Although the AIDS epidemic has cut across every social and economic sector in our society, it has dramatically affected almost everyone in the fashion industry, from makeup artists to designers to window dressers. Therefore, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has joined forces with Vogue magazine with the goal of raising to benefit the New York City AIDS Fund.
Carolyne Roehm, CFDA president, and Anna Wintour (editor in chief of Vogue) will chair the four-day event (Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 at the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th Street), called "Seventh on Sale," a reference to the Seventh Avenue participants in the event. They are asking designers to donate all types of merchandise, which will be sold at bargain prices. They are also asking for volunteers from the fashion industry to help sell the goods. The entire event will be underwritten by Vogue; proceeds will be donated to the AIDS Fund.
In another effort to raise AIDS awareness, some companies are designing products that will attract attention, provoke conversation and help fight the spread of the disease itself. "Proofoolery," for example, is a line of jewelry using a sealed condom as its base. The company also makes a variety of other condom-carrying items: earrings, pins and bolo ties. Reena Kazmann, a local Washington designer, also is making a line of condom-based pins. For every pin sold she will donate 10 percent to the Whitman Walker AIDS Clinic. CarePins are available for $11 through P.O. Box 57443, Washington D.C. 20037.
What's "nex"? Erik Caplan, owner of Erik Harris, a shoe, accessory and gift store for men in downtown Washington, has started carrying a line of "nex" shoes. According to Caplan they are "shoes that are for the '90s." The shoes -- which will appear under his own label, designed by American Mark Perryman and made in Italy -- will be "a combination of elegant, fun and dressy." Styles include suede monk-strap chukka boots (ankle boots for men) with a pointed toe, cap-toe lace-ups in suede and leather and navy suede wingtips. They will cost from $175 to $225 and will be available exclusively at Erik Harris.
X Marks the Spot
Clothing prices are so high these days that many women (and men) are turning to accessories to freshen up their wardrobes instead of buying new clothes. Paloma Picasso has designed a line of accessories she considers to be "more affordable."
Picasso introduced a couture accessory line, with her signature X on pins, earrings and bracelets, in 1984. Today the X appears on everything from handbags and scarves to eyeglasses. It has also has become the decorative motif of her new line, "By Paloma Picasso."
Next month, Picasso will start a 10-city tour to launch the collection. She will be joined by magician Brian Gillis. The show, "By Paloma Picasso: A Magic Tour," will make its first stop in Washington Aug. 13 from 12 to 2 at Woodward & Lothrop, Metro Center.