It can be hard to know you’re wearing a designer knockoff, unless the designer points it out.
Diana Madison, chief executive of digital media company Shandy Media near Universal City, was celebrating New Year’s Eve in Dubai last year when she met Olivier Rousteing, famed creative director of luxury French brand Balmain.
“He walked out of the bathroom and I was going into the bathroom at Sass Café,” Madison, 32, said. “And he was, like, ‘That’s my skirt. No, it’s not my skirt.’”
Turns out, Madison was unknowingly wearing a Balmain knockoff.
She explained to Rousteing that the skirt was given to her as a gift.
“I ended up telling him I admired his stuff,” she said. “But it was a really awkward moment for me because I had no idea I was wearing a Balmain knockoff.”
Madison, who owns Balmain pieces, said she was mortified when it happened but in retrospect it was a funny experience.
“I never told anyone,” she said. “But here’s the thing: You got to laugh at it. So, note to yourself: don’t wear a knockoff when you go somewhere when the designer is going to be there.”
Hobby Takes a Turn
Some people golf or fish to relieve work stress. Philip Khosid rides motorcycles at 140 miles an hour. The race track called to him after a riding accident near his Hollywood Hills home left him with cracked ribs.
“In my infinite wisdom, I decided that riding on a track would be far safer for me,” said Khosid, poking fun at choosing a hobby that some would call reckless.
But Khosid, 38, chief creative officer of L.A. ad agency Battery, insists that zooming on a track wearing thick padding is safer than weaving through the streets of Los Angeles in just a helmet. Besides, riding gives him a Zenlike sense of focus.
Before venturing onto the race track with his cherry red Ducati, he practiced speed riding at California Superbike in Cypress Park. Now he revs up his engine a few times a year, even taking the legendary corkscrew track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the Central Coast.
“Pure faith and experience” is key, he said.
Khosid landed first place during his latest races in October, motivating him to keep pushing. After all, his latest crash while racing, a year ago, wasn’t as scary as the first time.
“I was doing 60 miles an hour coming through the apex of the turn … and my turn was off. I let it go and I probably went 40 feet across the pavement,” he said.
“But you’re armored up, so 40 feet across the pavement isn’t the end of the world. Mechanics repaired the bike, and I was back on the track half an hour later.”
Staff reporters Subrina Hudson and Daina Beth Solomon contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.