Dior Heads to Portofino, LVMH Ruling Upheld, Gucci’s Data Course

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LA DOLCE VITA: To celebrate the launch of its annual Dioriviera beach collection, Dior is taking over a portion of one of Italy’s most exclusive beach clubs, the Bagni Fiore near Portofino.

Located in the bay of Paraggi where boats are banned, the historic location has played host to celebrities including Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor and Maria Callas. Dior is customizing its bamboo-ornamented bar and lounge, as well as beach cabins and sunbeds, cushions and parasols, in a leaf-green version of its signature toile de Jouy pattern.

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Guests can take advantage of a temporary Dior spa at water’s edge, a service that will also be available in gazebos installed in the gardens of the Splendido hotel in Portofino. The beach club and spas will open on Wednesday, in tandem with a Dior resort store in Paraggi selling ready-to-wear, bags, shoes and seasonal accessories, open since May 19.

The pop-up Dior spa at the Splendid hotel. - Credit: Courtesy of Dior
The pop-up Dior spa at the Splendid hotel. - Credit: Courtesy of Dior

Courtesy of Dior

The brand’s Escale à Portofino fragrance will be available in a limited edition featuring green toile de Jouy packaging, sold at the Splendido hotel, in selected stores in France and Italy, and online.

It’s the latest example of the growing synergies between the French fashion house and parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s hospitality division, which operates the Bagni Fiore and owns the Splendido through its luxury travel operator Belmond. Bagni Fiore was acquired last year by Gruppo Langosteria, which runs a restaurant on the premises.

Last year, Dior opened its first Dioriviera winter pop-up at the LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc hotel in St. Barths, taking over the bar and pool of the La Cabane restaurant, as well as an Ocean Suite with a private terrace and pool.

“LVMH is a lifestyle in all the brands that it’s representing,” Pietro Beccari, chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture, told WWD at the time. “It’s not a structural collaboration, but I’d say that there’s a natural push to collaborate more and to exchange more in terms of doing something together.”

The lifestyle push is not limited to LVMH-owned properties. Dior deckchairs, parasols and cushions will be rolled out this summer on the terrace bordering the beach at the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort in Thailand, and the pool at the Sundara Beach Club at the Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay in Indonesia, among others.

The deck of the Dior Tea House in Chengdu, China, will also be customized and a beach pop-up with a café is planned for Montauk, N.Y.

In Tokyo, and Sanya, China, visitors will be able to discover the collection in circular wooden structures that appear to be floating on water, Dior said. — JOELLE DIDERICH

CASE CLOSED, PART DEUX: The Paris court of appeals has upheld a December ruling that validated an agreement reached with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which paid 10 million euros to settle claims that Bernard Squarcini, a former head of internal intelligence for France-turned-consultant, spied for the company.

LVMH was the target of allegations by filmmaker, journalist and politician François Ruffin that he was subject to surveillance by Squarcini at LVMH’s request during the filming of “Merci Patron” (or “Thanks Boss,” in English). That “Roger & Me”-style documentary chronicled the struggles of a couple that loses their jobs at a Kenzo suit factory when production is moved to Eastern Europe. In it, Ruffin takes LVMH chief Bernard Arnault to task for their plight. The film won the César award for best documentary in 2017.

Bernard Arnault - Credit: Courtesy of LVMH
Bernard Arnault - Credit: Courtesy of LVMH

Courtesy of LVMH

Ruffin launched an appeal of the ruling by the judicial court, and he and the media company Fakir came forth with claims that the judges had erred. Associated with the left-wing La France Insoumise party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Ruffin had conscripted another French congressman to testify for him at a May 6 hearing.

On Tuesday, however, the appeals court shot down Ruffin’s efforts after a brief session, declaring “inadmissible the appeals lodged and the priority questions of constitutionality filed,” according to a statement from the court.

Arnault has never voiced an opinion on the film, though he noted dryly at a 2016 shareholders’ meeting that the company has “been the target of criticism from far-left parties for more than 20 years. It’s quite surprising; I’ve often wondered why. I think the answer is quite simple: The LVMH Group is the incarnation of — at least for these far-left observers — the worst that a liberal economy has produced.

“We have all the flaws. First, we are a big CAC 40 company — that’s very detrimental. On top of it, we have good results and that makes it worse. Thirdly, we hire staff — in France even, and long term — and that’s appalling,” he continued. “That’s very bad, according to them. And, lastly, we illustrate globalization’s benefits for France, that’s the absolute catastrophe…and so that is the reason why, in my opinion, we have been the subject of this kind of criticism.”

According to Wikipedia, Ruffin is in favor of the economic doctrine of degrowth. — MILES SOCHA

GUCCI DATA: As data management becomes a pivotal asset to a company’s success, Gucci is teaming with Unimore, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, to launch a master’s course in data analysis for economics and management, or ADEM.

The two-year course kicking off in September provides education in statistics and econometrics, machine learning and artificial intelligence combined with business studies in marketing, finance, human resources and innovation.

The course was presented on Tuesday at the Modena outpost of Unimore as part of a panel dubbed “The Future of Intuition” featuring Carlo Adolfo Porro, Unimore’s dean, and Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Kering-owned Gucci.

Bizzarri has personal ties with the academic institution as he graduated from the University of Modena in economics in 1986. He went on to work as a consultant at Andersen Consulting, now Accenture, before venturing into a fashion career that saw him take the top job at Mandarina Duck, Stella McCartney, Bottega Veneta and Kering’s Luxury — Couture & Leather Goods division, among others. He joined Gucci in December 2014.

Marco Bizzarri, Gucci president and CEO. - Credit: Piotr Niepsuj/Courtesy of Gucci
Marco Bizzarri, Gucci president and CEO. - Credit: Piotr Niepsuj/Courtesy of Gucci

Piotr Niepsuj/Courtesy of Gucci

“Learning is a lifelong process. And the best teachers are those who get us involved in this journey, both in and outside university. That’s how it was for me. I’m delighted to be back today at the University of Modena, from which I graduated, bringing my experiences and sharing those of my colleagues at Gucci, who will make their contribution to this new degree course on data-driven innovation,” Bizzarri said.

“Italy has excellent companies and entrepreneurs. If their know-how and talent is combined with insights and the ability to interpret data in favor of innovation, our country will have an enormous competitive advantage of undeniable benefit,” he added.

Bizzarri later was to meet with students from the communications and economics department of Unimore’s Reggio Emilia outpost.

Gucci’s commitment to support education is not new. Earlier this month, the company revealed it has renewed its partnership with Florence-based fashion and design school Polimoda to launch a master’s course in fashion retail and omnichannel management. — MARTINO CARRERA

BEND IT LIKE FENDI: Fendi is outfitting the AS Roma soccer team starting with the 2022-23 season and into the following 2023-24 session.

“This unprecedented partnership between Fendi and AS Roma Football Team originated from common values and origins we share, celebrating the city of Rome and two firms that were founded here, one shortly after the other, Fendi in 1925 and AS Roma in 1927,” said Serge Brunschwig, chairman and chief executive officer of the Italian luxury brand.

Silvia Venturini Fendi, artistic director of accessories and menswear, designed formal and casual looks in a dark blue color, together with the signature hues of the Roman football team, yellow and dark red. The uniforms are made in Italy.

The idea within this collaboration is to reinterpret Fendi’s and AS Roma’s codes and values creating a meeting point between the sports and fashion world through a common denominator, Roman roots and a strong link to the eternal city,” Venturini Fendi said.

The looks will be presented at the beginning of the 2022-23 Italian League soccer season, which starts at the end of August.

“This partnership is another step of the club toward International excellence, while maintaining a unique sense of Roman appurtenance,” said Ryan Friedkin, vice president of AS Roma. “What Fendi and AS Roma represents together for the city of Rome, its history and traditions speak for itself and was the main driver of the unique partnership we created.”

A Fendi look for Tammy Abraham and AS Roma - Credit: courtesy of Fendi
A Fendi look for Tammy Abraham and AS Roma - Credit: courtesy of Fendi

courtesy of Fendi


Fendi has strengthened its ties with the Italian capital over the years, supporting major renovations, including of the Fontana di Trevi, which began in 2013 and was completed in 2015 — followed by a couture show held at the location in 2016; in the Fendi for Fountains project, as well as the landmark Temple of Venus and Rome, for example, and the Palazzo della Civiltà Romana, which serves as the brand’s headquarters in the city. — LUISA ZARGANI

AMY’S TURN: New York University had Taylor Swift, University of Michigan had Maria Shriver, Howard University had Taraji P. Henson and Savannah College of Art and Design will have actor, writer, director, producer and bestselling author Amy Poehler, who will deliver the commencement address to more than 3,200 graduates during a virtual ceremony on Friday.

Amy Poehler - Credit: courtesy shot.
Amy Poehler - Credit: courtesy shot.

courtesy shot.

SCAD’s commencement will be both digital and in-person on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga. The conferment of degrees begins Friday at 9 a.m. and will be livestreamed and emceed by entertainer, actor, composer, YouTube star and SCAD alum Daniel Thrasher. The Class of 2022 is the university’s largest graduating class.

Paula Wallace, SCAD president and founder, will confer two honorary degrees, to jewelry designer and sculptor David Yurman and multi-Grammy award winning songwriter, producer and composer Tricky Stewart.

David Yurman
David Yurman

Following the morning digital ceremony, the SCAD presentation of degrees ceremonies will take place as an in-person events at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Friday, and Savannah Convention Center on Friday and Saturday.

SCAD Savannah’s valedictorian is Hannah Harris from the first graduating class of its business of beauty and fragrance degree  program. Harris is the creator/founder of Brown Girl Hands and was recognized as a Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholar in 2021, recipient of the Coach Dream it Real x CFDA Design Scholarship in 2021, and named to the Ulta Beauty Muse 100. — LISA LOCKWOOD

IN THE SKIES: Brunello Cucinelli has designed the official uniforms for the flight crew of the new Italian airline ITA Airways, which will be introduced starting Wednesday. It marks a symbolic date as the country celebrates Italian Republic Day on Thursday.

“The idea of this stylistic consultancy with ITA Airways certainly stems from a common vocation, which aims at transferring the style of fine Italian clothing also through the uniforms of the cabin crew, this to represent an image of Italy that is recognized internationally as the cradle of a culture inspired by beauty, art and traditions,” said Cucinelli. “All this will be achieved also through the great contribution of the medium-sized Italian enterprises that will produce them, following this new idea developed together with ITA Airways.”

The new uniforms designed by Brunello Cucinelli - Credit: Image courtesy
The new uniforms designed by Brunello Cucinelli - Credit: Image courtesy

Image courtesy

The uniforms include full outfits for men and women. The latter will comprise a navy blue coat, a double breasted jacket, blue trousers and skirts, a white blouse and T-shirt, a gray cardigan and dress. In addition, Cucinelli has conceived a series of accessories such as a blue and beige scarf, a pair of gloves and a tote bag.

The men will be wearing a navy blue coat, a padded waistcoat, a double-breasted fitted suit, a shirt, a long-sleeved V-neck sweater and waistcoat. Accessories will include a blue tie and a gray one, a pair of gloves, a belt and scarf. All the products will be manufactured by an array of medium-sized Italian factories.

After historic airline Alitalia filed for bankruptcy in 2017, the new ITA Airways began its flight operations in October 2021 and will be part of a complete renovation. This will entail a renewal of the aircraft’s interior designs done by Walter de Silva, unique gastronomic proposals curated by Italian chef Enrico Bartolini and new direct flight destinations to São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles, starting Wednesday. — ALICE MONORCHIO

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