T Suggests: A Pioneering French Designer, a New All-Day Cafe and More

Over a century after her birth, the French designer Charlotte Perriand is finally getting her due. A retrospective of the pioneering avant-garde architect, who changed the course of 20th-century design with her elegant, industrial-inspired interior design and furniture, is now open at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. “Charlotte Perriand: Inventing A New World” features 200 of her designs, alongside the work of 15 artists from her time (for example, the French modernist Fernand Léger, whose artwork she sometimes featured in her interiors) and seven designers from her era, including the self-taught architect and metal worker Jean Prouvé. While Perriand may be best known for the Chaise Longue Basculante B306 — an adjustable steel lounge chair that she created in 1928 while working at Le Corbusier’s studio in her 20s — her contributions also include a prefabricated mountain resort in Savoie, France, asymmetrical wooden bookcases that call to mind paintings by Piet Mondrian and a necklace made of oversize ball bearings. “People keep thinking she’s a woman who designed just a few chairs with Le Corbusier,” says Sébastien Cherruet, a co-curator of the exhibition. “It’s not fair an...

Ming and Aoki Lee Simmons Grew up Starring in Baby Phat Campaigns, Now They’re Defining the Brand for Themselves

“My mom leaves it up to us, not to say that she doesn’t do anything, but I think she knows that we got it.” When I pull up to Alder Manor, the beautiful but abandoned mansion in Yonkers, NY, my Uber driver is just as curious as I am. “Is this an old boarding school?” he asks. “Does someone live here?” I tell him no, that I was actually here for a photoshoot. “And, you’re sure this is the place?” he says, concerned. The day before Ming and Aoki Lee Simmons’s publicist had invited me to visit the set of the next Baby Phat ad campaign shoot, telling me that it would be a long drive, especially with the afternoon traffic (it took almost two hours — I napped), but they rented a mansion and it’d be worth it. I didn’t need convincing: I grew up fawning over extravagant Baby Phat campaigns. There was the one that starred Kimora as president of the United States, walking out of a replica Air Force One branded with the Baby Phat logo, her first daughters (Ming and Aoki) in tow. Another Morrocan-inspired one starred Aoki sitting on a camel, Ming looking through a gold telescope, and Kimora lounging on a chaise being waited on hand and foot. Needless to say I expected fabulosity...