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Gucci’s New Figurines, Jacquemus Pops Up, Palace’s New Eyewear

COLLECT THEM ALL: To promote its Gucci Cosmos exhibition in Shanghai, the Kering-owned luxury house is launching a series of collectible figurines with the Chinese pop IP Marsper.

Four variations of the Marsper x Gucci doll, dressed in four Gucci archival looks, will drop on Gucci’s WeChat Mini Program on Friday. Shoppers can enter a lottery system to win a slot to purchase the doll.

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According to images teased by Gucci, two dolls are modeled after looks from Tom Ford‘s Gucci fall 1996 women’s collection: one in the red velvet suit famously worn by Gwyneth Paltrow and another double-breasted version in pinstripe.

The other two dolls are modeled after two looks designed by Alessandro Michele, one featuring the show opener from Gucci’s fall 2015 men’s collection, which was Michele’s first men’s collection for the brand, and another monogrammed cape look from the Gucci Aria show, which was later restaged in Shanghai.

The Marsper x Gucci dolls.
The Marsper x Gucci dolls.

Each 30-centimeter doll will be accompanied by a Gucci Savoy suitcase featuring the GG monogram, which is a nod to the “imaginative journey” that Gucci and Marsper embarked on, according to a Gucci statement.

Two plus-sized versions of the Michele dolls, or “P(er)lus size collectibles,” which are 60 centimeters tall, will also be a part of the collection.

The collaboration between Gucci and Marsper was first introduced three years ago during the brand’s active experiments in the digital realm. Three Marsper dolls were dressed in Gucci Aria looks as a part of the brand’s Christmas campaign for the China market.

It was also one of the first China-related initiatives under the Gucci Good Game umbrella, which included a host of creative partnerships with gaming companies such as XBox, The Sims and Pokemon Go.

Marsper, the mouse-like digital character that hails from Mars, was conceived in 2019 by a creative team led by Richard Lu, the founder of Instar, a Chinese luxury and fashion public relations agency.

Instar was incorporated into Lepop Group in 2021, the latter an all-encompassing “fashion and culture company” focused on IP incubation, celebrity management and lifestyle marketing.

In 2021, Lepop received a funding round of close to $10 million from a group of undisclosed angel investors. — DENNI HU

GRAND TOUR: As is his wont, Jacquemus has taken to Instagram to unveil Portofino, Italy, as the third stop in his summerlong series of pop-ups — and tease that his next destination may be France.

This time, Simone Porte Jacquemus is setting up shop at the Via Calata Marconi menswear outpost of Italian multibrand retailer Modes, which counts some 22 stores across Italy, France and Switzerland. Set right on the cobbled quay, the store features light wood furniture and vaulted brick ceilings contrasting with the geometric lighted displays.

Open until Oct. 16, the 1,735-square-foot Jacquemus pop-up will carry the third drop of the Été capsule collection dedicated to summer. Expect further plays in his ongoing ode to the French Riviera, with women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, handbags and hats, in pale yellow and earthy tones exclusive to the Modes Portofino capsule.

On Instagram, the teaser images showed abbreviated body-skimming dresses for her and high-waisted trousers for him, paired with a basket-weave open collar shirt, fitted jackets — or a bare bronzed chest. Accessories included one of the designer’s signature oversize straw hats, chunky golden jewelry earrings and necklaces as well as versions of the Chiquito and Le Bisou bags.

Inside the Jacquemus Modes Portofino pop-up.
Inside the Jacquemus Modes Portofino pop-up.

The two previous releases were made available in the Cernobbio pop-up on Lake Como, where Jacquemus took over a luxury retailer traditionally managed by Tessabit and founded in 1953; at Saks Fifth Avenue stores in New York and Beverly Hills, and exclusively on the brand’s e-commerce.

Asked what the French destination could be, fans were suggesting destinations such as Cannes, Saint-Tropez or Marseille, a city dear to the heart of the French designer, who staged his first menswear show in the Mediterranean port city in 2018. — LILY TEMPLETON

EYEING PALACE: American outdoor label Oakley is teaming up with cult streetwear brand Palace Skateboards on a capsule collection that takes cues from the Southern Californian brand’s archive from the early 2000s.

The capsule, dropping Friday across Palace retail locations and online, features a new take on Oakley’s signature outdoor eyewear offering — the ultra-light Re:Subzero sunglasses, a style weighing just 24 grams, in silver and tan colorways — as well as a series of cobranded garments that are equally suited in the wild as well as a trendy urban setting.

Oakley x Palace Skateboards campaign
Oakley x Palace Skateboards campaign.

Standouts include a workwear jacket and five-pocket trousers in sand spliced with camo and logo lock up on the back, a black shell reflective jacket and shorts with a matching logo belt and zippers, and logo hoodies, T-shirts and hats.

The launch is accompanied by a short film by Palace collaborator Adam Todhunter and features Palace skater Savannah Stacey Keenan and friends stomping around a digitally warped world.

Oakley x Palace Skateboards campaign
Oakley x Palace Skateboards campaign.

Both brands are experts in creating hyped collaborations. Most recently, Palace launched viral collaborations with Rimowa, GucciCalvin Klein and Tour de France Femmes, while Oakley has released capsules with Satisfy, Samuel Ross, Stüssy, Brain Dead and Prada. — TIANWEI ZHANG

SPANTO’S LEVI’S LINK: Born X Raised designer Spanto is using his upcoming collaboration to pay homage to his Indigenous roots and honor his late father.

The Los Angeles-based streetwear label is joining forces with Levi’s on an apparel collaboration that offers Spanto’s take on popular Levi’s styles, including the Levi’s 501 jeans.

Spanto took inspiration from his half-Apache, half-Seneca heritage for the collection, using his late father’s belongings as sources of inspiration. Spanto also referenced his upbringing visiting his father and his relatives in White River, Arizona.

The collection offers versions of Levi’s 501s, Levi’s Trucker jacket and a graphic T-shirt that are designed with graphic images of angels. On the Levi’s 501 light wash styles, the angel motif is featured on the front and back of the pant legs. The selvedge 501 style features the imagery as a leather patchwork that runs down the outer seam of both pant legs.

Styles from the Born X Raised and Levi’s collaboration
Styles from the Born X Raised and Levi’s collaboration.

The Trucker jacket also features the angel motif, as well as the phrase “Born x Raised In Loving Memory” embroidered on the back.

The collaboration comes during Levi’s 150th anniversary of its iconic 501 jeans, which it is celebrating this year with a series of campaigns and activations. Last month, Levi’s hosted a 501 immersive experience in San Francisco.

This is also Born X Raised’s latest collaboration. Last December, the streetwear brand teamed with the NFL to create a collection of T-shirts and hoodies for each of the league’s football teams. — LAYLA ILCHI

WINDY CITY STYLE: It was a night to celebrate Chicago fashion designers.

Nigel Barker and Cynthia Rowley whisked into town to host “A Celebration of Chicago Style” last week, which spotlighted emerging fashion designers, and honored one of the city’s best-known designers, Maria Pinto.

Held at the 21c Museum Hotel, the event was presented by fashion start-up The Curio, which was established to promote Chicago-based designers. It featured a runway presentation that showcased four rising star designers — Ajovang, Lola Elan, Production Mode and Sheila Rashid — and concluded with current and archived pieces by Pinto. The event also included a cocktail-reception-meets-shopping experience that featured three local accessory designers: Viviana Langhoff jewelry, bags by Laudi Vidni and footwear by Il Fratellino — the collaboration between Brian Atwood and his little brother Zak Rodriguez.

Cynthia Rowley and Nigel Barker
Cynthia Rowley and Nigel Barker at “A Celebration of Chicago Style.”

Backstage, Pinto lauded The Curio for shining light on new designers.

“In the way Ian [Gerard, cofounder] set this up, the designers had to pay nothing and for an emerging designer to be able to have a runway presentation at no cost — that’s a huge enormous gift,” Pinto said. “You’re being exposed to 300 to 400 potential customers.”

Pinto showed four looks from her current M2057 collection, juxtaposed with four pieces from her 2010 line, the latter of which was inspired by tango.

“I thought it was a nice blend,” Pinto said. “So people can see what informs this current collection, which is more minimal, simplistic and architectural.”

The archived pieces are “pretty over the top,” with heavy beading, sequins and one gown that featured 30 yards of chiffon.

The designer, who rose to global fame by dressing Michelle Obama, said women today shop differently.

“Luxury is wonderful but how many $2,000 to $3,000 dresses are you buying? We’ve been through a lot and I don’t think we’re willing to forfeit comfort after COVID[-19] especially,” Pinto said.

Barker, who serves as creative director of 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, said what makes the city’s fashion unique is its wearability.

“There’s so much great talent here,” Barker said. “The designers tonight are the most personable, authentic, down-to-earth people creating silhouettes that are meant to be worn. Sometimes fashion can be over the top and not very practical.”

Before the show started, Rowley, who’s from Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, told a packed audience that the most important thing, for a designer to create, is to be “in your happy place.”

“When I graduated from the Art Institute I just packed my U-Haul and beelined to New York because the physical place where fashion was happening was so important, but now it’s not like that,” Rowley said. “You can be anywhere.” — KRISTIN LARSON

PARIS PROMOTION: Lauren Paris has been promoted to senior vice president, guest experience, at KCD. She had been vice president of the Guest Experience Group, which she has led since 2018.

The Guest Experience Group is responsible for executing a high-caliber front-of-house experience for brand activations and events. This includes curated guest lists, optimized flow logistics, red carpet execution, event press amplification as well as VIP and talent management.

Paris is a 15-year veteran of KCD and has led the group’s most iconic events, such as the grand opening of Hudson Yards, Ralph Lauren’s 50th Anniversary in Central Park, Hermès’ Love Around the Block, and the annual CFDA Awards, as well as fashion shows such as Gucci’s Love Parade on Hollywood Boulevard, and seasonal shows for Coach, Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung, among others.

Lauren Paris
Lauren Paris

“In her 15 years at KCD, Lauren has played an integral part in developing our capabilities in the guest experience side of events,” said Rachna Shah, partner and managing director of KCD. “Her ability to lead the team to execute seamlessly and help clients maximize the potential of these events has played a key role in her success at the agency. To her credit, Lauren’s accomplishments in new business development have accounted for a 60 percent revenue increase over the past year alone. The Guest Experience Group is a significant part of our business, and we see continued growth potential under Lauren’s leadership,” she said.

As senior vice president, Paris will focus on the development of the Guest Experience Group while providing support to the senior leadership team and cultivating client relations for the entire agency. — LISA LOCKWOOD

REEBOK’S NEW SIGNING: Reebok is expanding its roster of partners with a new signing.

The sports brand revealed Monday that it is tapping Latin musician Anuel AA for a long-term partnership, which includes product collaborations and special products. Reebok has already worked with the rapper on several prior collaborations.

“As a lifelong fan of Reebok, becoming part of the brand is a dream come true,” said Anuel AA. “I have long admired Reebok’s unique designs and iconic roster of collaborators who have never shied away from writing their own rules. It’s a special feeling to know that I’m considered a member of the team and that they not only believe in me, but give me the space for unbridled creative expression. I am so honored to be a part of this brand’s legacy and help shape its next chapter.”

Anuel AA
Anuel AA

The Grammy-nominated rapper previously teamed with Reebok to launch exclusive collaborations with Foot Locker Inc., including collections that leveraged the artist’s Puerto Rican background. The collections offered versions of the Reebok Classic Leather, Pump Omni Zone and Question Mid sneaker styles.

“Reebok and Anuel share a longtime mutual admiration for one another,” said Reebok chief executive officer Todd Krinsky. “Having the opportunity to collaborate this past season was a great indicator of what’s to come and we’re thrilled to make this partnership finally official. Reebok is a brand with deep roots in music and culture, dating back to being the first sportswear brand to make a signature shoe with a hip-hop artist in the ’90s, and we’re excited to continue blazing trails in the industry with someone like Anuel, who possesses such strong individuality.”

Reebok has a history of teaming with musicians for partnerships and collaborations. In recent years, the brand has worked with the likes of Cardi B, DJ Khaled, Tems and others. — L.I.

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