Ashley Park for Pandora, the Winners of Australia’s National Indigenous Fashion Awards

LONDON CHAOS: Oxford Street descended into chaos briefly on Wednesday afternoon as dozens of youngsters responded to a viral TikTok video encouraging people to “rob” JD Sports and other stores at the heart of the city’s busiest shopping area.

Anticipating the event, the Metropolitan Police heightened the security level in central London, and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, urged people to ignore the “nonsense” and not to go to Oxford Street to take part in the event a day prior.

Police officers detain a man near Oxford Street in central London, after viral TikTok videos urged youngsters to rob the JD Sports store on Oxford Street.

Police officers detain a man near Oxford Street in central London, after viral TikTok videos urged youngsters to rob the JD Sports store on Oxford Street.

PA Images via Getty Images

According to videos circulating on social media, despite the increased police presence, large groups of youngsters, who mostly wore black and gray tracksuits while covering their faces with masks, were running away from the police in front of H&M’s flagship store on Oxford Circus.

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In one video, people can be seen clashing with the police force in front of the Reserved store.

It’s understood that following the chaotic afternoon, the Metropolitan Police made nine arrests and issued 34 people dispersal orders.

Several nearby shops, such as Vision Express and Boots, shuttered temporarily, and the traffic on the street was halted for a while due to the escalating situation.

Prior to the social media-fueled incident, Khan and Met Commissioner Mark Rowley also called on the mobile phone industry to work with City Hall and the Met to design out robberies and thefts involving mobile phones.

A statement published on Wednesday by the Metropolitan Police suggests that young people are disproportionately involved in robberies, both as victims and perpetrators, with young people aged between 14 and 20 particularly at risk of being targeted by criminals according to police data.

August traditionally has been a key month for retailers in London’s West End. With international tourists returning to London en masse this year following the global easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, a chaotic event could impact on the city’s retail footfall in the coming weeks, potentially deterring visitors.

Dee Corsi, chief operating officer at New West End Company, which represents some 600 retail, restaurant, hotel and property owners in central London’s core shopping areas anchored by Bond, Oxford and Regent streets, told WWD earlier that footfall has been returning since the beginning of this year at about 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

She projected that the West End should get back to pre-pandemic turnover levels of 10 billion pounds within the next two years, and get a further 1.4 billion pounds by 2025, provided riots don’t continue. — TIANWEI ZHANG

SPARKLING MOMENT: Ashley Park has a new role: global ambassador for Pandora.

The jewelry brand announced Park’s appointment on Wednesday, after celebrating her at an intimate dinner during Copenhagen Fashion Week. While no specific projects have been announced, she is expected to appear at the brand’s global event and will lend her image to campaigns in coming months.

The “Emily in Paris” and “Beef” star recalled receiving and cherishing a Pandora charm bracelet when she was young.

“As a storyteller and artist, I am especially drawn to Pandora’s unique commitment to creativity and making each moment and story special with their endless personal styling options,” she stated.

She went on to laud the “wide breadth of pieces from timeless lab-grown diamonds to meaningful charms” offered by the Danish brand and the way it allowed her to “bring [her] own personal take on jewelry and self-expression to Pandora — both for special occasions and every day.”

The Danish brand launched its lab-grown diamond Brilliance line in 2022 in North America, with Rosario Dawson and Ashley Graham named as faces of the collection.

Earlier this year, Park lent her image to Skechers, returning to her Broadway roots in her first campaign for the footwear brand and its Uno fashion sneaker. She is slated to make a cameo in the upcoming “Mean Girls” musical movie, shooting with choreographer Kyle Hanagami, who also happened to choreograph the Skechers campaign.

Park was recently on screens in American comedy film “Joy Ride,” where she plays an overachieving lawyer who ends up in a world of trouble while looking for her roots with her best friend, which premiered at this year’s SXSW festival before being released theatrically in July.

She also made her first appearance in the third season of “Only Murders in the Building” released on Tuesday, playing TikTok influencer and actress Kimber, a cast member in the play of Paul Rudd’s character Oliver.

The Danish jewelry label is slated to publish its second-quarter results on Aug. 15. — LILY TEMPLETON

FASHION AWARDS: Lillardia Briggs-Houston has been named fashion designer of the year at Australia’s fourth annual National Indigenous Fashion Awards, which recognize excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion and textile design.

Lillardia Briggs-Houston (centre), winner of the Fashion Designer Award at the 2023 National Indigenous Fashion Awards, flanked by models wearing her designs.

Lillardia Briggs-Houston (center), winner of the Fashion Designer Award at the 2023 National Indigenous Fashion Awards, flanked by models wearing her designs.

Marley Morgan

The award was one of six prizes presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects arm at an event in Darwin, Northern Territory, on Wednesday evening Australian time. 

Briggs-Houston is a Wiradjuri, Gangulu, and Yorta Yorta fashion designer and textile artist based in Narrandera, New South Wales. She launched her label in 2019 and her vibrant women’s ready-to-wear collections, which incorporate traditional South-East Aboriginal cultural practices such as carving, bush dying and weaving, have been showcased at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. She will now enter a 12-month mentorship program with event partner Country Road.

The East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory-based Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Centre won two awards for works inspired by photographs taken by renowned Australian anthropologist Donald Thompson on Yolngu country in the 1930s: the Traditional Adornment Award and the Community Collaboration Award, the latter in tandem with Darwin environmental artist Aly de Groot. 

The Business Achievement Award was won by Ikuntji Artists, which is located in Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory. In May, Ikuntji Artists became the first Aboriginal arts collective to stage a solo runway show at AAFW.

The Textile Design Award was won by Kija artist Rowena Morgan from the Nagula Jarndu Women’s Art and Resource Centre in Broome, Western Australia, while Rhonda Sharpe from the Alice Springs, Northern Territory-based Yarrenyty Arltere Artists collective received the Wearable Art Award.

A record 66 nominees were shortlisted for this year’s awards. 

“We have had a significant increase in nominations for this year’s NIFA, which clearly evidences the growth of this sector and the impacts being achieved by the work that IFP and all of the many leaders in the First Nations fashion and textiles space are doing across the country,” said Indigenous Fashion Projects manager Michelle Maynard. 

“The work of this year’s winners all carry such a beautiful weaving together of traditional and contemporary practice, imbued with deep connection, pride and love of country and community,” she added. “I think they really represent the heart of our people.” — PATTY HUNTINGTON

TIMELY TARGETS: Apparel suppliers and retailers are among those stunted by science-based targets reporting deadlines.

The Science Based Targets initiative is a public reporting initiative to help corporations set science-based emissions reductions targets in line with the Paris Agreement. The organization was formed in 2015 by the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.

SBTi recently publicly flagged 100 organizations — including Amazon and Kohl’s — for not laying out their emissions targets in a timely manner. The companies can be searched via SBTi’s database with red font indicating “Commitment Removed.” More than 5,000 companies across sectors use the platform.

The organization enacted a new “Commitment Compliance Policy” in January so that it is visible to stakeholders when companies either fail to comply or opt out of reporting, rather than simply removing them from the website without a trace. SBTi gave firms an extension timeline to July 31 upon announcing the policy in January.

As of Aug. 9, 120 companies had commitments removed. The data is updated every Thursday. There are seven apparel players with commitments removed including Alkaram Towel Industries Ltd., Nahar Industrial Enterprises Ltd., Sapphire Finishing Mills Ltd., Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd., SCM Garments PVT Ltd., Taiga Apparel Ltd. and The Schneider Group. (Alkaram Towel Industries supplies to Walmart while SCM Garments supplies to Hanesbrands and Jockey. Sapphire Finishing Mills’ customers include Red Wing Shoes, per shipping data from ImportYeti). Two retailers, Amazon and Kohl’s, had commitments removed.

In 2020, Amazon committed to setting voluntary science-based targets with SBTi. “We have continued to work with SBTi throughout this time to determine appropriate submission guidelines and methodologies for complex businesses like Amazon, however it remains difficult for us to submit in a meaningful and accurate way,” Amazon staff wrote in a recent blog post. “We will continue to work with SBTi to establish a path forward for submission, and we believe there’s a role to play for organizations like theirs. We’re also not pulling back or slowing down — in tandem to this ongoing work with SBTi, we’ll also seek to set science-based targets with other organizations and credible third-party validators.”

Kohl’s joined SBTi in July 2021. In March 2022, at Kohl’s investors meeting, the company took it a step further by committing to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. It is unclear whether Kohl’s Inc. will continue to work with SBTi to refine its reporting. The company could not be reached by publication time for comment on its commitment removal.

Along with adding the new compliance policy, SBTi continuously evolves its reporting criteria.

“The new policy makes it clear where companies have committed to set targets but then failed to comply,” SBTi said in a press release. “Not only does this increase transparency and accountability around commitments and eventual validation, it acts as a major disincentive for companies to make commitments without taking action.”

SBTi’s statement underscored that regardless of the status of the commitment, a target can still be submitted and approved. “It is by no means the end of the story for any company.” — KALEY ROSHITSH

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