EXPANSION MODE: Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger has teamed up with Titan Industries to fuel expansion for her Dee Ocleppo Collection.
The partnership will launch with footwear and expand into other categories, including handbags, cashmere and silk accessories, according to the companies.
Titan will also handle sourcing, manufacturing and logistics to expand the collection’s offerings and increase business overall domestically and internationally.
“When I was presented with the opportunity to partner up with Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, I didn’t hesitate,” Joe Ouaknine, chief executive officer of Titan Industries, said in a statement. “Her brand is amazing and serves a market that is eager for high-quality footwear at an accessible price. This is Titan’s strong point and together, we will grow the Dee Ocleppo business and continue to grow a formidable brand. Dee lives an exciting life with her husband, Tommy Hilfiger, and her lifestyle will be reflected in everything we do.”
Ocleppo Hilfiger first launched her namesake label in 2012. Last year, the company doubled its business, while also appointing industry veteran Greg Morel as president. Along with its direct-to-consumer site, the brand is sold at Saks.com, Farfetch, The Webster, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Attica in Greece and Globus in Switzerland.
“Women love luxury, but what they love even more are high-quality items at an affordable price point,” Ocleppo Hilfiger said. “My goal is to offer our customers even more styles and options. Our partnership with Titan allows us to reach more consumers and maintain the high quality that the Dee Ocleppo Collection is known for.”
In addition to the Dee Ocleppo Collection, Ocleppo Hilfiger has served as the creative director of Judith Leiber since 2017. — NIKARA JOHNS
GAME ON: Canada Goose and Union LA are joining forces to celebrate the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
The outerwear brand revealed Monday that it has tapped streetwear brand Union LA’s designer Chris Gibbs to create a five-piece collection that is a “modern take on classic Americana designs and patterns,” according to the brand, and celebrates the upcoming NBA All-Star Game taking place on Feb. 19. The collection is part of Canada Goose’s multiyear partnership with the NBA and will be available for purchase starting Thursday.
“This collection truly reflects the very definition of Union — the action or fact of joining or being joined together,” Gibbs said. “By fusing the luxury performance and the function Canada Goose is known for with the design and styling of Union LA, we’ve created a limited-edition capsule collection with five distinct pieces, created with the West Coast lifestyle in mind.”
Styles in the collection include Gibbs’ versions of the Canada Goose Toussaint French military-style parka; the Breda Liner quilted jacket; the reversible Bullard Bomber; the Legion Vest, and a youth version of the Legion Vest. Gibbs took inspiration from the West Coast with the collection’s color palette, using hues of burnt orange and blue and mixing them with Canada Goose’s go-to tones of navy, white and yellow. Prices range from $450 to $1,150.
Gibbs’ wife, stylist Beth Birkett-Gibbs, creative-directed the collection’s campaign, which is part of Canada Goose’s ongoing Play in the Open campaign series. The campaign features the likes of rapper Tierra Whack, British poet Kai Isaiah Jamal, R&B duo Majid Jordan and NBA star Fred VanVleet. — LAYLA ILCHI
CELEBRATING CHANGE LEADERS: The inaugural Black Carpet Awards are set for Feb. 24 during Milan Fashion Week, which runs from Feb. 22 to 28.
The initiative, promoted by Italy’s Afro Fashion Association, is geared at celebrating 10 leaders of change belonging to underrepresented communities and active in creative and entrepreneurial industries, including fashion, design, food, music, sport and cinema, among others.
The association unveiled the list of nominees for the 10 awards across five categories: culture, legacy, creativity, community and entrepreneurship.
Five winners will be selected by a jury led by the Afro Fashion Association’s Michelle Francine Ngonmo, while the remaining five will be selected via online voting. For one week beginning Sunday people will be solicited to cast their ballots on a dedicated website.
The soirèe to be held at the Meet — Digital Culture Center in Milan will spotlight the work done by the association since 2015, when it started championing diversity, equity and inclusion and spotlighting talents of different backgrounds with an original focus on the African continent.
It boasts a database of 3,000 professionals and talents that were shortlisted into the 25 finalists.
The focus for the seminal edition is on Italy-based personalities, businesses and associations that have contributed to establish new cultural and entrepreneurial paradigms in the country, but Ngonmo’s ambition is to broaden the event’s reach internationally.
For the culture category, the nominees include Senegalese-born Italian social media personality Khaby Lame; Cameroonian journalist Sarah Kamsu; Istituto Marangoni’s Programme Leader in Business Fashion Sennait Ghebreab; Italian-Ghanaian filmmaker, activist, educator, curator and producer Fred Kudjo Kuwornu, and Takoua Ben Mohamed, an Italian-Tunisian graphic journalist.
Ghana-born photographer Jon Bronxl; transgender and queer activist Capovani Majid; Andi Nganso, an emergency medical doctor and an expert in global health; writer, photographer and director Marilena Umuhoza Delli, as well as writer and podcaster Nadeesha Uyangoda are candidates for the community category.
Nominees for the leaders of change award in creativity include performance artist Chiara Bersani; David Blank, an advocate for the Italian BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] queer community; Black Italian screenwriter, director, actor and producer Daphne Di Cinto; presenter and producer and human rights activist Ira Nohemi Fronten, and Afro-Italian rapper Tommy Kuti.
Entrepreneurship leaders are Angela Haisha Adamou, founder and general manager of NaturAngi, a brand claiming the dignity of natural curly and Afro hair; Hilarry Sedu, the first Black councilor of the Naples Bar Association; Junior Serge, founder of Milan-based portable chargers sharing start-up Mobbi; Tia Taylor, cofounder of Colory*, a website and platform spotlighting underrepresented Italians, and Viola Zheng Gioielli’s founder Viola Zheng, a Mongolian living in Italy.
Candidates for the legacy category have yet to be announced.
In addition to Ngonmo and fellow advocates Edward Buchanan and Stella Jean, the jury includes Trussardi’s chief executive officer Sebastian Suhl; British Vogue editor Edward Enninful; designer Tokyo James; Camera della Moda president Carlo Capasa; Fashion Film Festival Milano founder and director Constanza Cavalli Etro; social media personality Tamu McPherson; art and fashion curator and digital art expert Gloria Maria Cappelletti; head of editorial content at Vogue Italia Francesca Ragazzi, and Nss’ founder and CEO Walter D’Aprile, among others. — MARTINO CARRERA
CHANGING ADDRESS: A change of the retail scene is taking shape on Milan’s tony Via Montenapoleone.
The luxury shopping destination is poised to see a few new openings and some tenant changes, and that’s all happening in the street’s very first portion adjacent to San Babila square and neighboring Corso Matteotti.
Louis Vuitton’s longstanding flagship is under renovation and while a timing for its reopening has yet to be confirmed, the adjacent spaces, also part of the stately Palazzo Taverna, could soon bear the Tiffany & Co. banner.
According to Milan-based sources, the American jeweler, which is part of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton stable, is planting its first flag on the street. The brand operates two units in the city, on neighboring Via della Spiga and on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
The French luxury group could not be reached for comment Friday.
In 2019, LVMH had taken over the spaces of Palazzo Taverna — already partly used by its flagship brand’s boutique — it did not already occupy. Those were left vacant by Giorgio Armani, as the Italian designer left the spot after 20 years and relocated his signature brand flagship from Via Montenapoleone to the original and storied address on Via Sant’Andrea.
Meanwhile, as Vuitton’s flagship is revamped, the brand last month opened the doors to Garage Traversi, a long-running temporary destination in town, taking over three stories of the renovated space. The building is a former car park dating back to 1939 and the luxury brand first unveiled the venue last June during Design Week before turning it into a retail destination as it dropped its collection with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
On the opposite side of Via Montenapoleone, luxury stalwart Chanel is planting its first flag on the street, partially taking over the spaces formerly occupied by menswear brand Larusmiani. The boutique will flank the Gucci flagship that is also undergoing renovation.
Chanel-branded wallpaper covering the unit bears the phrase “opening soon,” but the company had no additional comment on Friday. It is unclear whether this location will replace the existing unit on Via della Spiga. The move comes a few months after the brand won a bid for the concession on a 2,030-square-foot space inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II for an annual fee of 2.35 million euros, replacing Tod’s.
Larusmiani, meanwhile, is not leaving its Via Montenapoleone spot entirely, located at the corner with Via Verri, but is reducing its footprint to a revamped 3,229-square-foot space in the year that marks the company’s 101st anniversary.
“We’re happy to announce the relocation of our storied ‘bottega’ [Italian for workshop] in the same building we have called home since 1954,” said Larusmiani president and chief executive officer Guglielmo Miani, adding the new location over two stories will boast an inner courtyard. The store opening is expected in the spring. — MARTINO CARRERA