Jameela Jamil and James Blake at Valentino, Charles Jeffrey’s Film Night
DATE NIGHT: Valentino made a chic date night for Jameela Jamil and James Blake, who took in Friday’s show from the front row. But, like any proper British dinner party, the two had to sit separately.
Still, Jamil was ready to pounce on any outfits Blake selected from the runway.
“I’m excited to see what he’s going to be wearing next year. And what I want from him,” she said. The 5-foot, 10-inch tall Jamil said she regularly poaches from the 6-foot-5 Blake’s closet. “I’m just about tall enough to wear all of his looks. I’ve come here to find out what I’m gonna steal.”
It was her first Paris Fashion Week, after attending shows in Milan. “I’ve been a huge fan of Valentino my whole life, since I was a teenager,” she said.
Jamil is working on a book, which will be officially revealed in April. She’s contributed essays about shame and body positivity for other works, but kept quiet about the topic of the new work. One thing is for sure, it won’t be autobiographical.
“It’s not about me, don’t worry. God knows the world’s had more than enough of me,” she joked.
Blake was nursing a sore throat and raspy voice after weeks of traveling and performing shows. He selected a bright blue coat with a floral embellishment, a departure from his usual style.
“I wanted to go for some color because I do a lot of monochromatic,” he said.
The musician released his “Wind Down” AI-created soundscape album in 2022. So with all the debate in recent months, does he fear our future AI overlords?
“I think you’d be dumb not to, absolutely,” he said.
Zayn Malik was seated somewhere between the pair. He said he is working on an album that is due sometime later this year, and has been making the rounds of Paris Fashion Week, hitting the Kenzo show Thursday and Loewe earlier in the day. But after posing for pics, he quietly took in the show. — RHONDA RICHFORD
PARIS FILM NIGHT: Charles Jeffrey is ready to take on Paris, one small step at a time.
After showing in Milan for two seasons, the brand hosted a screening-turned-party at Silencio des Prés in Paris on Friday night to showcase the fall 2024 collection in the form of a short film, titled “Moshkirk & Booness.”
“I wanted to think about how I can start the year off with something a bit smaller, intimate, concentrated, and vulnerable. I wanted to write music and a script for a film to cover all of the grounds that I love about Loverboy, Scotland, post-punk music, art and collage, and just general anarchism,” said Jeffrey at the event.
This is a great opportunity to show it in a place where all my friends are congregated right now. For Paris, you have to do a small presentation first before you can do a show. So we’re putting our little pawns in and just seeing how things go,” he added.
That doesn’t mean he is ready to pack up and relocate to Paris. The designer from Glasgow revealed that he is planning to stage an open-to-the-public Fashion show at Somerset House in London in June to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary. The company with a team of 11 people will remain in London as well.
“It’s not a Fashion week [London] that’s popular anymore. We don’t do men’s anymore in London, but I’m going to democratize that. I want to invite everybody from the U.K. to come and buy tickets and do a gig. I’ve been flirting with the idea of performing and doing music, maybe I can invite all of my partners to join,” he said.
Running in parallel with the show would be an exhibition that “tells people about how you can start a young brand from my own experience,” said Jeffrey, who has been teaching at major Fashion institutions including Central Saint Martins, University of Westminster, London College of Fashion and University of Leeds.
“Loverboy is always about championing the crowd we are with and lifting people up. Now that we have been in the business for 10 years, l am thinking how can I exchange that similar sensibility? I think it’s a knowledge sharing. So the exhibition is all around knowledge sharing, from the minutiae of how to set up a cash flow, to how to talk to your team, and how to influence primary research,” he added.
The designer also feels like the story of his generation of Fashion designers has not been told yet.
“What I want to do is that I want to tell people in 2024 what it was like in 2013. It might not be the same as in the 1990s when McQueen and Galliano were coming out. But it’s something that people can still learn from,” he said.
After the big celebratory moment, Jeffrey said the brand will focus on doing “the tactical strategic Fashion thing in Paris. We do the strong shows. We push and push.”
At the same time, the designer said he is ready to take up a big creative director role when the opportunity is right.
“I would always have two brands. Jonathan Anderson is a big inspiration to me. If he can do it, then I can do it. He’s Irish. I’m Scottish. We’re the same thing,” quipped Jeffrey.
Since launching his namesake label after graduating from Central Saint Martins with a master’s degree in Fashion design under the late course director Louise Wilson — the hard-driving professor who mentored and shaped the careers of designers including Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic and Mary Katrantzou — the brand now sells to around 100 accounts worldwide, and its e-commerce site, introduced in 2020, generates around 500,000 pounds a year.
Jeffrey revealed that since receiving investment from Fashion showroom and brand accelerator Tomorrow in 2021, the brand has been “growing at a very steady rate.”
“Tomorrow is like my big brother. They assist me with all of the larger decisions. It’s good to have these people who have been working in the industry for such a long time not only through sales, but also experts in merchandising, strategy and marketing to come in and tell us how we should do things,” he added.
Stefano Martinetto, cofounder and chief executive officer of Tomorrow, said the partnership is going strong because Jeffrey is “extremely mature, very well behaved and super committed. He has a fantastic team, and the spirit of the team is unparalleled.”
Jeffrey believes they work well as a team because “Italian and Scottish are very similar. We care about family. We care about food. We are friendly. If you bring a Scottish person to London, he would be like ‘Why does no one say ‘hi’ to you?’ It’s also about honesty. We tell each other exactly how we feel about everything.” — TIANWEI ZHANG
Fashion LIBRARY: No library card was required for entrance to the Kenzo show Thursday night — just a ticket and the will to bypass tons of screaming fans camped out for a glimpse of Zayn Malik, making a rare appearance at Fashion week. The show was held at the national library, Bibliothèque Nationale de France Richelieu.
Eric Nam was sporting a varsity jacket and cargo pant look, completed with the Asics trainer. But the singer stumbled on his words trying to explain the look. “I’m so jet-lagged,” he said.
He’s been bouncing around the globe on tour for his album “House on a Hill,” which came out last September. It also included a short film that worked through each song.
He is off to Mumbai to play Lollapalooza India next weekend, before resuming the European leg of his tour.
Nam’s YouTube food tours have led to some unusual cuisine, but landing in Paris he was craving the basics. “I got in and was like, ‘I really want a crepe.’ I know they’re not the healthiest things but you’re in Paris, and you have to indulge every once in a while,” he said. “I think I’m gonna go find that later.”
He was duly impressed by the vaulted ceilings of the reading room inside, all dark woods, Art Deco arches and glass reading lamps.
“This feels like Hogwarts in real life in some magical way,” he said of the location.
Rita Ora was perusing the pages of a 250-page tome, “Kenzo by Nigo,” a hardbound book sent as either the most clever or most wasteful invitation of the week. Each page just printed the brand’s name over and over hundreds of times.
“I don’t think I ingested anything I read,” she joked, while posing for pics with the book.
Pusha T, who walked in Monday’s Louis Vuitton show and sat in the front row at the Dior show earlier in the day, kept it in the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton family and made an appearance at the Kenzo show, too. Malik made his first appearance of Fashion week to see models snake through the books in kimono-sleeved jackets, boxy coats and cardigan dresses. — RHONDA RICHFORD
HERE COMES THE SUN: Jimmy Choo is enjoying its moment in the sun and spotlight as the awards season commences, with celebrities taking to the red carpet in their shiny new shoes.
The brand’s spring 2024 campaign takes place in Ibiza, Spain, with model Vivienne Rohner walking the cobbled streets with her Jimmy Choo shoes and bags.
Stas Komarovski, who has worked with the likes of Sacai, Ralph Lauren and Moncler, shot the images by the Mediterranean Sea unveiling the brand’s reworked styles for the new season.
Styles featured in the campaign include the Amos, a sleek micro heel with a slingback; the Blake, a knee-high boot with the signature Jimmy Choo Avenue motif animating the surface; Azie, a block heel sandal with a two-tone palette of sky blue and navy.
Last December, Jimmy Choo’s oyster-hued shoe boxes came to life in Tokyo‘s Ginza, where the brand teamed with Harry Nuriev, the founder and creative director of interior architecture and design firm Crosby Studios, to work on Choo’s largest store in Japan and fourth-biggest globally.
The store is more than 3,200 square feet and on two floors. The interior takes cues from the brand’s pop-up on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, with the open design floor.
The second floor is dedicated to Jimmy Choo’s men’s offerings with a double-height staircase and a denim blue room that’s meant to resemble a secret stock room with a 200-foot sofa that fits the boxed room. — HANA YAQOOB
BACKING STUDENTS: The Neiman Marcus Group, together with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, have awarded scholarships and mentoring opportunities to 10 college students.
It’s the second year in a row that NMG and FSF have collaborated to support students on their career journeys. Each student receives a $10,000 scholarship, mentorship from a NMG executive, and access to store programming and industry events.
“As an FSF board member, this joint scholarship is especially meaningful as we strive to support and nurture the next generation of changemakers in the Fashion industry” said Lana Todorovich, NMG’s chief merchandising officer and FSF executive board member.
“We are so pleased to join NMG in welcoming the new cohort of NMG x FSF Scholarship recipients who are pursuing socially impactful careers in sustainable and ethical Fashion,” added FSF executive director Peter Arnold.
The 2024 recipients of the NMG x FSF Scholarship are: Amaryllis Dunklee (The University of Texas at Austin); Andrea Hernandez (Savannah College of Art and Design); Cierra Calmeise (University of Cincinnati); DaNae Harrison and Mallory Butts (Spelman College); Fatmata Camara (LIM College); Lauryn Giddings (Virginia Commonwealth University); Megan Lenzi (Iowa State University); Olivia Porter (Clemson University), and Tammy Wang (The University of North Carolina, Greensboro).
The FSF is a Fashion-oriented education and workforce development nonprofit working with young students from diverse backgrounds and 72 colleges and universities. In 2024, FSF will grant more than $1.4 million in scholarships from $5,000 to $25,000 to 162 college students, 62 percent of which are Black, Indigenous or people of color, 15 percent first-generation to college and 31 percent Pell Grant-eligible. The FSF provides internship and career opportunities, mentorship, networking, professional development and access to leaders and companies. — DAVID MOIN
Jameela Jamil and James Blake at Valentino, Charles Jeffrey’s Film Night