Fri. Oct 7th, 2022

VALENTINO’S PINK PUSH: Valentino continues to double down on local engagement in the Chinese market, and has tapped the popular singer and husband of Rainie Yang, Li Ronghao, as a brand ambassador for the Greater China region.

Ronghao’s appointment came a day after the brand unveiled a Pink PP (its house hue for the fall 2022 collection) pop-up store at China’s Aranya Gold Coast. The brand covered a church by the sea with Pink PP for the occasion.

Ronghao spored black and pink looks from the brand’s fall 2022 collection in campaign images.

“Valentino’s spirit resonates with me,” the singer said.

“I believe inspirations in different forms can communicate just fine, as long as sharing a similar core: rhythm and lyrics are my preferred language, but the gentle yet subversive fashion language of creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli equally impresses me as well,” he added.

The brand said Li’s “authentic, unrestrained nature” distinguishes him, and he embodies Piccioli’s “pursuit of authenticity and individuality.”

The brand’s other ambassadors in the region include actress Guan Xiaotong and Sun Li, and actor Lay Zhang.

Valentino has amped up its effort to make waves in China after Janice Lam was appointed chief executive officer of Greater China earlier this year. She previously worked as managing director China for Alfred Dunhill, and at Prada she was general manager for China.

This summer, the brand created a landmark moment for Pink PP in China, dressing all the contestants at the final of the popular reality show “Sisters Who Make Waves.”

The hashtag “Sisters Who Make Waves Final” logged more than 130 million impressions and 44,000 posts on Weibo, and the Valentino outfits were widely discussed among fans and online spectators.

Valentino operates 44 stores in the Greater China region, ranging from Beijing and Shanghai to Hong Kong and Macau as well as Chengdu and Xi’an, among others.

In 2022, the company plans to open several additional stores in Chengdu SKP and at Shenzhen Bay MIXC. — TIANWEI ZHANG

OUTERWEAR EXPANSION: Swedish brand Axel Arigato is synonymous with cult sneakers, but now the brand is aggressively adding apparel to its portfolio.

In 2018, Max Svardh, cofounder and creative director of the brand, received a $7.5 million investment from specialist fund Vaultier7 to focus on apparel, which was first introduced in 2017.

“Since we opened the first store, we saw that the customer had a big appetite to complete the look, not only buying just the sneakers but actually buying the full sets. That’s why we dipped our toes into hoodies, T-shirts and sweaters in the first place,” Svardh told WWD in June.

For the fall 2022 campaign shot in Lake Como, Italy, the brand has enlisted the help of photographer David Luraschi, whose clientele includes M Le Monde, Rimowa and Jacquemus, to launch a puffer jacket collection.

Axel Arigato has collaborated with digital showroom Immersivo to create a space based on the campaign for customers to interact with the pieces and the environment of Lake Como. The interactive world will include a pop-up show where the collection is displayed on a floating igloo.

On the road to a sustainable future, the brand has exclusively used recycled polyester for the puffer jackets, as well as for the inside interior. Seaqual Yarn, which is made up of 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester thread, 10 percent upcycled marine plastic, and 90 percent post-consumer PET from land sources, is also used in the collection.

The materials have been sourced from Seaqual Initiative, an organization that aims to clean up waste around the ocean and then give it a second life. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

For the fall 2022 campaign shot in Lake Como, Italy, the brand enlisted the help of photographer David Luraschi.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

BLOOMING FRENCH: Palm Angels has landed in Paris.

The Italian brand, part of the New Guards Group stable, said it would open its first flagship in the French capital in early 2023, and marked the announcement by installing a lush vertical garden at the location of the future store.

Designed in collaboration with Atelier Athem, a Paris-based collective specialized in scenography and urban design, the facade made up of plants, vines, moss and palm fronds, with a neon sign spelling out the brand name in Gothic script, was unveiled on Monday and will remain in place for a month.

Located at 217 Rue Saint-Honoré, the two-story boutique is positioned near the Saint Laurent Rive Droite store, which occupies the space that previously housed concept store Colette. Neighboring brands include Theory, Balenciaga and Acne Studios. 

Since emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, Palm Angels has opened stores at a steady clip and now has locations in Milan, Italy; Las Vegas, Nevada; Miami, Florida; Beijing, Wuhan and Hong Kong, China; Bangkok, Thailand, and Dubai, UAE. A seasonal store in Forte dei Marmi is set to become another permanent location, while former boutiques in Macau, Chengdu and Shanghai, China, have closed.

Founder and creative director Francesco Ragazzi launched the label in 2014 with a book about the Californian skating scene featuring a foreword by Pharrell Williams. Since then, Palm Angels has collaborated with brands including Under Armour, Vilebrequin and Moncler.

In addition to men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, the label offers childrenswear, eyewear and a fragrance developed in collaboration with Swedish niche perfumer 16-69. It also has a line of homewares. — JOELLE DIDERICH

The garden installation at the location of the future Palm Angels store in Paris.

Benoit Florencon/Courtesy of Palm Angels

CHIC SIGHT: Paris-based Officine Générale, known for its understated appeal, has teamed with Garrett Leight for its first line of sunglasses and optical frames, melding the brand’s Californian craftsmanship with Officine Générale’s “Beautiful Normality” aesthetic.

“It is very exciting for me to launch an eyewear collection with Garrett who shares the same values in quality handcraft and blending the old with the new,” said Pierre Mahéo, founder and designer of Officine Générale. 

The Los Angeles-based eyewear giant is no stranger to collaborations, having previously partnered with Rimowa, Metalwood, Footjoy, Pendleton, Frecobol Carioca, and more.

Utilizing Officine Générale’s sophisticated, neutral color palette, the frames are made in cured acetate in black glass, demi blond, Olio, and clear with metal details, including the refined water drop plaque, visible core wire that features a new custom etched design, smooth metal hardware cap at the temple hinge and tip, rounded off with premium glass lenses in gray, green, blue and G15, with an anti-reflective coating. 

“In today’s world where technology and innovation reign supreme, there’s something refreshing about brands that are experts in what they do, just trying to create something beautiful,” said Leight.

The launch will be unveiled during SILMO in Paris, the leading trade fair for optics and eyewear, which will run from Sept. 23 to 26.

With a retail price tag of $485, the bold sunwear collection will be available subsequently at all Officine Générale and Garret Leight stores starting Sept. 27 (both brick-and-mortar and online). — LUIS CAMPUZANO

SARA BLAND TO PVH: PVH Corp. tapped Sara Bland to be executive vice president and chief strategy officer, starting Oct. 31.

Bland — who was most recently executive vice president, global strategy at jeansmaker Kontoor Brands Inc. and before that worked at GlaxoSmithKline and PepsiCo — steps into the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein parent at a time of change.

Not only is the economy and all of fashion shaken up with ultra-high inflation and the threat of recession, PVH is executing on a new brand- and direct-to-consumer-heavy strategic plan, dubbed PVH+, which was introduced in April and aims to boost revenues to $12.5 billion by 2025, up from $9.2 billion last year. The company also recently said that Trish Donnelly, chief executive officer of PVH Americas and Calvin Klein global, would exit the business.

Bland, who will join PVH’s executive leadership team and report to CEO Stefan Larsson, arrives as the plan is still getting underway. 

“Sara brings a rare combination of global strategy and operational excellence expertise,” Larsson said. “She is highly analytical as well as consumer- and brand-centric, and has a strong, successful track record of partnering with company leaders to operationalize strategies to drive measurable results. Having recently launched our multiyear PVH+ Plan, Sara will play a critical role, working with me and the ELT, in driving our strategy forward to unlock the full potential of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger and deliver long-term sustainable growth.”

This is familiar territory for Bland, who at Wrangler and Lee parent Kontoor, was responsible for “growth and corporate strategy, consumer insights, innovation platforms and key transformational projects.” 

Bland said: “PVH has a truly unique opportunity to grow two of the most iconic brands in the world across global markets and I look forward to working with the talented team there to help drive the connection between brand, strategy, transformation and growth.” — EVAN CLARK

OPEN LIVING: Canada Goose has released its fall ad campaign photographed by Anne Leibovitz.

Set in the highlands of Northern Scotland, the campaign tells the stories of women who embody the brand’s “Live in the Open” ethos, while showcasing its new outerwear products. The all-female cast was featured to demonstrate an increased focus on womenswear design as part of the brand’s plan to grow its female offering.

“As a brand, we strive to share powerful and meaningful stories with our audience and we are excited to celebrate our all-female cast because we want to inspire our female consumer to live boldly, and we also want to show her that she doesn’t need to compromise on style or performance,” said Penny Brook, chief marketing and experience officer at Canada Goose.

The campaign features actor Jodie Turner-Smith, model, musician and DJ Soo Joo Park, and model and actor Khadijha Red Thunder.

Each of the campaign muses has unique stories to tell and actively champions causes that serve to uplift underrepresented voices.

“My community means everything to me,” said Red Thunder, who works to help with educational and mental health issues facing communities living on reservations and within the Native American community. “I grew up dancing at powwows since the day I could walk, camping all summer long with my grandmother, going from one powwow to the next. My tribe is Chippewa Cree, my grandmother is from Saskatchewan, Canada, and I’m so grateful to have grown up experience such a beautiful, among culture.”

The campaign will break on Sept. 22 across social and out-of-home. The products featured will also launch that day.

Among the looks in the campaign are the Marlow Parka, Marlow Coat and Rayla Vest, which feature an adjustable and removable belt for a customizable fit. The Aurora Parka and Aurora Jacket feature contoured quilting patterns and an interior drawcord to create shape. The Marlow Jacket has clean quilt lines that flatter the figure, while the hem interior drawcord provides an adaptable fit and warmth retention. — LISA LOCKWOOD

EXPANSION IN SIGHT: Columbia Sportswear Co. has mapped out a three-year plan that includes higher sales targets and an expected boost from the Sorel brand.

During a meeting with investors and analysts, the Columbia Sportswear’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Tim Boyle said the company had a 9 percent net sales compound annual growth rate, 11 percent diluted earnings per share CAGR and a 13 percent annual total shareholder return from its IPO in 1998 through last year.

Looking ahead, Columbia Sportswear is banking on three areas — footwear, international expansion and digital sales growth — with a goal of generating $700 million more in net sales annually by 2025.

Boyle singled out Sorel as the projected “fastest-growing brand,” adding that it’s CAGR is expected by be 20 to 22 percent fueled by year-round products and momentum.

As it looks to accelerate profitable growth, Columbia will ramp up product innovation, invest in branding to enhance engagement, and improve consumer experiences and service with wholesale partners. Like many of its competitors, including Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, Columbia is playing up a digital-driven omnichannel distribution strategy. The Oregon-based company is also planning to empower talent.

The company’s goal is to grow net sales to between $4.5 billion and $4.7 billion in 2025, to expand operating margin to about 14 percent of net sales by 2025, and for diluted earnings per share to reach $7.35 to $7.95 by 2025. Chief financial officer Jim Swanson said he expects the company to see a 13 to 17 percent increase for total annual shareholder return target between 2023 and 2025.

Columbia Sportswear is reaffirming its full-year 2022 net sales outlook of $3.44 to $3.50 billion, representing net sales growth of 10 to 12 percent compared to 2021, and full-year 2022 diluted earnings per share outlook of $5 to $5.40. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG

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