FASHION FRIENDS: Could Kim Jones, who has a penchant for collaborations, be plotting one with his fashion buddy Stefano Pilati?
According to market sources, the collaboration under discussion would be at Fendi, where Jones has already unfurled projects with two other designers with whom he is very friendly — Donatella Versace and Marc Jacobs.
It is understood the proposed tie-up could be unveiled as early as November.
Fendi officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Best known for his tenures at the design helm of Yves Saint Laurent and Zegna, Pilati has recently dabbled in furniture design alongside his Berlin-based fashion collection Random Identities.
He is prized for his keen fashion instincts, voluptuous, innovative tailoring — and knack for eye-catching shoes and handbags.
The dapper Italian designer made a splash during Paris Fashion Week last June, taking in Jones’ spring 2024 men’s show for Dior, and walking the runway for Pharrell Williams’ debut as menswear creative director at Louis Vuitton.
Last fall, Pilati rebooted his Random Identities label after a two-year hiatus and lined up a like-minded distribution partner in Dover Street Market Paris.
Random Identities was boundary-breaking when it was first unveiled in 2018, initially as a joint venture with Canadian online retailer Ssense. Genderless, seasonless and luxurious, but at a contemporary price point, it draws on gay and club culture in Berlin, where Pilati has based himself since leaving Ermenegildo Zegna in 2016 following a three-year stint.
The designer is best known for succeeding Tom Ford at Yves Saint Laurent, where he served as creative director from 2004 to 2012. Earlier in his career, he worked in senior design and fabric development positions for a number of Italian design houses, including Miu Miu, Prada and Giorgio Armani.
Jones, who in September 2020 signed on as Fendi’s artistic director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women, wasted little time in pursuing collaborations and in September 2021 unveiled a full-scale brand swap with Versace.
Last year, he tapped Jacobs to create a collection within spring 2023 Fendi women’s collection, and also teamed with Tiffany & Co. for special Baguette handbags. — MILES SOCHA
OLYMPIC GOLD: Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone has joined the Neutrogena camp.
The track and field Olympic gold medalist, who holds the world record for the 400-meter hurdles, has joined the ranks of Jenna Ortega and sister duo Chloe and Halle Bailey as the skin care brand’s latest ambassador.
“Beauty, skin care and just overall taking care of myself have always been a part of my routine, even on the track, in terms of getting ready for meets. It’s a part of feeling confident when I go out and do what I love to do,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “Being able to now be with a partner who can help exemplify that is just a dream come true.”
It’s a full-circle moment for McLaughlin-Levrone, who was in high school when she first encountered Neutrogena’s products. “It was actually the first skin care brand I ever tried to use,” recalled the 24-year-old runner, who has previously inked ambassadorships with brands such as Tag Heuer and, earlier this summer, David Yurman.
McLaughlin-Levrone’s partnership with Neutrogena is the latest in a slew of athlete ambassadorships sweeping the beauty realm. In May, Mielle Organics added college basketball star Angel Reese to its roster, just after Clinique signed England rugby player Holly Aitchison. Male athletes like Houston Rockets shooting guard Jalen Green and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson have also gotten in on the action, signing respective deals with Un/Dn Laqr and Bubble Skincare.
“Historically, we’ve partnered with actresses and what have you, but realizing that people can be inspired by everyone — by actresses, by athletes, by creators on social — we wanted to find someone who had a lot of qualities that we admire and respect, but is also very relatable,” said Natasha Haubrich, head of Neutrogena equity and strategy.
And because McLaughlin-Levrone is routinely exposed to the elements as an athlete, the brand sees a natural fit for her to front its sun care offerings down the line.
“I do tend to have dry skin; especially running track and always being in the sun, being able to protect my skin is huge in terms of preventing wrinkles and dark spots — all those different things,” said McLaughlin-Levrone, adding that the brand’s Hydro Boost cream and SPF spray are among her regimen mainstays.
In April, Neutrogena served as the official skin care and sun care sponsor at Coachella, with Haubrich hinting additional such activations are on the way.
“We have done a lot of test-and-learns, I’ll call them, this year. We were trying to find our stride, and I think we’ve found it,” she said. “You’ll see us in surprisingly obvious places in the future.”
McLaughlin-Levrone, meanwhile, is gearing up for the 2024 Olympics set to take place in Paris next summer.
“We always talk about in training what we call ‘prehab’ — preparing now so you don’t have to rehab later,” she said, adding she takes a similar approach when it comes to skin care. “Even with sunscreen — I’m taking care of myself now so I don’t have issues later.” — NOOR LOBAD
PARTNERSHIP: Nordstrom NYC has unveiled the latest Center Stage and Broadway Bar takeover in partnership with Thom Browne.
Through the beginning of October, Nordstrom NYC will feature the brand’s fall 2023 collection with the launch of a dedicated Center Stage installation and a redesigned Broadway Bar with a custom menu and signature cocktails curated by Browne.
The Center Stage assortment will consist of Browne’s women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, including outerwear and sport coats to trousers, skirts, cardigans, sweaters and woven tops. Alongside the rtw, Thom Browne@Nordstrom will also feature boots, loafers, heels, sneakers, handbags, tights and socks. Prices range from $120 to $6,950. Across the street at Nordstrom Men’s Store, customers can find the brand’s men’s assortment.
The installation features a gray house that ties in with the central motif of Browne’s fall 2023 image campaign, transporting visitors to “the end” where the land meets the sea. The full experience will be on view at Nordstrom NYC flagship until the beginning of October, with the assortment also available on nordstrom.com. In addition to the pop-up shop, Browne and Nordstrom will be hosting men’s and women’s made-to-measure events in Seattle Thursday through Sunday, and New York, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
At the Broadway Bar on Level 3 in New York, the space features marble accent walls and gray tones along with a custom menu, Champagne and signature cocktails. Highlights include oysters on the half-shell, caviar and potatoes.
“Thom Browne is one of the most creative and inspiring American fashion designers working today, and we are thrilled to be partnering with him on our Center Stage and Broadway Bar takeover,” said Sam Lobban, executive vice president, general merchandise manger of apparel and designer at Nordstrom. “We’re excited to see his vision come to life and be able to offer our customers a special way of engaging with and experiencing his brand through our concepts.” — LISA LOCKWOOD
PRADA SEEDS: Prada’s fall flowers are blooming, literally.
The Italian luxury brand is celebrating its fall ad campaign, fronted for the first time by Benedict Cumberbatch alongside Chinese actor Li Xian, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Hunter Schafer and Letitia Wright, with a real-life activation.
Starting Thursday, a range of flower kiosks across the world will sell Prada-packaged flower seeds. Coming in a silver can embellished with the Prada logo, seeds of marigold, daisy and sunflower will be available for purchase in selected locations across Milan; London; Paris; New York; Dubai; Seoul; Hong Kong; Beijing; Shanghai; Chengdu; Guangzhou; Qinhuangdao, and Tokyo.
Some vendors include local flower shops such as Orlando Fiori on Milan’s central Piazza della Repubblica and Z Flora in Beijing, while in Tokyo, for example, the special seeds can also be purchased at the Prada Aoyama flagship.
The activation intends to “use the act of planting and propagation to spread new blooms across the world — conveying emotions and taking an intangible concept to physical form,” the company said in a statement.
As reported, the fall campaign, shot by Willy Vanderperre, portrays talents against an intense black backdrop standing opposite life-size flowers. It explores “eternal, timeless values of humanity, universal emotions,” such as beauty, care and love, with blown-up flowers used as a metaphor of “beauty between the everyday and the extraordinary.”
A video flanking the ad campaign scripted by Michael Cunningham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hours,” shows each talent in paradoxical conversation with the respective blooms.
The activation comes full circle as the brand has created an exclusive filter to be used across social media platforms Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and WeChat consisting of a digital, 3D version of the flowers for users to replicate campaign imagery.
This is not the first time Prada has taken its campaign concepts on the road.
In 2019, the luxury brand introduced a new medium to promote its resort 2020 ad campaign having florists across key international cities wrap fresh flower bouquets in paper sheets bearing images of the campaign. In 2021 Prada was on an out-of-home spree, having wrapped the facades of several buildings in Milan, London, New York and Tokyo, among other cities, as well as Shanghai’s wet market with the signature geometric patterns included in the fall 2021 men’s and women’s collections. It also teamed up with local bakeries and food markets to sell customized paper bags containing bread, fruits and vegetables. — MARTINO CARRERA
IT’S A LOCK: Tiffany & Co. has debuted a capsule collection inspired its house ambassador and K-pop star Rosé, called Tiffany Lock Rosé Edition.
The designs pay homage to the singer’s name, and are offered in four styles with 18-karat rose gold and rare pink sapphires. One of the rarest colored gemstones found within the precious sapphire family, according to the American jeweler, pink sapphires were specially chosen as they symbolize love and power.
“Rosé is a true superstar whose music and creative purpose is anchored in the power of connection,” said Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president, product and communication, Tiffany & Co. “Her Lock capsule collection reflects this spirit and embodies who she is as an artist.”
Inspired by an archival padlock from 1883, Tiffany Lock pays homage to the jeweler’s heritage, meant to be an ode to the unbreakable bonds that connect us and the infinite power of love. Recognizable by its sleek silhouettes, the capsule is offered in a classic Lock bracelet, pair of earrings and pendants offered in a small or medium.
“It is such an honor to inspire a capsule collection for Tiffany,” Rosé, who is a member of K-pop supergroup Blackpink said. “It’s exciting to see the iconic Lock collection reimagined with such rare gemstones and I’m excited to share this fun project with my fans and also fans of the Lock collection.”
Tiffany Lock Rosé Edition debuts Thursday at the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton owned jeweler’s new Omotesando store in Toyko. On Friday, the capsule collection will be available in China, South Korea and at The Landmark in New York City, and it will be offered to clients worldwide on Oct. 1. — THOMAS WALLER
BREATHE TOGETHER: Designer Patrick McDowell is teaming with Rambert, Britain’s oldest dance company, for his spring 2024 runway show on Monday and will see the dancers take to the catwalk.
McDowell’s collection was inspired by Rambert’s archive and focuses on the company’s first-ever performance, “A Tragedy of Fashion.” Staged in 1926, it tells the story of a famous dressmaker who kills himself with his shears.
McDowell sourced vintage outfits and fabrics from the Rambert costume department and has reimagined them for the show.
Post-show the designer will work with Future Movement, Rambert’s outreach program, which runs a 20-week program focusing on circular design and stage costumes made in a sustainable way. Future movements students will sit front row at Monday’s show.
McDowell said that collaborating with Rambert has been a long-held dream.
“For as long as I can remember the art of dance has inspired me. It combines so many creative elements to create one breathtaking performance,” he said.
“The ability for a company such as Rambert to act as one and ‘breathe together’ is incredible to behold. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Rambert more closely over the last few years and it’s been such a delight to find an organization that has such a rich history and yet so determined to continue pushing into the future.”
Benoit Swan Pouffer, artistic director of Rambert, said he was happy to see “art, dance and fashion entwined” in the show. “I am forever seeking new ways of pushing art forms forward and this collaboration is a great example of working together to create something beautiful that celebrates the past, present and future of a company like Rambert.”
McDowell founded the brand in 2018 and works solely with recycled and sustainable materials.
The denim pieces in the spring collection have been made from deadstock Lee, and have been unpicked and pieced together at the designer’s studio. The designer said the team spent more than 100 hours repurposing 170 pairs of jeans into one-off pieces.
Instead of plastic, McDowell has used Ecovative mushroom mycelium padding, which requires less energy and water to manufacture. Fabric printing has been done sustainably while vintage silk has been provided by the Italian mill Taroni and the Rambert costume department.
The Italian fashion brand Pinko handed over deadstock chiffon and silks while Bananatex donated the wovens, which are made solely from naturally grown, sustainable abacá banana plants. — SAMANTHA CONTI
MILANESE MAKERS: Two Milanese brands, Blazé Milano and Cabana, have come together to create a capsule collection with a darkly glamorous, bohemian edge.
The Blazé curated by Cabana collection will launch this week at Matchesfashion and be sold by Blazé Milano and Cabana, the interiors magazine and decorative arts publication and e-commerce site.
The two brands were founded in Milan within a year of each other, and say they have a “mutual respect for timeless Italian style and global, travel-inspired design and craftsmanship.”
The collection includes shirts, dresses and Blazé Milano’s signature tailored blazers, made with Italian fabrics. Prices range from $670 for a skirt to $2,900 for a coat.
Asked why they decided to work together Corrada Rodriguez d’Acri, cofounder of Blazé Milano, said Cabana has always been one of her biggest inspirations.
“I have been thinking and dreaming about this collaboration for many years. Martina is a friend, and since she launched Cabana and the whole world of furniture and table setting, we have been largely inspired by it. Our shared love of vintage prints and fabrics spontaneously led to a collaboration,” she said.
Rodriguez d’Acri added that she and Mondadori chose vintage fabrics “from the incredible archive of Mantero and reworked them, making them unique, and adding the things we love at Blazé — like grandfather blazers and super-masculine tailoring — for an elegant twist,” added Rodriguez d’Acri.
Cabana founder and editor in chief Martina Mondadori said she sees the collection’s woman as, “a modern Loulou de la Falaise, a globetrotting style icon who is at once confident, effortlessly chic and practical.”
Mondadori added that partnering with Blazé felt like a natural choice. “There is so much to celebrate: a shared Italian heritage and mutual respect for timeless Italian style and travel-inspired design and craftsmanship.
Blazé Milano was founded by three former Elle Italia stylists, Rodriguez D’Acri, Delfina Pinardi and Maria Sole Torlonia, in 2013. They immediately focused on the classic men’s blazer, reinterpreting it season after season for women.
Cabana was founded in 2014 by Mondadori, Christoph Radl and Gianluca Reina and has, over the years, attracted a community of design and travel lovers. — S.C.