Kate Spade New York Adds Two Global Change-makers to Its Social Impact Council
Kate Spade has enlisted actress and entertainer Sofia Wylie and founding principal of Showa Women’s University Career College Mika Kumahira to its Social Impact Council.
The Social Impact Council is a collective of women’s empowerment and mental health leaders from around the globe. The two global change-makers join the leadership council, which includes actress Taraji P. Henson, to work with Kate Spade New York in bringing their perspectives to this cohort of female leaders who look to integrate mental health into the empowerment agenda of women and girls globally.
Since it embarked on this goal, the brand has reached 66,000 women and girls with mental health and empowerment resources and services to date.
“My biggest dream is to be a part of making an impact by joining a force that is set out to make a positive difference in lives,” said Wylie, who is also a mental health advocate. “Being in the entertainment industry, there are soaring highs and deep lows. While living in a world where people care more about individual success than the state of their mental health. I am honored to join the Kate Spade Social Impact Council to advocate for putting mental health and emotional well-being at the forefront of our priorities, because what does success mean without happiness?”
Kumahira, a Japanese management consultant, social sector leader and educator, said the Showa Women’s University Career College was founded in 2013 “to empower professional women leaders and strengthen their leadership skills to create a better future for a diverse and compassionate society.”
In addition, in recognition of Women’s History Month, Kate Spade has launched a digital content miniseries this month via the company’s Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and YouTube that highlights the collective power of women’s voices and the company’s “It All Started With” spring campaign series, in partnership with artist Rebecca Clarke.
In efforts to keep mental health and women’s empowerment at the center of Kate Spade New York’s ongoing social impact work, the brand and its foundation will donate more than $3 million in 2023 to provide access to care and community resources to improve the mental health and empowerment of women in its communities around the world. These partnerships include organizations such as Black Girls Smile, Crisis Text Line, Girls Inc. of New York City, Abahizi Rwanda, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, and The Trevor Project.
Kate Spade New York and its Social Impact Council will introduce first-of-its-kind research at the Women Deliver Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, in July on the role and impact women’s mental health plays in achieving long-term empowerment.
“Social impact efforts to champion women’s empowerment and prioritize the mental health of women and girls has been, and continues to be, at the heart of the Kate Spade New York brand,” said Liz Fraser, chief executive officer and brand president of Kate Spade New York. “Our Social Impact Council is a powerful collective of culture-changing advocates who propel positive change. As the council enters it second year, we’re proud to have Sofia and Mika join us in our mission, and continue our momentum in making a meaningful impact for women and girls around the world.”
Saul Nash Really Wants to Move Equinox Members With New Collaboration
MOVE IT OR LOSE IT: The London-based menswear designer Saul Nash is giving new meaning to constant motion through a collaboration with Equinox.
Beyond collaborating on limited-run designs that will be sold online and in select Equinox clubs starting Wednesday, Nash helped develop the “Saul Nash: Creativity in Movement” class. Offered to members in select Equinox locations, the 45-minute experience blends performance art and dance, which is not a stretch at all for Nash.
With maximum mobility key to many of his designs, the 30-year-old creative routinely bridges performance, dance and fashion with his presentations, and has been known to show his creations in motion through choreographed performances. Outside of the fashion realm, he’s choreographed music videos for Justine Skye, “ShyGirl,” Neneh Cherry and others.
The Equinox partnership is new terrain for the designer and Equinox, which is known for its style-minded advertising and social media, and its slick, understated clubs.
In search of a new collaborator last year, Equinox’s vice president of retail Annie Walters suggested finding someone with roots in movement for a 360-degree engagement for the brand, Walters said. Rather than narrow the search to the active space, the outlook was geared for the lifestyle space and the mission was set. After weeding through plenty of emerging brands, the team discovered Nash, she said. “Once we spoke with him, we knew this was a guy this year. His product is fabulous. This past year was a really pivotal one for his brand.”
In 2022, Nash won the International Woolmark Prize and the Queen Elizabeth II award for British Design. To raise Nash’s visibility with its members, Equinox had him partner with its group fitness team to help craft the class. The heartrate-raising experience “is not like anything that we have ever offered at Equinox,” Walters said. It will be offered in select clubs including London for about a month, and Walters called it “a differentiator.”
The unisex collection features gilets and knitwear including tank tops and quarter-zip tops. Retail prices start at just under $100 for a top, and outerwear averages between $350 and $500. Once the collection is sold out — that’s all folks. But Equinox already sees potential opportunity to partner with Nash again.
This all-encompassing approach is a first for Equinox, a 108-unit global operation, having integrated a retail endeavor with input from group fitness, creative and marketing. Some Equinox executives traveled to London to shoot a video with Nash that will be splashed on the company’s social media channels and advertising. It was directed by Equinox’s executive creative director Will Mayer and the Italian image maker agency Scandebergs. The designer’s “kindness, openness and eagerness to see how everything could come to life” floored Walters, she said. “I have never worked with such an open soul, who took all of this is and said, ‘Yes, let’s make something wonderful together.’”
Nash touched down in New York last week to visit the fitness-loving operation’s Hudson Yards main studio and its towering home office overlooking the Hudson River. For Wednesday’s launch, Equinox will flag the collaboration on social media, its home page and through email outreach. An assortment of video posts will play out over the next month. Nash said, “It’s really exciting to partner with Equinox and be able to explore the brands core principles around movement.”
Although Equinox shoppers gravitated toward core essentials during the pandemic, they have shifted to more fashion-forward and lifestyle products, whether that be for travel or everyday purposes for the past three quarters, according to Walters. “Anything that takes you from the studio to the street has been a huge opportunity. That is why this is really an important time for him to launch with us,” she said.
Equinox will be expanding in the months ahead with a club in New York City slated to bow in late summer and a second Washington, D.C. outpost is in the works on Wisconsin Avenue.
GmbH Designers Are Leaving Trussardi: Sources
Serhat Işık and Benjamin A. Huseby, the design duo behind the GmbH label, are parting ways with Trussardi after almost two years as creative directors of the Milan-based house, WWD has learned.
According to sources, Işık and Huseby revealed the development to their teams on Tuesday.
The designers and representatives for the Italian luxury company could not immediately be reached for comment.
The development comes amid a big shakeup at Trussardi.
Earlier this month, WWD reported that the entire board of directors of the Milan-based company had resigned, and that chief executive officer Sebastian Suhl was no longer in charge.
It is understood the goal is to restructure Trussardi for a potential sale. Three parties have expressed an interest in the company, whose employees have been put in “cassa integrazione,” a government-funded redundancy pay since February that is expected to extend until the end of April, as reported.
The GmbH duo unveiled their first collection for Trussardi for the fall 2022 season, reimagining the house’s greyhound logo into a graphic circular form inspired by the ouroboros, and bringing the brand back to the Milan runway.
Their edgy and modernist designs for Trussardi have received largely positive reviews and have been worn by the likes of Dua Lipa, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber. For fall 2023, they took inspiration from Milan’s Ladies Who Lunch, yielding a Trussardi collection hinged on big furry coats, pencil skirts, turtlenecks and quilted leather.
The designers also influenced the remodeling of the Palazzo Trussardi, which reopened last year with a café, restaurant and flagship boutique.
Işık and Huseby shot to prominence with their Berlin-based label GmbH, launched in 2016, gaining renown for its commitment to inclusivity and sustainability and a socially engaged perspective.
It is understood they will now devote their full attention to their own brand.
Their fall 2023 GmbH lineup marked a departure from their usual political stance, which is rooted in the experience of growing up gay, Muslim and across cultures. (Isik is Turkish German and Huseby is Pakistani Norwegian.) The coed effort for fall 2023 hinged on suits with stoles that trailed on the floor or were tightly wrapped around the torso and tied with a bow.
Georgia May Jagger Helps Brora Celebrate 30th Anniversary
In an industry that is all about tomorrow, Brora is marking its 30th anniversary with a future spin.
The cashmere specialist’s founder and creative director Victoria Stapleton peered into the archives to select a favorite style from each year based on her preferences, as well as those of consumers and the company’s design team. Rather than reissue originals or let loose replicas, she reimagined the standouts for a 2023 collection.
For example, Brora’s 2012 silk cotton waterfall dress has been updated by featuring the print in cobalt and fuchsia versus its original pastel hues. Another retooling can be seen in the brand’s signature cotton and jersey wave knit, which dates back to the ’90s. It has been refreshed in a mohair version. The idea is to illustrate how changing the cut and color of a well-loved garment can transform its look and feel, a company spokeswoman said.
To relay a more of-the-moment image, Brora enlisted Georgia May Jagger to model the heritage collection. (She is 31, but close enough.) Like the clothes that she wears, the fair-haired model’s mother Jerry Hall is a loyal Brora customer. Hall has received Brora gifts each year from her mother and has subsequently returned the favor.
While the Brora team knew that Hall was a customer, they didn’t learn that Jagger was one too until the shoot. The Brora spokeswoman explained, “Georgia said that when she was old enough, she took such pleasure in being able to afford to repay her mother’s kindness and buy her mother Brora items, too,” adding that she spoke of wanting to emulate her mother’s style as a child.
Her latest modeling gig is a first for both parties. Jagger also recently appeared in Burberry’s latest campaign.
Brora has a reputation for its quality, with more than 50 processes needed to make a cashmere sweater, including several steps that require the human touch. Big on natural fibers, the company offers a good amount of its styles in Scottish cashmere, organic cotton, wool and linen. Brora is committed to working with craftspeople and artisans to create designs that are meant to last over time, while preserving traditional skills.
The retail prices for the 30-piece anniversary collection range from 79 pounds for a pair of cashmere wrist warmers to 449 pounds for a cashmere cardigan. There are also non-knitted options like an embroidered skirt, a silk star printed skirt and a cross-weave linen dress. The assortment is available online and can be found in the company’s nine freestanding stores including London ones on Sloane Square and on Marylebone High Street. It is also being sold in Brora’s boutiques in Bath, Edinburgh and New York’s Madison Avenue.
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