CRYPTO-FASHION: John Richmond is getting its slice of the NFT business.
On the heels of Milan Fashion Week, where it introduced its fall 2022 collection via a presentation, the brand unveiled a partnership with cryptocurrency provider Shiba Inu, one of the key players in the blockchain-enhanced ecosystem, for the launch of an NFT-based fashion collection later this year.
Called John Richmond x Shib, as in the name of the meme cryptocurrency issued by Shiba Inu, the collection will include 10,000 non-fungible tokens bowing in the second quarter of 2022. The company has yet to determine how the digital tokens will be marketed and said it is working on a “unique” experience.
Physical counterparts to the NFTs will then be paraded on the John Richmond runway during September’s Milan Fashion Week, slated to run Sept. 20 to 26.
The show will be titled “Legends Live Forever” and its fashion will be marketed as a see now, buy now collection immediately available at the brand’s Milan and Shanghai flagship stores, as well as on its e-commerce and at select e-tailers.
Many international fashion companies are experimenting with NFTs. Last week, Plein Sport relaunched as a metaverse-native brand offering a first drop of sneakers that come in NFT iterations, too, while Nigo’s first limited-edition capsule for Kenzo also counted a NFT counterpart.
John Richmond is operated by Arav Group, which also controls the Marcobologna and Silvian Heach brands. The group acquired a controlling stake in the fashion house founded by the British designer, who still holds the role of creative director, in 2017. — MARTINO CARRERA
READY FOR TAKEOFF: A serial collaborator who has scooped up partnerships with Adidas, Longchamp and Melissa, among others, Jeremy Scott has now lent his pop-tinged, playful creativity to luggage maker Carpisa.
“I apply my creativity to canvases whether it’s luggage, couture, strollers, carts.…I just want to inspire and excite people,” Scott said at a press preview in Milan on Tuesday. “I was excited about the idea of bringing my creativity to luggage and travel.…If you’re someone that has a really strong personality and style, but then your suitcase is boring it’s like [plays epic fail sound],” he noted.
The designer developed a two-drop collection for the brand, part of the Gruppo Pianoforte, which also owns innerwear label Yamamay. The first range lands in Carpisa’s stores on March 4 and online on Wednesday and comprises shopping bags, crossbodies, backpacks and weekend bags, as well as smaller accessories covered in images of classical sculptures ravaged with colorful paint, in a nod to graffiti art.
The second drop slated for April 5 dons cartoon-like airplane prints over a baby blue background.
“I had to do something,” Scott said with a chuckle when asked if the collection was a four-handed effort. “I was thinking about Italy and having fun with the culture and arts of the country with a playful touch,” he said.
All items across the two drops are crafted from an RPET recycled fabric similar to nylon in sync with the company’s sustainable bent, which Scott credited entirely to the luggage maker’s team. A three-piece travel set of trolleys is also made sustainably using a mix of 70 percent recycled materials.
The collection is completed by an airship-shaped crossbody bag, which nods to a similar style the American designer unveiled on the catwalk in 2003 for his namesake brand and that was produced in a limited run of eight to 10 pieces at the time. “It’s good to see it manufactured with great quality and accessible after many years,” Scott offered.
Tapping Scott as a collaborator was all but fortuitous. The U.S. is a target market for Carpisa, which is actively monitoring the country, seeking a local partner to develop its footprint. “As of now we’re hoping U.S. tourists will come back to the country leaving it with a Carpisa luggage in their hands,” said Gianluigi Cimmino, chief executive officer of Carpisa and Yamamay.
The company’s e-commerce is global, thus opening to international customers, including Americans, but expanding its physical retail presence is high on the executive’s agenda. “Data shows U.S. customers are interested in our products, they do buy in-store while in Italy especially in tourist destinations including Florence,” he said.
Scott appears in campaign imagery for the capsule and Cimmino confessed he couldn’t think of a better front man. “He is a pop and style icon, he represents everything we stand for, he’s also championed democratic fashion,” said the CEO. — M.C.