A WINNING TRIFECTA: In honor of The New School’s 74th annual Parsons Benefit, the university will salute some top-shelf talent — supermodel Naomi Campbell, Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing and Neiman Marcus’ Geoffroy van Raemdonck.
This year’s event will be held May 24 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. As in years past, the gathering will celebrate the honorees’ contributions to design, retail, fashion, philanthropy and social justice. This year’s gathering will be held on a Wednesday instead of a Monday.
The three honorees have also been singled out for being visionary figures in their respective industries. Another draw was their commitment to the transformative power of design, which aligns with The New School’s and Parsons’ mission, vision and curriculum.
Campbell, Fashion4Relief founder, for example, on Friday thanked Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, The African Gate and the European Parliament in Rome for honoring her. Campbell vowed to “always fight for human rights and continuously support campaigns against racism in fashion and beyond” in an Instagram post to her 14 million followers.
Rousteing also attracts extensive media coverage. He just teamed with Beyoncé to codesign a collection titled “Renaissance,” named after the megastar’s album and tour.
As the chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Group, Raemdonck regularly teams with designer brands and earlier this year directed the relaunch of the Neiman Marcus Awards, which honored Brunello Cucinelli, Jonathan Anderson of JW Anderson and Loewe and Amina Muaddi.
The New School’s benefit will also raise funds for scholarships to help students explore art, design, liberal arts, music, technology and social innovation.
In a statement, Yvonne Watson, interim executive dean of The New School’s Parsons School of Design, described the honorees as “industry leaders who have profoundly inspired our students.” Watson also “praised their longstanding commitment to the values that guide Parsons in everything we do.” — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
KERING’S WINNER: Kering has named Rosângela Rennó the winner of its 2023 Women in Motion Award for photography, in recognition of the Brazilian artist’s work on discarded images rescued from various sources, from flea markets and internet photos to institutional archives.
She is due to receive the prize on July 4 during the photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles, which will host the first major exhibition of her work in France. Supported by the Women in Motion program, the show will run from July 3 to Sept. 24, and Rennó will give a talk during an event at the Théâtre Antique in Arles.
“She will present her work and share with the audience her personal journey and her view of women’s place in photography and society in general,” Kering said in a statement Friday. “Her work is a detailed exploration of time, of forgetting, and the social and psychological changes that affect memory.”
Rennó is known for appropriating and transforming archival photographic material into an art installation or a book of photography. In 2013, she received the festival’s Historical Book Award for her work on the photographs stolen from the National Library of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.
Initially aimed at highlighting work by women in the realm of film, Women in Motion was founded in 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival. Kering expanded the program by adding the photography award in 2019, and said Friday that it has renewed its commitment to the Arles festival for another five years.
The prize is accompanied by an endowment for acquiring works of the winner for the festival’s collection. The previous recipients were Babette Mangolte, Liz Johnson Artur, Sabine Weiss and Susan Meiselas.
Kering will also support an exhibition of photographs taken by late director Agnès Varda in 1954 before and during the shooting of the film “La Pointe Courte.” A key figure in the French New Wave with films like “Cléo From 5 to 7,” Varda was one of the first participants in the Women in Motion program of film talks. — JOELLE DIDERICH
VIVA VALLI: Giambattista Valli is the latest luxury name to land at Harrods, with a pop-up shop on the first floor that’s set to run until May 28. It offers a selection of the designer’s resort 2023 collection, along with Valli’s pink Paglia di Vienna capsule, which is exclusive to the store.
The designer celebrated the opening with a dinner on Harrods’ balcony — which was covered due to the rainstorms plaguing London. Guests including Isabel and Ivy Getty; “Bridgerton” actress Charithra Chandran; Emma Weymouth, and Ikram Abdi sat at a mile-long table dotted with pomegranates and small lamps with matching red shades.
It was a homecoming for Valli, whose label sold at Harrods earlier in his career, and his pop-up shares a floor with other international designer brands including Prada, Celine and Saint Laurent.
“It’s back to Harrods, celebrating on the historic balcony with part of my U.K. Valli family. It’s been a real thrill,” said the designer, who was dressed in black — and his signature pearls — for the evening.
Those pearls adorned the table, too, with guests sipping Giambattista Valli vino from Feudi del Pisciotto. The Cerasuolo di Vittoria red is part of a collection made for top fashion labels, and Valli designed the bottle’s black label with a single string of graduated white pearls.
Dinner included burrata, sea bass and mushroom risotto followed by crème brûlée, crumble and sorbet. The dinner was the latest in a string of Valli events in the U.S. and Europe, which kicked off with a dinner at Caviar Kaspia on Melrose Place in Los Angeles last October, before the restaurant officially opened.
Harrods is one of Valli’s many projects and he has a busy few months ahead. He’s opening a new showroom near Place de l’Opéra in Paris, and will stage his summer 2024 couture show in early July. — SAMANTHA CONTI
WME’S NEW LEADERS: WME Fashion has named Jeni Rose and Kate Stirling senior vice presidents and co-heads of fashion representation, leading IMG Models and The Wall Group globally. Ali Bird has been named senior vice president, global talent strategy and incubation for WME Fashion.
As part of these changes, Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models, will become senior adviser to IMG Models, serving as key counsel across its global business.
“Ali, Jeni and Kate each bring over 25 years of global expertise to our business. I couldn’t be more confident in their leadership and vision for the future. They have a proven track record of driving meaningful opportunities for our talent and partners,” said Susan Plagemann, president of WME Fashion, who assumed the role last August.
“I look forward to working alongside them as we continue to create value and identify interesting opportunities across fashion, beauty, luxury, retail and well beyond,” she said.
In their new roles, Rose and Stirling will focus on identifying opportunities that strategically pair talent with meaningful brand partners and cultural moments that fuel connection and broaden their sphere of influence. Bird will expand efforts to create access for historically underrepresented populations in fashion, while discovering and developing the best talent from around the globe.
Brooke Wall has been named chairperson of The Wall Group, and in this new role will strategically consult with The Wall Group leadership team as the business continues to grow.
During his carer, Bart has discovered and developed many models’ careers as well as worked with leading celebrities. He joined IMG Models in 2009 as senior vice president and managing director and was named president in January 2014. He has helped uncover a generation of stars that became household names, including Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Carolyn Murphy, Shalom Harlow, Ashley Graham and Joan Smalls. During his time as president, he also encouraged diverse casting and inclusion and propelled the successful careers of models such as Alek Wek, Hari Nef, Precious Lee, Zach Mike, Quannah Chasinghorse and Paloma Elsesser.
In 2012, Bart was at the helm of the global relaunch of the IMG Models’ men’s board, and launched the Sydney office. In 2017, Bart oversaw the opening of the Los Angeles office, which today represents such Hollywood stars as Gal Gadot, Maddie Ziegler, Paris Jackson and Millie Bobby Brown.
WME Fashion’s portfolio includes Art + Commerce, IMG Models, IMG Fashion Events and Properties and The Wall Group, which spans talent representation, brand partnerships, event ownership and production, original content creation and consulting services. — LISA LOCKWOOD
ART FOR THE FLOOR: Two famed British brands, Liberty and The Rug Company, have teamed for the first time, on Monday debuting a collaborative collection of six rugs inspired by Liberty’s vast fabric archive.
“We knew we wanted to work with iconic heritage patterns as part of the collection — ‘Ianthe’ and ‘Hera’ seemed perfect designs to launch this exciting collaboration with,” Genevieve Bennett, Liberty’s head of design, told WWD of two of the Liberty x The Rug Company’s collaborative designs. The capsule aimed to pay homage to both brands’ British heritage by incorporating prints from Liberty’s archive, dating back to 1875, and combining both companies’ luxe materials with design elements à la the Art Nouveau period and the Aesthetic movement.
“’Ianthe’ was originally designed as a wallpaper border c.1902; it is one of Liberty’s most iconic Art Nouveau designs and has been used on a diverse variety of products in its history so far. We loved the idea of going back to its original form as a border design and really celebrating the elegance and sophistication of a framed rug layout,” Bennett said of the Ianthe Art Nouveau floral border design, which is available in two colorways — a dusty blue and green Ianthe Jade and icy hued Ianthe Pewter.
‘”Hera’ — originally called ‘Hera Feather’ — is a true design icon. First registered as a woven fabric in 1876, now a Liberty trademark, Hera has appeared on Liberty furnishing fabrics, dress fabrics and scarves for nearly 150 years,” Bennett added. For the capsule, the design was translated into wool and silk with a hand-carving technique.
Additional Liberty x The Rug Company styles include a Japanese-inspired Art Nouveau large-scale floral “Hana” design, available in two silk and wool colorways, and a “Milo” hand-knotted rug boasting an adapted 1970s illustrative flora and fauna print.
The Liberty x The Rug Company collection is available from Liberty, The Rug Company showroom and The Rug Company’s e-commerce, with prices starting at $200 per square foot. In addition to the “ready-to-go” styles, each design can be customized for both residential and contract spaces and is available as wall-to-wall carpet as well as stair runners and can be adapted in size, pile height, color and shape. — EMILY MERCER
CELEBRATING SIMONE: On Thursday night, Nordstrom and Simone Rocha hosted an intimate dinner in the West Village. The event, held at chef Angie Mar’s Les Trois Chevaux, celebrated the designer’s new installation at Nordstrom’s uptown flagship and their long-standing collaboration.
“When we launched Space, Simone Rocha was one of our pillar brands,” said Nordstrom’s Olivia Kim, noting she’s been a fan since Rocha’s very first collection out of Central Saint Martins. “It’s been so incredible to watch her success and watch her continue to grow,” she added. “There’s something so incredibly beautiful and dark and feminine, yet sad — it’s all of the spectrum of emotions I’ve found with her clothes.”
“I’ve been working with Olivia for a long time; she’s always really understood my identity as a designer,” said Rocha. “We started with Space — and now I have my own space. [Nordstrom] invited me to come do an installation and a takeover, and it’s been really fabulous and they gave me a lot of creative freedom.”
The London-based designer was sticking around New York for one more day to launch her menswear collection in her Mercer Street boutique.
Guests — many of whom wore Simone Rocha for the occasion — included Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast, Miles Greenberg, Precious Okoyomon, Blake Abbie, Laila Gohar and Antwaun Sargent.
Mar’s restaurant, which she opened as an homage to her family, was a fitting location for a dinner celebrating two fashion brands with strong familial foundations.
“Nordstrom was the first shopping experience that I ever really had with my mom,” said Mar, another avowed Simone Rocha fan, from the kitchen before dinner. “I have so many fond memories of going to the flagship in downtown Seattle, having an afternoon out with her. So for me, it’s home, it’s family — and you never really get over your first shopping experience, right?” — KRISTEN TAUER
SPECIAL TEE: As part of Kenneth Cole’s 40th anniversary celebration, the company is collaborating with New York based-artist Faust on a three-piece collection where 100 percent of net proceeds from the sale of the items will be donated to The Mental Health Coalition.
The Mental Health Coalition works to end the stigma surrounding mental health by changing the way people talk about and care for mental illness.
Faust, well known for his graffiti handstyle, first caught Cole’s attention when the brand’s Bond + Bowery store opened and Cole began to spend more time in the neighborhood. Cole became interested in Faust’s work, which explores scale and placement to challenge how graffiti is perceived.
Finding an artist who also uses words in an impactful way was an important aspect of the collaboration.
Kenneth Cole x Faust is a limited-edition Voicewear capsule collection including two T-shirts and one hoodie. According to the company, these pieces have been transformed “to be true pieces of art” and feature messages dedicated to bringing mental health to the forefront of the conversation.
The unisex collection features a hoodie with the phrase “Wear Your Voice,” on the front, a nod to Cole’s Voicewear and the fact that he has always used his platform to speak openly about important social issues, and “When ‘I’ is Replaced with ‘We’ Even Illness Becomes Wellness” on the back, which is the phrase that Faust featured on a phone booth during the height of COVID-19, which went viral.
One of the T-shirts bears the same phrase that is on the back of the hoodie. The second T-shirt features a famous line of Cole’s, “Stand for Something or Step Aside.” The Ts retail for $48 and the hoodies are $88. The collection will be available Monday exclusively on Kennethcole.com and at Temporary by Kenneth Cole on Bond + Bowery in New York City. — L.L.
SHOWING SUPPORT: On Friday, luxury platform Olivela launched an exclusive capsule collection featuring designers LaQuan Smith, Mark Cross, Anabela Chan, Jonathan Simkhai, Kinraden, Rixo, Andrea Iyamah, Mercedes Castillo and Studio Amelia to raise funds for girls’ education as part of its “Stand With Her” campaign.
There are 37 one-of-a-kind pieces in the collection (the designers created anywhere from two to seven pieces), and prices range from $215 to $3,640.
Twenty percent of proceeds from all orders on Olivela.com will support CARE, which helps defeat poverty, save lives and achieve social justice. Four dollars sends a girl to school for one day.
The first “Stand With Her” collection launched on Giving Tuesday in November 2022, with designers Jimmy Choo, Simone Rocha, Roksanda and The Vampire’s Wife. It raised funds for the Girls Opportunity Alliance, an Obama Foundation program.
Olivela’s retail concept drives 20 percent of net proceeds from all purchases, at no cost to customers or brands, to its nonprofit partners. Last October, Olivela made a $1 million donation to global humanitarian organization Save the Children.
“Equal rights have always been at the top of my agenda,” said Sarah Mullertz, designer and founder of Kinraden Fine Jewelry. “We have at Kinraden worked with equal rights for women and girls for many years and are very aware there is still a long way to go (even here in Scandinavia). So I am thrilled as the founder of a woman-driven and women-owned business to launch these exclusive styles with Olivela. It’s more important than ever to show the way for the next generations. Women’s rights and girls’ rights are human rights.”
To celebrate the launch of the “Stand With Her” campaign, Olivela commissioned three style makers — Brittany Xavier, Orion Carloto and Mandy Kelley — to photograph themselves in their favorite pieces.
“I have been so moved by the response from the Olivela community to the first ‘Stand With Her’ capsule collection, and I’m excited to bring on board some incredible new brands to further the efforts and impact our campaign is making. Just last month, I visited Jordan to see first hand the great work CARE is doing to offer girls an education and give them hope towards a better future. It’s this power to drive real change with every purchase that our customers come back to Olivela for. I couldn’t be more excited to see what we can achieve with this latest collection,” said Stacey Boyd, founder and chief executive officer of Olivela. — L.L.