The British designer, who is artistic director of men’s collections at Dior and head of womenswear at Fendi, has designed a masterpiece decanter, a limited-edition bottle and a fashion item as part of the project, set to be unveiled in London in March to coincide with the commercial launch of the line.
Hennessy declined to provide any additional details on the fashion element of the partnership, beyond saying the piece will mark the first time that Hennessy X.O releases a consumer-facing luxury fashion item.
Bringing together two powerhouses within luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the collaboration is sure to resonate among the cognac’s celebrity fans, which include athletes and hip-hop stars. Snoop Dogg and Drake are among those who have name-checked Hennessy in their lyrics.
However, it was the house’s historic roots that drew in the designer.
“For this collaboration, I drew inspiration from Hennessy X.O’s archives to design for the past, the present and the future. I was especially drawn to the brand’s history of rigorous craftsmanship — an approach that also holds true with fashion,” Jones said in a statement.
He’s the latest creative to partner with the Hennessy X.O brand, following Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang and British director Ridley Scott, who directed a campaign for the drink in 2019.
“We are thrilled to embark on a new odyssey blending cognac-making and couture with Kim Jones, a creative master of our time,” said Laurent Boillot, chief executive officer of Hennessy. “Inspired by the emblematic personality of Hennessy X.O, Kim has developed a resolutely contemporary collection that is destined to make an impact on culture today and in the future.”
Hennessy X.O is the maison’s original offering, an “extra old” brandy created by Maurice Hennessy in 1870 for his circle of friends that has become the global leader in its market. Known for its distinctive bottle, the cognac is assembled from various eaux-de-vie and aged in barrels for at least 10 years.
The Hennessy house has worked in the past with luxury brands and designers through some of its other franchises, such as its high-end Richard Hennessy cognac, which debuted a collaboration with Berluti in October featuring a calf leather attaché case holding a crystal carafe.
Meanwhile, jeweler Lorenz Bäumer created a new magnum for the Paradis blend in Maison Hennessy’s Editions Rares collection last summer to mark the 75th anniversary of the NBA. The crystal basketball, available in a limited edition of 75 units, retailed for $162,000. — JOELLE DIDERICH
Big Bang: K-pop’s takeover of fashion continues. In the latest men’s week move, Givenchy has named Taeyang, member of the group Big Bang and a solo artist, as its newest brand ambassador.
He becomes the first South Korean artist named in the role.
“Taeyang is an inspiring artist — a music pioneer with an authentic, barrier-breaking way of expressing his own personal style, which fits perfectly with today’s Givenchy aesthetic,” said creative director Matthew Williams.
“I am grateful to be able to start this new chapter of my life with Givenchy. It holds a special meaning to me, as Givenchy is a brand that has inspired me in many ways over the years,” Taeyang added. “Matthew has also been a leader in both fashion and culture for many years. I look forward to the exciting ways to collaborate with Givenchy through this partnership.”
The rapper and singer debuted with the boy band Big Bang in 2006, one of the first K-pop bands to achieve international mega stardom. He has since gone on to release several successful solo albums, and most recently released the R&B-infused single “Vibe,” a collaboration with BTS vocalist and main dancer Jimin.
Taeyang’s appointment marks the third major announcement from a fashion house this week, following Dior’s global ambassador partnership with Jimin, and Valentino signing on BTS’ Suga for a global campaign.
Taeyang will attend the Paris Men’s Fashion Week show on Wednesday.
Givenchy under Williamson has a history of partnering with K-pop stars. Girl group Aespa were named global brand ambassadors in February 2021 and attended his show in October. — RHONDA RICHFORD
How does “icon” translate in Italian, French and Spanish? Apparently, as “Madonna.”
After announcing a new world tour on her Instagram account Tuesday, the music diva was revealed as the cover star of three different editions of Vanity Fair.
The Italian, French and Spanish versions of the magazine joined forces to launch an “Icon Issue,” the first of an annual initiative dedicated to celebrating a personality that has shaped modern culture.
For the occasion, Madonna was tapped for the role and took part into an artistic project created by photographers Luigi & Iango. The collaboration resulted in a two-day shoot that involved more than 80 people and designs by John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, and others. The artist’s regular collaborator, stylist B. Åkerlund, oversaw the fashion direction of the shoot.
In the interview flanking the images and short films, the music star confirmed she is working on a new show and preparing her return to the stage as part of her plans, which include her own biopic.
“I’m about to create another show, and I’ve been working for several years on the screenplay about my life. This is a good time for me — I’m gathering ideas, getting inspired, hanging out with creative people, watching films, seeing art, listening to music,” she said.
Incidentally, the artist’s announcement of “The Celebration Tour” on Instagram came with dedicated posts and a video showing her playing truth-or-dare with other celebrities, including Amy Schumer. “Madonna, I dare you to do a world tour and play the greatest motherf—ing hits,” says Schumer in the video, before the singer accepts the challenge.
Madonna also talks about feminism, sexuality, religion and diversity in the interview, which highlights the artist’s ongoing battles against patriarchy and the price she had to pay for maintaining her convictions.
Her upbringing in a Catholic family and her spiritual approach were also part of the conversation with Vanity Fair’s European editorial director Simone Marchetti, who conducted the interview. These added to a reflection on the importance of her family life and seeing her children grow, expressing their talent and creativity.
“Madonna’s career has a biblical dimension, a universal scope,” stated Galliano in a passage. “The first time I saw her, she was already inspired, fearless, with integrity and artistic pride.”
While Vanity Fair Italy hit newsstands on Wednesday, followed by Vanity Fair Spain and France on Jan. 25, the magazine’s “Icon Issue” has been billed as a time-extended artistic project since it will include an urban art performance in Milan and a photography exhibition to be staged at the city’s Palazzo Reale during fashion week in September. — SANDRA SALIBIAN
Bigger Space: British beauty retailer Space NK has upsized its Westfield London store in White City, making it the brand’s biggest retail destination.
The 25,000-square-foot store opened its doors on Monday.
“The store represents the physical evolution of Space NK: a more customer centric, welcoming environment with more brands, more choice, more exclusives all there to be touched and tried together with our expert staff. With more stores to come from our business in 2023, we are proud to continue to innovate, with our customer at the heart of everything we do,” said Andy Lightfoot, chief executive of Space NK.
The Westfield store features a play table for customers to test different products; two treatment rooms offering facials; expert pods for customers to sit down with a staff member to learn more about a beauty brand or product; a dedicated fragrance area; and a space for customers to refill their Space NK Hand & Body empties, as well as recycle their used beauty packaging.
“The opening of Space NK’s largest store in its portfolio at Westfield London is testament to our continued investment in our spaces. Health, beauty and wellness is a rapidly growing sector at our London centers and the beauty destination’s new flagship store signals the strength and appeal of the brand’s unique luxury offer and customer experience,” said Kate Orwin, leading director U.K. at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
On Monday, Sephora announced that its first U.K. store will open in March at Westfields White City shopping center — marking a return to the British market, which they’ve been absent from since 2005.
“The timing has been a question of really finding the right way to enter the market and when we purchased Feelunique just over a year ago now, that was the perfect time to be able to come back in,” Sarah Boyd, the new managing director of Sephora U.K., told WWD. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED
Couture Culture: France is showing its support for fashion’s emerging talent. Minister of culture Rima Abdul Malak got a sneak preview of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s Sphere showroom Tuesday, ahead of its official Wednesday opening.
After touring the stands of the eight designers present, she highlighted their diversity and drive for a more sustainable approach to fashion as standing out, pinpointing Uniforme designers Hugues Fauchard and Rémi Bats’ choice to move out of Paris to be closer to their production near Nantes, in Brittany, and buzzy young designer Jeanne Friot’s use of upcycled Levi’s in her collection.
“We can see all the new stakes they are working on, with their tone, their creative freedom, whether it’s on recycling or breaking barriers between masculine and feminine, catering to everyone,” she said.
Reinvigorating creative industries, including fashion, is high on Abdul Malak’s agenda since she was named minister of culture last year.
Among upcoming initiatives is a call for projects under the France 2030 investment plan, through which 48 million euros will be injected into projects supporting the art, design and fashion professions to help reinvigorate France’s regions over a five-year period. The initiative is in consultation stages and will be officially opened over the summer, she said.
“There’s a lot of criticism of luxury, that it’s too expensive, etc. But what we’re talking about here is manufacturing. These companies manufacture in France, they are creating jobs in France. I was just talking to a designer who doesn’t use any plastic, no polluting materials, who works on revitalizing employment opportunities in small towns in France. That’s what fashion is: it’s jobs, it’s re-localization.”
While supporting creative industries outside the capital is a priority, Paris’ role as a fashion capital is also key. “Given the international status of Paris, being here and seeing emerging designers from all over the world that are accompanied by Sphere is very important,” said Abdul Malak.
The designers showing at Sphere this season are Arturo Obegero, Valette Studio, Christoph Rumpf, Ponder.er, Jeanne Friot, Steven Passaro, Uniforme and LGN Louis-Gabriel Nouchi. All except Ponder.er, from Hong Kong, are based in France, although the creative forces behind several of them hail from abroad.
“We mustn’t forget we’re a country of creative freedom, which isn’t the case in some countries where designers don’t have the possibility of freely expressing themselves,” said Abdul Malak, who spent her early years in Beirut. Georges Hobeika, showing on the couture schedule on Monday, is a distant cousin.
“I think that Paris is the world capital for creative freedom, and it always has been, artists have always come from all over the world for the creative freedom Paris offers. And the more we can defend and promote that, the stronger will be our ecosystem, with strong businesses and creative innovators,” she said. — ALEX WYNNE
Executive Hire: Authentic Brands Group is adding a new member to its top management team.
Jessica Holscott is joining the company as chief financial officer. She will succeed Kevin Clarke, founding partner and longtime company leader, as he transitions into a new position as executive vice chairman.
Holscott joins Authentic from Warner Media, where she served as executive vice president and CFO of studios and networks. Her experience ranges from financial management, strategic planning and operations to mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Warner Media, Holscott was executive vice president and CFO at HBO, senior vice president of investor relations and merger planning leader at Warner Media and CFO of GE Asset Management at GE Capital.
In her new role, Holscott will lead Authentic’s Finance teams and partner with founder, chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Salter and the executive leadership team to drive value. She will work with the company’s investors, audit committee and lenders, be based in Authentic’s New York City headquarters and report to Salter.
“Jessica has a proven track record of driving revenue and profitability at scale with the industry’s most formidable companies,” Salter said. “Her financial acumen, strategic mindset and operational experience will be a valuable asset as we continue to grow our portfolio and drive business around the world.”
Holscott cited the company’s “strong market position with significant global opportunities. I look forward to working with Jamie, the executive group and the finance team in their collective efforts to execute market-specific initiatives and enhance value for all shareholders.”
Clarke joined the company shortly after it was founded by Salter in 2010 and is credited with helping to establish the successful business model under which the company operates today. In his new role as executive vice chairman, he will continue to work with Salter, the board and the company’s leadership team on acquisitions and strategic business matters.
“On behalf of the entire Authentic family, I want to thank Kevin for his countless contributions throughout his 12 years as CFO of the organization,” Salter added. “A devoted and strategic leader, Kevin has been instrumental in the evolution of the Authentic platform, including several transformative acquisitions and private equity partnerships that were made possible by our financial discipline. I look forward to working with Kevin in his new capacity as executive vice chairman and am confident that we are handing over the CFO reins to a strong successor.” — JEAN E. PALMIERI
Candice’s Campaign: Anne Klein, which is celebrating 55 years in business, has tapped Candice Swanepoel, the South African model, entrepreneur and philanthropist, to appear in its spring campaign.
She will also serve as an impact partner, supporting a cause-related initiative that will be revealed in the first quarter.
Swanepoel, 34, is the founder and designer of a purpose-driven brand, Tropic of C, and actively supports women’s empowerment and philanthropic causes.
“As we enter this monumental year, we are thrilled to have Candice in our campaign series celebrating women who are positive changing the world through a balance of image and impact,” said Jameel Spencer, chief marketing officer for Anne Klein. “Anne Klein has a deep history of impacting the lives of women and that DNA remains true today. Equally, Candice has used her platform to deliver empowering messaging to women around the world and is the perfect partner to help us further our mission and impact women today.”
Anne Klein’s brand ambassadors have included model and frontline worker Maggie Rawlins; actor and humanitarian Ilfenesh Hadera; model and activist Joan Smalls, and actress and philanthropist Gina Rodriguez.
“I’m honored to have partnered with Anne Klein, a brand whose values align with my own,” Swanepoel said. “Anne Klein has a long and respected history within the fashion industry and I’m proud to support their mission of empowering and championing women.”
The Anne Klein campaign was photographed by Chris Colls at Pier 59 Studios in New York. Advertising will appear in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar, as well as an extensive digital rollout.
In addition to celebrating its 55 years as a brand, Anne Klein is also recognizing its founding designer Anne Klein, who would have been 100 years old in August. In addition, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary Battle of Versailles which took place in November 1973, where Anne Klein participated for the American team, along with Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Halston and Bill Blass. They were pitted against the French contingent that consisted of Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro and elevated the prestige of the American labels.
Anne Klein is now owned by WHP Global. — LISA LOCKWOOD