Swarovski’s New Tiara, Chanel Leads WeChat List, Van Cleef’s Next Show – WWD
STARS OF THE NIGHT: Swarovski has unveiled the tiara it designed for the 2023 edition of the Vienna Opera Ball, one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural events in the Austrian calendar, which is to make a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
A partner of the ball for decades, Swarovski has created the jewelry piece that each of the 144 debutantes will wear when they will be presented to Austrian society on Feb. 16 at the historic Vienna State Opera.
Nodding to the famous star-shaped jewels of Austrian Empress Sissi, this year’s tiara was inspired by the Swarovski Stella jewelry family. Each piece comes with 435 clear crystals and features a central star with a dancing stone surrounded by a constellation of shooting stars.
Swarovski’s creative director Giovanna Engelbert said she “wanted to create a piece that reflects the beauty of this partnership” with the Vienna Opera Ball.
“This year’s design is rooted in Austrian heritage with an uplifting sense of magic. The Sparkling Dance stone that seems to float magically in its center is a spellbinding reminder to always wish upon a star and believe in your hopes and dreams,” said Engelbert.
“The tiaras that Swarovski has created for decades for the Vienna Opera Ball are a symbol of the unique savoir-faire that is at the heart of our creations and a testament to a century-long heritage of Swarovski history. This decades-long partnership unites two icons of Austrian culture in a display of beauty, creativity and elegance,” echoed the company’s chief executive officer Alexis Nasard.
With its origins dating back to 1935, the society event is one of the oldest balls in the world and the most glamorous among the more than 450 balls filling the Viennese calendar. It annually gathers around 5,000 guests at Wien’s 1860s opera house but it reaches a bigger audience thanks to TV broadcasting.
The ball’s traditional dress code has the young debutantes donning a white gown and long white gloves — in addition to a sparkly tiara — while parading hand-in-hand with male escorts in a black suit and tailcoat.
In the past, a series of fashion designers also have been called on to collaborate with Swarovski on the creation of the annual jewelry piece, including Karl Lagerfeld in 2017, Dolce & Gabbana in 2018, Versace in 2019 and French couturier Christian Lacroix for the 2020 edition of the ball. — SANDRA SALIBIAN
CHANEL LEADS THE PACK: Chanel has been ranked as the most active content publisher among luxury brands last year on WeChat by iPaiban, a WeChat layout tool and data analysis platform.
With email marketing largely absent in China, WeChat is the most effective way for brands to directly communicate with consumers via their official accounts.
Most brands are registered as corporate accounts on WeChat, which allows them to push content to all of their subscribers four times a month. Each push can contain a lead post, which comes with a larger landing image, as well as a few secondary ones below.
Chanel had the most total views on WeChat with its own content at 3,745,517 views, a 180.54 percent increase from 2021, iPaiban revealed after comparing WeChat data from Fendi, Prada, Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. They respectively published 48, 38, 59, 72, 35 and 63 articles on WeChat in 2022.
Louis Vuitton came second with 3,500,035 views, a 162.15 percent jump from the year prior. Burberry, Hermès and Prada logged between 2 million to 3 million views, while Fendi had around 1.3 million views.
Looking at individual performance, all of Louis Vuitton’s published content raked in more than 100,000 views, an industry benchmark for successful reach.
Fendi’s content generates views mostly between 10,000 and 50,000 views per post. Prada’s reading volume is concentrated between 50,000 and 100,000 views. Hermès and Chanel saw their viewing numbers distributed more evenly across the brackets.
In terms of engagement, Louis Vuitton ranked number one with an average of 730 likes per lead article. Burberry and Prada came next, with an average of 644 and 556 likes, respectively, per leading post.
Top-performing content shares some similar topics among these brands. They are new year greetings, Lunar New Year-branded digital red envelope reveal, major celebrity endorsements, hyped collaborations and runway collections. — TIANWEI ZHANG
THE JEWELS OF TIME: More than 280 jewelry pieces, watches and precious objects dating back to Van Cleef & Arpels’ founding in 1906 will be on display for the first time in the Middle East this month. The “Time, Nature and Love” exhibition, supported by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, offers the audience in Saudi Arabia and across the region an opportunity to journey into the company’s long history of craftmanship and innovation.
Nicolas Bos, president and chief executive officer of Van Cleef & Arpels, said: “A visit to the exhibition in Riyadh should be an experience which differs from what people would experience — or expect — in a jewelry boutique or workshop.” He added: “The important thing for me is not so much to propose a beautiful display of rare jewels, but rather to present these pieces as proper expressions of art and culture, crystallizing the spirit of the times in which they were created; showcasing them in an immersive universe will enrich the way these creations are perceived.”
The exhibition will showcase how the objects reflected the era in which they were created, while remaining timeless in their appeal. “The timeless quality of our pieces is linked to the nature of our business: by definition, jewelry uses time-honored precious materials that are not defined by temporal fancy. In addition, the very fact that the Maison has lasted throughout the decades, continuously developing along a seamless and coherent path, is, in itself, a veritable factor of timelessness,” said Bos.
The exhibition is set to open Jan. 19 and will run through April. — RITU UPADHYAY
ABG AND ‘THE ANSWER’: Allen Iverson, the 47-year-old former basketball player who is nicknamed “The Answer,” is partnering with Authentic Brands Group to further develop his brand. Authentic will focus on growing Iverson’s entertainment business, securing new endorsements and strategic partners, as well as consumer products.
Iverson has had a 26-year relationship with Reebok, which Authentic acquired in February 2022.
“Authentic and I share a commitment to being number one and accepting nothing less,” said Iverson. “Our shared values and their relentless drive to disrupt the branding industry make Authentic the ideal partner to take my brand to the next level.”
Mark Rosen, president, entertainment at Authentic, added, “Allen is a Hall of Famer and one of the most recognizable basketball players of all time. A trailblazer both on and off the court, Allen paved the way for professional athletes today and we see significant opportunities to build on that success.”
Spanning 14 seasons and seven All-NBA teams, Iverson had a long tenure with the NBA. He is regarded as one of the best scorers in league history, is an 11-time NBA all-star, won Most Valuable Player in 2001 and was inducted in to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Iverson had a successful career with the Philadelphia 76ers and later played for the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and the Memphis Grizzlies, before ending his NBA career with the 76ers.
ABG’s portfolio includes Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, David Beckham, Sports Illustrated and Greg Norman, among others. — LISA LOCKWOOD
YURMAN’S NEW HIRE: David Yurman has a new chief marketing officer. The jewelry brand has hired Carolyn Dawkins in the position.
The hire is part of president Evan Yurman’s executive overhaul at the company. Other recent key executive announcements include former Nike vice president Marcelo Tau’s appointment as chief operations officer and longtime Yurman employee Lee Tucker’s promotion to chief merchant.
Dawkins most recently worked at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. where she was global CMO, senior vice president for Clinique. She’s also held senior positions at GSK, Google and L’Oréal.
In her new role, Dawkins will be responsible for content strategy, integrated marketing and e-commerce experience and optimization.
“Carolyn brings deep expertise and leadership cultivated from over 20 years of working across a range of tech, beauty and CPG industries. I look forward to partnering with Carolyn to develop strategic marketing, creative and digital initiatives to elevate and grow our global business,” Yurman said in a statement.
Dawkins added of her new role: “I’m honored to join the David Yurman family to support the company’s continued evolution and exciting growth plans. I am thrilled by the opportunity to amplify the company’s rich heritage with new and existing customers.” — MISTY WHITE SIDELL
FORTNITE COLLECTION: Blvck, the global lifestyle brand, and Epic Games’ Fortnite, have teamed up for a clothing and lifestyle collection that will be sold at Blvck Stores and on Blvck’s website.
It will be an ongoing collaboration.
The collection consists of T-shirts, hoodies, shorts and lifestyle accessories, featuring iconic characters and references from the popular game such as Peely and Cuddle Team Leader. A Blvck x Fortnite T-shirt retails from $90, while hoodies start at $120 and up. There’s also a tumbler retailing for $65.
The Blvck x Fortnite products were created by Blvck chief executive officer and designer, Julian O’hayon, with his team. The promotional video was rendered in Unreal Engine, Epic Games’ real-time 3D creation tool, by Blvck Paris designers.
O’hayon told WWD, “Our partnership with Fortnite invites the most notable brand in the gaming world into our Blvck lifestyle and aesthetic. We’re creating bespoke products, focusing on minimalism, quality and design that both fans of Blvck and Fortnite will be proud. The product range will consist of a high-level clothing line and accessories for both everyday and gaming.” — L.L.
LONDON TO PARIS: The Londoners are returning to Paris Men’s Fashion Week following a four-year hiatus.
The British Fashion Council has announced that the London show Rooms is partnering with Tranoï Men in January 2023 in the French capital city.
Rooms, a platform for emerging menswear talent, will take place from Jan. 19 to 22 at the Garage Amelot in the Marais district.
Some 17 designers, including Abigail Ajobi, Carlota Barrera and Charlie Constantinou, will take part, showing their collections to international buyers and press.
The BFC began hosting Rooms in 2008 with a pop-up in Paris as part of the organization’s support and mentoring schemes.
This is the first time that Rooms has shown in Paris since June 2019. The showcase was put on hold due to Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the BFC has been reactivating its programs and live shows post-pandemic.
In December, the BFC announced the provisional schedule for physical and digital London Fashion Week shows and presentations. The fall 2023 showcase will take place from Feb. 17 to 23 and feature womenswear and menswear designers.
Kicking off the show season will be Paul Costelloe on Feb. 17, followed by Fashion East, Edward Crutchley and Huishan Zhang.
BFC Newgen designer Sinéad O’Dwyer will also show on the day. She is a London-based Irish designer who has carved a niche in popular culture, dressing the likes of Lara Stone, Paloma Elsesser, Björk, Arca and Precious Lee.
Richard Quinn is passing the last-show slot back to Burberry. He had been closing the showcase for the past few seasons. Riccardo Tisci had lately been showing collections outside the traditional calendar.
Out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral coincided with London Fashion Week in September, Burberry staged its spring 2023 show after Paris Fashion Week on Sept. 26. It was Tisci’s swan song for the house.
The fall 2023 calendar will also mark the return of cocktail parties and store events to commemorate the celebrations of London Fashion Week. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED