Many moon ago I had this sideways bookshelf built so I could see my magazines and books, not from the side but from the front. Having a love for magazines, I'd originally designed it to accommodate the size of W and at that time, the larger Interview magazine. This worked out perfectly for nice coffee table books which are often times 10 by 13 inches. Now, it pretty much houses part of my collection of coffee table books. Some monster books like Valentino, Private from Giancarlo Giammetti, Dior from Assouline are too big to fit—those really do have to go on the coffee table. The only challenge with this bookshelf concept is earthquakes, and yes, there have been some casualties due to seismic activity. My prized box set of Herb Ritts fell and broke apart and my CHANEL book by creative director Jacques Helleu. The good news is there's always more books to add—like the SUPERMODEL book I'm designing with the photography of Robert Steinken. Wait for it.
I'm thrilled to announce that this year we are honoring the brilliant British designer Julien MacDonald as our Genlux/Britweek Designer of the Year at our awards and Fashion Show. The date is May 5, 2016. For those who may not know, Julien was hired by Karl Lagerfeld to head up Chanel knitwear right out of college. He was then asked by Karl to head up his Lagerfeld collection. Not a bad start. But it gets better. He then went on to head up Givenchy as the successor to Alexander McQueen where Julien was in charge of both the haute couture and ready-to-wear divisions. Julien will be coming out from London where he just showed his FW16 collection to accept his award. Our past recipients have been Matthew Williamson, Todd Lynn, and Rupert Sanderson. More to come, so stay tuned!
I'm so proud of Hailey Clauson and her meteoric rise in the modeling world. In 2008, her dad Larry Clauson brought Hailey to Genlux to see if we'd be interested in photographing her. As soon as she stepped in the door I knew she'd be a star. I immediately called Meg Day, who, at the time was over at Ford Models, and told her she had to see this girl. Meg signed her on the spot. On January 28, 2009, we photographed Hailey for Genlux, though, for whatever reason, the shots didn't turn out well, and we didn't run them. Even so, we've all remained friends through these years, so it's great to see Hailey leaping way past Genlux to make it on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week! She's also been in ads for Gucci and Dsquared2, Plein Sud, Topshop, and Mavi Jeans. Such a sweet girl who deserves all of the success.
I had the chance to interview Tippi Hedren today.
Hers is a tremendous story of three lives. Her first was as an actress whose debut role was starring in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Not a bad start—though it came with it's challenges. In an interview where she opened up about Hitchcock's obsessive controlling relationship with her, Tippi claimed Hitchcock not only ruined her career (he wouldn't let her out of her studio contract thus refusing to let her work on other films), but that he was "evil."
Her second life came in 1975. After the war, Vietnamese were coming to the United States as refugees and she was the international relief coordinator for a charity called Food for the Hungry. In one of the refugee camps, she came in contact with Vietnamese women who loved her long beautiful nails. Like the Chinese proverb about teaching a man to fish, she is responsible for putting Vietnamese women on their career path as manicurists—a path that has led to an astounding 80 percent of California's current mani/pedi artists pool that are Vietnamese Americans. Recently, Bellacures nail salon in Brentwood and OPI products honored Tippi for her humanitarian efforts. They screened, "Happy Hands," a documentary directed by Honey Lauren that tells the story of why you see so many Vietnamese women in the nail art biz.
Tippi's third life is centered on her Roar Foundation that she founded in 1983 to support Shambala, the animal preserve outside of LA that cares for large wildlife like elephants, tigers, lions, cougars and more. She lives on the preserve and hosts "safaris" for guests to help fund the foundation. shambala.org
My final question to Tippi today was, 'What animal would you like to come back as?' "A Liger!" she answered. A cross between a tiger and a lion, and yes, she once had a liger at Shambala named Patrick.