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.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye