The Grammy-winning musician has entered into a partnership with Bionic Yarn, a two-year-old textile firm based in New York dedicated to developing environmentally sustainable fabrics. In this new role, Williams is both an owner and investor in the company, as well as an ambassador and spokesman for the brand. Williams has been on an acquisition spree lately: last week, he was spotted at Art Basel Miami, where sources said he snapped up a work by Takashi Murakami. (For more on the Miami scene, see page 4.)
Bionic Yarn engineers, markets and manufactures premium yarns and fabrics using fibers comprised of recycled plastic bottles. The company’s primary applications include backpacks, luggage, handbags, activewear, outdoor apparel, workwear, casual apparel, denim, footwear and home furnishings. Bionic Yarn already has corporate partnerships with companies including Cole Haan, End Star, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream (which Williams owns with Japanese fashion star Nigo), Prana, Mission Playground and Sophomore.
“I’m so interested in the technology behind this,” Williams told WWD of his decision to become a partner in Bionic Yarn. “I’m also very concerned about the environment and want to make a conscious effort to make it better.”
Williams said he will work hard to get the word out about the importance of utilizing the sustainable fabric and is working with his partner, Tyson Toussant, to develop textiles.
“We were just looking at this new canvas that is amazing,” he said. “Basically, the denim is still denim, the cotton is still cotton. The process to make the Bionic Yarn makes it extremely durable and gives it a really luxurious feel. When Nigo’s team — my partners at BBC/Ice Cream — felt the Bionic Yarn cotton, they couldn’t believe how smooth it feels.” Nigo also owns the trendy Japanese brand A Bathing Ape.
According to company research, more than 60 million plastic bottles go from the consumer to landfills and incinerators each day. Bionic Yarn’s mission is to preserve and protect the environment by creating these high-performance recycled fabrics to be used to create everyday items. The average piece of luggage made of Bionic Yarn contains 18 (1 liter) recycled plastic water bottles and the average pair of jeans made of the fabric contains seven recycled plastic beverage bottles.
“Our goal is to be the go-to fabric supplier,” Williams said. “We want to provide quality fabrics that happen to also be sustainable. We want to do everything from high-end luggage, to high-end denim, to university caps and gowns to Parks Department uniforms. It’s a plus that the fabric brings environmentalism to a whole new level.”
Besides these partnerships with Bionic Yarn and the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream brands, Williams also partnered with Louis Vuitton earlier this year when he collaborated on a fine jewelry line and a collection of sunglasses.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion