The pandemic has put many at a standstill, but not Opening Ceremony founder Humberto Leon, who over the past year, amid a relocation to his native Los Angeles, has been busy as a waiter at his newly opened Peruvian-Chinese family restaurant Chifa.
In today’s healthy-minded society, he noted, everybody is affected by one intolerance or the other and comes up with disparate culinary requests, so he wanted to turn those dietary conversations he had with clients into something fun. “It was one of the most fun times I had during COVID-19, because I actually started to see people and talk to them, to strangers,” Leon said over a Zoom call.
He and co-founder Carol Lim served a playful recipe, elaborating graphics and slogans reading “Gluten Free. No Pain” or “Vegetables & Proud” splashed across streetwear basics.
Building an entire wardrobe around the concept, the duo focused on jersey, which has defined their 20-year career in one way or another — be it for the bestselling Kenzo tiger sweats when they helmed the brand or the signature Opening Ceremony logoed hoodies.
They used the fabric quite experimentally, for mohair-looking argyle cardigans, cable-knit loungewear sets and loose sartorial tropes bearing a tartan pattern. Women were clad in polar fleece, miniskirts and blazers, while men paired tartan pants, also made of jersey, with varsity jackets. Tie-dyed short shorts for men and flared low-rise pants for women added a dash of early 2000s nostalgia to a collection primarily based on quirky preppy staples.
As masterminds of blockbuster collaborations, which Leon admitted are part of the Opening Ceremony mindset, the duo came up with a capsule collection with Dickies, filled with workwear suits crafted from velvet-looking flocked denim and windowpane tweed sets.
While fall had all the right ingredients, Leon and Lim served a collection lacking that zing that has had kids queuing outside their Lower Manhattan shop for two decades.
CRYPTO CRAZE: Was it because its show was at the New York Stock Exchange, or just customers wanting to pay with it? Regardless of the reason, Balenciaga revealed that it now is accepting payment in cryptocurrency. Given the plunge in their value over the last 10 days, one could argue the timing wasn’t ideal, but starting with the U.S., the brand will now accept crypto at its flagship stores, including on Madison Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, as well as on balenciaga.com. Other regions and e-commerce will follow, the company said.
The fashion house is still deciding what payment solutions provider it will use, but it will accept currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to begin with and other currencies will be added in due course.
As for the volatile fluctuations in value and whether that is cause for concern, the company said in a statement that, “Balenciaga is thinking long-term about crypto, and fluctuations in currency value are nothing new.”
The Kering-owned brand joins Tag Heuer in accepting crypto. The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned watch brand earlier this month said its customers would be able to pay at checkout in one of 12 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum through a solution provided by BitPay. — WWD STAFF
THE RICH’S CAUSES: The Sunday Times of London has outed some of Britain’s biggest philanthropists, and they include Selfridges’ former owners, the Weston family; David and Victoria Beckham; Cara Delevingne, and François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek.
The newspaper published The Giving List as a sidebar to its annual Rich List, ranking donors by the percentage of overall wealth they’ve given away in the past year, and to which causes.
Many gave to COVID-19-related charities in the wake of the pandemic, while the paper also noted that the 2022 list features more climate change activists than ever.
In addition to COVID-19, the fashion world focused on a variety of causes over the past 12 months, including health, education and Ukraine.
Lewis Hamilton, who’s collaborated in the past with Tommy Hilfiger and who’s an investor in W Magazine, ranked at number five on The Giving List, donating 20 million pounds of his 300 million pound fortune to youth, education and employment charities.
The Weston family, which sold Selfridges Group last year, but which still owns Fortnum & Mason, Primark’s parent Associated British Foods and Holt Renfrew in Canada, came in at number 24. The family donated 182.5 million pounds to COVID-19 causes, education and the arts.
The family’s net worth rose 2.5 billion pounds to 13.5 billion pounds over the past year, making them the eighth wealthiest entry on the 2022 Rich List.
For the annual Rich List, The Sunday Times makes its own calculations of individuals’ and families’ minimum wealth based on information in the public domain.
It ranks the 250 wealthiest people living and working in Britain (not necessarily British citizens) and also breaks out smaller lists, including wealthiest musicians, and charity donors.
Number 35 on The Giving List was Delevingne, whose estimated worth is 41 million pounds, and who gave 400,000 pounds to environmental causes. Last year, she established her grassroots charity, Initiative Earth, which helps people regenerate their local ecosystems and communities.
Harry Styles, musician, fashion lover and founder of the new beauty brand Pleasing, was ranked at number 37. He donated 800,000 pounds of his 100 million pound fortune to “various causes,” according to the newspaper.
David and Victoria Beckham were ranked at 65 on The Giving List, with a 1 million pound donation to Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country earlier this year.
The Beckhams’ wealth was estimated at 425 million pounds by The Sunday Times, thanks partly to David’s recent deal with Authentic Brands Group.
The Beckhams did not make it into the top 250 ranking, although their wealth exceeds that of fellow celebrities, including Elton John, Sting, Mick Jagger, all of whose fortunes are less than 400 million pounds.
Tying for number 92 on the Giving List were Pinault and Hayek and father and son diamond jewelry tycoons Laurence and François Graff.
The owner of Kering Group and his actress wife are sitting on an estimated fortune of 7.13 billion pounds and gave away 5.5 million pounds to COVID-19 and other humanitarian causes.
The Graffs, who ranked at number 56 on the 2022 Rich List have an estimated wealth of 3 billion pounds, and gave away 2.6 million pounds to COVID-19, poverty relief and African health charities over the past year. — SAMANTHA CONTI
HIGH SPIRITS: Stepping into their party, Billie Lourd and her stepfather Bruce Bozzi are matching — both in baby blue.
“It wasn’t intentional, but we’re in sync,” exclaimed Lourd, bubbly and smiley, in an Autumn Adeigbo dress. “It tends to happen.”
“It really was not on purpose,” chimed in Bozzi, wearing a custom ’70s-style suit. (It was inspired by “tacky tuxedos” of the era, along with John Travolta’s look in the opening shot of “Saturday Night Fever.” It’s a creation by the family tailor, “Mario in Beverly Hills.”)
“I walked in and was like, ‘Look what I’m wearing,’” he continued. “She’s like, ‘Look what I’m wearing.’ We live together.”
“It does end up happening a weird amount,” said Lourd. “And we even match the bottle and didn’t mean to.”
The Mujen “Ai” bottle, that is — Bozzi’s new Shochu company (“ai” is Japanese for love; “mujen” means infinite).
While Bozzi — former co-owner of The Palm and husband to CAA talent agent Bryan Lourd — and business partner Sondra Baker began rolling out the distilled spirit (crafted in Japan for more than 500 years) in November, this was their official launch party, and Lourd was tapped as hostess.
“I was so excited to host this, because Bruce has been working so hard on creating this incredible brand, and I’ve been wanting to support him as much as I can,” said the 29-year-old actress, daughter of Lourd and the late Carrie Fisher. “It’s been so hard with COVID-19. We haven’t been able to do events and be out and do things like this. And when this opportunity came up, I jumped at it and was so excited. It’s a real family brand for us. We’re really doing it all together. A bunch of my friends are here, and his friends.”
The guest list included Billie Lourd’s husband Austen Rydell; rising actors Nico Hiraga and Austin Crute; former freestyle skier and actor Gus Kenworthy; Jamie Schneider Mizrahi and Nico Mizrahi; Sony Pictures executive Andre Caraco; film producer Jon Berg and guitarist Tim Reynolds.
“Ultimately, Sondra Baker brought me into it,” explained Bozzi of Mujen. “She was the visionary of this.”
The two first met in the ’90s at a gym in L.A. called Sports Connection. They were running on adjacent treadmills.
“Funny story, right?” said Baker.
They reconnected years later, finding themselves on the same school yard when their kids were in first grade (Bozzi is father to a pre-teen, Ava.)
Baker (who has a background in tech) discovered Shochu through her husband, and after learning that, when made with rice, the liquor is free of sugar, carbs and gluten, she saw an opportunity for a “healthier” spirit.
“I told my husband, I want to start this business, and if I do it, I want to do it with him,” Baker said of Bozzi. “He was involved before he even knew he was involved.”
They visited distilleries in the Kumamoto region of Japan, landing on a 119-year-old family-owned spot run by the founder’s great-granddaughter. They offer three Mujen bottles: “Ai Lite,” made with 23 percent alcohol, the “Original,” with 35 percent (intended to be mixed in cocktails, which were enjoyed at the party — names like “Tokyo Lemonade” and “Rosé Spritz,” created by mixologist Ash Miyasaki), and “X,” a brown-colored option, with 42 percent alcohol, aged for 10 years. Diane von Furstenberg is among the investors.
“She’s a very dear friend of mine, a very old friend of mine,” said Bozzi. “Her and [husband] Barry [Diller] — I brought it to their home for dinner, and she was like, ‘This is amazing. How can I be involved?’”
Mujen can currently be purchased online in 45 states via direct-to-consumer and available at select locations in New York and Los Angeles, found at L.A. hot spots like Alexander Wilmot-owned Gigi’s — the location of choice for the party — Jeff Klein’s The Tower Bar, private members club San Vicente Bungalows, as well as at The Grove’s Monsieur Marcel and The Little Door on Third Street.
“Anderson had never tasted it, and Andy loves the Ai,” said Baker, recounting Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s entertaining and booze-filled live CNN “New Year’s Eve” show, where they’re seen indulging in Mujen (Cohen is a friend of Bozzi’s).
“We didn’t know that they were going to have a four-hour commercial of Mujen on there,” joked Baker. “Anderson has the best quote in the history of mankind. He said, ‘It’s like a lovely siren licking you from the sea of Odysseus.’”
Laughing, she added: “I’m going to make T-shirts of that.” — RYMA CHIKHOUNE
NOT REALLY ROUGHING IT: Rather than simply release its summer 2022 campaign online, Neiman Marcus decided to bring the summer camp vibes to life with a retreat upstate for a select group of editors and influencers, for an adult take on summer camp.
Guests traveled to new “It” boutique hotel Inness, in Accord, New York, for a two-night stay all centered around the “summer camp” theme of the campaign. The itinerary kicked off with a dinner under the stars Wednesday evening, followed by drinks in the library and time around the campfire. On Thursday, camp activities like tie-dyeing, jewelry-making, candle-making and archery were indulged in, and later that evening, Studio 189 founder, Abrima Erwiah, hosted dinner, which was then followed by a campfire with s’mores led by Giacomo Missoni and Silvia Torassa.
The campaign, “Neiman Marcus Summer Camp,” features over 200 brands, including Santa, Acler, Oceanus, Rebecca Vallance, Mignonne Gavigan, Blue Sky Inn, Veronica Beard, Missoni, Zegna, and Jacquemus. It was shot in California’s Redwood Forest and in Texas.
“We’re all ready to get outside, get dressed up, socialize with friends and family, and travel. Our customers’ desire for pure, unadulterated fun and freedom is at an all-time high, and they’re determined to make the most out of this season,” says Daz McColl, chief marketing officer of Neiman Marcus. “The campaign concept evokes our borrowed memory structures of fun summer camp experiences rich in childhood nostalgia with a fashion twist you expect from Neiman Marcus.” — LEIGH NORDSTROM
Streiks, Pleiten und dramatische Rettungsaktionen – dafür war die Alitalia bekannt. Mit der Nachfolgerin Ita soll das völlig anders werden. Die Lufthansa denkt darüber nach, bei der Airline einzusteigen.
Erweitert der Lufthansa-Konzern sein Einflussgebiet nach Süden? Zum Verkauf steht eine Beteiligung an der Alitalia-Nachfolgerin Ita, für die der italienische Staat als alleiniger Eigentümer bis einschließlich dem heutigen Montag konkrete Angebote erwartet. Italien will dabei mit einer Minderheit an Bord bleiben und den Deal bis Ende Juni abschließen, hat Finanzminister Daniele Franco vor wenigen Tagen verkündet.
Gemeinsam mit der in Genf beheimateten Großreederei MSC hat Lufthansa die Zahlen der runderneuerten und verkleinerten Airline geprüft, deren legendäre Vorgängerin stets von Streiks und Beinahepleiten begleitet war. Ebenfalls im Datenraum waren Franco zufolge der US-Luftfahrtinvestor Indigo, der in Europa an der Billig-Airline Wizz beteiligt ist, sowie im Verbund die Fluggesellschaften Air France/KLM und der US-Riese Delta, mit denen die Ita bislang über die Allianz Skyteam verbandelt ist.
Während Delta bereits erklärt hat, nicht mit eigenem Kapital einsteigen zu wollen, könnte Air France zum härtesten Lufthansa-Konkurrenten im Rennen um die Ita werden. Allerdings haben die Franzosen ihre Staatshilfen aus der Corona-Krise noch nicht zurückgezahlt, so dass ihnen direkte Akquisitionen seitens der EU untersagt sind. Ein möglicher Ausweg könnte die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Finanzinvestor Certares sein.
Die Lufthansa betrachtet Italien als ihren wichtigsten Auslandsmarkt in Europa. In Rom warb Konzern-Chef Carsten Spohr mit dem Konzept seiner vielen Drehkreuze (Multi-Hub) und Airline-Marken um Vertrauen. Die sukzessive Übernahme und Integration von Gesellschaften wie Austrian, Brussels Airlines und Swiss könnte zum Vorbild für die Ita werden, ebenso könnte Rom wie Zürich weiterhin ein bedeutender Luftverkehrs-Knoten bleiben. „Lufthansa hat sich auf ein Drehkreuzmodell spezialisiert und auf nationale Fluggesellschaften, die ihre eigene Identität behalten“, lobte jüngst der römische Flughafen-Chef Marco Troncone im „Handelsblatt“.
Das finanzielle Risiko einer Ita-Übernahme könnte Lufthansa im Verbund mit der Großreederei MSC in Grenzen halten, die neue Airline aber schnell in ihre operativen Systeme einbinden. Geführt von der italienischen Reeder-Familie Aponte sucht MSC wie die Konkurrenz von Maersk bis zum Lufthansa-Großaktionär Klaus-Michael Kühne nach Logistik-Investments, um die aktuellen Milliarden-Überschüsse aus der Seefracht unterzubringen. Nach den Worten Spohrs peilt Lufthansa bei der Ita zunächst eine Minderheitsbeteiligung an. Von der würde man dann sehen, was sich daraus „über die Zeit“ entwickele, hatte er vor einigen Tagen erklärt.
When Laura Brown, the popular editor in chief of InStyle, departed the title earlier this year at the same time as it was revealed that its print edition was ending after close to three decades, no public announcement was made about her successor to run digital operations.
But an inquiry to the PR department of Dotdash Meredith, which last year acquired Meredith titles such as InStyle, People and Entertainment Weekly, resulted in the answer: Laura Norkin, previously deputy editor, will be overseeing InStyle as senior editorial director. In her new role she’ll work closely with Leta Shy, the former editor in chief of Condé Nast-owned Self, who will join Dotdash Meredith in June as senior vice president and group general manager of beauty and style, looking after Brides, Byrdie, InStyle and Shape.
The message appeared to be that at InStyle, gone are the days of big flashy announcements about top editors and also the actual editor in chief title.
And the fashion publication isn’t the only one that has lost the lofty editor in chief title. After just a year in the job, Mary Margaret quietly exited the role of editor in chief at Entertainment Weekly, which also had its print component axed, and has been succeeded by EW executive editor Patrick Gomez, who has been named to the position of general manager. Shape, EatingWell, Health, and People en Español, all now digital-only, are also all without an editor in chief.
For now, People, its biggest cash cow, still has an editor in chief, as do a handful of other titles.
Explaining the new structure, a Dotdash Meredith spokeswoman said: “All of our magazines have editors in chief who lead content and editorial for print and help set the overall direction for the brands across all platforms, working closely with the brand general manager. All digital content (whether for a digital+print brand or a digital-only brand) is driven by senior editorial directors, who typically oversee groups of editorial directors and editors and report to general managers.”
The exception to the rule is Parents, which was made digital-only earlier this year, but still has an editor in chief.
As for what the general manager does, the role looks to be a modern-day term for publishers, with Dotdash Meredith describing the position as “business leads for each brand, setting overall direction, working closely with editorial, content strategy, business development, audience development and marketing for each brand.”
Of the trend of disappearing editors in chief, Aileen Gallagher, associate professor of magazine, news and digital journalism at Syracuse University, said: “Editor in chief is a title that is very associated with print and as time goes on and you have audiences and also frankly employees that are not wedded to print, that title becomes less important to them.”
At Complex Networks, now owned by BuzzFeed Inc., the traditional editor in chief role has been split in two. Aria Hughes was recently named editorial creative director, charged with managing the vertical leads, as well as digital covers and feature ideas, while executives are searching for an editorial strategy director, responsible for overseeing the news operation as well as SEO lists, traffic, volume and engagement. Both these roles will report to Aia Adriano, former director of social, who has been promoted to vice president of content.
“Complex had kept what I would call maybe a rigid structure and hierarchy based on our previous model of being a print magazine first and then eventually a dot-com website and that is a very strict editorial structure where all roads lead to the editor in chief as the gatekeeper of taste and tone for the brand,” Donnie Kwak, general manager of Complex Networks of the recent changes.
“In the years since, we’ve evolved from a print magazine to digital to video to audio to experiential,” he explained. “While the dot-com product and the text product is still an integral part of what we do, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of Complex the brand. So rather than have an editor in chief position which is responsible for yaying and naying everything across everything we do, I thought it made more sense to have a specific role of creative director for our editorial product to work alongside the leader of our video product and our social product and our collaborations and our experiential director.”
To date, though, the biggest publisher to start the trend was Condé Nast, the owner of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour and The New Yorker, among others. Beginning in 2020, a number of editors in chief around the globe, many of whom had been in the position for years, departed, leaving spectators with questions.
They were soon answered when Anna Wintour was appointed chief content officer and global editorial director of Vogue and a handful of editors in chief were made editorial content heads for particular regions as the publisher looked to streamline its editions after merging U.S. and international operations and save costs amid the global pandemic.
As part of the changes, Edward Enninful, the widely celebrated top editor at British Vogue who is said to be an eventual successor to Wintour, was promoted to European editorial director of Vogue for the markets owned and operated by Condé Nast, which include the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain. While Wintour and Enninful are still listed as editors in chief of American Vogue and British Vogue, respectively, many of the other titles have been given a head of editorial content like Eugénie Trochu at the newly named Vogue France.
This did not go down well with everyone. As previously reported by WWD, Celine’s artistic, creative and image director Hedi Slimane was understood to be so upset by former Vogue Paris editor in chief Emmanuelle Alt’s departure that Vogue Runway was not invited to cover Celine’s spring 2022 virtual show and hit the brakes on some advertising with the Vogue brand.
The changes have happened not just at Vogue but also other Condé titles including Vanity Fair, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler and Architectural Digest. For Vanity Fair, Simone Marchetti has been promoted to European editorial director, inclusive of the editions published in France, Italy and Spain. Vanity Fair’s U.S. and U.K. editions will continue to be overseen by editor in chief Radhika Jones.
For now, the U.S. versions of Teen Vogue, Self and Glamour, all digital-only publications, still have editors in chief.
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