CONVERSATION STARTER: Limited-edition collaborative museum merchandise tends to be a little ho-hum, but the one that Kerby Jean-Raymond has created for the Metropolitan Museum of Art is anything but that.
Available starting tomorrow at noon EST via @themetstore on Instagram, the crewneck sweatshirt is imprinted with Pyer Moss and the museum’s name on the front and numbers on the back that represent the most commonly used bullet calibers, according to a spokesperson. The reference is meant to generate more discussion about the prevalence of guns in the U.S.
The sweatshirt, which has the Pyer Moss label, will be offered in red or black.
The sweatshirt is one of the collaborative designer items for The Met that is being offered as a nod to the Costume Institute’s yearlong two-part exhibition that is dedicated to American fashion.
The first installment, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” is already on view and the second part, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” bows on May 5.
Jean-Raymond’s design is also derivative of the red ensemble that included a flak jacket he wore to the Met Gala in September. While designers such as the late Virgil Abloh previously featured flak jackets in their collections, the Pyer Moss designer took the issue of gun violence to the forefront, by wearing one on the red carpet at last fall’s Met Gala.
From 2019 to 2020, deaths caused by gun violence increased by 30 percent, according to the research group Gun Violence Archive, and last year that figure reportedly increased by 7 percent more totaling nearly 21,000 deaths.
In recent years, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Moschino’s Jeremy Scott helped to raise awareness about the issues of gun violence and gun safety. And in 2018, Cynthia Rowley and actress Julianne Moore launched the Everytown Fashion Council with the support of such designers as Tom Ford and Zac Posen. Operating under the gun safety advocacy group Everytown, the project was started to engage the fashion community to try to reduce gun violence.
Last year Jean-Raymond became the first Black American designer to be invited by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode to appear on its official calendar and to present a collection. Although he parted ways with Reebok after his contract wound down, the designer has the Kering-supported venture Your Friends in New York, which supports on-the-rise talent. — Rosemary Feitelberg
IN BLOOM: Blackpink’s Rosé is assuming duties as Tiffany’s key spokeswoman for its Hardwear collection once again.
The New Zealand-born, South Korean-based megastar was photographed by Mario Sorrenti in New York City, marking her second major campaign for the jeweler.
Rosé, born Chae-young Park, is shown diamond-heavy pieces from Tiffany’s Hardwear collection, like its graduated link 18-karat rose gold pavé necklace. In other photos she is shown wearing an 18-karat yellow gold wrap bracelet and a double-link pendant in 18-karat gold, also both from the Hardwear collection. The pop star wears minimalist fashions to emphasize the collection’s architectural shapes.
Tiffany is planning to release Hardwear collections that will hit global stores in July and November of this year.
The jeweler’s latest campaign will be released on March 14 across Tiffany’s digital channels and in select print outlets.
It arrives just in time for Rosé to see it, as the starlet has just been released from quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 in late February. Although her representatives said she was asymptomatic, she was forced to cancel overseas appearances. — Misty White Sidell
ARTIST’S MUSE: Clothing does not have to be the enemy of sustainable living. After all, even the most ardent of activists have to get dressed in the morning. Luckily, designers like Lia Kes exist to wardrobe them.
She recently teamed up with artist and fellow environmentalist Zaria Forman to launch a capsule collection available to shop Thursday.
Featuring Forman’s pastel renderings of melted arctic ice caps, the eight pieces chronicle global warming’s impact on one of Earth’s most fragile biomes.
“The whole project is an invigorating and powerful experience where the real value comes from the energy behind the process and not the commodity,” said Kes.
Prior to attending Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Kes was raised on Kibbutz Afikim in Israel’s Jordan Valley. The verdant landscape that surrounded her, as well as the commune’s devotion to preserving it, informed her relationship with climate advocacy. The designer builds on the artisanal techniques she learned in the Afikim workshop, applying these to a range of seasonless garments executed mostly in silk.
A longtime muse of Kes, Forman was given carte blanche on the designer’s most popular silhouettes. Their clean, sinuous lines heighten the visual impact of her hyperrealist work, which, in a spectrum of ultramarine, pits natural beauty against a harrowing reality.
This is most prevalent on a floor-length slip pieced together from patches of upcycled silk charmeuse. Raw edges fracture the dress’ surface, lending a rugged touch. For when contributing to a sustainable future requires a bit of elbow grease, there is a cotton twill jumpsuit with pockets big enough for gardening tools as well as a cropped organza hoodie, an oversized T-shirt and a coordinating pair of drawstring joggers.
Collaboration came naturally to Kes and Forman, as both women share a mutual understanding of how creative endeavors can drive social change. “Art plays a critical role in communicating the complex issues involved in the climate emergency,” said Forman who was the artist-in-residence aboard the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica. “We need people and parties from all arenas to work together.”
In addition to the Kes e-commerce platform and Upper West Side boutique, pieces from the capsule will be available at a new location in SoHo, which opened March 5. By expanding her brand’s footprint in New York, the designer hopes to further engage a downtown clientele. “I am particularly excited about this new retail space as it will also become a locus for small events and special projects,” she said.
Prices for the Kes and Lia Forman capsule range from $295 to $925. — Ari Stark
The British designer is launching a capsule collection of co-branded utilitarian bags dropping Thursday, which he described as being in sync with his brand’s democratization strategy that commenced last year.
Building on Eastpak’s signature styles, the Milan-based Barrett reinterpreted each design through the lens of its modernist and graphic fashion vocabulary, adding functional details that should resonate with his audience.
Matte details, such as embossed branding and laser printing, run through the collection, which includes the “Padded” backpack featuring a water-repellent shell and a zippered rear security pocket and trolley loop. The “One” crossbody bag boasts a water-repellent zipper tape, while the functional duffel bag features a range of multipurpose pockets. The capsule also includes a fanny pack and the exclusive “Topload” backpack design, which features a built-in padded laptop sleeve and utilitarian pockets.
“My dream for years has been to offer collections to a larger audience through more democratic prices while maintaining the luxury quality for which the brand is well-known,” Barrett said. “Collaborating with Eastpak, we have reached this goal! We share the same vision on quality and design, so it has been a pleasure developing the collection together.”
Retailing at between 75 euros and 250 euros, the collection drops Thursday on both brands’ online stores and will subsequently roll out at physical Eastpak flagships and a selection of global Barrett’s stockists.
In recent seasons, Barrett has been experimenting with co-brandings. For instance, his fall 2022 men’s collection included a range of Alpha Industries’ bombers and parkas inspired by the outerwear specialist’s MA-1 VF 59 flight jacket.
Eastpak, too, is not new to partnerships having scored premium collaborations in the designer fashion world as of late. Recent tie-ups included MSGM, MM6 Maison Margiela and Raf Simons, among other brands. — Martino Carrera
A NEW ERA: Montblanc is lifting the veil on a new era of leather goods, this time designed by a luxury industry veteran.
Marco Tomasetta has previously held design roles at Prada, Chloé and Louis Vuitton and was most recently Givenchy’s creative design director for men’s and women’s leather goods.
His first collection for Montblanc as artistic director is called Meisterstück, the same name as one of the company’s famous writing instruments. Many of the collection’s details, like zipper pulls and other hardware, play back to the tradition of fine writing instruments, and each bag is, of course, equipped with special locations to fit a pen.
Each new design comes understatedly marked with Montblanc’s curved star emblem, which Tomasetta felt was key to building a stronger brand presence. “I’m hoping you can see there is a bigger emblem present and the details have the shape of the Meisterstück. All the shapes and lines recall elements of the Meisterstück. Writing is the common thread among all of the products,” he told WWD through a translator.
Function and versatility were among Tomasetta’s main objectives. “The first thing I wanted to do with Montblanc was work with materials that were more supple or avant garde in order to design new products to protect daily technology and, of course, pens,” the designer said.
Leather briefcases, laptop carriers, tote bags, cross-body styles and wallets made of soft matte leather all have sleek silhouettes and proportions — offering a timely sense of minimalism that carries over into more conservative professional settings as well.
While Montblanc is more known for its pens than its leather bags, Tomasetta countered that, “Givenchy [where I most recently worked] doesn’t have a tradition in leather and accessories, while Montblanc is more credible in that market. I wanted to join Montblanc because it has leather in its DNA and looking back in the archives, they had a pen first and then came a selection of small leather goods to protect the writing instruments. It’s a tradition.”
Prices start at $290 for a card case to more than $2,000 for a duffel bag, which the brand considers its hero item. The collection will be available on Montblanc’s website as well as in its global boutiques beginning Thursday. — M.W.S.