Launch My Line
There is a TON of info in this post, so we’re going to mostly keep our mouths shut except to say the following: We’ve been hearing through the grapevine for months now that, honestly, for real, no fooling, Bravo REALLY got this one right. We don’t blame any of you for being wary after the crashing disappointment of The Fashion Show, but we have to say, the clips at the bottom of this post look pretty good. And those adorable little fashion pixies, Dan and Dean Caten of Dsquared2 make far better potential hosts than Isaac Mizrahi. In fact, dare we say it? They remind us a little bit of Tim. Take a look and prepare your opinions for the comments section, but before you rush to write this one off, consider this: Don’t you want to send a message to Bravo that you’d rather see shows like this than The Real Obnoxious Housewives and Prep School Brats of Miami Social?
“Bravo unveiled the contestants who will be paired together to compete in the new fashion creative competition series, “Launch My Line” premiering on Bravo on Wednesday, September 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Acclaimed designers, twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten of DSQUARED2 serve as the series hosts, and fashion notables Stefani Greenfield and Lisa Kline are series judges.
The series features ten well known professionals who are highly regarded in their own field of expertise, but have always dreamed of having their own clothing line. These professionals will be paired with ten established fashion designers who will help them execute their dream clothing line. The ten pairs will be put to the test, as they have to rely on each other’s expertise to produce a cohesive fashion line. Some teams form a natural connection while others have instant tension, but at the end of every episode a complete look from each team must walk the runway and be judged in front of a live studio audience. In the end, the winning professional will have their clothing line launched and their expert designer, who helped them along way, will receive $50,000.”
“Canadian twin brothers from Willowdale Ontario, Dean and Dan Caten have operated in the international fashion business since 1984. They moved to New York City in 1983 to attend the Parsons School for Design. In 1991 moved to Italy where, after many collaborations with the most important fashion houses, they produced their first men’s collection show, marking the first in a long succession of runway shows that captured the attention of journalists and buyers with their combination of fashion, music and theater.
The mix of irreverent Canadian wit and refined Italian tailoring, together with attention to detail are the foundation of today’s Dsquared2 philosophy, giving life to a unique concept of alternative luxury. Recently, Dsquared2 collections have conquered a wider audience becoming more chic and sophisticated while maintaining their creative roots. This evolution is also due to the continuous international inspiration received by Dean and Dan, who, while split their life and work between Milan and London, and create their collections in Italy – “Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy.”
Since the very beginning, Dsquared2 has attracted a following among international celebrities –Lenny Kravitz, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Nelly Furtado, and Robbie Williams are all devotees of the brand. But, thanks to a lucky encounter with Madonna, the Caten twins were able to leave an indelible mark on the world of international show business. They were commissioned to design 150 outfits both for the artist and her dancers for the 2002 Drowned World Tour and for the video “Don’t Tell Me.” Since then they have gone on to build significant partnerships throughout the music industry stars that include Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and most recently, Fergie.
In addition to their celebrity following, Dsquared2 has received numerous industry accolades including, the “La Kore” award for Most Original Designers, considered the Oscars of the Italian fashion world, the prestigious Spanish award “Aguja de Oro” (Golden Needle); and they were named “Men of the Year” by GQ Magazine USA, Spain and Gerrmany as the Best Breakthrough Design Team. In the fall of 2009, Dean and Dan will be inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame.”
“With a degree in Mass Communication from Tulane University, Stefani Greenfield had always planned to become a copywriter or a lyricist. Despite those aspirations, people couldn’t help but note what she was wearing, always mixing vintage pieces with the good stuff her Grandma Bunny would buy her from the 3 B’s (Bergdorf’s, Bonwit’s, and Bloomingdale’s), and anything else from denim to rose cut diamonds. Greenfield would invariably combine uptown chic with downtown cool so effortlessly, enviably, and repeatedly, that she could no longer ignore the constant refrain she kept hearing from friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, “Oh, my God! I would die to shop in your closet!”
Greenfield’s break came in 1989, when she was hired as an assistant to the Vice President of Donna Karan’s new DKNY collection. After rising, in five years, to head DKNY Jeans, the fastest growing division in the Karan empire at the time, Greenfield moved to ESPRIT where she was Vice President in charge of Merchandising and Design. But, at 27, corporate America started to feel less challenging, and more like something sticking to the heel of Greenfield’s Manolos.
Satisfying millions of knowing shoppers by realizing her dream of “The Ultimate Closet,” Greenfield launched SCOOP in 1996 with her partner Uzi Ben Abraham. So trailblazing was their concept of gleaning the best of high and low fashion, ready-to-wear with undiscovered talent, the cleanly tailored with the sensual bohemian, all layered to entice a whip smart urban customer (the one everyone who loves to shop believes he or she is), that SCOOP became a phenomenon, and now includes 14 stores nationwide.
For all its success and influence, SCOOP fueled Greenfield’s branding passion. Routinely quoted in fashion and trade publications, featured in magazines and honored in her field, as well as a frequent guest on “Today” and other television shows, Greenfield is now beginning another chapter in her career.
With the formation of My Next Act, her consulting company, focusing on fashion and entertainment, Greenfield is ready to build and market new brands, starting with Curations, a show and clothing line that will premiere on HSN in March of 2009. Adding to her “Ultimate Closet” legacy is her next mantra, “Luxury has no tiers, and cheap is no bargain.”
Greenfield is co-founder of Love Heals, The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, and is actively involved in both OCRF (the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund) and Baby Buggy.
Happily married to financial investor Mitchell Silverman, they have a two-year-old daughter, Theodora.”
“Growing up in Los Angeles, Lisa Kline has always had an interest in fashion. She knew from a young age that she wanted to have her own clothing boutique and followed fashion, joking that she was most likely one of the youngest subscribers ever to Vogue magazine. But, childhood scoliosis left her in a brace from age 7 to 14, unable to don the latest trends of the day because her beloved Jordache and Sassoon clothing couldn’t be worn over her brace. As a result, she spent her days dreaming of fashion and what she wished she could be wearing. And as soon as she was able to trade in her brace, her personal fashion renaissance began!
Kline headed east to study fashion design at Syracuse University. Upon graduation she returned to Los Angeles and went back to retail while saving money and scouring the city to find the perfect location to launch her first boutique. At the time, Robertson Boulevard was not known for retail, but Kline had a hunch about it. Following her instinct, she opened her flagship Lisa Kline boutique there in 1995 and never looked back.
Since its opening, the Lisa Kline boutique has had a cult celebrity following, known for discovering new designers and featuring the latest trends well before anyone else. Building on this success the Lisa Kline Men store opened in 1999, followed by Lisa Kline Kids in 2003, both on chic Robertson Blvd., made popular by Lisa’s original namesake boutique.
Today, Lisa is known as much for being a fashion expert as she is for building her retail empire. She has styled A-list celebrities for more than a decade, and her keen eye for fashion has been seen on shows ranging from pop culture staples such as the original “Beverly Hills, 90210″ and its current, fashion-forward remake, to national news programs. Lisa is a frequent fashion contributor to magazines, websites and television shows, as well as her popular blog, “Lisa’s Obsessions” on www.LisaKline.com, where she muses on fashion, motherhood, and life in general. Lisa lives in the Los Angeles-area with her two children, Dylan and Colt.”
David Applebaum, Architect
Hometown: Houston, Texas; Currently Resides in: Los Angeles, Calif.
As one of Southern California’s most respected architects, David Applebaum has done commercial work and designed the homes of countless celebrities including Cuba Gooding Jr., Diane Keaton and Frank Sinatra. Applebaum prides himself on his ability to produce both historical and modern designs. Holding a Master degree in Architecture from UCLA, he established his career and reputation for excellence at the architectural offices of Edward Grenzbach in Los Angeles, Franklin Israel in Los Angeles and Joseph D’Urso in New York City. Applebaum has been licensed to practice architecture in the State of California for almost twenty years. His professional philosophy is simple, “Live Where You Love – Love Where You Live.”
Kevin Black, Music Mogul
Hometown: Bronx, New York, N.Y.; Currently Resides in: Los Angeles, Calif.
Kevin Black began his career as a roadie for Run-DMC, where eventually he was promoted to Tour Manager. Gifted with an innate sense of what could be hot and what could not, Black became the hottest radio DJ on the West Coast. In 1987, Black became the National Promotions Director at Death Row Records. He then moved to EMI Records, A&M Records as the National Director of Promotions. After leaving EMI, Black has carried such titles as Vice President of Urban Music at Virgin Records, Senior Vice President of TWISM RECORDS, Vice President of Rap Marketing and Promotions at Interscope Records, and served as a top level executive at Warner Brothers Music. Black has appeared on numerous television series and has affiliations with many of the world’s top artist including Prince, Janet Jackson, Eminem, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J, Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Gwen Stefani among many others. Kevin lives by his personal creed: “Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.” Currently, Black is the president and CEO of his own Promotion/Marketing/Management firm U CAN FLY HOLDINGS and is on the precipice of an exciting new chapter in his professional life.
Marilyn Crawford, CEO
Hometown: Lancaster, S.C.; Currently resides in: Las Vegas, Nev. and New York, N.Y.
A graduate of the Harvard Executive Business School, Marilyn Crawford has established herself as the ultimate expert and spokesperson in business and entertainment. She is the CEO of Windsor PTM, a global strategic marketing company. She is also Chairman of 2810, a private business membership club. Crawford travels extensively around the globe for her clients which include: Coca-Cola, Sony Universal, Master Charge, CNN, Volvo, Larry King, Oprah, Russell Simmons and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Crawford has been named “Woman of the Year” from Arts Horizon and TD/Commerce Banks, and has received The International Women’s Exchange Compass Award, The Humanitarian of the Year Award and Ebony’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Eric Cubeechee, DJ
Hometown/Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Eric Cubeechee grew up in a home filled with delicious sights and sounds, soaking up the essence of music while watching his grandfather’s Cuban band. Cubeechee is now one of the premier disc jockeys in the country and bringing his talent to the small screen. Cubeechee has covered the Latin Grammy Awards and hosted Source Sound Lab (UPN), The Hip Hop Show (LATV), MTV Direct Effect and The Drop and Across The Hall (Latino Network SITV). Cubeechee has worked with A List artists such as Black Eyed Peas, 3-6 Mafia, Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake, among others.
Merle Ginsberg, Fashion Critic
Hometown: Atlantic City, N.J.; Currently Resides in: Los Angeles, Calif.
Merle Ginsberg is an L.A. based journalist, editor, author and tv personality, and the editor in chief of the popular Hollywood fashion website Fashionrules.com. She has written on fashion, beauty and entertainment for magazines all over the world including W Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, The London Times, Elle Decor, People Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Maxim, The New York Times Magazine, British Elle and Glamour, International Cosmopolitan, and for websites The Daily Beast, IMG’s The Daily, and TheFind.com. She is the author of the bestselling book “Confessions of an Heiress,” and the design book “Hip Hollywood Homes.” She’s also appeared regularly on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, MSNBC, and The Today Show as a fashion expert.
Vanessa Gonzalez, Event Designer
Hometown/Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif.
With almost ten years of experience leading events at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, Vanessa Gonzalez has gained a reputation for creating innovative and dynamic events highlighting the emerging art scene in Los Angeles. Featured in Angeleno, In Style and L’uomo Vogue, Gonzalez has garnered attention for her groundbreaking events that bring east coast glamour and style to Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, she is known for producing events that have made MOCA one of the “hottest social tickets in town.”
Dan Karaty, Choreographer
Hometown: Wyckoff, N.J.; Currently Resides in: Los Angeles, Calif.
Dan Karaty is one of the hottest choreographers working today. In addition to his work on films that include “Music and Lyrics” and “Did You Hear About The Morgans” with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, Karaty has regularly appeared on FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” One of the series’ most popular judges, Karaty is best known for his hip-hop choreography and thought-provoking critiques. Born just outside New York City, his parents are Broadway veterans Tom and Jane Karaty, so it’s no surprise dance is a huge part of his life. He made his Broadway debut in the smash hit “Footloose” and soon thereafter began dancing with Britney Spears and the *NSYNC World Tour. Today he is a sought after choreographer who has worked on projects for Jessica Simpson. Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake, and Usher, among others. His work is infused by classic Broadway inspirations like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and trailblazers in hip-hop and pop culture like Michael Jackson. He currently has several film and television projects in development, as well as a Broadway production of his own.
Patrick McDonald, Fashion Writer
Hometown: San Luis Obispo , Calif.; Currently Resides in: New York, N.Y.
Patrick McDonald, better known as “The Dandy” to fashionistas everywhere, has been at the top of the New York fashion scene since his arrival in the late 1970s. Born in Germany to American parents, McDonald spent his early years in California before starting his career as a model. McDonald’s love of high fashion led him to pursue a career in the industry, holding positions as an assistant buyer at Barney’s and couture director at Fabrice. A style icon known for his unique look, McDonald has appeared in publications that include PAPER, Detour, New York, Numero, SoHo Style, Surface, The New York Times Lifestyle section, Sportswear International and Russian Vogue. McDonald has been voted one of Gotham Magazine’s 100 Best Dressed New Yorkers.
Louanna Rawls, Stylist
Hometown/Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif.
Rawls, the beautiful daughter of legendary standards singer and philanthropist, Lou Rawls was born in Los Angeles in 1969. She grew up surrounded by legends in the music industry and huge Hollywood heavy hitters such as Frank Sinatra, the Pointer Sisters, Tina Turner, Quincy Jones, and Clive Davis. Being a part of all of the glamour and rock and roll of the music industry, Rawls naturally developed a genuine eye and passion for fashion, style, and costuming. After modeling and acting in New York, mogul Russell Simmons gave Rawls her first break into styling. From there, she went on to style Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Robin Thicke and Patricia Arquette – to name only a few. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog Biggie Rawls, and continues to work as a celebrity wardrobe stylist and costume designer for movies and commercials. She also works as a personal shopper for some of Hollywood’s biggest names. She remains inspired by organic, eco-friendly clothing and well-tailored tees and denim.
Kathy Rose, Jewelry Designer
Hometown: Tehran, Iran; Currently Resides in: Los Angeles, Calif.
Born in Iran, Kathy Rose is an American jewelry designer to the stars. Co-founder of the retail boutique, Roseark, and designer of her eponymous jewelry line, Rose’s clients include A-listers Charlize Theron, Madonna, Courtney Cox-Arquette, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie and Penelope Cruz. Rose was a finalist for the FGI Rising Star Award in jewelry and was selected to exhibit one of her pieces at the California Design Biennial at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
MEET THE FASHION DESIGNERS:
Akiko, 32 – Hometown: San Diego, Calif.; Currently Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif.
Akiko, a favorite designer among many A-list celebrities, was born and raised in San Diego, California. As an aspiring designer at the age of nine, she started sewing under the direction of her grandmother and eventually started designing her own creations while still in high school. After obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design from Otis College of Art and Design, Akiko was able to launch her career. By 2003, she had established herself in the industry with her flattering, feminine chic pieces, soon recognized as a note-worthy designer. With inspiration from art, vintage prints and embroideries, Akiko has become known for designs that flatter the female form.
Coco, 37 – Hometown: Thailand, Currently Resides In: New York, N.Y.
Born in Thailand, Coco spent her childhood plastering her bedroom walls with the pages of fashion magazines, dreaming of taking her place as a creator in the beautiful make-believe worlds found in each image. Since then she has become an award-winning graduate of the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and a represented fashion designer with the ADA in Paris. With her unbreakable determination, she has been delighting fashionistas and buyers since launching her eponymous line in 2000, and her designs have been featured in Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Now on hiatus, Coco is taking time to embrace life, and accepting consulting work, and some freelance design projects as long as it allows her to travel and enjoy New York, where she now makes her home.
Emil, 39 – Hometown: Linz, Austria; Currently Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif.
Emil first fell in love with fashion when he was five-years-old, while watching his grandmother as she crafted dresses. Passionate, and filled with the desire to design, he made the move to London from his native Austria after finishing his education as a textile engineer. He secured a position within one of the world’s leading costume couture houses, and was finally able to create his own avant garde line, EMIL Couture. Emil has consulted for a number of high-profile clients, including Stevie Wonder’s wife, famed designer Kai Milla.
Galina, 45 – Hometown: Odessa, Russia; Currently Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif.
As a young girl in Russia, Galina learned to sew and crochet from her grandmother, an established dressmaker. After cultivating a deep love of fashion she went on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and graduated with honors. Soon thereafter, she started pursuing a career in high-end fashion, creating her own label, Single, with her husband and business partner, Michael. Single is a luxury collection known for its classic sensibilities and exuberant European fabrics, which promote women’s confidence and independence in style. Galina’s sought-after designs have been available in Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales and other exclusive boutiques and online retailers worldwide including Net-A-Porter.com.
Jim, 35 – Strathmore, Calif; Currently Resides In: West Hollywood, Calif.
At the age of 10, Jim sewed his first garment. Decades later, after working his way to the top of the design ladder and relocating to Los Angeles, he has worked with top entertainers including Ryan Seacrest, Hayden Panettiere and The Pussycat Dolls. With many career highlights bolstering his design roster – like making a dress for Evangeline Lily for the cover of Los Angeles Magazine, designing and constructing a red leather Jumpsuit for Christina Milian – it’s no surprise that Jim’s designs have become international. Whether he is tailoring Prada or John Varvatos for Neiman Marcus, building custom pieces for Fredericks of Hollywood’s A list Fashion show or saving the day for Lady GaGa and her dancers with tour wardrobe specialties, Jim is consistently proving that he is Hollywood’s “Go To Guy.”
Julie, 30 – Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.; Currently Resides In: Silverlake, Calif.
After graduating from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and spending over ten years in the fashion industry, Julie launched Rhys Dwfen in 2006 to realize her vision of the perfectly modern sweater. The Los Angeles native focuses the line on smart, sophisticated pieces that are adorned with eye-catching details. She carefully tailors each garment with an eye towards creating a sleek silhouette, and svelte, expensive looks that transition deftly from office to night. Since its inception, Rhys Dwfen has garnered praise and editorial coverage in top trade and lifestyle publications. The brand was also awarded one of only eight coveted spots for emerging designers in Gen Art’s 10th Anniversary Fresh Faces Fashion Show during LA Fashion Week in 2007. With showrooms in Los Angeles, New York and Canada, Rhys Dwfen is available in better specialty boutiques throughout the United States and abroad.
Roberto, 41 – Hometown: Bal Harbour, Fla., Paris, France; Currently Resides In Hollywood, Calif.
Roberto was first discovered by Karl Lagerfeld after he graduated from the prestigious, Studio Bercot in Paris. Born in Quito, Ecuador, Roberto considers himself a citizen of the world, having worked in Paris, Bal Harbour and Hollywood since 1987. He is also an accomplished fine artist, who has shown in several prominent art galleries, including a recent couture performance exhibit at the Karsten Greve Gallery in Paris. Roberto’s design philosophy is Le Divine in Design rooted in his South American heritage and Europe’s legacy of luxury and savoir-faire. Roberto’s designs have been featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and Elle. He has created garments for many celebrity clients – most notably award winning singer, Carrie Underwood.
Susan, 26 – Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.; Currently Resides In: Pasadena, Calif.
Fresh out of design school at American InterContinental University, Atlanta, Susan took a leap of faith and drove to Los Angeles, California in search of a job. Fortunately, Lady Luck was on her side and she shortly landed a position designing swimwear. In 2008, Susan started her own line, Elevate & Collide, which garnered notice for its versatile and contemporary looks. Susan has swiftly made a name for herself as one of the youngest rising stars in fashion.
Thai, 28 – Hometown: Olympia, Washington; Currently Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif.
Thai graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2002. Following graduation, he earned the title of Associate Designer for BCBG Max Azria, which he held through 2004. Since then, Thai has become the designer of choice for prominent Vietnamese entertainment production companies, Asia Entertainment, Van Son Entertainment and Thuy Nga. In 2008, Thai and his partner, Helen Nguyen, opened showroom and storefront, Thai Nguyen Couture, in Westminster, California. Thai’s professional motto is “Live for FASHION. Set the TREND.”
Tressa, 32 – Hometown: Norwich, Vt.; Currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Tressa is the founder of Fierce Couture. She started the experimental fashion line in 2003 and shortly thereafter, her work caught the attention of GenArt, a prominent showcase for emerging artists. In 2004, Tressa was chosen as one of their Fresh Faces in Fashion. Since then, the playful and unexpected designs of Fierce Couture, which explores the relationship between the graphic line and the three-dimensional body, have shown in Berlin, London and across the United States.