Monday, August 1, 2011

Celebrities get their Geek and Greet on at Comic Con & Proenza Schouler closes the deal on new Financial Backing

Comic Con used to be a refuge for geeks, err, "devoted fans" of cartoons, sci-fi and just about any realm of fantasy created, to meet up and exchange information, dress as their favorite character without chastisement and to pick the brain of the creators of their beloved past-times.

This year's 42nd annual event was held from July 21-24 and each year not only does the event seem to grow leaps and bounds, celebrities are in attendance to promote upcoming projects, speak on panels and turn what used to be a niche market event into a red carpet extravaganza.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Roksanda Ilincic Resort 2011

Maggie Q in MaxMara

Ana de La Reguera in Gucci

Olivia Wilde in Dolce & Gabbana

Ashley Tisdale in Lucca Couture dress with Ruthie Davis peep-toe platforms

Carey Mulligan in Roksanda Ilincic

Chelsea Staub in Alice + Olivia

Holland Roden in Marisa Kenson

Some of their looks were taken directly from the runway:

Kate Beckinsale in a Tibi dress

Jessica Biel in Christian Cota

Anna Paquin in an Antonio Berardi dress and Gucci peep-toes

Ashley Greene in House of Harlow 1960 "Rooney" Sandals

The women's fashion was nothing short of red carpet worthy, while the guys' style who attended was a lot more relaxed and lackluster, although it didn't take away from their "eye candy" appeal:

Thomas Jane

Kellan Lutz

Josh Henderson

Ian Somerhalder

Henry Cavill

Harry Shum, Jr.

David Arquette

Stephen Dorff

Tyler Hoechlin

Darren Criss

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Evans


After a year of speculation - and negotiations - it was recently announced that Andrew Ronsen, founder and co-chief executive officer of Theory, and his business associate, John Howard, CEO of Irving Place Capital, just bought stake in designer duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez's wildly successful fashion brand Proenza Schouler. Ronsen now owns the 45 percent stake once owned by Permira; McCollough, Hernandez and Shirley Cook, the company's chief executive officer, own the remaining 55 percent.

“We are thankful to [Valentino Fashion Group] for giving us a start, and allowing us to get where we are today,” Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez, and Proenza Schouler CEO Shirley Cook said in a joint statement. “There’s so much we’d like to accomplish and have found the perfect complement in John and Andrew to help us realize our dreams.”

Ronsen's investment in the brand adds another notch to his designer-investment-belt, as he's already financially linked to such companies as Gryphon, Rag & Bone and Alice + Olivia.

Proenza Schouler was founded in 2002 by McCollough and Hernandez who met at Parson's School of Design. Their first collection under the pseudonym of their mothers' maiden names was bought in its entirety by Barneys New York and their star has been on the rise ever since. They won the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2004; the FCDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2007 and 2011 and had a successful collaboration collection of discounted designer wears produced with Target. They recently expanded into shoes (licensed through Giuseppe Zanotti) and handbags (including the covetable PS1).

Rosen and Howard jointly commented: “When we look at the current state of American fashion, we see the next generation focused in the advanced contemporary space. We believe that the Proenza business is the future of American luxury, and uniquely poised to compete in a global marketplace, which is currently dominated by European designers. In infusing this brand with our resources and experience, we will position this business to achieve its full potential."

Congrats to the much deserving designers. This is definitely something to jump for joy over!

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