In keeping with her belief that clothes can empower women, Catherine Malandrino has teamed up with her friend Mary J. Blige to cobrand a T-shirt collection that will strive to do just that.
Their new label, FFAWN + Catherine Malandrino, features tunics with hand-painted messages such as “I’m Free” and “I’m Power.” The collection will hit stores next week. As a nine-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 65 million records, Blige knows the impact of making an appearance. But the one she and Malandrino have penciled in for Feb. 17 at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan is geared to drum up attention for FFAWN, Foundation for the Achievement of Women Now, the charity she started in 2008.
The pair first joined forces in fall 2001, when Blige performed at a Malandrino fashion show at the Apollo Theater. Malandrino said she was drawn to Blige’s motivating anthems, as well as her beauty and strength. “As a designer, I feel I have a role to play. What I want is to free women,” she said. “Femininity is a strength and not a weakness.”
Malandrino, who serves on FFAWN’s board of directors, and Blige will greet shoppers at Bloomingdale’s new 350-square-foot Catherine Malandrino concept shop. The off-the-shoulder tops, which retail starting at $39, will also be sold in the designer’s freestanding stores, and a percentage of all sales will benefit FFAWN. Additional styles will play up an abstract illustration of a phoenix and the FFAWN logo.
Blige said she and Malandrino coined the phrase “T-luxe” to describe the shirts. “Even better, every woman can feel beautiful and comfortable rocking these Ts just about anywhere,” Blige said.
“Catherine has been a dear friend of mine for years and, after she learned about FFAWN and our mission, she offered to create a T-shirt collection that would celebrate being women, being strong and being free. These are not your average T-shirts,” she said.
Frank Doroff, vice chairman and general merchandise manager of Bloomingdale’s, said, “This was the perfect time since Bloomingdale’s is building a new shop dedicated to Catherine Malandrino. We have always loved her designs and been great partners. We are thrilled to be supporting Mary J Blige’s organization, FFAWN, and showing our customers that giving is just as stylish as receiving.”
Next week’s event wont be the first time Malandrino and Blige have supported eachother. The duo have made a point of propping each other up before pivotal events. Blige routinely sends a few kind words Malandrino’s way before her runway shows. “It is really a quick note to let me know she is thinking of me. I try to do the same for her,” Malandrino said. “This makes for a very important moment of warmth and empowerment for me. I don’t know if empowerment will happen for certain this time [Sunday will be Malandrino’s presentation during New York Fashion Week], but I am expecting it.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)