In Brief: Valentino Sold, Sounds Like Staten Island, New Director for DIFFA, IDSA International

An installation view of “Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Bivouac,” an exhibition on view through July 31 at the Centre Pompidou-Metz. (Courtesy Studio Bouroullec)

• Ciao, Doha! A luxury-loving bunch of Qatari investors (read: royals) have acquired Valentino from private equity player Permira, which has controlled the Italian fashion house since 2007. A statement issued today announcing the transaction did not disclose financial terms, but the price tag is believed to be around 700 euros ($856 million at current exchange). “Our vision is to back management for the long term to exploit the full potential of this exciting brand,” said a representative from the buyer, Mayhoola for Investments, in the press release. “We believe Valentino is ideally suited to form the basis for a global luxury goods powerhouse.”

• What does Staten Island sound like? Mermaids and the muffled sobs of Alexander Graham Bell, apparently. Hear for yourself beginning this weekend with the debut of “Telettrofono,” the fourth edition of the Guggenheim’s stillspotting nyc project. The new site-specific commission by sound artist Justin Bennett and poet Matthea Harvey takes the form of a 90-minute waterfront walking tour that will allow listeners to discover the true story of Antonio Meucci, the unacknowledged inventor of the first telephone (1871), and the hidden story of Meucci’s wife Esterre, who was rumored to be a mermaid who left the water for land due to her love for sound. (Look sharp for a young Tom Hanks.)

DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS has found a new executive director in Christopher Ryan More, who currently serves as the U.S. Fundraising Director for the International AIDS Society. More will replace David Sheppard, who is retiring on August 1 after 17 years as DIFFA’s executive director.

• Got photos? Really good ones? That you took yourself? Submissions are now being accepted to the New York Photo Awards. The competiton is open to all amateur and professional photographers, artists, students, frustrated inventors, and the mermaids who love them. Winning work from each category (fine art, documentary, advertising, personal portfolio, photobook, and multimedia) will be exhibited at the Powerhouse Arena this fall during the DUMBO Arts Festival. Make it snappy: the deadline for entries is August 17.

• The Future Is… Find out how that sentence ends at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s 2012 International Conference, which kicks off on August 15 in Boston with tracks such as “Business of Design” and “Future Cool.” And speaking of the future, registration closes this Saturday, July 14, at midnight.