We spotted GM Global Design Chief Ed Welburn in Los Angeles earlier this week, surveying the two famed Christian Louboutin boutiques in Beverly Hills — women’s shoes and accessories on one side of the street and men’s on the other. He was studying the lines, colors and fabrics used in the famous red-bottomed shoes and red-lined merchandise. “Products like this actually inspire me for the possible future design direction of some specific GM vehicles,” Welburn confessed. “Can’t you see a luxury automobile with a plush camel-colored, leather interior, then you open the center console and it’s lined in red leather?” Yeah, we can see that.

Welburn insists that it’s fashion that follows car design, since he and his team of over 2,000 designers worldwide are already working on sleek new motor vehicles for the year 2020. And to confirm that he and his team know what they’re doing, just a few hours later GM took home two of three Motor Trend awards: Car of the Year for the Camaro and Truck of the Year for the Colorado. By the way, Ed snagged a sweet pair of wine, black and Glen plaid red- bottomed oxfords for himself.

Book beatings

You’d think book signings for serious books wouldn’t draw rambunctious behavior, but you would be wrong. Bill Castanier wrote in Lansing’s City Pulse about a few recent book events at which audience members went rogue. At last week’s David Maraniss event at Kinawa Middle School Auditorium in Okemos, several in the audience took issue with the Pulitzer prize-winning author of “Detroit: Once in a Great City,” even though their beef had nothing to do with his tome. After one woman became verbally abusive about things that weren’t in the book, the ever-polite Maraniss replied, “Do you have a question?” Castanier wrote: “The woman was escorted from the auditorium, but shoved Jim MacLean, Capital Area District Library’s director of community outreach, on the way out. The police were called, but she left before they arrived.” Another questioner, a professor, seemed angry about issues covered in another book, Thomas Sugrue’s “The Origins of the Urban Crisis.”

Several weeks ago, Castanier witnessed rocker Patti Smith, author of “Just Kids” and “M Train,” get a little feisty at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. When one questioner asked what a starving artist should do, Smith barked: “Go get a job!”


In a cool, collaborative urban-suburban initiative, two groups of young people got together Feb. 13 to produce an evening of magnificent entertainment at Oakland Hills Country Club. Teens4Arts, a youth-run charity that raises funds for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, performed solo and alongside dynamic teens from Mosaic Youth Theatre. The family-oriented event included fun for everyone, including sand art, motorcross raceways, wax hands, a photo booth and a candy bar, for the kids. Teens4Art was founded four years ago by Willy Vlasic, Noah Eisenberg, Sloan Kiriluk, Eloise Alterman, Nicole Ballard, Brooke Ballard and Grace Giampetroni, with the help of their mothers, Vicki Vlasic, Nicole Eisenberg, Eileen Kiriluk, Wendy Alterman, Kathy Ballard and Christine Giampetroni, with the goal of making performing arts accessible to youth of all income levels.

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