TIFFANY PLAYS BALL
Tiffany & Co. is getting into NBA All-Stars weekend by releasing its second collaboration with artist Daniel Arsham.
The jeweler and Arsham collaborated on a Tiffany blue Wilson basketball that is specially textured with the artist’s signature crystal diamond pattern. Arsham, a Cleveland native, has also designed an experiential retail concept to open in Cleveland on Friday that will feature a half court for play rendered in his signature aesthetic.
“Tiffany & Co. has created the Larry O’Brien trophy for the NBA for decades. The link between basketball and Tiffany & Co. is clear and well established. As the creative director of the Cavs — which is my hometown team as a Clevelander — it’s a special thing to be working with the team and Tiffany & Co., and to have the All-Star game in Cleveland this year,” Arsham said.
The Tiffany & Co. x Arsham Studio Half Court experience will stock the limited-edition basketball design, priced at $575. It will also be available for sale at Tiffany’s Woodmere, Ohio, store. Basketball fans can head to the pop-up experience, located at The May multiuse building, to view the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy that the Cleveland Cavaliers won in 2016, and which was constructed by Tiffany hollowware workshops in Rhode Island.
“The visual element of erosion and crystallization in combination with Tiffany’s house signatures really signifies the fusion of my aesthetic into this collaboration. This evolves with the new addition of my studio logo, a personalized declaration and style, a more distinct joining together of all three collaborators,” Arsham said of his ball design for Tiffany. — MISTY WHITE SIDELL
OLD IS NEW
It looks like no brand can sit out the NFT craze. Neil Barrett is launching a collection of NFTs in partnership with the Museum of Digital Art, known as Moda.
Called “Ancient Sculpture Hybrids,” the collection comprises three NFT designs, each available in a limited run of 10 pieces and based on visually pleasing animations drawn from Barrett’s personal archive of artworks created over the past 20 years.
The digital artworks will be minted on Moda starting Feb. 19 and will come with physical framed replicas of the same designs. Moda is a curated platform selling NFTs across the fashion, design, art, music and culture fields.
“NFT and blockchain technology have advanced so much, allowing art to come to life, and to be minted forever in the metaverse. The creative mind with the metaverse has given such scope that we can create whatever we want. Anything that was impossible before is now possible,” Barrett said.
“As a fashion designer and a creative, of course, I am well aware that digital fashion is going to become more and more important each season within the fashion industry. This is my first NFT launch and it’s just the beginning. I’m proud to show my artworks that I’ve been working on over the last 20 years, that I’ve always kept private, and have never shown anybody.”
The artworks combine elements of Roman and Greek art, as sculptural heads are given a fresh and contemporary spin. For instance, two of the three artworks combine ancient heads of Augustus and Caesar with portions of “Star Wars” character Darth Vader’s shiny black mask, while the third NFT is based on a digitally manipulated double-headed Hercules head that looks stretched and distorted.
The latter concept nods to Barrett’s archival fashion, too. In 2014, the Milan-based designer paraded sculpture-bearing sweatshirts, shirts and tops on the runway for his spring 2015 men’s collection. — MARTINO CARRERA
Nathalie Rykiel is organizing a charity event at the former Sonia Rykiel flagship in Paris to distribute some of the 40,000 books that were part of the décor of the boutique when it closed its doors two years ago.
The store on Boulevard Saint-Germain shuttered when the brand founded by her mother, the late Sonia Rykiel, went into liquidation in 2019 after its then-owner, First Heritage Brands, failed to find a buyer for the struggling label. The brand was subsequently relaunched by entrepreneurs Eric and Michael Dayan.
The Rykiel family still owns the building that formerly housed the headquarters of the company, as well as the lease to the store, which sits in a prime section of real estate near brands including Ralph Lauren, Emporio Armani, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. “It’s the most beautiful location on the Left Bank,” Nathalie Rykiel told WWD.
She’s inviting friends to the boutique on Tuesday evening to take away books in exchange for a donation to Libraries Without Borders, a nonprofit that provides access and resources that connect people to books and digital resources, expanding the reach of libraries, training facilitators in post-emergency situations, and addressing the needs of under-resourced communities.
“Their work is exceptional,” Rykiel said. Formerly president and artistic director of the brand, she gradually disengaged from the day-to-day running of the company after the founding family in 2012 sold an 80 percent stake to Fung Brands, an investment company backed by Hong Kong billionaires Victor and William Fung.
Rykiel is now a full-time author, with six books to her name, including “Talisman à l’usage des mères et des filles” (“Talisman for the Use of Mothers and Daughters”) published last year. She noted that her mother, who enjoyed close friendships with writers such as Régine Deforges, was also a published author and always had books at her Paris store.
Its last iteration was unveiled in 2015, as part of a café-cum-library pop-up concept designed by André Saraiva and art director Thomas Lenthal.
“This store is a real icon and an emblem. It was important to me to end things with a very strong symbolic gesture,” Rykiel said. Clearing the store of its contents will presumably open the way for a new tenant to move in, but she declined to comment on future plans. “Each thing in its own time,” she said. — JOELLE DIDERICH