ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: Joanna Lumley, whose character Patsy Stone in “Absolutely Fabulous” loved nothing more than shopping and Champagne at Harvey Nichols, switched sides on Thursday, sweeping into Harrods for a cocktail to mark the opening of Burberry’s Knight Blue takeover.
Lumley attended alongside other great British actors, TV personalities and celebrities, including Olivia Colman, Mary Berry, Naomi Campbell, Eleanor Tomlinson, Lennon Gallagher and Ed McVey, who plays the teenage Prince William in “The Crown.”
Guests were in a lighthearted mood, with Berry describing Burberry with the sort of adjectives she normally reserves for her toffee pear pudding or raspberry parfait.
“To me, Burberry is sheer luxury — it’s the very best,” said the doyenne of British cookery and star of the “The Great British Bake Off.” Berry also revealed that she’s working on a new BBC TV series, although she didn’t give any details.
The evening’s mood was certainly luxurious. Guests at the cocktail, which took place in Harrods’ newly refurbished Harrods dining hall, grazed on Wagyu beef hors d’oeuvres, sushi and mini fish-and-chips, while wine, Champagne and cocktails flowed.
A giant ice sculpture in the shape of the Burberry knight dominated the room and there was a special performance by Ezra Collective, the British jazz quintet.
As part of the takeover, which runs until Feb. 29, Burberry has transformed multiple aspects of the store with a luxe camping theme in the brand’s signature blue hue.
For the next month Harrods’ “green men,” who stand at the entrances and greet customers, will be wearing Burberry’s new “knight blue” check introduced by designer Daniel Lee for spring 2024.
By night, the store’s Brompton Road facade will also turn blue following a years-long project to install thousands of LED lights. Going forward, the light installation will allow the store to turn any color it wants — and create different displays.
The Burberry takeover is the first major event in in Harrods’ 175th anniversary year.
It has also created dedicated pop-up shops, a 40-piece capsule collection exclusive to Harrods, and a camping corner offering British hiking accessories, including a bespoke Burberry knight bottle opener; a limited-edition orienteering map of Knightsbridge; and Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake, a popular confection among explorers and mountaineers. — SAMANTHA CONTI
PURE BEAUTY: In keeping with her spring 2024 aim to exalt women’s essence and beauty, Genny’s creative director Sara Cavazza Facchini channeled candid femininity for the season’s ad campaign.
Lensed by Italian photographer Giampaolo Sgura, black and white and color imagery features model Anne Vyalitsyna in candid poses, with no-makeup makeup and beach-waved hair. Clad in the designer’s feminine concoctions styled by Alex White, including a narrow pantsuit coated in a shimmering but sophisticated liquid-looking silver finish and a white gown cut on the bias with a ruched top, she stands against a grayish backdrop lit with cinematic light.
After tapping into celebrity models and social media personalities for recent campaigns, including Georgina Rodriguez and Sara Sampaio, Cavazza Facchini resorted to the experienced Russian model, a fixture of the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated for 10 years. She follows in the footsteps of Karolina Kurkova, who appeared in the fall 2023 Genny ad campaign photographed by Dario Cattelani.
As reported, last fall, Genny opened its first boutique Stateside with a 2,700-square-foot unit in Beverly Hills. The brand only operates two additional stand-alone stores in Italy — one in Milan and one in Capri. Also last year, Cavazza Facchini marked her 10th anniversary at the creative helm of the company. — CARRERA
APPY ABOUT IT: Dazed Media is rolling out a dedicated social networking application tied to its membership offering, Dazed Club, which was first introduced in 2022.
First reported by WWD last May, the app, which launches on Monday, encourages users to share their creative work — be it films, imagery or links to their portfolios, to connect with collaborators and seek new opportunities.
Users can also explore and join groups, ask questions, and receive advice from industry experts. They can also access event listings and editorial content from Dazed.
Jefferson Hack, chief executive officer and cofounder of Dazed Media, the publisher of Dazed, AnOther and Nowness, said that by matchmaking creatives all over the world, Dazed Club is “going to shape a new creative future for global youth.”
“Existing creative networking apps are rigged against creative development so we have decided to build one that puts their needs and interests at the heart, empowering and equipping the next generation to make their mark in the creative industry globally,” he said.
Jack Sunnucks, creative director of Dazed Club, said the app offers a new ecosystem for next-generation creatives.
“We launched Dazed Club [in 2022] as a beta membership and this is a natural evolution — one that’s global. The original Dazed Club members have been fundamental in developing and building what we are launching — it’s been built by the community that will use it.
“You might be an illustrator looking for an animator, a photographer looking for a stylist, a filmmaker looking for a specific location, or a musician looking for a producer….Dazed Club is now able to not only offer its audiences behind-the-scenes access into the creative world of work, but access to other young people all over the world,” added Sunnucks.
There will also be some big names on the platform.
“We will be working with Dazed cover and digital talent to create opportunities for the community to engage directly with them through events. We’ve so far given members access to events and activations with creative talents including Molly Manning Walker, Marina Abramović, Campbell Addy, Coucou Chloe, Jamie XX and Jordan Firstman,” said Sunnucks.
The app is also meant to serve as a talent pool. Dazed’s creative and editorial teams plan to spotlight creative projects published within the app and scour the platform for new hires.
IB Kamara, editor in chief of Dazed, said he hopes the app “will be a powerful resource for finding new collaborators and creative inspiration for everyone. Me and my team want to celebrate and help and support young people from all backgrounds and hopefully, this platform will be another way we can continue to do this.”
While the app is free, there is a members’ area called Dazed Clubbers that is accessible for a monthly fee of five British pounds. It offers additional benefits such as complimentary copies of the Dazed magazine, competitions, product drops, discounted access to events, festivals, exhibitions, parties, and the Dazed and AnOther Magazine archive, as well as opportunities to meet experts and have work spotlighted.
Rounding out the digital offerings, Dazed this year will also evolve the Dazed Space at London’s 180 The Strand, where the magazine is headquartered, into a living magazine experience with live events.
Having gone national with the Dazed Club live events last year with stops in Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool, club events are heading to New York and the Middle East in the summer and fall, respectively, with other regions planned for 2025.
“The plan is to be the number-one global Gen Z platform for youth culture with all the first-party data and insights that come with owning the app all the while looking at how to maximize IRL ways for the community to engage in culture,” he added.
Asked if the club model can be replicated for Dazed Media’s other titles, the answer for now is “no,” according to Dazed Media.
“What we are building is not replicable for publishers as it has been built community-first and for youth. Specifically, it’s taken two years working with a community of over 2,000 young people who helped us understand their needs. The app is the most powerful creative networking tool available for 18- to 24-year olds, providing real-world opportunity and reward,” the publisher asserted. — TIANWEI ZHANG
WIDER LUXURY: Saks, after lowering a Lucid Air Sapphire car down to the lower level jewelry floor at its Fifth Avenue flagship in December, now has an explanation for going to the trouble.
Saks and Lucid, the electric vehicle company, have launched a multifaceted partnership providing demo drives at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills and later at Saks in Atlanta; Boca Raton, Fla.; Chicago; Greenwich, Conn.; Houston; Las Vegas, and Troy, Mich. The partnership entails putting content on Saks’ digital channels, and a Lucid landing page on saks.com.
“We’re committed to utilizing the entire Saks ecosystem to introduce our customers to the best in luxury,” Marc Metrick, chief executive officer of Saks, said in a statement. “With Lucid, we’re providing our customers with new, unique offerings outside of our traditional assortment.”
“The collaboration brings the Lucid brand directly to Saks clientele searching for fine craftsmanship and innovation that seamlessly blend into their lifestyle,” Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s CEO and chief technology officer, said in a statement. The Lucid Air electric vehicle starts at $77,400, has four models, and a range of more than 400 miles.
Saks has ventured into other areas outside its core fashion business, including having its stylists become “brand ambassadors” for Inspirato Inc., the luxury travel subscription service, and providing bedding to United Airlines’ international business class program called Polaris. — DAVID MOIN
OLYMPICS IN THE BAG: Samsonite is embarking on a new partnership.
The travel brand is teaming with the U.S. Gymnastics team as the official luggage partner. The partnership spans the men’s and women’s teams’ domestic and international travels, including travels to their training camps and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
“We are excited to welcome Samsonite as an official partner and appreciate their strong commitment to supporting the National Team’s journey,” said Lauryn Turner, chief operating officer of the U.S. Gymnastics team. “Travel can be stressful, and Samsonite will help USA Gymnastics athletes arrive with confidence. As a best-in-class brand, they are a great fit with not just the National Team but our larger partnership family as well.”
Samsonite will join the team on their travels to international events such as the World Championships, the World Games, the Pan American Championships, World Cup events, Gymnastics team trials and the Olympic Games. The team will use the Samsonite Proxis luggage during their travels.
“We are thrilled to announce the partnership between Samsonite and USA Gymnastics, two iconic brands, united by a shared dedication to the pursuit of excellence,” said Nicole Adriance, the senior director of brand marketing at Samsonite. “Together, we celebrate the power sport and travel have to bring people together for a common purpose.”
As the Paris Summer Olympics draw closer, many fashion brands have started revealing partnerships with various nations and sporting teams. Last month, Swedish fashion label J.Lindeberg unveiled uniforms for the U.S. golf team. In November, it was revealed that Berluti would design the uniforms for the French Olympic teams for the opening ceremony.
The 2024 Paris Olympics kick off on July 26 and conclude on Aug. 11. — LAYLA ILCHI
NEW AMBASSADOR: Tyr, the California-based brand best known for its swimwear, continues to expand its reach and will be creating a special shoe for Dani Speegle, a Crossfit Games athlete that it has also signed as an ambassador. This marks the first time the brand has designed footwear for a woman.
Speegle has had multiple top-20 CrossFit finishes and in 2019, placed fifth overall and number-one among elite U.S. women. She has also won Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Titan Games, is a model and influencer with 1.6 million Instagram followers and finished second in the elite division at the Tyr Wodapalooza 2023 festival.
In addition to her prowess in the fitness field, Speegle is committed to female empowerment and is the face of the #GirlsWhoEat campaign, which is intended to shatter old notions of female beauty.
“I’m done being defined by my appearance, and I know other women are, too,” she said. “Our bodies are beautiful because of what they can do, not what they look like. This is about a revolution of women ready to take on the world.”
This can-do attitude — and her athletic abilities — was what appealed to the Tyr executives.
“Not only is Dani Speegle an incredible force in the competitive fitness world, but her broader mission to empower and inspire perfectly aligns with Tyr’s mission,” said Matt DiLorenzo, chief executive officer of Tyr Sport. “Team Tyr anticipates tremendous success for Dani and is honored to support her on her journey.”
The partnership includes the creation of the Limited Edition Dani Speegle CXT-1 Trainers, a sneaker that combines the construction of the Tyr CXT-1 shoe with design elements inspired by Speegle. Each box will include a Speegle autograph and an extra pair of red laces.
Speegle will also make an appearance at Tyr’s South Coast Plaza store in California on Feb. 17 to launch the shoe. Attendees are being asked to bring a pair of used shoes to donate to Soles4Souls4Women, a non-profit that donates shoes and clothing to people in 138 countries.
“I’m proud to be the first female Tyr CrossFit athlete to launch signature footwear, which further reinforces my message of empowerment to all the girls out there,” said Speegle. “From the colors to design details, it’s a dream come true for me to be able to project strength and a competitive spirit through my shoe, while also contributing to a special cause like Soles4Souls 4 Women.
“Getting to celebrate the launch of my trainer at TYR’s South Coast Plaza location will be an opportunity for me to interact with so many of the people that have encouraged me on my journey,” Speegle continued. “Even more exciting is getting to give back to a cause that champions and supports opportunities for women around the world.”
The shoe will retail for $160 and be available on the Tyr website, its stores in California and Garden City, N.Y., and select retailers. — JEAN E. PALMIERI