Gucci Moves Milan Fashion Week Show Indoors, Jean Paul Gaultier & Jimmy Choo Plan Collab

CHANGE OF PLANS: Sabato De Sarno has been planning for months to show his debut collection for Gucci on the streets of Milan’s Brera district, but the weather is not cooperating.

On Thursday evening, already damp and rainy in Milan, Gucci announced that, in light of the uncertain weather forecast for Friday, the day of the show, it was forced to change its location. The “Gucci Ancora” show will be staged indoors at the brand’s headquarters in Via Mecenate 77.

“This decision has been made with the utmost priority of ensuring the safety of all the production workers and offering the best possible experience for the guests, models, employees and event participants,” Gucci said in a statement. “Gucci extends its gratitude to the institutions, associations and the Brera neighborhood community for their collaboration, trust and unwavering support during these months.”

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While hailing from Cicciano, a small town near Naples, De Sarno’s own years living in Milan led him to choose Brera for his first Gucci show. As reported, the idea was for his models to weave out of the Brera Art Academy and into the streets. “I used to have many friends studying in Brera and I liked to join them and look around the Accademia,” he told WWD, citing the Bar Jamaica in the ‘60s and ‘70s as “a place of interesting conversations, where artists and poets would meet. Milan is the city of opportunities, and I have always felt free there. It’s the city of fashion, but also of design, art and culture.”

He revealed he is not much into set designs and the streets in Brera would allow people to have the opportunity to see the clothes.

On Tuesday, De Sarno presented in Brera the first volume of his “Gucci Prospettive” series, which will accompany each of his collections for the brand. Stefano Collicelli Cagol, director of the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato, interpreted the vision for the first chapter, named “Milano Ancora.”

After three years of restoration, the sprawling Gucci Hub was completed in fall 2016, located in the historic Caproni aeronautics factory built in 1915. — Luisa Zargani

OCTOBER BUZZ: Just as the September frenzy from fashion month winds down, the attention of the global fashion community will be shifting eastward. The Gulf countries in the Middle East are creating an October buzz with high-profile events attracting global names and talent.

One of the most watched will be Saudi Arabia’s inaugural fashion week, taking place in Riyadh from Oct. 20 to 23. The lineup is all Saudi designers, but it’s definitely not all modest. The country, which is on a fast path of economic and cultural transformation under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will bring to the runway Saudi designers in both ready-to-wear and couture. The shows, reflective of the new freedoms around public dressing, will include celebrity favorite Yousef Akbar, who has dressed Nicole Kidman and Sharon Stone, and Abadia, by Shahd AlShehail, an ethical luxury label worn by singer Alicia Keys.

Saudi Arabia has always had a high spending luxury fashion consumer. For decades what was hidden behind closed doors or shown in markets overseas will be in Riyadh for the world to experience. Burak Camak, chief executive officer of the Fashion Commission, said the kingdom is ripe for its own fashion week. “We already have events like the Red Sea Film Festival where celebrities from around the world are looking to be dressed by local talent. There is a lot in the kingdom for the world to come and discover.”

In Qatar, the October Edition of Qatar Creates will once again showcase the country’s influence across art and fashion at the end of the month. Hosted under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums, the week will highlight high profile art openings including artists Dan Flavin and Donald Judd’s largest show outside of the U.S., and will culminate with the glitzy celebrity filled red carpet of the Fashion Trust Arabia Awards. — Ritu Upadhyay

COMING SOON: Jimmy Choo has teased a collaboration with French fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier coming this October.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier

Markus Nass

The two brands will be working on an exclusive capsule collection of footwear, remixing the two brand’s house codes and a shared vision for “powerful, confident and glamourous femininity,” said Jimmy Choo in a statement.

The design will be headed up by Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi and Florence Tétier, creative director of fashion at Jean Paul Gaultier.

Earlier this week, WWD reported that Simone Rocha will be the next guest couturier at Jean Paul Gaultier.

A spokeswoman for the London-based designer confirmed she would pick up the design reins and show a one-off collection next January during Paris Couture Week.

Rocha posted on her Instagram account a bouquet of flowers with a note from Gaultier saying “Congratulations on your show. And see you for your next one…in Paris.”

The designers sketched a mini portrait of himself, dressed in a sailor-stripe top, and signed it “Jean Paul.”

Rocha will be the sixth guest couturier after Rabanne’s Julien Dossena, Haider Ackermann, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Glenn Martens of Y/Project and Diesel and Sacai’s Chitose Abe.

Following his retirement from the runway in 2020, Gaultier came up with the idea of the couture house inviting different designers to interpret his vast and eclectic oeuvre, achieved over a career spanning 50 years.

It’s quickly become a highlight of couture week — and fueled interest in Gaultier’s contributions to the fashion and pop culture.

Rocha, a Central Saint Martins graduate whose collection was immediately snapped up by Dover Street Market, is known for her romance, plays on volume, sheer layering and pearl embellishments.

Footwear has also been central to her collections, and her first big hit were brogues with Perspex heels. — Hikmat Mohammed

CELEBRATING 50: Superplastic is expanding its relationship with Tommy Hilfiger.

Ghost Kidz is comprised of Filth-E and Lil' ILL, both wearing Tommy Jeans.

Ghost Kidz is comprised of Filth-E and Lil’ Ill, both wearing Tommy Jeans.

Courtesy of Superplastic

Last year, the designer partnered with the art toy creation company on a virtual fashion show livestreamed on Roblox. The show featured some of Superplastic’s most popular characters including Janky, Guggimon and Dayzee, who walked the runway wearing the Tommy x Richard Quinn collection as part of its Tommy Play space.

And now, Hilfiger’s Tommy Jeans collection is being featured in a video created by Superplastic to commemorate 50 years of hip-hop. The video for “Big Bad” by the animated duo, Ghost Kidz, which drops Friday, features characters wearing pieces from the collection.

At the same time, Ghost Kidz is launching a limited-edition capsule with Tommy Jeans celebrating reworked styles from the 1990s. Highlights include a crewneck ($119), long-sleeve shirt ($69.50) and a T-shirt ($59.50) made from 50 percent organic cotton and featuring the Tommy flag along with the Ghost Kidz logo. In the video, the duo wears the collection while being chased through New York City by a magical giant squid who transforms into the rap artist Armani Caesar, who is also featured in the song.

Ghost Kidz debuted in July at the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami with a stage takeover and improvised performance before headliner Lil Uzi Vert’s final set. Since then, Ghost Kidz, which consists of Filth-E & Lil’ Ill, and has garnered a fan base on TikTok thanks to their first collaboration with rapper Vince Staples.

“The Tommy Hilfiger team is insanely amazing,” said Superplastic’s chief development officer Ioana Banu. “They’re always pushing the envelope, so it’s no surprise they teamed up with Ghost Kidz and their wonderful musical madness.”

The capsule drops Friday at 10 a.m. EST. It will be sold online at the Superplastic e-commerce site and its store at 15 Prince Street in New York. — Jean E. Palmieri

Comfort Clash: Jawara Alleyne, a Fashion East alumni, staged his off-schedule show on the last day of London Fashion Week in a Whitechapel room that resembled a chapel, with wooden floors, burning oud and stained glass windows.

For spring, the designer tapped into his memories of growing up in the Cayman Islands and made a statement about the clash between formal dressing and comfort.

Jawara Alleyne spring 2024

Jawara Alleyne spring 2024

“I think it’s really important to start to tell stories that are kind of honest. Looking back I understood what it was like being this person who was rebellious in this place that didn’t allow for the rebellion,” Alleyne said backstage.

On the runway there was a mix of deconstruction and signature safety pinning to portray workwear for the heat, with standouts including a gray jersey minidress featuring cutouts; a maxi chiffon ochre skirt adorned with sparkly flower shapes, and the closing red sheer dress with peplum that cascaded on the wooden floor. 

The collection was made from deadstock materials. 

“It’s a part of our culture to repurpose and remake things out of what has been around. For my business model as well, a lot of what I do actually requires just one-off things, a lot of custom orders, I do a lot of almost couture-like things,” Alleyne said. 

Throughout the collection, there was a strong reflection of culture and brand values, whilst maintaining a commercial element. — Maria Papakleanthous

STEPPING UP: Bernard McCracken, who has served as Lands’ End’s interim chief financial officer since January and chief accounting officer since April 2014, has been promoted to CFO.

Bernard McCracken

Bernard McCracken

Courtesy image

“Bernie McCracken has been an integral member of our finance organization for over nine years and has demonstrated the financial acumen, executive leadership and track record to lead our financial organization with excellence,” said Andrew McLean, chief executive officer of Lands’ End, the classic, all-American fashion brand. “Having worked closely with Bernie over the past eight months, I am confident that his appointment best positions Lands’ End to execute on our strategic goals and drive profitable growth.”

Josephine Linden, chair of the Lands’ End board of directors, added that the board conducted “a robust search process,” evaluated a number of highly qualified candidates and decided McCracken was the right person.

McCracken is responsible for financial reporting, corporate finance and planning, treasury, tax, procurement, accounting functions and business analytics. He also leads investor relations. Over his nearly four-decade career, McCracken held a variety of finance, accounting, audit and controller positions at The Children’s Place Inc., Footstar Inc., Deloitte & Touche LLP, The Leslie Fay Companies Inc. and Loehmann’s Inc.

As CFO, MCracken succeeds Jim Gooch, who served as president and CFO until January. — David Moin

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