Fendi Lands in Mykonos, Cavalli Teases Couture, a Metaverse Course
SUMMER-READY: As the peak of summer approaches, Fendi has landed in Mykonos, opening a store in the jet-set hot spot of the Cyclades archipelago.
The unit is the brand’s first in Greece and is located in the upscale shopping destination Nammos Village, positioned in the south of the island.
Inspired by Mediterranean culture and local architecture, the 969-square-foot store is installed in a two-level white building, with sunlight filtering inside through elongated windows.
The interior combines natural elements, featuring oak wood flooring with light blue resin inserts and a ceiling made of white joists and bamboo. Raffia wallpaper and elements nodding to a marine theme define the fitting rooms, while the furniture includes bespoke pieces in travertine mixed with wood, rattan and bamboo pieces.
The unit also features two terraces, designed to give continuity to the indoor feel with their light blue resin flooring, raffia and bamboo furnishings as well as handcrafted colored ceramic vases added as decorative elements.
The store carries all the fashion house’s categories — including pieces of the Fendace collection — with leather goods, accessories and footwear showcased in turquoise oxidized copper displays on the ground floor, and ready-to-wear available on the first floor.
A special rendition of the Fendi Peekaboo ISeeU medium bag will be offered at the store as an exclusive for Europe. The style is crafted in white crocodile leather, with matching leather lining featuring a shiny finish and the brand’s signature Pequin motif standing out on a wooden handle. — SANDRA SALIBIAN
COUTURE SERIES: A TV series might now be binge-watched in one gulp, but the same can’t always be said of fashion collections. On Tuesday Roberto Cavalli quietly shared images of its first couture range designed under the creative direction of Fausto Puglisi.
The five looks officially unveiled by the company acted as a teaser for designs the fashion house will introduce during the Cannes Film Festival, which opened Tuesday and will run through May 28.
Yet some of the gowns appeared last week on Puglisi’s Instagram account. If the first images flanked by cryptic captions didn’t immediately point to an upcoming couture launch, more recent posts left little doubt with captions like “Couture Magic.”
Overall, the capsule collection is set to respect the bold and sensual femininity the brand is best known for via high-octane glam gowns and minidresses, rich in transparencies, embroideries and prints.
Examples include a black minidress mixing intricate cutouts, lace inserts, gold sequined embroideries and feathers; a vibrant green gown with a high slit and a long trail, splashed with an animal pattern; a sensual, body-hugging frock in white lace that leaves little to the imagination and a quintessentially Cavalli gold number in a leopard motif and plunging V-neck and side slits.
Behind-the-scenes videos the Sicilian designer shared with his 243,000 followers on Instagram also showed an asymmetric statement gown where the leopard motif is rendered in pink and trimmed in matching feathers; a chiffon dress encrusted with rich embroideries, combining forest green and acid green shades, as well as an electric blue long frock with a cascade of sequins and rhinestones.
While which Hollywood star might actually walk the red carpet in Cannes wearing one of his couture looks is still anyone’s guess, it’s safe to say Puglisi has been successfully bringing visibility back to the Roberto Cavalli brand since joining the company in 2020.
Thanks to the Sicilian designer’s former ties with prime personalities of the movie and music industries, as well as his revamped aesthetic direction for the brand, Roberto Cavalli is back on the racks of international stylists and is a go-to brand for the likes of Doja Cat, Anitta and Megan Thee Stallion, who were recently seen in custom looks at Coachella or the Grammy Awards, for instance. Jennifer Lopez, Ciara, Lily James, Naomi Scott and Halle Bailey also walked red carpets wearing some of the brand’s pieces. — S.S.
TEACHING THE METAVERSE: Esmod Paris is the latest school to throw its hat into the digital fashion ring, as it announced the launch of its dedicated Meta-Wear course Tuesday in an Instagram Live session.
Fabrice Jonas, founder of the Myfashiontech innovation consulting agency, who advised the school for the creation of the course, said the class would train for “the jobs of tomorrow that already exist today,” such as digital designer or chief metaverse officer.
He also pointed out the fast-evolving landscape graduates will face. “Six months ago, these positions didn’t even exist and now big groups are recruiting. For those without [digital] skills, it’ll be complicated [to build a career],” he continued, saying the metaverse is here to stay, especially as devices evolve and technologies like blockchain reach maturity.
The industry is already keenly expecting the arrival of digital design-savvy talents, according to the school’s managing director Véronique Beaumont, who is looking at expanding the program’s footprint to include metaverse events or the creation of NFTs supporting students’ physical designs.
The course, which will launch in September 2022, will be open to second-year students already matriculated at the French school and, as of 2023, to any candidates with a completed first year in any fashion design course. Sixty places, divided into two classes, are available, said the school’s communications manager Deborah Haouzi, fielding live questions.
Students can expect to hone their fashion design skills in the physical world while learning about digital tools like CLO 3D or Blender, and the business ramifications of digital fashion. The history of video games will be among new fields explored in the course, matching the “dialogue between fashion and gaming” that underpins the metaverse.
In their third year, students will be expected to produce a digital collection, in addition to the physical one that is part of the fashion design curriculum at Esmod Paris.
Digital fashion is becoming a staple at schools.
New York-based Parsons School of Design is offering a six-week course that covers artificial intelligence, digital marketing, 3D design and retail. In the U.K., Ravensbourne University London launched its Digital Technology for Fashion course last year, while art and design specialist University for the Creative Arts opened a one-year master of digital fashion. — LILY TEMPLETON
MIAMI RETURNS: After a two-year hiatus, Miami Fashion Week is returning for its 22nd edition with in-person events from May 31 to June 5.
“We’re coming back and doing this June event as a celebration of the fact that Miami Fashion Week is coming back,” Lourdes Fernández-Velasco, MIAFW’s executive director, told WWD. “We have a couple of big shows that we’re excited about. We’ll be doing a sustainable roundtable for our closing date, as well as a big closing brunch to celebrate sustainability with key speakers, as well as a gala and fashion shows.”
“Led by honorary president Antonio Banderas, this year’s star-studded sustainable events are taking the fashion off the runway and popping up across Miami in some of the most notorious locations, hidden gems and hottest spots,” a statement from the company echoed.
Across the week, the organization will hold an official press conference, influencer brunch and welcome dinner, as well as resort and exclusive collection runway shows from Benito Santos, Angel Sanchez, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Rene by RR and Naeem Khan. Missoni will also be making its Miami Fashion Week debut with a show and cocktail event. To close out the weekend, a Miami Fashion Week Green and Tech Gala will take place on June 4 with a sustainability roundtable and closing brunch on June 5.
“We usually center the Miami Fashion Week Gala around fashion designers and a big party with a foundation and charity component. This year, we’re bringing our two key pillars together [sustainability and technology] and celebrating them. We’re elevating sustainability and emphasizing how we pioneered the summit in 2017, as well as honoring and recognizing the speakers who have joined us in the past,” Fernández-Velasco said of the upcoming Green and Tech Gala.
Events across MIAFW will be held at myriad Miami locations such as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Seaspice, Gary Nadar Art Center and Frost Science Museum. — EMILY MERCER
FOREVER BARBIE: Forever 21 has collaborated with everyone from Hervé Léger to Sports Illustrated of late, and even entered the metaverse with Roblox. Now the retail chain owned by SPARC, a joint venture between Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group, is launching a limited-edition collection centered around Barbie. The collection arrives as buzz continues to build over the film version of the iconic doll, which stars Margot Robbie and is due out in July 2023.
The line of women’s and kids’ apparel is inspired by the fashion doll created by Mattel in 1959 and includes colorful sportswear, swimwear, sleepwear, footwear, accessories and beauty products. The collection will also be available in plus sizes up to 3XL and there will be childrenswear in sizes from five to 14. Prices will range from $6.99 to $54.99.
“Barbie is often a child’s first muse and experience with fashion. Forever 21 has been the retailer bringing endless styling options to life for shoppers of all ages to find their unique sense of style,” said Winnie Park, chief executive officer of Forever 21. “Forever 21 x Barbie is a remarkable collaboration between two brands that merge retro fashion and fun into an amazing and accessible collection — perfect for summer.”
To accompany the clothing, which will debut in Forever 21 stores and online beginning on Thursday, the retailer will also offer the Barbie Fashionista doll at both channels for the first time. The Barbie Fashionista doll line celebrates diversity through various body types, skin tones, eye colors and other unique physical traits.
Simon Property Group together with Authentic Brands Group and Brookfield Property Partners bought Forever 21 out of bankruptcy in February of 2020 for $81.1 million not including another $73 million for the goods already bought and other costs. It is now part of SPARC, which owns Brooks Brothers, Aéropostale, Nautica, Eddie Bauer and Lucky Brand. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
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