While it may be the Year of the Ox in China, the International Center of Photography in New York has dubbed 2009 “The Year of Fashion.” The New York-based museum has launched a 12-month series of new exhibitions that chronicle the art of fashion photography from 1920 to the present day. Co-curators Carol Squiers and Vince Aletti anchored seven separate shows to the theme. “We wanted to balance it out and give a sense of where fashion photography started and where it is right at this moment,” said Aletti. “The sheer amount of wonderfully imaginative [contemporary] photography we found was amazing,” added Squiers. On display through May are exhibitions devoted to Edward Steichen, Martin Munkácsi, a collection of stylish non-commercial images and a contemporary display titled “Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now.” Then this summer, ICP will open a Richard Avedon retrospective among other topical shows. For more information, visit Icp.org.
— Meghan Cass
This month, fine art meets high fashion at men’s store Leffot in New York’s West Village. Inside the luxe boutique, graphic designer Robin Joy Riggsbee and origami artist Sok Song have created a fantasy world and one-of-a-kind retail atmosphere. Riggsbee penciled intricate graphics onto wallpaper and melded them with Song’s 3-D paper sculpture. Leffot owner Steven Taffel said the artwork looks like a natural extension of his store. “It’s interesting to have art in our store among the footwear and accessories,” he said. “A lot of people are enjoying it.” The interior will remain intact through March 5.
— Erin Bascom
Rally cars don’t slip at high speeds, and La Sportiva wants to make sure runners don’t, either. The Italian outdoor company debuted its La Sportiva Hobnail A.T. Grip kit this season at outdoor and running specialty shops for athletes braving icy winter trails and roads. The $40 pack includes an applicator tool and a set of 20 hobnails, which were designed for use in high-end racing tires to improve grip. Just screw them into the rubber lugs of any athletic shoes, and they’ll keep you stable.
— Jennifer Ernst Beaudry
BIDS FOR KIDS
Ruthie Davis has put shoes from her latest collection on the block. The New York designer gathered a handful of heels from famous fans including Beyoncé, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian and Lauren Conrad, and donated them to the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation. The sexy stilettos are being auctioned at Clothesoffourback.org, with all proceeds going to children’s charities. Always up for a party, Davis got the word out at WSA with a late-night bash at Vegas club Blush. “Clothes Off Our Back takes a great, creative fashion moment and recycles it for a long-term positive use,” Davis said. “It’s just a win-win.” There’s still time to place your bid — the auction ends Feb. 26.