Once Victoria’s Secret eliminated its swimwear division last year, Ariela Balk saw an opportunity to ramp things up for Smart and Sexy, her cup-sized swimwear brand.“There aren’t a lot of people doing affordable cup-sized swimwear and I felt there was a void,” said Balk, who introduced the brand 10 years ago. “I felt like it’s time for us to do some advertising around the brand and really push it.”Balk tapped Joan Smalls to appear in the campaign, which was styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele and shot by Chris Colls in Port Antonio, Jamaica. The ad, which appeared in Glamour’s May issue and will also be printed in Cosmopolitan’s June issue, focused on nude styles."Joan is muscular. She’s powerful and she’s smart,” Balk said. “It was important for us to find someone who was smart and sexy and a role model.”The Smart and Sexy collection is priced from $14 to $27. Tops range from 32A to 38DDD and bottoms run from small to XXL. The line is sold in Wal-Mart, on Amazon and on Smart and Sexy’s dedicated e-commerce site.“With Victoria’s Secret, they are presenting a man’s version of sexy, and we are very committed to depicting women how they see themselves and powerful and not objectified,” Balk said.In addition to running Smart and Sexy, Balk is the president and chief executive officer of Ariela and Associates, which is a privately held global manufacturer of intimate apparel, sleepwear and swimwear for brands including Fruit of the Loom and Bestform. She previously held the intimate apparel license for Badgley Mischka. Balk, who is a part of the "Women Owned" initiative at Wal-Mart, launched the business 20 years ago.More From WWD:Swimsuits for All to Launch Smaller SizesIntimissimi Expands in the U.S.Spanx Goes After Bras
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion