With the Summer Olympic Games kicking off in just over a week, designers are banking that consumers will want a piece of the action, however small it may be. Their anticipation has ushered in a spate of Olympic-centric accessories. The key element? Eye-catching signage, often in the form of Union Jack flags and the Olympic rings. RELATED STORY: Olympics Summer 2012 Preview, Get Your Game On >>
While most brands aren’t officially affiliated with the Olympics, Swiss watchmaker Omega scored the role of the Games’ official timekeeper. This entails ticking away the seconds by a 450-person professional Omega-deployed crew measuring via the Quantum Timer and the Quantum Aquatics Timer, devices that can quantify down to one-millionth of a second. There’s a consumer hook, too. It may not tell time down to that precision, but the stainless-steel and steel-yellow-gold wristwatch with an alligator strap from Omega’s three-piece limited-edition collection oozes intrigue all the same. The watches, available since April, all feature the official London Games emblem stamped on their back face. “The Olympic Games is the highest-profile sporting platform in the world, so there is obviously an enormous amount of appeal for items with a connection to them,” says Omega’s president, Stephen Urquhart.
Other brands look to the Union Jack. Though a long-standing favorite of designers, the motif is now in fashion overdrive. The pattern is pumping up everything from glitzy crystal-encrusted wedges to bold minaudières and studded smoking slippers. “As a British designer, it’s great to have all eyes on London,” says Lulu Guinness, who worked it in snakeskin for her signature pout-shaped clutch. “There are Union Jacks everywhere in London, especially since the Jubilee and now with the Olympics — it really is London’s year.”
Sharing the design spotlight with the British flag: the Olympic rings, go-to graphic of the sports juggernaut. Designers are finding unexpected ways of incorporating the famed symbol into their pieces. Cesare Paciotti printed a hot-pink version on the side of his white Lady Victoria pumps, which became available only at his Madison Avenue boutique in New York beginning in June. “The shoe itself represents the perfect marriage between the sexy woman’s spirit and the highest example of sporting spirit,” Paciotti says. Anya Hindmarch went a subtler route, putting a quirky spin on the plimsoll, the Brit term for sneakers with a rubber sole and a canvas top. Created in collaboration with sportswear company Dunlop, Hindmarch’s take is a luxed-up version of the classic, done in canvas, ostrich and suede with colored lace holes to mimic the Olympic rings. The tricked-out shoes became available for purchase (exclusively at Hindmarch’s London flagship and on the designer’s Web site) on Monday. “I think everyone likes to have a souvenir, to mark that particular moment in time and to show that they were a part of it all,” she says. “I’m lucky enough to have tickets!”
Are the London Olympics inspiring British designers and retailers to get into shape? See Thursday's WWD.
@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)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia