• Potential Sale or Spin-off of Victoria’s Secret Looms – WWD

    Victoria’s Secret is weighing its options as it moves closer to a separation from Bath & Body Works. 

    Parent company L Brands said earlier this year that it would separate the two brands either by taking the struggling lingerie brand private or selling it helping unlock value in the more lucrative soap and sanitizer business. The retailer confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to make a final decision in the next six months, but it was still unclear about its path forward.

    “We’re pursuing a dual-path approach to the separation of Victoria’s Secret,” Stuart Burgdoerfer, executive vice president and chief financial officer of L Brands, told analysts on Thursday morning’s conference call. “Dual-path meaning, looking at a spin option where Victoria’s would become its own public company and separately, a sale option where we would sell it to a third party. A sales scenario would very likely have a significant tax cost to it. Whereas a spin-off done in the appropriate way, which would certainly be our intent, would be a tax-free transaction.

    “It’s one of many considerations, but obviously the tax leakage could be significant in a sales scenario,” Burgdoerfer continued. “And that with a range of other factors will be considered by the board. As we work through this process we will get the right advice from legal and banking counsel and so on. But the spin option is a tax-free option and we believe it can be accomplished in that way. And that would be one of the advantages of a spin option.”

    Burgdoerfer added that L Brands was able to accumulate roughly $3.9 billion in cash in 2020. It also hired outside consultants, including Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, for advice on its next move. 

    “We’re thinking about reducing debts; we’re thinking about buying stock,” Burgdoerfer said. “We do believe in the opportunity to drive appreciation in the stock, including through a rewriting of Bath & Body Works. And we’re also thinking about resuming a dividend. But these are all things that we’re just thinking about. No decisions have been made. It’s a big subject, but the good news is we’re in a good place.”

    That includes improving top and bottom-line sales and profits in the most recent quarter, thanks to a better-than-expected fourth quarter holiday shopping season and growth in the digital channel across all brands, as well as an operating income rate and EBIT range between 10 percent and 15 percent. 

    The Victoria’s Secret business which includes the Lingerie, Beauty and Pink divisions showed noticeable signs of recovery, including improved comparable sales for the quarter, year-over-year, and a 75 percent increase in dollars spent per footstep while in stores. The innerwear brand gained market share in the U.S. women’s intimates apparel space. (Up 3 percent to 19 percent, as of December 2020, according to market research firm the NPD Group.) 

    Victoria's Secret swimwear

    Victoria’s Secret recently reintroduced swimwear to select stores after a three-year vacation from the category. 
    Courtesy Photo

    Martin Waters, Victoria’s Secret new chief executive officer, said the lingerie brand was able to accomplish this by updating its assortment, focusing on price points and leaning into digital.

    “I couldn’t be more delighted to be leading the work to refresh the brand positioning to make it more relevant, to make it more inclusive, to make it more consistent with the attitude and lifestyle of the modern woman,” Waters said on the call. “And so we’ve listened to her and we’ve carefully decided to make some changes. And that change is summarized by her asking us to move away from telling her what we think is sexy and what we think she should wear and how we think she should look, to being there to help her craft the story that she wants to tell.

    “So you will see significant change in the way that the brand is presented,” he continued. “And rather than expecting a big reveal or a big relaunch of the brand, the change in the positioning that I’ve just described will show up in everything that we do on a day-to-day basis. And that means whether it be the imagery when you turn on the screen on our website, on your phone, through the email that you get every day, in our social media, in the magalog that arrives for the swim[wear] on Monday every single interaction that we have with the consumer, either polishes or tarnishes the brand and we are determined that we will have a polish mentality in everything that we do from here onward.

    “And we know that she’s rooting for us,” Waters said. “The engagement that we saw in the fourth quarter was up significantly to previous years, both in social channels and obviously, in digital commerce generally. We’re winning her back by celebrating her and inspiring her and supporting her to show up, however, she wants to show up.”

    The traction Victoria’s Secret has gained in the last year means if L Brands did decide to sell the lingerie brand, it would come with a “substantially greater” price tag than the $525 million sale price from last year’s deal with private equity firm Sycamore Partners, Burgdoerfer said. (The sale was axed amid the pandemic.) 

    “I think we all appreciate that based on the performance of the business,” Burgdoerfer said. 

    Investors have recognized the value too. Shares of L Brands are up about 128.5 percent, year-over-year. 

    “As [Bath & Body Works] continues to generate industry-leading comp performance, VS’ progress is highly notable as well (significant profitability improvement in the fourth quarter, reaching margin levels not seen in many years), with management commenting that the brand has notable opportunity in [first half 2021] for continued improvement (with longer-term margin goals of 10 [percent] to 15 percent), leading us to believe that a VS sale price could be multiples of what it was a year ago,” Ike Boruchow, senior retail analyst at Wells Fargo, wrote in a note. “[Bath & Body Works] continues to prove that they deserve a real multiple as a stand-alone (which management remains committed to pursuing), while VS is proving that they are on a path to sustainable profitability.”

    His firm rated L Brands stock “overweight” and set a price target of $75. 

    Simeon Siegel, managing director and senior retail analyst at BMO Capital Markets, added in a separate note, “It is hard to imagine that less than a year ago, the world was concerned about [L Brands’] liquidity and sought to discard the VS ‘dead weight’ at all costs. Now, [L Brands] leaves [the full 2020 year] with a drastically healthier income statement and balance sheet — we believe the improvement has only just begun. [L Brands] remains our top pick. Buy the shares.”

  • Andrea Pompilio RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    Andrea Pompilio’s early years in New York inspired his fall collection: a statement about diversity and a total freedom of expression.

    The look: The coed collection had a genderless appeal in tune with the times, with tailored looks that were anything but formal, and a strong outerwear quotient.

    Quote of note: “It’s a déjà vu of my past life in New York in the early ‘90s, when I was working at Calvin Klein, a very important moment for me creatively speaking, but there is no nostalgia. It’s not about a desire to return to clubbing, but rather it’s about the total freedom we felt in those moments, divesting of our daily responsibilities. I fight for freedom and diversity and this is why I called the collection ‘All Inclusive’ – and not in the sense of a free drink. I remember those moments where a melting pot of individuals would meet and be all equal, with no difference in social or financial status.”

    Standout pieces: The outerwear was on point as Pompilio revisited the hound’s tooth pattern on a yellow background in coats and jackets with oversize, contrasting black pockets in a technical material. Knitwear collars added newness to double cashmere coats and a military theme ran through a number of heavy felt coats and suits with golden buttons. Rugby polo shirts were decorated with embroideries on the back. Silk slips and petticoats peeked under knits and loose and relaxed pinstriped suits.

    Takeaway: The diverse casting reflected Pompilio’s inclusive vision and the video, staged at night in a club and directed by his longtime friend Giulia Achenza, captured the designer’s free-spirited creativity.

  • Adidas Launches Formotion, an Inclusive Line for All Sizes, Shapes – WWD

    Adidas is turning its attention to women.

    The German sporting goods giant has created a new collection, Formotion, inspired by shapewear that features graded zonal compression to sculpt and support a women’s distinct shape. The collection is targeted to active women of all shapes and sizes seeking comfortable performance wear for everything from Pilates to HIIT gym workouts.

    The line will be sold beginning March 4 on the Adidas e-commerce site as well as other select retailers. It will include high-rise tights, cropped T-shirts, sports bras, tights and layering pieces and will retail for $48.50 and up.

    The launch of Formotion will be supported by a new spring campaign, “Watch Us Move,” that features inspiring female athletes from around the world, including body positive yogi Jessamyn Stanley; world champion Paralympic silver medalist cyclist and motivational speaker Denise Schindler; professional soccer player Alisha Lehmann; dancer Minh-Thu Nguyen, and mental health advocate Simone Powderly. In addition, Adidas is launching a new fitness series on YouTube offering free classes ranging from yoga and core workouts to maternity-safe exercises.

    In a virtual reveal on Wednesday, Josefine Aberg, vice president of design, said the launch of Formotion marks the culmination of “a two-year journey speaking to women around the world about what’s important to them and what makes them want to stay in sport.”

    Adidas Formotion

    Formotion was inspired by shapewear and has no seams. 

    She said the results found that comfort, fit and appearance were the most important features to the female athlete. “When you’re wearing something you feel good in, you feel confident,” she said. “Confidence to embrace movement has a profoundly positive impact on wellbeing. We want to make women feel secure and strong yet comfortable — liberated, rather than restricted, so we created a collection designed to give them confidence with every move, from deadlifting to dance. We do this to help her use sport to feel supported and confident, every day.”

    Aberg said Adidas used precise body mapping and motion research on a wide range of body types to create Formotion. So there are compression zones of varying intensities around the waist and hips while the legs are looser to let muscles expand when moving, she explained. The line also features Aeroready, a moisture-wicking fabric to keep the wearer dry and comfortable.

    Although Adidas does offer other compression apparel, Aberg said those garments are warp knits that feature allover compression rather than targeted zones. Additionally, like shapewear, Formotion has no seams to chafe the user or distract from the sport they’re participating in.

    The line is offered in a variety of sizes, ranging from XXXS to 4X.

    Yogi Jessamine Stanley for Adidas Formotion.

    Yogi Jessamine Stanley is featured in Formotion’s campaign. 

    In addition, the line fits into Adidas’s sustainability efforts by using Primegreen, a material with a minimum of 40 percent recycled content that was developed as part of the company’s goal to end plastic waste.

    Adidas is not alone in its quest to lure women to sports — and their brand. Nike and Under Armour have both been working to enhance their reach with females for the past several years, and on Wednesday when Puma released its year-end results, it too said it would be putting more focus on the women’s market. Historically, large sports brands have appealed more to men, allowing female-centric companies such as Lululemon to steal market share. But Adidas has been targeting women for the last five years and recently added Beyoncé and her Ivy Park collection into the fold to help in their mission to attract more women.

    Although Adidas declined to say how big a business women’s represents for the brand, Tricia Shumavon, vice president of product, global training, said: “It’s a brand priority and will continue to be a focus for us. It doesn’t stop here.”

    In fact, Adidas last summer introduced its first maternity collection, and there’s more to come. Within the next 12 months, Shumavon said, Adidas will launch Stay and Play, a collection targeted to young women to wear during their periods so they can feel “protected and confident and not worry about leakage,” she said, as well as modesty swimwear for the community that is seeking more coverage for swimming. Footwear that is more ergonomic for the female shape is also in the works.

    “The brand has always had product for women, but it’s time to talk about it,” Shumavon said. “It’s an important moment for women in the world and we have stories we can tell. We want to make people feel welcome and know that there is a place for them.”

    The Watch Us Move campaign, which Shumavon said will continue through 2022 and 2023, is intended to be both motivational and inclusive. “We want to make sure we’re communicating that Adidas is here for all women,” she said. “Watch Us Move is our long-term commitment to better serve the breadth of our female audience. And inclusivity is at the forefront of that effort.”

    Aberg added: “Women’s has been part of Adidas for a long time, but we’re dialing up the conversation with her, by her and for her.”

  • Men’s Resort Wear Line Commas Wins Australia’s National Designer Award – WWD

    SYDNEY — Sydney-based men’s resort wear line Commas has won the 2021 National Designer Award, one of Australia’s leading emerging designer trophies.

    Announced Thursday morning Melbourne time at the pre-launch of the Melbourne Fashion Festival, Commas founder and creative director Richard Jarman and his wife and business partner Emma Jarman have won a prize pool that includes 10,000 Australian dollars or $7,909 at current exchange in cash, marketing support and a mentorship program with event partner David Jones. Commas also won the award’s Honorable Mention for Sustainability.

    Jarman, a former property valuer who has no formal fashion training, launched Commas in 2016 as a line of swimming shorts made from recycled polyester and has since expanded into a full men’s resort wear offering. With sustainability a key focus of the company since Day One, the ready-to-wear features organic cottons and deadstock fabrics, all freight is now carbon neutral, packaging is either biodegradable or recyclable and the brand also offers a recycling and five-year warranty program for its swimwear.

    Emma and Richard Jarman at the National Designer Award presentation at Long Acre, Melbourne, February 25, 2021. 
    Lucas Dawson

    In June 2017 Commas was one of eight emerging Australian men’s wear labels selected for the “Guest Nation Australia” showcase at Pitti Uomo and for the past two seasons the brand’s digital presentations have been included on Milan Fashion Week’s official men’s wear schedules.

    The brand sells through its own e-commerce site, plus nine international stockists in six markets which include matchesfashion.com, MyTheresa, Canada’s Ssence and Bloomingdales and Harvey Nichols in Dubai.

    A look from the spring 2021 collection of Australian men’s resort wear label Commas. 

    The judging panel included Melbourne Fashion Festival chief executive officer Graeme Lewsey, Vogue Australia creative director Jillian Davison, David Jones’ heads of women’s wear and men’s wear, Bridget Veals and Chris Wilson, and Scanlan Theodore cofounder Gary Theodore.

    “The National Designer Award is a career-defining opportunity that has helped lead some of Australia’s top designers to incredible success. It’s truly an honor to meet these talented designers so early on in their development” said Lewsey.

    Now in its 25th year, the retail-focussed festival will run from March 11 to 20 at venues across Melbourne. The event, which has in years past attracted crowds of up to 400,000, was forced to shutter early last year due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

    This year the festival has slightly abbreviated its regular live, ticketed runway program by substituting three of its eight core runway shows with digital presentations that were shot by Australian photographer Sonny Vandevelde at three locations in and around Melbourne: the futuristic Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, the Urbnsurf surf park and the Yarra Valley’s Redwood Forest.

  • Del Core Debuts Fall 2021 Collection at Milan Fashion Week – WWD

    A new star is born? The much anticipated debut runway show of Daniel Del Core didn’t leave guests disappointed. The designer, who at Gucci worked with Alessandro Michele on the creation of dramatic, intricate looks for A-list celebrities, including Lana Del Ray and Björk, showcased a multifaceted, well-executed collection. While it opened with some serious sartorial rigor, enriched with a sensual touch, the show offered a crescendo of fashion excitement, culminating in extravagant couture dresses, a rarity at Milan Fashion Week.

    The look: As Del Core learned from his latest boss, Michele, portraying personalities rather than defining a specific look is a winning formula in today’s world. The designer channeled a certain empowering 1990s minimalism with the opening tailoring looks and apron minidresses closed with bows on the sides. The eclectic collection moved toward eccentricity with gowns cut in a variety of silhouettes and embellished with precious decorations.

    Quote of note: “I really have to thank Alessandro Michele for helping me open my mind and [who] stimulated my creative vision, letting me free to have fun and experiment,” Del Core said. The designer also explained that “this collection is deeply influenced by not only my professional background, but also by my personal passions, including nature that is a huge source of inspiration for me.”

    Standout pieces: Sartorial suits worn with chic lace bras; power coats cut in sculptural silhouettes; jacquard spaghetti dresses worn with coordinated maxi duster coats; kimono-inspired maxi frocks with fringes, as well as an array of couture designs, showing crystals, floral appliqués and organic-inspired draping.

    Takeaway: At only 32, Del Core presented an imaginative, risky, sometimes provocative collection that telegraphed a message of positivity for the future of Italian fashion.

  • H&M Drops Unisex Capsule with Pronounce for China – WWD

    LONDON – Days after releasing a strong fall collection exploring China’s traditional pottery both on the physical and philosophical levels, Chinese fashion label Pronounce, designed by Yushan Li and Jun Zhou, has announced a unisex collaboration with fast-fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz SA for China.

    Speaking exclusively to WWD, Li said the collaboration is based on H&M’s Blank Staples line, which was first introduced in August 2020.

    “We treated the collection as a blank canvas. Without changing the shape of the garments, we focused on the detail, material and trimming. It was a similar approach to when I designed for Yeezy,” said Li.

    Dropping on April 8 across the retailer’s online store, WeChat mini-program, application, Tmall flagship, and selected stores in China, the colorful and easy-to-wear capsule is inspired by the Crescent Lake at Dunhuang, an oasis in China’s Gobi desert and a key stop at the historical Silk Road. The location is famous for its association with Buddhism, as it is home to the Thousand Buddha Grottoes. Millions flock to the lake and grottoes for spiritual enlightenment every year.

    “We developed this collection during the pandemic. The idea of a lake in an oasis to us symbolizes a sense of hope in a difficult time,” Li said. “We imagined a hike in front of the Crescent Lake, and we explored the subtle layers of everyday wear and combined them with unique craftsmanship to provide more possibility for the wearers.

    “We hope that this collection will help more consumers to understand the spirit of Pronounce’s solutions to life and the power of original Chinese design,” he added.

    Jun Zhou and Yushan Li, founders of Pronounce

    Jun Zhou and Yushan Li, founders of Pronounce 
    Courtesy/ Li Cha

    Faced with stiff competition from local players, as many of its peers were forced to exit the Chinese market, H&M Group has stayed resilient. The Swedish high street giant regularly taps local stars to appear in its campaigns. It has also worked on capsules with local fashion talents like Ximon Lee and Angel Chen to attract fashion-loving consumers back to its stores.

    The group is also opening its first physical stores for Arket and & Other Stories in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively, this fall to meet the market’s rising demand for premium quality products.

    Founded in 2016 with offices in Milan and Shanghai, Pronounce has become a prominent men’s wear brand in China with good international exposure. The brand is a regular on London Fashion Week’s official calendar, and it has collaborated with Mini Cooper, Gap, Li-Ning, Diesel and Chinese men’s wear powerhouse Baoxiniao on well-received fashion capsules.

  • Six Emerging Designers at Milan Fashion Week – WWD

    With Milan Fashion Week kicking off today, WWD met some of the promising names on the city’s fashion scene. While most of them cut their teeth at prestigious houses, including Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Givenchy, they’re now all ready to make their own mark on the global fashion map.

    DEL CORE 

    Daniel Del Core

    Daniel Del Core 
    Courtesy of Del Core

    Probably the most anticipated debut of Milan Fashion Week, Daniel Del Core, former special projects and VIP designer at Gucci, will unveil the first collection for his namesake brand with a physical show today at Cittadella degli Archivi del Comune di Milano, a location in the northern area of the city where all the municipality’s official documents are stored.

    Del Core established his women’s wear brand, with support from an anonymous private investor, in December 2019. Raised in a small village in Germany’s Black Forest, the designer moved to Italy as a teenager for a cultural exchange and then settled in the country, where he studied fashion and graphic design.

    Prior to joining Gucci in Rome, where he collaborated with creative director Alessandro Michele on the creation of a series of spectacular looks donned by stars including Björk and Lana Del Rey, Del Core worked for a range of other houses, including Dolce & Gabbana and Versace in Milan, and Zuhair Murad between Paris and Beirut.

    As he revealed during an exclusive interview with WWD last December, the designer aims to present two collections a year, transcending the idea of seasonality and including a mix of ready-to-wear and couture looks, identified by different labels.

    During an interview a few days ahead of his debut show, Del Core said “the starting point for my first collection was nature and the organic realm. My inspiration came from the morphing and the mutations that take place in the plant kingdom.”

    A look from Del Core Fall 2021 collection

    A look from Del Core fall 2021 collection. 
    Courtesy of Del Core

    According to the designer, a study of different personalities will be central. “I like the idea of glamour and conceiving each dress for a specific personality. Every woman leads her own life,” he said.

    Silhouette wise, the designer said he kept that sleek and sculptural, and that it will be counterbalanced by the richness of fabrics and decorations. “Much research and thought went into the materials, including our jacquard and fil coupé. And I also put emphasis on the embroideries, applications, intarsia and 3D techniques.”

    Tailoring will stand out with sharp and graphic suits worn over lace underwear garments, as well as jumpsuits, including one crafted from a fabric showing a corrosion print.

    “Working on eveningwear gave way to multiple interpretations of nature’s hidden beauty,” added the designer. “From an allover embroidered dress to a gown designed in different weights of jacquard to create both sculptural and fluid effects around the body.”

    The collection will be completed by a range of accessories, such as shoes, including a pair of feathered sandals, bags, and jewelry pieces, such as gold chokers. — Alessandra Turra

    CHB

    CHB's designer Christian Boaro.

    CHB’s designer Christian Boaro. 
    Courtesy of CHB.

    For anyone familiar with the Milan creative scene, Christian Boaro is not a new name.

    With previous experience in-house at Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, MSGM and Gianfranco Ferrè, fashion remains Boaro’s first love, but he’s also explored different areas, training his camera on a series of Polaroids for an exhibition called “The Naked Truth” in which he explored today’s youth movement: Vocal, creative, gender-bending.

    A multifaceted talent, throughout his 15-year career Boaro has dreamed of establishing his namesake brand but found one reason or another to delay it, until late last year when he launched his CHB fashion brand imbued with sensual femininity and a glamorous take on contemporary fashion.

    “I’ve worked for different established fashion brands and I was always dedicated and absorbed but at a certain point I felt the need to have something of my own. After my mum passed away, I suddenly realized how uncertain and volatile life is and did not want to waste a minute more,” Boaro explained — his eyes moist — during an interview at his home-turned-atelier in central Milan.

    After his debut collection last October unveiled via Instagram images and a look book release, he is set to present his first full lineup on Feb. 28 during Milan Fashion Week.

    “This collection builds on the first one launched last year and which served as a manifesto for everything the brand is about: seasonless, genderless fashion,” the designer said. “They are both concepts that are dear to me and really ingrained in my professional and personal story. They are less of a trend and more values that I strongly believe in.”

    Blending references that nod to traditional tropes of men’s wear and old-school feminine glamour, he designed gender-bending pieces that more often than not can be worn by women and men. “I think that since the metrosexual aesthetics came to the fore [in the ‘90s] men have started to fine-tune their taste and women have been embracing a mannish style,” he noted.

    The collection is filled with desirable pieces, from lace-trimmed slipdresses to lace tank tops — one featuring attached gloves; black tuxedos; a wet-look vinyl trench, and a silk duchesse duster coat in butter yellow lined with cotton, an example of the high and low approach the designer is charting.

    A look from the CHB RTW fall 2021 collection.

    A look from the CHB fall 2021 collection. 
    Courtesy of CHB.

    Boaro said the collection is rooted in minimalism but without looking stiff or out of date. “I don’t think a designer can really innovate anymore, and you would probably find references to the history of fashion in my collection, however you can always offer something new by presenting the clothes in a contemporary way,” he explained.

    To wit, he cast a circle of close friends to appear in his look book images, including model Marie Sophie Wilson, a Peter Lindbergh favorite. “I don’t want to build a tribe of fans and followers, but rather a community that shares my vision,” he said.

    Currently self-financed, Boaro is looking for a distribution partner and working on setting up his own e-commerce. — Martino Carrera

    FLAPPER

    Flapper's Geneviève Xhaët.

    Flapper’s Geneviève Xhaët. 
    Courtesy of Flapper.

    Geneviève Xhaët has been charming her customers with her surrealist take on headgear since 2013, finding inspiration in everything from artist Dora Mar to the mountains and ‘20s glamour. Now she’s ready to expand her brand’s offering.

    Whereas many creatives were feeling pressured by confinement, Xhaët decamped to Sicily and found time to let her creativity express itself. For her Flapper brand’s fall 2021 collection she is introducing a knitwear capsule collection that is radical in its minimalist approach.

    After years working alongside knitwear guru Pierangelo D’Agostin and for Malo and Dhrumor, Xhaët wanted to leave her own mark on the category and build on the interest her headwear has generated.

    “My goal was to provide women with a Flapper uniform, complementing hats with a ready-to-wear capsule,” Xhaët said. “It is really in tune with my hat collection and because of its minimalist approach it can also be easily thrown into the mix of a boutique’s offering,” she noted.

    Inspired by the uniforms of ‘70s professional skiers (the designer herself had a gig as a professional skier), the knitted pieces span from bras to floor-length, body-hugging dresses, tactile sweaters and soft pants, reminiscent of retro-tinged ski suits but way more comfortable. Adding her characteristic off-kilter touch, Xhaët translated the geometric details on the ski suits worn by the likes of Maria Rosa “Ninna” Quario, Anne Marie Pröll and Rosi Mittermaier into intarsia decorations on her fall pieces.

    A look from the Flapper fall 2021 knitwear capsule collection.

    A look from the Flapper fall 2021 knitwear capsule collection. 
    Courtesy of Flapper.

    Xhaët largely employed cashmere and a ladder proof blend of polyurethane and elastane, nodding to the sportswear, high-performance trend in fashion. “Both yarns captured my attention because they are long-lasting and can stand the test of time, and there’s also a sustainable bent to them,” the designer explained, adding that the capsule is intended to be worn throughout the year. For her headwear creations she has already used a range of eco-friendly materials, including Econyl’s regenerated nylon.

    While the designer is not planning to make a full foray into clothing, she said retailers have given the thumbs up to her knitwear offering, setting the foundation for a further expansion of the category, which retails between 200 euros for bras and 700 euros for cashmere dresses. — M.C.

    ALESSANDRO VIGILANTE

    Alessandro Vigilante.

    Alessandro Vigilante. 
    Courtesy of Alessandro Vigilante

    For Alessandro Vigilante, presenting his namesake brand as part of the Milan Fashion Week official schedule is “a surprise, a gift and an opportunity” as he described the occasion as a “channel through which I can communicate my personal stylistic vision.”

    He first gave it a try in 2007 when, after graduating in fashion design at IED Moda Lab in Milan, he won the My Own Show contest promoted by the school and the late Vogue Italia’s editor in chief Franca Sozzani, which gave him access and visibility during the fashion event.

    But Vigilante opted to return to the starting blocks and cut his teeth at different fashion houses, piling up experiences and different skills over time. After spending seven years at Dolce & Gabbana, particularly overseeing eveningwear and embroideries, he moved to Gucci to manage special projects. There, he worked under Alessandro Michele, a designer “I admire a lot not only for his powerful and personal creative vision but also for his ability in catalyzing everybody’s attention and curiosity on the brand in such a short time, completely revolutionizing the label,” said Vigilante.

    After working with Lorenzo Serafini on Philosophy from 2015 to 2019, Vigilante eventually decided to focus on developing his brand, through which he investigates the duality between femininity and masculinity via a minimal aesthetic.

    In particular, his exploration of the human body and its movements is rooted in his long-time fascination for modern dance, a discipline he practiced in the past and that became a constant source of inspiration during his career as a designer.

    For fall 2021, he looked at Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham. Of the former, he praised the inclusive approach and the exaltation of humanity and imperfection in her work, while he revisited her personal style filling the collection with oversize tailoring.

    Cunningham’s innovative cross-pollination of dance and technology and his penchant for technical perfection inspired Vigilante’s rigorous shapes and the contrasts in fabrics, as traditional wool, jersey and silk georgette are combined with neoprene and vegan latex in the range. In particular, sartorial jackets and coats, which often reveal sensual cut-outs on the back, are styled with wide pants, as well as high-wasted leggings and bike shorts. Feminine frocks with deep slits and leotards with seducing transparencies and geometric cuts contribute to the body-hugging silhouettes that counterbalance the generous proportions of tailored pieces.

    A look from the Alessandro Vigilante fall 2021 collection.

    A look from the Alessandro Vigilante fall 2021 collection. 
    Courtesy of Alessandro Vigilante

    The enhancement of the human body is also the main theme of the video the brand produced to introduce the collection. Directed by Attilio Cusani, the short movie has a voyeuristic approach in portraying a woman as she observes and studies her body while alone in her apartment.

    “I would like to make women feel self-confident both when they wear my masculine suits and ultra-feminine dresses,” said Vigilante, whose ultimate goal is to “create an authentic and personal aesthetic, [one that is] sensitive and receptive of the world we live in, and to convey it in a way that is precise, recognizable, unique and courageous.” — Sandra Salibian

    IINDACO

    Iindaco's co-founders Domitilla Rapisardi and Pamela Costantini.

    Iindaco’s cofounders Domitilla Rapisardi and Pamela Costantini. 
    Courtesy of Iindaco

    Take two women, blend their shared passion for shoes with their commitment to sustainability, add a generous amount of Italian craftsmanship and spice everything up with symbolism: luxury footwear label Iindaco will be served.

    Named after the indigo color that marks the transition from day to night — a nod to the brand’s mission to dress women throughout the day — Iindaco is the venture of friends Pamela Costantini and Domitilla Rapisardi, who met in 2014 when both worked at Roberto Cavalli.

    After Costantini’s stint at Givenchy in Paris and Rapisardi’s experience in a consulting firm working for brands including Emilio Pucci and Max Mara, as well as at Tod’s, in 2018 the two women ended one of their usual chats over the phone with the idea of establishing their own brand as an answer to a stalling industry in terms of environmental sustainability.

    “For Iindaco, new luxury is responsibility,” said Costantini. “This is why Iindaco is committed to creating 360-degree sustainable collections: from the design to the realization, from the materials to the distribution.”

    In particular, the brand, which made its official debut last year, sources excess fabrics and leather leftovers throughout Italy’s warehouses and stockists, diverting and reusing scrap materials in their creative process while reducing waste. Recycled and recyclable ABS heels, regenerated leather insoles, and certified linings in biodegradable leather are also deployed in the manufacturing of the shoes, while the founders are additionally eyeing scraps from fish markets, such as eel and salmon skins, as the next ground for experimentation.

    In terms of aesthetic, Costantini and Rapisardi are influenced by the ’90s in their work and find “beauty and femininity in the seduction of the girl next door, a clean face, and naturalness.” This approach informs the essential silhouettes and no-fuss attitude of their offering, in which flat and midi-heeled styles play a big role.

    Inspired by rationalist architecture, the fall 2021 collection comprises just one, four-inch heeled pump named Pegaso and the three-inch heeled Circe d’Orsay sling-back shoe, both featuring squared toes. The range includes the Persephone sandal and Ade mule with midi heels covered in crystals; the masculine Adone loafer embellished with the brand’s logo clamp on the front, and the Argo lace-up boot — a standout style, especially when crafted from Iindaco’s signature moiré silk and rendered in colors like mustard, red or emerald green, in addition to black.

    Iindaco's Argo lace-up boot.

    Iindaco’s Argo lace-up boot. 
    Courtesy of Iindaco

    All styles are also available in calfskin, often studded with rhinestones, while other details include splits on heels and soles winking to the two “Ls” in the brand’s name. The double use of the vowel nods to the two founders and forms the number 11, which recalls the month of November when they were both born.

    Debuting on Milan Fashion Week’s official schedule, Iindaco will present the fall collection through a virtual showroom filled with photos, videos and details on the assortment intended to approach buyers in “a clean and direct way.”

    Retailing at prices ranging from 390 euros to 690 euros, the brand is available at Rinascente in Milan, LuisaViaRoma in Florence and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai and Kuwait, as well as at its own online store.

    “In the future we would like to expand our product range and have the opportunity to open the first physical stores [continuing] to collaborate with retailers through exclusive capsule collections,” concluded Rapisardi. — S.S.

    YALI

    Pia Zanardi.

    Pia Zanardi 
    Courtesy of Yali

    Longevity is something that Pia Zanardi cares very much about. Probably because she loves to wear her grandfather’s shirts and her grandmother’s dresses.

    Born and raised in Italy, Zanardi lived for two years in China, where she studied Mandarin, and during that period she fell in love with the country’s craftsmanship and textile heritage. Aiming to combine Chinese garment culture with a color and aesthetic sensibility rooted in her Italian origins, when after college she moved to New York, she decided to establish her own brand, Yali.

    Zanardi started her entrepreneurial adventure in a space in SoHo, where she conceived a jacket, available in a short and long version, that immediately echoes the Chinese tradition but infused with a modern appeal.

    “I basically launched the brand because I was getting very good feedback from the people around me, who started asking me to make one of the jackets I was wearing,” Zanardi explained. “I basically started with door-to-door selling and that’s how the Yali community was established and grew.”

    Employing at the beginning exclusively high-end Chinese textiles, including raw silk from Suzhou and Nankeen linen, Zanardi has slowly and steadily enlarged the collection, which now includes also Made In Italy styles, such as refined silk pajama sets. “I call them the ‘Everyday Tuxedo’ because you can wear it to go to work and you don’t need to change to meet friends for drinks and then for dinner,” explained Zanardi.

    Along with silk wrap dresses, Yali’s fall 2021 collection also offers a range of cotton quilted jackets and pants, which are filled with a silk padding. “I didn’t want to use goose feathers, so I opted for silk, which has incredible natural thermo-regulatory properties,” said the designer, who also introduced cute little bags.

    A piece from Yali Fall 2021 collection

    A piece from Yali fall 2021 collection. 
    A piece from Yali Fall 2021 collection

    Colors and textures play a key role in the development of the collection. “When I was a child I suffered from dyslexia and they treated me with textile and color therapy,” Zanardi said “That really helped me a lot and especially showed me the importance that colors have in the development of memories.”

    For fall, Zanardi mainly focused on a palette of colors inspired by the nature surrounding her family’s countryside house close to Parma, in the Emilia-Romagna region. Warm tones of brown are juxtaposed with emerald and pine green, rust, terra-cotta, as well as baby pink and fuchsia.

    Yali collections, retailing from 500 euros to 900 euros, are available at the brand’s online store, as well as at a select network of stores located across Europe and the U.S., including LuisaViaRoma in Florence, Tea Rose in Milan, as well as Just One Eye in Los Angeles, and Aerin in the Hamptons, to cite a few. — A.T.

    Read more on WWD:

    Milan Fashion Week Official Schedule Released

    The Men Behind the Camera: 3 Rising Film Directors at Milan Fashion Week

  • How to Watch, Nominees List, What to Know – WWD

    The 2021 awards season is kicking off later this month with the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards.

    Like other awards shows that have taken place amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Golden Globes will be a hybrid in-person and remote ceremony. Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be stationed at New York City’s Rainbow Room and the Beverly Hilton Hotel, respectively, with nominees appearing virtually.

    From the list of nominees and presenters to the controversies surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, here is everything you need to know about the 2021 Golden Globes.

    When are the 2021 Golden Globes?

    The 78th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. EST. The show will be broadcast live by NBC.

    The awards show is typically held in January, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.

    Who is hosting the 2021 Golden Globes?

    Actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be returning to host the Golden Globes for the fourth time. The comedy duo previously hosted the awards ceremony for three years in a row starting in 2013.

    Where will the 2021 Golden Globes be held?  

    Because of the pandemic, the Golden Globes will be a bicoastal show with Poehler based at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles — where the ceremony has traditionally been held — and Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

    Who is nominated for the 2021 Golden Globes? 

    2021 Golden Globes: How to Watch, What to Know

    Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin and Viola Davis are among the nominees for the 2021 Golden Globes. 
    AP

    Nominations for the 2021 Golden Globes were released on Feb. 3 with Netflix leading the pack with 42 nominations across TV and film. Two of its films were nominated for best motion picture drama: “Mank,” which received six total nominations, and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which received five total nominations.

    In the television category, Netflix’s “The Crown” received six nominations, including best television drama and two best actress in a drama series nominations for Olivia Colman and Emma Corrin, who play Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana, respectively.

    See the full list of 2021 Golden Globes nominations here.

    What are the controversies surrounding the nominations list and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association?

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is behind the awards show, received immediate backlash for its 2021 Golden Globes nominations list, which lacked heavily in diversity across its major categories. Most notably, the nominations list didn’t include several critically acclaimed Black-led films and TV shows in its top honors, such as “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “I May Destroy You.”

    The backlash came from viewers and industry insiders, including “Emily in Paris” writer Deborah Copaken, who wrote an op-ed for The Guardian after her show was nominated, explaining her outrage over “I May Destroy You” being snubbed by the HFPA.

    “My fury is not just about race. Or even about racial representation in art,” she wrote. “Yes, we need art that reflects all of our colors, not just some. But we also need to give awards to shows (and music and films and plays and musicals) that deserve them, no matter the color of the skin of their creators.

    The Los Angeles Times shed light on the HFPA’s glaring oversight with its nominations list in a Feb. 21 article that revealed there are no Black journalists among its 87 members.

    The publication also revealed that the organization has a history of shady finances, with board members allowed to receive lavish perks from movie studios and networks.

    For instance, the Times’ report reveals that over 30 HFPA members were flown out to France in 2019 to visit the set of “Emily in Paris” and were treated to a two-night stay at the Peninsula Paris Hotel, where rooms start at $1,400 a night. The Netflix show received two nominations for the upcoming Golden Globes.

    The report also reveals the organization has been paying its members increasingly large amounts that “some experts say could run afoul of Internal Revenue Service guidelines.” HFPA members received roughly $2 million in compensation in its fiscal year ending in June 2020, which was more than double the level from three years earlier.

    Which celebrities are presenting awards?

    The Golden Globes revealed its first list of presenters on Feb. 17, which includes several past winners and nominees. Celebrity presenters include Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, Joaquin Phoenix, Kristen Wiig, Renée Zellweger and Annie Mumolo.

    The HFPA said in January that its 2021 Golden Globes ambassadors will be Satchel and Jackson Lee, the children of director Spike Lee and producer Tonya Lewis Lee. This marks the first time in the show’s history that two siblings of color are taking on the role. The Lee siblings will help give out the awards and will raise awareness for the charities Callen-Lorde, which provides health care to the LGBTQ+ community, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which works to empower youth.

    Who is receiving honorary awards?

    The HFPA is awarding its Cecil B. DeMille award to Jane Fonda this year. The association’s third Carol Burnett Award, which recognizes accomplishments in television, will go to actor Norman Lear. 

    Will there be an in-person ceremony?

    Like other awards shows that have taken place during the pandemic, the 2021 Golden Globes will be a hybrid in-person and remote telecast.

    According to a report by Variety, Golden Globes producers have asked presenters to appear in person at the Rainbow Room or Beverly Hilton, following the practice seen at last year’s Emmy Awards. It is expected that nominees will appear virtually.

    Will there be a pre-show?

    “HFPA Presents: Globes Countdown Live” will air before the 2021 Golden Globes starting at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Golden Globes Twitter account. The 90-minute pre-show will be hosted by actress Sofia Carson and “Access Hollywood” reporter Zuri Hall, who will conduct celebrity interviews virtually. It is unclear if there will be any red carpet coverage.

    How can I watch the 2021 Golden Globes?

    Viewers can watch the 2021 Golden Globes live on NBC, on the NBC website or app.

    The awards show can also be streamed through services such as Hulu+, AT&T TV Now, Fubo TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV and Locast.

    Read more here:

    The Most Memorable Golden Globes Red Carpet Looks of All Time 

    The 2021 SAG Awards Postponed Due to Conflict With Grammys 

    Celebrities React to Their 2021 Golden Globes Nominations 

    WATCH: Getting Ready for the Golden Globes With Paris and Dylan Brosnan

  • Fashion East RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    The lineup for this season’s Fashion East showcase included Maximilian Davis, Nensi Dojaka, Goom, newcomers Jawara Alleyne and accessories label HRH. The emerging designer support platform also released a joyful behind-the-scenes video documenting their socially distancing shooting process.

    Having launched his brand during the pandemic last season, Davis said the fall 2021 collection is “a continuation of Black elegance and explores my grandmother’s emigration from Trinidad to England in the 1960s,” with a focus on psychedelic prints and unisex tailoring.

    Dojaka is inspired by an exhibition with the works of Hilma af Klint at London’s Serpentine gallery years ago. “Those beautiful super fine feminine lines running through the huge canvases were a trigger for the first few drapes I did on the mannequin,” she said. Highlights include tulle corsets paired with tailored trousers and one of the light, flared dresses with the double bra details, which is is the first dress the designer draped for the collection.

    South Korean designer Goom Heo’s label this season centers around artist Philip Jackson’s horror-themed sculptures. “His work is enormous and made out of bronze. To me, his sculptures felt really cold & sharp and I wanted to reflect that mood in the collection. Also, the graphics and contrast color combination or texture of fabric were inspired by the 1920’s movie ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,’ in terms of shade and shadows moving around the body,” Goom said. A key look from the lineup is a black full-length hooded wool coat and the monochrome mohair pieces.

    Raised in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Alleyne is a 2020 graduate of Central Saint Martins MA Fashion. She presented her collection via a video of the fictional journey of a captain on her ship “The Renegade” as they go on to save the “Sun City.” Characters include the crew, who wear repurposed leather trousers with draped top wrapped around waist and white top, and the council, whose approach is a lot more sleek and chic. “The video crescendos with this meditation between aggression and joy. I love playing with juxtaposed emotions to ask the viewer to come to their own conclusion,” she said.

    HRH’s new accessories line is inspired by the designer’s love for “gymnastics and figure skating, sports teams and how their adornments unify them.” Key pieces include puffa silk and sheepskin and power mesh scrunchie thongs.

  • Marrknull RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    Tim Shi and Wang Wei of Chinese fashion label Marrknull paid tribute to China’s martial arts culture in their fall 2021 collection video by suspending models in the middle of the air using wire, a technique for fight scenes made popular by Hong Kong action cinema. The collection continued to explore the evolution of clothing in different eras of China, from previous dynasties to contemporary China under Mao’s rule.

    The Look: The collection resembled a modern version of Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” where characters fly around in battle scenes. But in Marrknull’s world, they wear multi-functional clothing and carry mini bags as their fashion weapon.

    Quote of note: “We try to use colors and fabrics with a calm, slightly faded, and worn-out effect. And we are hoping to find a touch of nostalgia in the slightly magical time travel experience,” the duo said in a statement.

    Standout pieces: The last eight looks in the collection. Each gender fluid look is constructed with three different styles of top stitched to the waist, while sharing the same bottom half, so that one piece of clothing can be worn in three ways.

    The takeaway: Only someone who has binged on martial-arts films during lockdown can come up with something as interesting as this.