BLING RING: Jewelry designer and fierce fashion plate Lynn Ban swept into the Halpern show in London on Saturday afternoon trailed by a film crew. The New Yorker will be among the cast for a new installment of the Netflix hit “Bling Empire,” this time set in the city that doesn’t sleep.
Ban certainly has many fashion-related storylines to bring to the reality show. For starters, she’s designing a resort collection for the Como hotel chain, and is to unveil her first collection on March 9 in Manhattan.
Asked about the style of her first stab at clothing design, Ban barely blinked. “Me!” she declared with a yelp of laughter.
Her 145,000 followers on Instagram know that Ban rocks neon swimsuits, dramatic kimonos and gold evening columns in the Maldives, and skis in couture furs from Saint Laurent, or a glittering Gucci catsuit. Who else strolls around Megève, where she flew in from two hours before the Halpern show, in the latest Rick Owens runway creations?
The jeweler to stars like Rihanna and Beyoncé, Ban is known for her unconventional designs — a black diamond barbed wire ring, a smoking lips lariat or a minaudière shaped like a brick of gold, or a lightning bolt.
She is also a passionate collector of vintage fashions from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and especially the ’90s, her formative style decade. But she has radar for the newest fashion stars, and was an early adopter of designs from Halpern and Tomo Koizumi, for example.
The original “Bling Empire” series debuted in January 2021 and focused on the likes of Beverly Hills philanthropist and couture collector Christine Chiu, Singaporean shipping heir Kane Lim, stylist Guy Tang, and Chanel-obsessed equestrian Jaime Xie, the daughter of a Beijing tech billionaire. — SAMANTHA CONTI
THE CRAFT OF ACTING: Loewe’s newest ambassador is Gen Z actor Leo Wu — and he has more in common with Loewe than the same first four letters of the brand name.
“Leo masters the craft of acting in incredible ways despite being barely 23,” said Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe. “His dedication to the art is close to our love for craft, and so is his connection with the outdoors. There is a roundness to his way of being and living that feels organic to Loewe.”
Touted by the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand as one of China’s “brightest and most-loved homegrown talents” and a role model for young people, Wu has appeared in such recent films as “Upcoming Summer” and “My Country, My Parents,” as well as Chinese box-office hits “Adoring” and “Shadow.”
Wu, who also goes by his Chinese name Wu Lei, is a popular vlogger, sharing his passion for cycling and the outdoors. According to Loewe, some of his videos have logged more than 100 million views.
“Such vlogs are filled with a love of life and the sense of curiosity about the world, all qualities that also inform Leo’s acting,” according to Loewe.
In a statement, Wu said he is “honored” to represent Loewe. “I am very much looking forward to our upcoming projects with the brand to share the wonderful experience together,” he added.
Wu has previously appeared in campaigns for Michael Kors. — MILES SOCHA
The Brazilian supermodel — known simply as Gisele — is no longer represented by IMG Models but remains signed to United Talent Agency for representation outside of fashion and beauty.
“I am thrilled to welcome Gisele to CAA Fashion and look forward to continuing our long history of working together, creating world-class opportunities spanning the multifaceted fashion and beauty industries,” CAA Fashion agent Anne Nelson — who was Bündchen’s agent for two decades at Elite Model Management and IMG Models — told WWD in a statement. Nelson, an industry veteran, joined CAA Fashion in September.
Headed by talent agent Christian Carino, CAA Fashion has been busy signing big names across fashion and entertainment since launching in 2020. The agency’s roster includes models Claudia Schiffer, Alessandra Ambrosio, Winnie Harlow, Duckie Thot, Kate Upton, Leomie Anderson, Indya Moore, Lourdes Leon, Leni Klum, as well as represents the likes of fashion designer Prabal Gurung, photographer Annie Leibovitz and makeup artist Sir John.
Bündchen, 41, has a 21-year career in fashion. She has been shot by prominent photographers and walked runways for the industry’s most notable fashion houses. Starring in campaigns for Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Versace, Victoria’s Secret and Ralph Lauren and gracing the covers of Time, Forbes, Rolling Stone, Vogue, W, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, Bündchen — married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady — is one of the world’s most recognizable faces.
Among her many endeavors, Bündchen has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Program since 2009. In 2018, she released New York Times bestseller “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life,” sharing her personal life story. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE
NEW CEO: Dufry Group, the world’s largest travel-retail operator, has named a new chief executive officer.
Xavier Rossinyol will succeed Julián Diaz in the position on June 1. Diaz, who is stepping down from the CEO role, will not stand for board reelection at the company.
There will be a transition period, starting March 1, when Rossinyol is to become designated CEO and member of Dufry’s global executive committee.
Rossinyol was part of Dufry’s management team between 2004 and 2015. He served as chief financial officer until 2012, when he became chief operating officer EMEA and Asia. Since 2015, he has been CEO of Gategroup, the airline catering and onboard retail company.
Diaz became Dufry’s CEO in 2004 and was elected a group board member in 2013.
“During his tenure, Julián led a team that successfully executed the strategy of profitable global expansion and sustainable growth that enabled Dufry to become the world’s global leading travel retailer it is today,” Dufry said in a statement released Monday. “In recent years, he has driven the digitalization strategy and a strong ESG engagement.”
Juan Carlos Torres, Dufry’s chairman, called Diaz “the driving force of the group’s development.”
He said Rossinyol’s “unparalleled industry experience, leadership skills and strategic vision will enable Dufry to recover further from the COVID-19 crisis and accelerate short- and long-term value creation.”
In the third quarter of its fiscal year, ended Dec. 31, 2021, Dufry reported sales of 1.35 billion Swiss francs, or $1.47 billion, which represented 55.6 percent of the levels in 2019, pre-pandemic. The company’s sales in the first nine months of the current fiscal year came in at 2.54 billion francs.
Dufry’s results are considered a bellwether in the travel-retail industry, which was hard-hit by the health crisis, as travel in most parts of the world ground to a complete halt. How quickly the channel fully resumes operations, as people begin taking trips again, will have a major impact on the business of luxury fragrance and beauty brands, which comprise travel retail’s number-one product category. — JENNIFER WEIL
The company described the move by executive chairman Axel Dumas as a bid to “broaden [its] composition and enrich it with new people and expertise” in a statement revealing the nomination of Sharon MacBeath and Agnès de Villers to the executive body.
MacBeath joined the French luxury company in 2019 as group human resources director after experiences in the distribution, services and industrial sector. She has also been a member of the group’s supervisory board and governance committees.
In 2021, the French luxury house opened its “École Hermès des savoir-faire,” which awards a state diploma in leather-working skills, and recruited an additional 1,000 employees, bringing its workforce close to 18,000.
Currently president and chief executive officer of Hermès Parfum et Beauté, de Villers is a member of Hermès’ operations committee. She joined the company in 2015 to lead its perfume business and launched beauty — now spanning lipsticks, nail polishes and blushes — in 2020, described as “the house’s 16th métier” and a “true growth driver.”
The French luxury house last week reported “exceptional” growth in 2021 that pushed the company close to 9 billion euros in revenues, with a 41.8 percent jump compared to 2021 and 33.4 percent compared to 2019.
By product sector for the full-year versus 2019, watches rose 76.6 percent, ready-to-wear and accessories 44.3 percent, leather goods and saddlery 22.8 percent, perfume and beauty 18.9 percent and silk and textiles 15.3 percent. — LILY TEMPLETON
BONJOUR: Stüssy has just landed in Paris.
The California-based streetwear label on Friday opened its first Paris unit at 44 Rue du Temple in Le Marais, marking the brand’s latest international stand-alone store and latest to open in Europe, joining locations in London, Milan, Madrid and Amsterdam, among others.
The Willo Perron-designed shop has a black and glass facade, wood shelving and a sheet metal counter and pillars to separate the space, all of which are design elements in a few of the brand’s stores in Asia, especially Shibuya in Japan.
Stüssy is commemorating the opening with a special capsule comprised of a campaign T-shirt shot by Mark Lebon, a Stüssy Paris Chapter T-shirt and trucker cap, a T-shirt referencing Lebon’s fall 2016 campaign, and a Paris Saint-Germain Nike football jersey.
Prior to this opening, Stüssy expanded on its collaborations launching new styles with Dr. Martens, Our Legacy and Denim Tears, Gore-Tex, rappers Eric B. and Rakim, and Bape, all as a lead up to the spring 2022 collection.
The streetwear brand operates more than 20 stand-alone stores in the North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and shops-in-shop at Dover Street Market in Los Angeles, London, Ginza and Singapore.
— OBI ANYANWU