Art Star Jeff Koons New H&M Bag Lands On Fifth Avenue

Jeff Koons and Julio Santo Domingo

When I first heard Jeff Koons was collaborating with retailer H&M I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Maybe some mylar-effect puffer jackets? A lobster print puffer jacket? A mylar/lobster print puffer jacket? Actually, Koons collaborated with H&M on a leather handbag printed with a photo of his famous balloon dog sculpture. The real sculpture will cost you over $50 million, but the bag costs just under $50. A real steal, and also a great solution for someone like me that can’t fit all my giant balloon dog sculptures in my tiny apartment. 

The launch party last night was held at H&M’s new 5th Avenue flagship. The crowd of guests included movie stars like Olivia Wilde and Ashley Benson along with art stars like Tim Barber and Jeanette Hayes. I tried to get a quote from Koons and Ashley, but when the time came I was quickly elbowed past by fashion writers more eager than myself, and suddenly not fast enough to reach them before fans bombarded them with requests for selfies. I gave up on the press pit and headed into the party a little disappointed that I didn’t get to ask Koons why he wasn’t carrying his own Koons bag like all the popular girls. I saw people buying as many as five of the purses, presumably to put the extras on eBay when they inevitably sell out, like H&M’s collabs in the past.

Beyond the chaos of the red carpet was a fun party with tiny fish tacos, a performance from teen cutie Birdy, some tipsy shopping, and crowding around Koons. While Koons sculptures have reflective surfaces that often make for a good #ARTSELFIE, the store’s mirrors provided for a new kind of #KOONSSELFIE in which the photographer/subject can now wear the Koons.

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Jeff Dorsman, Eric Zindorf

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Johannes Huebl

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Timo Weiland

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Olivia Wilde

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Lorenzo Martone

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Perez Hilton

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Nicky Hilton

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Cleo Wade, Margot

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
June Ambrose

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Jeff Koons, Julio Santo Domingo

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Katie Schmidt, Marybeth Schmidt

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Donna D’Cruz

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Alek Wek

H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship Event
Ryan McGinness

All photos courtesy of BFA/H&M

Marc Jacobs’s Better Half Designs Swimsuits

Marc Jacobs’s better half has caught the design bug. Lorenzo Martone—who may or may not be Jacobs’ husband—is marking his foray into designing with a line of women’s swimsuits. No stranger to the fashion industry, he’s managed talent in the past and, most recently, announced plans to help models with personal branding, i.e., adding slashes to their title. Thanks to his swimwear collaboration with jewelry designer Jules Kim (of Bijules), it’s in fact Martone who’s adding a new slash to his title. The collection is called Nycked, which Women’s Wear Daily says is “pronounced ‘nicked,’ [and] is a play on the initials N.Y.C.” (although it would seem to make a lot more sense were it a play on naked, or, rather, ‘neh-kid’).

WWD calls the line “sophisticated, fashion-forward swimwear… inspired by the gritty, urban aesthetic of Manhattan as an antidote to the cheery floral and palm prints that tend to dominate swim racks.” Urban, yes. Sleek and understated, no: embellishment comes by way of “decorative bows in ciré Lycra, bold corset lacing, and lingerie-inspired lace peeking out of demi-cut bikini top.” One suit appears to have an untied bow tie hanging from its neck. The color palette is decidedly New York. Red is the only vibrant hue, while the rest of the line incorporates black, white, and nude. Suits will retail between $120 and $130, “with some cover-ups going up to $210.” As for whether Martone sought advice from his seasoned designer domestic partner, he told WWD, “Relationships are hare enough without mixing business into them.”

For another noteworthy, newly launched swimwear line on the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum, check out Pret-a-Surf. It’s from Jillian Demling, Entertainment Editor at Vogue, and Karen Mulligan, who used to manage Annie Leibovitz’s studio. Although decidedly feminine, the women’s swimwear line didn’t put ‘surf’ in its name just to be cute. “Functional rash guards come in Warhol era pop-art, a 1950’s cut gingham bikini is engineered to stay put in the worst wipeouts and board shorts are done in a vintage wallpaper pattern,” says The Moment.

Getting to Know Lorenzo Martone, Marc Jacobs’ “Papabear”

New York Magazine’s Spring Fashion issue just landed on my doorstep this morning and it’s stocked with some great pieces. But, one of the most interesting personalities profiled in the issue is without a doubt Lorenzo Martone, the relatively new-to-the-spotlight hubbie of Marc Jacobs. The piece divulges things feverish Jacobs fans likely already know about the Brazilian-born, M.B.A.-holding strategic planner who recently launched ArcNYCTalentPR (a talent agency whose goal is to “revive the supermodel”). But, it also goes into intimate details, like of how the pair met, what they fight over and their pet names for one another.

Apparently Martone and Jacobs were using neighboring treadmills at the L’Usine Opéra gym. They became just friends at first. “I had this boyfriend at a certain point who also worked at Louis Vuitton, so we’d all socialize together.” The romance fizzled, Martone moved back to New York and after a fair bit of solo time with Jacobs the sparks flew. (In fact, the first kiss took place after a performance of Spring Awakening–nothing like the discovery of sexuality to ignite a romance.)

Also addressed, not surprisingly, is the marriage issue. While Larry Gagosian’s New Year’s party for the engaged couple included a wedding cake and for all intents and purposes looked like a wedding, spokespeople from Jacobs’ camp denied this. But, in this interview, Martone explains, “we considered it a wedding, or a union. I don’t think we are as concerned as everybody else in labeling things in such a way.”

Also of note: “I have an attraction for beards. It’s kind of a fetish,” Martone divulges, which may explain why Jacobs has scruff more often than not these days. Also, he and Jacobs apparently call each other ‘bears’ as a pet name (not just in a buff-gay-men-with-beards way): “Martone calls Jacobs ‘Babybear,’ and he calls him ‘Papabear’.” Perhaps even more adorable (or nauseating depending on your particular stomach for cutesy romance), for Halloween the two dressed in tandem: Jacobs played the Robin to Martone’s Batman.

Although, it’s not all pet names and partner-in-crime costumes. Apparently Martone and Jacobs do fight about smoking, making sure to spend quality time together and, surprisingly, skirts… or rather Jacobs’ affinity for them. “I just thought [the skirts] were a little gimmicky,” Martone admits.

Rumors: Marc Jacobs Still Not Married

Apparently St. Barts had an incredibly stylish New Year’s. Rumors have been flying that tit played host to Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone’s much-talked about nuptials. Just two weeks ago Jacobs told Stylelist, “we’re working on it. We have our license but we haven’t done the actual ceremony yet. We’ve had to postpone the actual ceremony a couple of times, but we’ll do it.” That followed months of rumors that the couple was married in France and then Provincetown. But a celebrity-packed St. Barts (close friends of Jacobs’ like Rachel Zoe, Larry Gagosian and Lindsay Lohan were all there) and freshly released photos of a suited up Martone and kilt-clad Jacobs alongside a three-tier cake seem to imply that both men are now officially off the market.

But, keeping the fashion industry on its fashionably clad toes, New York‘s Intelligencer is reporting that a tipster and friend of Jacobs’ says that the party was just an engagement celebration. Albeit, one that could easily be mistaken (read: a cake and loads of tabloid-worthy guests) for a wedding.

Links: Marc Jacobs Wedding Weekend, Jon Gosselin’s Bicycle Thing

● Did Usher’s soon-to-be ex-wife Tameka Foster lift her Huffington Post blog “She’s Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl …” from Aisha Curry’s book Pretty for a Black Girl? [BVBuzz] ● After months of false reports, are Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone finally tying the knot? It seems so. The couple will have a small ceremony in Massachusetts with an after-party for their fashion posse this weekend. [P6] ● The GOOP Empire, continues to expand with Gwyneth Paltrow designing a line of luxe basics for French label Zoetee’s. [MarieClaireUK]

● To no one’s surprise, Noel and Liam Gallagher are no longer speaking, despite the fact that they are currently touring the world together. [TheSun] ● Christian Audigier reveals that new BFF Jon Gosselin wants to do something with bikes. With a sidecar fit for eight perhaps? [People] ● A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms what we already knew: gamers are overweight and most likely depressed. [Yahoo]

Links: Lindsay Lohan Crashes, Keira Knightley’s Rented Shoes

● We know that Marc Jacobs is engaged to Lorenzo Martone, but do they plan to adopt? Either way, here’s a photo of them holding a seriously cute baby in São Paolo. [Glamurama] ● Days after gifting herself a new Maserati, Lindsay Lohan got in a fender-bender. Lilo just can’t have nice things. [JustJared] ● Kim Kardashian is giving those Twitter-people a stern talking-to because there are so many Kim Kardashian impostors on the social networking site spreading lies about her. [MSNBC]

● David Letterman bit the bullet and married long, long–time girlfriend Regina Lasko; they’ve been dating since 1986 and have a 5-year old son. Letterman joked that he held out for so long because he was the envy of all his married friends. [US] ● Rihanna was seen house-hunting — a new love-nest for her and rumored beau Wilmer Valderrama? I assume a massive gate and a great security system is part of her requirements. [TMZ, PopCrunch] ● Times are tough. Everyone’s tightening their belts — even Keira Knightley. The A-list actress claims that she only rents shoes now because she wasted so much money on footwear when she first became famous. [I’mNotObsessed]

Links: Christina Aguilera Does Topshop, Tracey Ross Dunzo, ‘Watchmen’ Foxed

● Christina Aguilera is said to be the next celeb designer for TopShop. [MirrorUK] ● LA it-boutique Tracey Ross will close shop after two decades on New Years Eve. The reason? The economy, but of course. [LAT] ● Heather Mills is being sued by her former nanny for sexual harassment. Alleged offenses include naked spray-tanning sessions and 7:30 a.m. call times. [Daily Mail]

● In a surprise ruling, Fox grabs rights to WB’s Watchmen. Looks like it may be awhile till we see the most anticipated film of 2009. [MovingImage] ● Marc Jacobs celebrates the holidays with current love, Lorenzo Martone, down in St. Barts. [PerezHilton] ● As the year comes to a close, a recap of the best trailers of 2008. [Cinematical]

Links: Recession Claims Karl Lagerfeld, Heath Ledger No River Phoenix

● Queen Elizabeth is the latest recessionista. Word is she’s cutting back at the Buckingham Palace, asking staffers to reuse leftovers from banquets, among other things. [Page Six] ● Speaking of cutting back, Karl Lagerfeld has downsized his luxurious lifestyle … almost. Lagerfeld ditched his Paris home but kept his chambermaid, chauffeur, and chef, who are all “musts.” Oh, and he refuses to get rid of his Hummers. [Spiegel] ● Louis Vuitton announced today they’re scrapping plans to build their 10-story Ginza flagship store amid a declining luxury market in Japan. This would have been the largest LV store in the world. [WWD]

● Director Terry Gilliam would like you to stop comparing Heath Ledger to Hollywood burnouts like James Dean and River Phoenix. [Guardian] ● Marc Jacobs was spotted with boyfriend (not husband) Lorenzo Martone at the Chandelier Creative Recessionista Christmas Extravaganza being adorable. Nice to see MJ with a stable boyfriend for once. [Page Six] ● Anne Hathaway is on the cover of January’s Vogue, entitled “Change, Yes We Can.” By change, Vogue means change your hair color, not the world. [Just Jared]

Marc Jacobs Marriage Madness

imageSo, did Marc Jacobs marry Brazilian boy Lorenzo Martone this weekend in France? Yes! No! Yes! No? Who cares, he’s still opening a new boutique in Chicago at the Elysian Hotel megaplex. The 2,700-square-foot store will go live sometime in 2009. Plus, he’s got that rollerball perfume coming out. Marrying one’s Latin lover seems almost superfluous compared to such achievements.