NEW YORK — An eclectic group gathered in the penthouse of the NoMad Hotel on Thursday morning. Present in front of the room were Livia Firth, Narciso Rodriguez and Candice Swanepoel. The trio was joined by Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman of The Bottletop Foundation and Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo Global Beverages Group, as Firth presented the official Green Carpet Challenge Brandmark to Rodriguez’s line of sustainable handbags for Bottletop x Pepsi.
The collection, now in its second season, uses Amazon Basin-friendly leather and recycled aluminum pull tabs in its designs, and is handcrafted by local women at the Bottletop atelier in Brazil. Swanepoel serves as the face of the collaboration, with Pepsi providing financial support to expand the Bottletop team, as well as contributing toward health insurance for women working in the atelier. The teaming of Rodriguez and Bottletop was initiated by an unlikely source — actress Jessica Alba. “She’s a mutual friend,” said Saul, whose father is Mulberry founder Roger Saul. “She said, ‘I think Narciso would be blown away by this and you guys would get along really well.’ It turned out that his home in Brazil was a few hours away from our atelier. It was kind of a no-brainer moment.”
Just less than two years later, the pairing is unveiling its fall offerings, which employ a braiding technique that blends upcycled metal with leather. The collection also includes several new styles, such as envelope clutches made to double as iPad cases. “We wanted to create something substantially different,” said Rodriguez. “I took ideas we were working on [at Narciso Rodriguez] and married it to what Bottletop already had.”
Carrying an all-black style from the spring collection, Firth had her sights set on a burnt orange design for fall. “I want it,” she said, eying the iPad case. “I saw the bags for the first time in December. I was like, ‘Can I have one?’ I’m used to the Bottletop design, but I’ve never seen it done covered in leather. It blew my mind.”
Firth, a fan of Bottletop since its inception in 2002, was pleased to recognize the collaboration’s dedication to ethical fashion. “It’s the future of fashion,” she said of the sustainable focus. “Look at what happened in Rana Plaza last year with the factory collapsing. What it shows beyond any doubt is how distant the brands and the consumer are from the people who actually produce the products. This project proves that that connection is so important, and also that you can achieve amazing products and be in a profitable business by valuing the lives of the people — in this case, women — who make the products for your brand. It’s so important.”
The fall collection is available exclusively at Isetan in Japan, Holt Renfrew in Canada, Harrods in London, Mares in Brazil and Jeffrey in the U.S. Prices range from $695 to $2,000.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion