RICK’S PLACE: Pink benches, jungle-gym fixtures and a children’s line dubbed BabyGeo add playful touches to Rick Owens’ first store in the Middle East.
The spare, industrial-tinged boutique is located in The Dubai Mall and is operated in partnership with London-based, multibrand menswear retailer Closet Case, which has also operated in the United Arab Emirates for six years.
It brings to 11 the number of freestanding Rick Owens boutiques in the world. The others are in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai.
“After having enjoyed time spent in Dubai many times, I am deeply pleased to have found a home there — a home where everyone is welcome,” Owens said in a statement.
The Dubai unit carries all product lines, including runway pieces, the main collection, the DRKSHDW range, women’s line Lilies, footwear and accessories.
Black metal fixtures, mirrored panels and shelving add a geometric, graphic aspect to the gleaming white space, with the pink Prong benches dotted throughout. A minimalist glass cabinet, lit from within, houses eyewear and jewelry.
The benches, like all Rick Owens furniture designs, are available on a made-to-order basis.
Bobby Chehrazi, creative director at Closet Case, cited rising demand for Owens’ designs and decided to create the anchor outpost.
“We’ve been working with Rick Owens for years and are quite familiar with the brand, their DNA, but also the consumer in the region,” Chehrazi said.
Based on Brewer Street and established 15 years ago, Closet Case stocks about 50 brands from Europe and Asia, including Japan. It operates two locations in Dubai and one in Cardiff, according to its website. — MILES SOCHA
AROUND THE GLOBE: Casablanca wants its customers to travel the world.
The hip luxury brand on Wednesday debuts a co-branded suitcase range in collaboration with storied luggage-maker Globe-Trotter, one favored by Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, explorer Sir Edmund Hillary — and soon by fashion-savvy kids, too.
Nodding to Casablanca’s fall collection, which featured some of the styles, the luggage lineup comprises six items ranging from large and small trolleys to smaller size cases, including a vanity box and a minaudière.
Crafted from aluminum with bamboo handles, the suitcases are complemented by brass hardware and lined with the Aviation Check pattern developed by Casablanca to evoke the French flag’s colors. A 22-karat gold enameled plate bearing the French brand’s logo decorates each luggage.
The collection, retailing at between 1,495 pounds and 3,995 pounds, is available online at Globe-Trotter’s e-commerce site, as well as at the luggage-maker’s flagships in London, Tokyo and at the recently opened Los Angeles unit.
The year 2022 has been a prolific one for the storied luggage brand, which celebrated its 125th anniversary by debuting a number of co-branded collections (the previous one was with Tyler the Creator and his Golf le Fleur label), expanding its global reach and building its digital business.
The brand changed hands in March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread globally, when Oakley Capital Group, founded by Peter Dubens, took over Globe-Trotter for an undisclosed sum from entrepreneur Toshiyasu Takubo.
Globe-Trotter has a long history. It was founded in Germany in 1897 by British businessman David Nelken, who developed a technique for manufacturing suitcases employing vulcanized fiberboard that were lightweight but strong. In 1932 the company moved to England, where Globe-Trotter luggage has been manufactured ever since.
A fixture of the Paris men’s scene, Casablanca’s founder Charaf Tajer established the brand in 2018. The brand was one of the shared winners of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers in 2020, and was one of the finalists contending for the 2021 International Woolmark Prize and ANDAM Award. — MARTINO CARRERA
SEINFELD STARS: CUNY, or the City University of New York system, takes center stage in Kith’s fall advertising campaign.
The buzzy New York-based brand has tapped comedian — and Queens College alumnus — Jerry Seinfeld to feature in the campaign that was shot by Mark Seliger. In the ads, Seinfeld sports pieces from Kith’s capsule with Russell Athletic for CUNY as part of its ongoing Classics Program.
Kith founder Ronie Fieg was raised in Queens and has been a longtime champion of his hometown. The CUNY collection, which also includes Brooklyn College, features varsity jackets, hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants, and Ts bearing Queens College and Brooklyn College’s crests, logos, and different extracurricular clubs. Kith also worked with New Era to create a range of headwear for the CUNY collection.
The partnership began through Kith’s nonprofit organization, The Kinnect Foundation, which is working with CUNY on its scholars program. As a result of this collaboration, the Kinnect Foundation has awarded grants to both Queens College and Brooklyn College that will help fund future scholarships.
In addition to the CUNY collection, other collaborations for the fall season include 8th St by Ronnie Fieg for Clarks Originals footwear, new colorways of the New Balance Made in USA styles, headwear with New Era and home goods with DS & Durga.
The Kith fall collection sees the brand extending into leather apparel manufactured in Italy with a custom debossed paisley pattern, mohair leopard print cardigans, color-blocked wrinkle-nylon hybrid jackets, multistriped woven chenille jackets and pants, flocked denim with a velour feel and sherpa outerwear. The footwear offering includes V2 and V3 models of New Balance’s 990V silhouette as well as two new colorways of Clarks Originals’ Breacon shoe designed to complement Kith’s fall apparel collection.
The Kith fall line will be released on Friday at all Kith stores and online. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
NEW ROLE: Bulgari has a new president for North America. The Roman jeweler has named Hervé Perrot to the position, effective from Sept. 1.
Perrot will relocate to New York City for the role. He was most recently president of Dior China, where he managed the regional strategy for both Christian Dior Couture and Parfums Christian Dior, according to a company memo issued by Bulgari global chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Babin.
“In the course of his career, Hervé has developed huge experience in the luxury industry in many countries, achieving substantial business development and turnaround in different categories and channels while significantly boosting revenue generation,” Babin said in the memo.
Perrot, who studied at ESCP and INSEAD, joined Dior in 2009 — first focused on Japan — and was promoted to lead the Chinese market in 2016. Prior to Dior, Perrot held multiple executive leadership roles within the L’Oréal luxury product division, which took him to markets including Australia, Italy and Japan.
He succeeds longtime Bulgari North America president Daniel Paltridge, who held the role since 2015 and departed last July.
Perrot will report to Lelio Gavazza, Bulgari’s global executive vice president for sales and retail. — MISTY WHITE SIDELL
GREEN SITE: Valentino’s commitment to a sustainable business is expanding to some of its digital operations.
The couture house detailed its partnership with Karma Metrix Energy Efficient Website, an Italy-based company that is part of the AvantGrade.com search marketing and AI specialist, which is aimed at assessing the carbon emissions related to its website traffic and operations.
By continuously assessing its digital footprint via Karma Metrix’s proprietary algorithm, Valentino pledges to keep track of various digital sustainability indicators and improve its digital energy efficiency.
“Facts show that the maison, committed to generating new digital opportunities within the brand, is at the forefront of the green transition process,” said Ale Agostini, creator of the Karma Metrix tool. To be sure Valentino’s digital ambitions are high. The house internalized operations for its U.S. and Japan e-commerce sites this year, with more geographies expected to transition throughout 2022.
The implementation of the Karma Metrix tool reflects the luxury brand’s commitment to an eco-minded and responsibly minded business model. As reported, it launched a new sustainability-leaned section on the company’s website earlier this year under the moniker “Creating Shared Value.”
The website section is dedicated to the luxury brand’s environmental progress and details its evolution toward a business and manufacturing model mindful of carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Among its most recent sustainably inclined actions, Valentino committed to going fur-free starting from 2022 and alpaca-free starting with the spring 2022 season; introduced a vintage project tapping into the resale market and the circular fashion economy; pledged to work with environmentally friendly viscose suppliers for 70 percent of its production; unveiled the Open for a Change sneaker for men and women made with recycled elements, and joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel corporate program promoted by Air France and KLM to curb the carbon footprint of its business trips.
Back in 2013, the company joined the Greenpeace Detox Solution Commitment in a mission to eliminate all dangerous chemicals from its supply chain and signed onto Zero Deforestation Commitment projects to help protect life-giving waterways and rainforests. — M.C.