SYDNEY — The Donald has his apprentices and now so do Karl, Donatella, Francisco, Paul and Franca.
At Pitti Uomo in Florence, Australian Wool Innovation will today reveal The Protégé Project, an estimated 2.5 million Australian dollar, or $2.1 million at current exchange, marketing initiative that will see Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace, Francisco Costa, Paul Smith and Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani each mentor their handpicked protégés to design an Australian merino wool-based collection.
To be featured in Vogue Italia's July edition, the protégés — Jean-Pierre Braganza (Lagerfeld), Kristian Aadnevik (Versace), Julian Louie (Costa), Ioannis Cholidis (Smith) and Sandra Backlund (Sozzani) — will unveil their sample collections during Pitti Uomo in January 2008. Later that month, the collections will travel to New York for Australia Week. At press time, it had yet to be determined whether the collections would be produced for wholesale.
Braganza and Aadnevik are regulars at London Fashion Week and Backlund's avant-garde knitwear won the Grand Prix at Hyère's 2007 Festival International de Mode et de Photographie — not to mention her recent collaboration with Louis Vuitton.
More under the radar are Louie and Cholidis. A California native with a degree in architecture, Louie interned at Imitation of Christ before joining Costa's design staff at Calvin Klein. Greek men's wear designer Cholidis, a Central Saint Martins graduate who showed in the London design school's group show at London Fashion Week in February, has worked on collaborations with Stella McCartney and Puma.
With numerous Italian textile companies and manufacturers also on board for the project, from Ermenegildo Zegna to Chiavazza, Australian Wool Innovation will be encouraging the protégés to pioneer new yarns — just as the research and development arm of the Australian wool industry has done in collaboration with several Australian fashion labels, including Josh Goot, Akira Isogawa, Easton Pearson and Jayson Brunsdon.
The protégé program is one of a series of initiatives launched to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Australian wool trade, which today is a 3 billion Australian dollar, or $2.53 billion, export industry. Sheep were transported to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, but it took another 19 years before the first bale of Australian merino wool was exported back to London in 1807 by Rev. Samuel Marsden, the owner of the third largest Australian merino flock at the time.On Tuesday, a replica of a wool coat once worn by Marsden to meet King George III was presented to the Australian High Commissioner in London. Coinciding with Sydney Design Week on July 25, a major retrospective exhibition called "Fashion From Fleece" will open at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. Among other exhibits, it will showcase merino garments from international brands such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Proenza Schouler, and Australians including Goot, Isogawa, Brunsdon, Collette Dinnigan and Martin Grant.
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