One of the most celebrated art directors working in the industry today, Simmonds is best known for working with Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele on reviving the brand by building an distinctive visual language from 2015 till today.
Prior to that, he was the creative director at Dazed and Confused for six years. Via his own agency, Simmonds Ltd., founded in 2009, he has also worked with Balenciaga, Dior, Givenchy, Diesel and JW Anderson.
Matthew Whitehouse, editor of The Face, said: “From our first conversations, it was clear that Chris shared a love for The Face and the communicative power of print, generally. He brought with him a sense of humor and irreverence that has always been an important part of what we do. And it felt exciting, three years into relaunch, to have a fresh pair of eyes probing, questioning and being excited with us.”
Dan Flower, the magazine’s managing director, believes that with Simmonds, The Face will be able to “continue to elevate its storytelling in new and innovative ways across print and digital,” and to “capture the ‘now’ in the most visually impactful way possible.”
Commenting on his new post, Simmonds revealed that it was a 1997 issue of The Face, where Karen Elson shot by Luis Sanchis fronted the cover, inspired him to become an art director.
“Now, 25 years later, it is an honor to be tasked with helping continue that legacy and I hope that somewhere out there, someone is as enthralled with what the whole team will create, as I was all those years ago,” he said.
CHANEL, SEASON TWO: “Chanel Connects,” the podcast from the French luxury brand, is returning for a second installment with a new cast of creatives across film, art, dance, music and more. Moving the conversation forward from the inaugural series, which focused on “what’s new in arts and culture,” season two will be exploring “what happens next” with industry figures including Maisie Williams, Grimes, Kehinde Wiley, Lil Buck, Honey Dijon, Anicka Yi, G- Dragon and Misan Harriman.
The topics discussed in the podcast will vary from “Myth Making” with Harriman and Wiley; “Into the Metaverse” with Williams and Grimes; “The Comedy in Tragedy” with director Emerald Fennell and writer Gillian Flynn, and “Transforming Dance” with Lil Buck and David Hallberg.
For the first time, two out of the eight episodes will be in Korean and French to reach a wider audience. All episodes are available on all streaming platforms and the brand’s own site.
Yana Peel, global head of arts and culture at Chanel, said the series will offer “rare insight into the world’s most creative minds as they celebrate the brave ideas that move us forward. Their voices and bold ambitions are not only defining culture today but shaping the conversations of the future.”
In 2017, the brand ventured into the world of luxury fashion podcasts by launching 3.55, a fashion-focused series with friends and brand ambassadors of the house, including Keira Knightley, Sofia Coppola and Williams.
In episode one, “Into the Metaverse,” Williams opens up about the trials and tribulations of fame, revealing that she knew acting was going to be fulfilling, but “being famous could be really unfulfilling. And I just thought it was really important for people to, however you get famous, you realize that’s not the best part of it.”
“The big thing is the mental health aspect of the digital world. We sort of jumped into the deep end and people didn’t really consider how intense it’s going to be on social media and everything,” Grimes adds to Williams’ point.
In another, Fennell, who portrayed Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in “The Crown,” discusses female violence with Flynn. “We have a vast appetite for cruelty, but it’s very different. I would say, and people don’t like to talk about it because it’s troubling, because we have to be good, because for society to work we all have to be good mothers, wives, but you know, the truth of it is, we’re not nice,” she says.
In “The Power of Sound and Vision,” the Korean feature, musician G-Dragon reflects on creating “a new vision rather than following the trend of the era” with “Parasite” cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo. — SAMANTHA CONTI
NEW PARTNER: Alexis Arnault has been promoted to partner, media relations at KCD Paris.
Arnault will leave his current role as managing director of media relations, a post he has held since October 2017. He will work alongside Laurence Laure, partner and managing director of the KCD Paris office, to transition the office ahead of her retirement this fall.
As partner, Arnault will lead the KCD Paris office while developing and implementing strategic direction and vision for the agency alongside chairman Julie Mannion and KCD’s six global partners in New York, Paris and London.
Laure was hired when KCD was looking to expand into Europe with a Paris office. KCD Paris opened in 1999 and Laure led the financial structure and business development. She also served as mentor and leader to the Paris team, which has grown from three to more than 25 people today.
“Laurence will be missed tremendously,” said Mannion. “She is the heart of our Paris office and has been instrumental in its growth and development. We are excited for her next chapter, but she will always remain in the KCD family.”
During his 18-year tenure at KCD Paris, Arnault has been an integral part of the Paris Media Relations team, which serves as the European hub for the agency. He has led key accounts including Balmain, Mugler, Gap, Ami, Wooyoungmi and Amazon Fashion, most recently working with Marine Serre, Brunello Cucinelli and Iris van Herpen, as well as on events and initiatives for brands including Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta and Giorgio Armani. As managing director, Arnault has been responsible for developing the Paris Media Relations team and growing new business for the Paris office and the KCD Media Relations Group worldwide.
“Alexis provides strategic leadership for the agency’s clients, which has led to the continued growth of KCD in the European market,” Mannion said. “His dedication to the team, which has doubled in size since his start at the agency, is immeasurable and we are proud to have him continue to lead the office and agency from both a client and structural perspective.” — LISA LOCKWOOD
GREEN FASHION TALK: News of a new sustainable fashion podcast called “Hot Buttons” is hot off the press.
The show will air June 16 across Spotify, Apple Music and wherever podcasts are streamed. Produced by Post Script Media Inc., Hot Buttons will follow in the footsteps of Post Script’s other podcasts (all with a climate bender) including “Catalyst,” debunking climate tech with investor Shayle Kann, and “The Big Switch” detailing a road map to net-zero buildings.
Hosted by journalist Christina Binkley, circularity consultant and founder of Circular Services Group Rachel Kibbe and Thrilling cofounder Shilla Kim-Parker, Hot Buttons aims to put sustainable fashion on blast in a weekly news recap format. While the discussion mostly centers on sustainable fashion trends, the show will cover people, policies, tech innovations, culture and the fashion companies doing right or wrong by sustainable consumers.
Scott Clavenna, cofounder and chief executive officer of Post Script, expressed excitement for the show. “They have a lot of fun talking with each other, and are deep enough in the industry to make every conversation one where I come away surprised and entertained and waiting for more.”
With all cohosts helping to set the stage in the podcast’s trailer, in a clip released this week, Rachel Kibbe summed up the inherent need for the airing out of sustainable fashion’s hot takes: “Fashion is a dirty industry and its environmental impact is no secret. But as the fashion industry reckons with sustainability, it’s still pumping out more products than ever.” — KALEY ROSHITSH