Armani, Prada, OTB Honored; Lions Signs Hurley, Saks and Fouquet’s

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CHINESE COMMITMENT: Giorgio Armani, Prada and OTB received the “Award for the contribution of the latest fashion trend in China” during an event organized last week in Beijing by the Montenapoleone District association and the Italian embassy. The former represents more than 130 global luxury brands situated in Milan’s luxury fashion streets spanning from Via Montenapoleone to Via Gesù.

Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, in a video message said Italy ranks first as an exporter country to China in the clothing and leather goods sectors, the second one in footwear and the fifth in textile products (yarns and fabrics). Capasa noted that “one fourth of Chinese imports of clothing and footwear and more than 40 percent of leather goods are Italian. The Italian Chamber of Fashion has developed solid relationships with China over the years to promote fashion internationally.”

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Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man and the former head of Ford Models Asia Pacific Grace Han also received the award.

Stefano Mologni, president of Italy China Fashion Council and Montenapoleone District’s brand ambassador, said “fashion is not just luxury but it’s above all a lifestyle and a culture, two elements that are essential to each other and have a strong meaning in the Chinese market too.”

He noted that “the connections with China have also widely restarted in the fashion sector and we expect a growth in both Chinese tourist market and collaborations already in 2024. I think that we will soon start a new collaboration phase with China. We must be watchful,” as it will offer new challenges but also opportunities.

OTB controls the Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor&Rolf brands, production arms Staff International and Brave Kid, and has a minority stake in Amiri. In China, the group has more than 100 stores. In 2022 the group completed an important retail development project in Shanghai, while simultaneously opening four brand stores at the JC Plaza Mall.

Armani has a solid business in China spanning more than two decades, and Prada, which is publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, last week unveiled its itinerant Pradasphere exhibition, in its second iteration, in Shanghai at the newly established Start Museum, a warehouse-like private museum located along the city’s West Bund cultural corridor. — ANDREA ONATE

HURLEY’S NEW MANE EVENT: Like mother like son, Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damian is all-systems-go with his modeling career.

The 21-year-old has switched camps and just signed a deal with The Lions Management. Until recently, the younger Hurley was represented by IMG. The 21-year-old London-born model and actor made his acting debut in 2016. At that time, he was cast as Prince Hansel von Liechtenstein in the E! series “The Royals.” His ever-fashionable mother starred as the series’ Queen of England. He has more than 154,000 followers on Instagram alone.

Damian Hurley
Damian Hurley

The model-actor is also the son of the late real estate heir, producer and director Steve Bing, who died in 2020. With shoulder-length brown hair and blue eyes, Hurley stands at 6 feet, 1 inch and bears a striking resemblance to his famous mother. He broke onto the fashion scene at the age of 17, after locking up a one-year exclusive deal with the much sought-after photographer Steven Meisel. Beauty maven Pat McGrath helped to raise Hurley’s profile by plucking the young model to be in her campaign for the release of the inclusive foundation line Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection.

More recently, Hurley has worked with other notable photographers in the industry like Mert and Marcus and Luigi and Iango. A self-described writer-director, Hurley continuing to add to his modeling portfolio.

The Lions’ founder and managing partner Ali Kavoussi said, “The effortless charisma and charm that emanates from Damian Hurley made me instantly jump at the opportunity to represent him. While he’s had the fortune of already working with some of our industry’s best, including Steven Meisel and [stylist] Joe McKenna, the opportunities before him are limitless, and The Lions are very excited to be partnering with him on that journey.”

Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Hurley has been showing that she is still up for her close-up, having recently posted a photo of herself in a sauna au naturel, sans clothes. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG

PARIS POP-UP: On Wednesday, Saks is partnering with Fouquet’s New York, the Parisian-inspired boutique hotel in TriBeCa, to host a private pop-up shopping event.

This will be the first pop-up to be held in Fouquet’s Penthouse, the hotel suite designed by interior architect Martin Brudnizki. The 2,400-square-foot suite that’s spread over two floors aims to offer the refined opulence and comfort of a Parisian apartment.

Fouquet's New York's Penthouse
Fouquet’s New York’s Penthouse.

For one day only, Saks has invited top clients and Fouquet’s New York guests and members to shop from an assortment on merchandise.

Curated by New York stylist Julie Heller, the pop-up will showcase a full lifestyle array of Saks merchandise, including women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags and accessories from luxury designers along with beauty and kids’.

At 4 p.m., Heller and Saks Limitless senior stylist Ali Bloom will host a Saks Live virtual event from the pop-up to showcase their top holiday styling picks. — LISA LOCKWOOD

ASPEN ARRIVAL: Max Mara is schussing into Aspen just in time for the wintery ski season.

The Italian luxury brand is back again this year at the Colorado mountain town with a pop-up shop at the historic Hotel Jerome, housed inside the wing called the Aspen Times Printing House. The brick hotel that fronts Main Street has been a fixture in the former silver mining town and now popular ski resort since it was built in 1889.

Max Mara in Aspen
Lots of teddy bear fabric adorns Max Mara’s holiday pop-up store inside the Hotel Jerome.

The inside of the spacious pop-up, open through Jan. 6, has lots of Teddy Bear coats, the famous outerwear piece celebrating its 10th anniversary. This plush cocoon-cut cover-up made of camel hair is perfect for those Rocky Mountain snow days that can get a tad chilly in a town that sits 7,900 feet above sea level. That same plush camel hair fabric also adorns the furniture and fixtures inside the store. Besides the cover-ups, there is an assortment of seasonal and iconic outerwear as well as a curated selection of ready-to-wear and winter accessories.

To add to the store’s alpine feel, the mountains are brought to life with high-definition projections and LED screens set up around the space. Alpine-shaped walls are draped in the warm toned and rich textured teddy fabric. Two new Teddy styles to celebrate the teddy bear coat’s 10th anniversary are exclusively available at the pop-up boutique.

Outside the store in the winter garden, the Italian clothing company installed a life-size ice sculpture of Max the Teddy, the brand’s unofficial mascot, and a custom-branded ski gondola with a photo activation unit. Nearby, complimentary hot chocolate and hot pretzels are served daily in the hotel’s courtyard.

The Max Mara outpost is located at 330 East Main Street. — DEBORAH BELGUM

LET’S BE FRANK: Minimalism is coming to London by way of The Frankie Shop.

The brand’s founder Gaelle Drevet confirmed to WWD on Monday evening at a cocktail reception at Caviar Kaspia for the the brand’s new corner space at Selfridges and the launch of its satin collection, that she’s waiting for the current tenants of the undisclosed location to leave before she can move in.

The Frankie Shop is looking to open up in the early spring of 2024.

Last year, the brand introduced a range of genderless and men’s pieces for the first time during men’s fashion week in Paris.

Aurelia Donaldson and Gaelle Drevet
Aurelia Donaldson and Gaelle Drevet at Caviar Kaspia.

The lineup included 20 pieces of its bestsellers like bomber and quilted jackets resized in new proportions, as well as new pieces like matching tone-on-tone shirts, pants and sweatshirts all in jersey, with an average price of between $150 and $180.

The Frankie Shop opened its first stores in New York with spaces in SoHo and the Lower East Side, as well as two stores in Paris, one carrying only the women’s range, while the other stocks to its unisex and men’s collections.

The brand’s French American founder has built a loyal following of clients who gravitate toward muted tones and sculptural shapes.

On Instagram, The Frankie Shop has a following of 1.3 million and the clothes have been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Kendall Jenner and Lorde. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

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