emerging and established designers, including Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa, Zaldy and Daryl K., with the proceeds specifically earmarked to help make New York a truly blue state again and ground zero for sweeping change on a national level. At $25 apiece, the shirts are not only affordable, but also wear nicely, thanks to clever graphics and a special treatment that gives them a vintage feel. Liberal activism never looked so good. -Suleman Anaya