Honoring Kenzo, Dior’s Feminine Gaze, Nigo Talks Pharrell Friendship – celebritiestalks
URBAN JUNGLE: “Dream, love and freedom” were Kenzo Takado’s favorite words and those he would want to be remembered by, said Ruth Obadia, Takada’s longtime publicist, close friend, and the organizer of an event on Tuesday where Paris dignitaries unveiled a plaque dedicated to the late designer, who died of COVID-19 in 2020.
Former colleagues, friends, executives and designers, including current Kenzo creative head Nigo and the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand’s chief executive officer Sylvain Blanc, braved the cold to honor Takada’s memory outside Galerie Vivienne, the site of Kenzo’s first boutique in the late ‘60s and his first Fashion show in 1970.
A duo of ceremonial Taiko drummers — an instrument the designer loved and used at a number of shows and events during his extensive career — opened the celebration, echoing down the wintry street, before speakers including Ariel Weil, mayor of Central Paris, and Inès de la Fressange spoke to the crowd of well-wishers.
Weil described how Takada had arrived in the neighborhood in the ‘60s as an immigrant, but had contributed to building the reputation of the city, and the area around his headquarters — he later moved to Place des Victoires just around the corner — as a hive for Fashion as other creatives flocked to the-then downbeat neighborhood. “He wrote a chapter in Paris history, not just in Fashion,” said Weil. “In the ‘60s, London was the flagship of Fashion. Kenzo and his contemporaries made Paris its epicenter again.”
“He was among the designers who gave their letters of nobility to ready-to-wear, but he also had a new way of presenting Fashion shows that subsequently inspired a lot of other designers, and he put atypical people on the runway,” said de la Fressange, who was a model for Kenzo. “People would fight to get tickets, and for the first time, even people from outside the Fashion world wanted to attend.”
But most of all, she remembered him as the perfect gentleman. “Those who knew him well remember him not for his Fashion, but for his human qualities.…He wasn’t just admired, he was loved,” she said. “Success did not change Kenzo’s attitude, he was modest, reserved, and he always wore a smile.”
“We were friends to the end,” said designer Adeline André. Her fondest memories, she said, were “his joie de vivre: he was natural, joyful.”
It was not just the Fashion set that gathered to pay tribute. Among the crowd, French actor Pierre Richard accompanied his former model wife Ceyla Lacerda. “I got to know him and he was lovely, we miss him a lot,” said Richard. “It was important to be here today.” — ALEX WYNNE
THEATER OF Fashion: Maria Grazia Chiuri’s spring show for Dior was all about challenging the male gaze, with an immersive set by Italian artist Elena Bellantoni flashing feminist messages. For the advertising campaign, she turned once again to a female creative, American photographer Tina Barney.
Known for her forensic portraits of her affluent milieu, Barney snapped models Rosanna Ovalles, Honey Ordonez, Mauve Dupuy and Alice McGrath in seemingly unguarded moments at odds with the stereotypically sexualized attitudes of many Fashion campaigns.
They are standing or sitting in an opulent apartment with deep red walls, consistent with the lavish homes where Barney usually finds her subjects. Represented by the Kasmin gallery in New York City, the photographer has previously lensed campaigns for brands including Max Mara, Thom Browne and Vaquera.
Speaking in September, Chiuri said it was important to develop a critical eye, at a time when social media platforms pour out a torrent of images. “As a creative director, someone that works also with images, because I am part of this industry too, the risk is that I reproduce stereotypical ideas,” she added. “It’s also my responsibility.”
The campaign spotlights mostly monochrome looks, such as coats and apron dresses featuring pagan-style sun symbols and cobwebby knits with a Goth-girl vibe. Accessories include the Dior Toujours bag in a new, crinkled leather variation featuring an oversize cannage pattern, Diorebel lace-up boots and Adiorable pumps with gladiator straps.
Margot Populaire provided the creative direction for the campaign, which broke in print on Tuesday. It was styled by Elin Svahn, with Peter Philips in charge of makeup and Damien Boissinot doing hair. — JOELLE DIDERICH
HUMAN KIND: Best Fashion friends Nigo and Pharrell Williams are even tighter now that Williams has been named an adviser at the Japanese designer’s Human Made brand.
“He didn’t have an official role and I thought it was time to make it official that he’s actually advising on the direction of the brand,” Nigo told celebritiestalks on the sidelines of a preview appointment for Kenzo, where he’s been artistic director since 2021.
Nigo revealed Williams’ new title on his Instagram account last week, without elaboration.
“I’ve really just started talking about it with Pharrell now in this position, and Brian Donnelly [known professionally as Kaws] is also an adviser,” Nigo told celebritiestalks. “So now the three of us are officially going to have this responsibility and we’re going to start working out plans.”
Nigo noted that Williams has been an investor in Human Made since its 2010 launch, and “the brand is going great guns at the moment.”
The brand’s business is roughly split between international markets and Japan, where there are six freestanding stores, including one that stocks other lines, including “some things from Kaws” and Wasted Youth, the Fashion brand of graphic designer Verdy, a recent Kenzo collaborator, Nigo said.
A serial Fashion entrepreneur and pioneering figure on the streetwear scene, Nigo was the founder of A Bathing Ape, with which he is no longer associated.
He also partnered with Williams to launch the streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, and worked for Uniqlo as creative director for its UT range. In recent years Human Made unfurled collaborations with the likes of Adidas Originals, Kaws, Levi’s and Verdy.
Williams also has his fingers in many design pies beyond his award-winning music career, most notably as men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton, the Joopiter online auction platform, and his wellness brand Humanrace.
Nigo is to unveil his fall 2024 men’s and women’s collections for Kenzo on Friday as part of men’s Fashion week in Paris. — MILES SOCHA
STEP OUT: Saucony is encouraging users to spend less time scrolling and more time taking physical steps.
The Waltham, Mass.-based running brand on Wednesday will launch the Marathumb Challenge App, a mobile experience designed to fight against doomscrolling, the term for spending an inordinate amount of time reading bad or negative news stories.
The brand partnered with market research company HarrisX to survey more than 1,000 Americans on how technology impacts their ability to enjoy the outdoors. The results found that the average person scrolls the distance of three marathons, or 78 miles a year, on their phone. This resulted in the creation of the Marathumb Challenge.
The app will measure the distance users scroll and compares that to the number of steps taken each day and week.
The first weekly challenge will kick off on Monday and will continue for six weeks. Over the course of those six weeks, if a user moves more than they scroll, they receive rewards in the form of Saucony gift cards and free branded merchandise such as neck gaiters, hats, string bags and other products.
Within the platform, users can track their daily and weekly progress and motivate others by sharing completed challenges on their social media channels.
“With Americans scrolling the distance of three marathons a year on their smartphones, we’ve identified a fun and creative opportunity to challenge consumers to move their feet more than their feed,” said Rob Griffiths, brand president of Saucony. “The launch of the Marathumb Challenge App underscores Saucony’s belief in the transformational power of movement, and we look forward to continuing to encourage everyone to live a better life by shifting the balance between screen time and step time.”
A campaign also launches Wednesday and will feature brand ambassadors Tayshia Adams, a former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestant, and Dr. Joe, an emergency medicine physician and TikTok star.
At the same time, Saucony has unveiled the Ride 17 sneaker, a lightweight running shoe designed for all types of runners. It is equipped with a Pwrrun+ midsole, and offers a combination of cushioning and responsiveness. The shoe retails for $140. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
Honoring Kenzo, Dior’s Feminine Gaze, Nigo Talks Pharrell Friendship – celebritiestalks