When Shigenori Itoh first came to the U.S. in the fall of 2007, as vice president of Casio’s timepiece division, one particular magazine cover struck his eye. It was the August/September issue of Complex, and smack on the front was a grinning portrait of Kanye West wearing a pale silver jacket and a bright blue tie. The Casio exec, however, homed in on a specific detail: West’s bold pink watch. “He was wearing G-Shock,” Itoh recalled, through a translator. “At that time, I had heard of Kanye West, but did not know he enjoyed our brand.”
Fast-forward to today. Tonight the singer will take over Cipriani on Wall Street for a party hosted by Casio to celebrate upcoming products and collaborations. It’s the second time West has headlined one of the company’s events: Last year, he helped fete G-Shock’s 25th anniversary at Guastavino’s. The fact that the watchmaker should pull in so big a performer again, especially for what amounts to a glorified press conference, speaks to the event itself — there’s a lot of news to announce.
For starters, Casio’s new shop-in-shop at New York’s Tourneau flagship opened Friday, its first such retail outpost in the U.S. And come September, Casio will finally introduce its G-Shock Mini collection, the scaled-down women’s counterpart to the main men’s offerings, to the U.S. market. Three models, priced at $95 each and launching exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, will be available in pink, white and black resin. “There are many features in this watch that make it one of the toughest in the world — vibration, shock, mud and water resistance — but it’s still chic and feminine,” said Itoh. Also tonight: the worldwide debut of Casio’s G-Aviation and G-Rescue models. Details for the latter include supersize buttons — the largest in G-Shock history — and for the former, a watch face reminiscent of cockpit flight instruments.
Then there are the collaborations. Casio has teamed up with hip-hop producer and rapper Redman, tattoo and graffiti artist Mister Cartoon and professional skateboarder-turned-photographer Todd Jordan on a series of limited edition G-Shock watches, to retail for $120. The Redman-designed timepiece is a bright crimson — natch; Mister Cartoon’s version includes an edgy clown graphic, while Jordan’s model is streamlined, two toned and minimal.
And these are just the U.S. announcements. Tonight’s bash is one of a number of global “Shock the World” promotional stops. The 12-city tour began in London in June and will conclude with a party in Tokyo in December. Each country boasts its own artist G-Shock collaborations and launch performer. “It’s important for us to keep the brand awareness,” said Itoh. “And this is a good time to expand because the buying power is still there despite the economy.”
Indeed. According to Itoh, sales for Casio’s G-Shock division grew 1.5 times in the past year. “G-Shock is recession proof,” he says of the line, which boasts wallet-friendly prices of $500 or less. “In the late Nineties in Japan, for example, we expanded our brands the most when we were right in the midst of a Japanese recession.”
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)