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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)