AUSSIE FOCUS: Fashion gaming app Drest has partnered with Sydney’s SCCI: Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas ahead of the Australian cultural institution launching fashion and architecture hubs at London’s Design Museum on Friday.
To coincide with the program, which will see more than 40 Australian designers and thinkers in the fields of fashion, architecture, culture and art sharing ideas and creativity over the coming two weekends, Drest will launch a series of in-app challenges.
For the fashion hub launch, Drest offers its players the chance to style the collections of two Australian fashion designers, Among Equals and Romance Was Born.
The architecture hub launching on Nov. 4 will encourage its players to create a fashion shoot in the featured architects’ project locations, using a dedicated edit of Australian brands, including Zimmermann, Dion Lee, Christopher Esber and Dinosaur Design.
Gene Sherman, founder and director of SCCI, said she is pleased that “one of Australia’s rising fashion labels, Romance Was Born, and one of the Pacific region’s most ingenious artisan-empowering not-for-profits, Among Equals” are highlighted in this collaboration with Drest.
“The best of Australian fashion is now, with Drest, at your fingertips,” Sherman said.
Lucy Yeomans, founder and chief brand and product officer of Drest, added that, “We look forward to bringing to our users some fantastic emerging Australian brands to discover and style with, as well as introducing them to some of the country’s most interesting architectural talent.” — TIANWEI ZHANG
SUPER COLLAB: KidSuper, the buzzy New York-based brand created by Colm Dillane, has worked on co-branded product with everyone from Spaghettios and Modelo to Jägermeister and Puma. Now he’s prepping for its next collaboration — and it’s a big one: Tommy Hilfiger.
Dillane told WWD that he is working with the storied designer on a partnership project that he hopes will launch in the winter of 2024. He recently visited Hilfiger at the company’s massive archive in Brooklyn, New York, where they went through some of the brand’s most iconic products.
Dillane said in addition to the depth of the collection, he was impressed with the designer himself. “I was surprised he was a human,” he said of Hilfiger. “He was so personable.”
Although the collaboration is still a work in progress and won’t become reality for at least 17 months — “I could have two children in the time it takes when you work with a big company,” Dillane said with a laugh — he expects it will be menswear only.
Dillane, a New York City native, attended Brooklyn Technical High School and New York University before embracing fashion full time, although he started making T-shirts when he was in high school. Over the last few years, he has shown his collection during Paris Fashion Week and sells at Dover Street Market, Ssense, Selfridges, LuisaViaRoma and other high-profile stores. He was awarded the Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in September 2021. He is close to finishing the renovation of a 10,000-square-foot building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, that will serve as his studio as well as a gallery, recording studio and retail store. It will also house a soccer field, one of Dillane’s passions. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
THIRD TIME: Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission said Thursday it will be hosting the third edition of its development focused conference “Fashion Futures” in the capital city of Riyadh from Nov. 17 to 19.
“Fashion Futures” unites the kingdom’s fashion community under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture, with the objective of developing the fashion ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. Held under the patronage of HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., the event has become a key milestone on the fashion calendar in the Middle East. “The ‘Fashion Futures’ conference showcases the incredible talent and thriving fashion scene in the kingdom. It is a testament to our Saudi creativity and collaboration and provides the opportunity for our designers to receive well-deserved international recognition,” Princess Reema said.
The four main themes of “Fashion Futures” this year are sustainability, entrepreneurship, diversity and innovation. An international lineup of speakers will take part in panel discussions and workshops. The Future Fabrics Expo, the world’s largest dedicated sustainable sourcing showcase, will be coming to Riyadh for its first exhibition in the region, showcasing thousands of sustainable, commercially available textiles and cutting-edge materials.
Burak Çakmak, chief executive officer of the Fashion Commission, said, “We have placed innovation at the heart of the conference this year, with textiles as a key theme. Unlocking the potential of cleaner, greener solutions requires consumer, industry and government buy-in that initiatives such as ‘Fashion Futures’ will help to achieve.”
The Fashion Commission will also host an open to the public “swap shop” in partnership with Yoox Net-a-porter to encourage sustainable consumption.
The extensive development-focused program will also include masterclasses in partnership with Italian design schools Istituto Marangoni and Accademia Costume & Moda covering topics ranging from branding to merchandising and supply chain. The Middle East’s largest luxury retailer, Chalhoub Group, will offer workshops as well.
With 70 percent of the population of the Saudi Arabia under the age of 30, the commission is focused on growing and mentoring the creative potential of Saudi’s youth as the country goes through a period of pivotal transformation. The event is a unique opportunity for international visitors to also experience the fast paced changed, Çakmak said. He described the event as “building bridges” locally and globally, across the industry.
Past speakers of “Fashion Future” have included actress and activist Rosario Dawson; designers Rebecca Minkoff, Iris van Herpen, Bibhu Mohapatra, and Giles Deacon; model Halima Aden; fashion industry insiders like Nadja Swarovski, Fern Mallis, model and environmentalist Arizona Muse, Frederic Fekkai, and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, as well as executives like Ravi Thakran, group chairman of LVMH Southeast Asia and Middle East. — RITU UPADHYAY