ITALIAN FLAVOR: J. Crew is showing its love for Italian men’s fabrics in a new video that will debut today on its Web site. Called “Made in Italy,” it’s the second in a series of three short films by Douglas Keeve, the director of “Unzipped.” Entitled “About a Thread Count,” the video follows Frank Muytjens, head of men’s design, and Jenna Lyons, Crew’s president and executive creative director, to two of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious mills, Thomas Mason and Crespi, to learn more about the evolution of the company’s men’s shirts and suits. The video includes interviews with Silvio Albini, a fifth-generation member of the family that runs Thomas Mason, as well as Francesca Crespi, the first woman to run the Crespi mill, which has been in the same family for more than 200 years. Last month, the Italy video was “About a Shoe,” while the final one, “About a Print,” tours Ratti & Canepa and will debut in March.
— Jean E. Palmieri
CAM’S NEW TEAM: Under Armour is going back to its football roots, signing 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton as the newest face for the brand. The quarterback for the Auburn Tigers and 2010 AP Player of the Year will be featured in a national advertising and in-store campaign and will also wear the latest apparel from the brand at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine. This includes the Under Armour Coreshort and the company’s Game Day Armour collection.
“Cam Newton is an incredible talent and a proven champion whose skills are unique and exciting,” said Matt Mirchin, senior vice president of sports marketing for Under Armour. Other NFL stars who sport Under Armour include Tom Brady, Miles Austin and Anquan Boldin.
SHY GUY: Maybe you’ve heard of the forthcoming documentary “Bill Cunningham New York.” How is that film? “I wouldn’t know,” said Cunningham, the New York Times Sunday Styles photo-columnist, speaking over the phone from Times headquarters Wednesday morning. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to see films about yourself.”
Producer Philip Gefter and director Richard Press told WWD at a private screening in February that they spent eight years trying to convince the octogenarian photographer to agree to let them make a documentary about his work. “We wore him down, and he trusts us,” explained Gefter, who worked at the Times for 15 years as a page-one picture editor and arts writer.
Cunningham had a different explanation. “I did cooperate because the publisher of the Times asked me to,” he said. He explained that he has a very good relationship with Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and his family. “He didn’t call in a favor,” Cunningham said, “but I just wouldn’t disappoint him.”
— Zeke Turner
CREATIVE DIRECTORS SQUARE OFF: Life is good to Scott Dadich.
After being named the Condé Nast executive director of digital magazine development last summer, Dadich is still being recognized for his work as a design guy. The former Wired creative director was nominated 19 times by the Society of Publication Designers for their 46th magazine design competition. Dadich and New York Times Magazine design director Arem Duplessis led the pack, with GQ’s Fred Woodward coming in right behind them with 18 nominations. Dadich cleaned up on the digital side by scoring nominations for his work on Wired’s iPad app in all four tablet-related categories.
Dadich has done well in the award department in the past. Wired has won the gold medal for the SPD Magazine of the Year award for three consecutive years (likewise, Wired has won the National Magazine Award for design for three consecutive years, as well).
But he should enjoy it while it lasts. Back in October, Dadich resigned as creative director at Wired and now works exclusively as a corporate executive at 4 Times Square.
The winners for the SPD awards will be revealed at a dinner at Cipriani’s Wall Street in May.
— John Koblin
ENGLISH CHANNEL: Yves Saint Laurent has named Emelie Akerbrant as its communications director for the U.K., effective March 14. Akerbrant joins YSL from Purple public relations agency, where she oversaw such brands as Lanvin and Dover Street Market in the U.K. Based in London, she reports to Siddhartha Shukla, YSL’s Paris-based global communications director.
— Miles Socha
GOING FAST: Stylist Camilla Nickerson and photographer Mario Sorrenti teamed up to create the advertising campaign for Eequal, the new brand designed by Ennio Capasa for OVS Industry, the fast-fashion retailer part of Gruppo Coin SpA.
Shot in New York at the Hest Inc. studio, the black-and-white images feature groups of young boys and girls embodying the spirit of the collection, which is graphic and minimal, but with a rock ’n’ roll touch.
“In the fast-fashion scenario, where there is the general habit of copying and reproducing what the designers do, we want to deliver a democratic project with its own identity,” said Capasa. “The advertising campaign reflects our priority for creativity and high quality.”
The line made its debut Tuesday exclusively at the Milan OVS Industry store in Via Torino and will be available from March 1 in 115 doors in Italy, with prices ranging from 35 euros, or $48 at current exchange, for a skirt, to a maximum of 199 euros, or $272, for a leather jacket.
— Alessandra Turra