LeBron’s New Gig, Tory’s Front Row, LaQuan Draws a Crowd

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LEBRON’S GROOMING GIG: LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company is getting in on the men’s grooming game.

The production company has teamed up with Parlux to develop a seven-product collection of skin, hair and beard care products inspired by TSHC’s Emmy Award-winning show, “The Shop.”

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Co-created by Paul Rivera and Randy Mims, the series — now approaching its seventh season — sees James and Maverick joined by a host of guests for conversations about entertainment, sports, politics, community and the textures of daily life. Past guests include Tracee Ellis Ross, Naomi Osaka, David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Jason Sudeikis and others.

“We created The Shop out of a deep love and passion for the barbershop experience,” said Rivera in a statement exclusively to WWD. “Our show was designed to bring people inside the shop for the debates, the arguments and the therapy you can only get at a true neighborhood spot. Now, we want to give people another side to the experience.”

To that end, The Shop Men’s Grooming Line will roll out to roughly 1,600 Walmart doors on April 1. Priced under $10 per product, the range aims to offer male consumers of all ages an accessible, solution-led approach to personal care.

“We’re so excited to welcome The Shop and their new line of men’s grooming products to our growing assortment, and believe our customers will love the high-performance products at an exceptional value,” said Creighton Kiper, vice president, merchandising, beauty, Walmart U.S., in a statement.

The debut collection will feature an exfoliating face wash, soothing shave cream, aftershave-toner, hydrating facial lotion, deep-conditioning beard cream, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a styling pomade.

“From our very first meeting, Parlux saw the tremendous potential and opportunity for The Shop to create a grooming line as a natural extension of the show and their community,” said Lori Singer, president of Parlux, which is also the partner for Drake’s Better World Fragrance House and Billie Eilish’s fragrance line. She added that the vegan, cruelty-free range “encapsulates The Shop’s values of high performance, empowerment and self care.”

Having initially launched on Max in 2018, “The Shop” has since taken to YouTube, where new episodes air via TSHC’s Uninterrupted channel. Most recently, the show wrapped up a five-installment historically Black college and university tour in December, and Season 7 is slated to debut in March. — NOOR LOBAD

UMA TALKS FASHION: Tory Burch brought her fall 2024 show to the New York Public Library on Monday night, and with it came the stars.

Uma Thurman, Awkwafina, Natasha Lyonne, AnnaSophia Robb, Kathryn Newton, Dominique Thorne, Girl in Red and Geraldine Viswanathan were all in attendance, dressed in their Tory Burch finest front row.

“I’m actually wearing almost exactly what [Tory is] wearing, but a little more cropped [pant],” Thurman said of her look for the night. “And then this amazing, cool, silver jacket she made for the show. It’s so cool. I don’t know, she’s chic-ing it out.”

Uma Thurman, Awkwafina and Natasha Lyonne at the Tory Burch fall 2024 ready-to-wear show
Uma Thurman, Awkwafina and Natasha Lyonne at the Tory Burch fall 2024 ready-to-wear show.

Thurman was at Burch’s show in September as well, and considers the designer a friend, as well as a fashion inspiration.

“I like the simplicity. I like the color. I like that she does whatever the hell she wants,” she said of Burch. “Do you know what I mean? She’s not limited. She’s very open, and she’s a wonderful person and a wonderful mom. I just admire her from the bottom of my heart.”

Thurman also finds fashion inspiration from her 11-year-old daughter, Luna.

“She’s the most interesting right now. She’s just mixing it up,” Thurman said. “And she can still do the crop top, you know what I mean?”

On Tuesday, Thurman planned to host a dinner with Tod’s, in the midst of New York’s snowstorm.

“I think we’ll have a major shoe issue. I need to reach out,” she said.

Elsewhere, Newton was giving her white printed minidress a twirl. The “Lisa Frankenstein” star said things have been “really fun” since the film came out on Friday.

“We actually surprised an audience and we went on opening night, Cole [Sprouse] and I and the director, Zelda [Williams] and [writer] Diablo [Cody], and it was unbelievable. It felt like the magic of movies, where you have fun with the audience,” she said.

The movie, which is set in the ’80s, gave Newton plenty of fashion inspiration.

“I think I want to be in the ’80s and just haven’t accepted it yet. But I think I perpetually am in the ’80s because of my playlists on Spotify,” she said. “‘Lips Like Sugar’ by [Echo & the Bunnymen]. Simple Minds. Tears for Fears.” — LEIGH NORDSTROM

LAQUAN ON WALL STREET: LaQuan Smith brought the fashion week crowd downtown to Wall Street on Monday night, where he unveiled his new collection at Cipriani 25 Broadway. Pre-show cocktails awaited guests including musician Babyface, Julia Fox, Jasmine Sanders, Misty Copeland, and Caroline Vreeland. Perhaps anticipating the impending winter storm, rapper Joey Bada$$ arrived in an oversized fur coat, and Busta Rhymes wore a red coat with white fur trim and cuffs that brought the holiday season to mind. It was a family night out for the rapper, who brought along daughter Cacie Smith.

Rika and Babyface at the LaQuan Smith Fall 2024 ready-to-wear show
Rika and Babyface at the LaQuan Smith Fall 2024 ready-to-wear show.

Much to the crowd’s delight, following the final look of the show Babyface got up from his seat in the front row and headed for the grand piano in the center of the room. He performed a short set, providing accompaniment for the model’s finale walk. Afterward, LaQuan Smith emerged to take his bow and Babyface made a swift exit from the floor, while Rhymes held court long after most guests had departed.

The rapper enthusiastically introduced his daughter to the cluster of photographers, eager to document the moment, and posed for selfies with models, Fern Mallis, and friends alike. After awhile, Cipriani workers working to reset the room began encouraging stragglers toward the door — but as a consolation prize, an after party at The Box awaited.

“I’ve been here too long, I’m the last one out,” said Rhymes, finally heading in that direction. “I appreciate ya’ll a lot. Come to the after party!” — KRISTEN TAUER

SERGIO’S STALWARTS: Sergio Hudson debuted his latest collection at Starrett-Lehigh on Monday evening, and his front row offered a mix of familiar and new fashion week faces.

Guests taking in the runway show included Danai Gurira, currently in the middle of press for her upcoming spinoff series “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live”; Rachel Brosnahan; “Abbott Elementary” star Janelle James; “Today” cohosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager; “The View” host Sunny Hostin; Auli’i Cravalho; KiKi Layne, and Karen Pittman.

Karen Pittman and Danai Gurira at the Sergio Hudson Fall 2024 ready-to-wear show
Karen Pittman and Danai Gurira at the Sergio Hudson Fall 2024 ready-to-wear show.

“This is my first time at a Sergio Hudson show, and I’m so honored. He just knows how to dress a woman,” said James, showing off her sequin striped dress. “I’m wearing one of his designs right now. I feel so sexy.”

“Abbott Elementary” recently returned for its third season, and the Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress offered a preview of what viewers can expect. “It’s a shorter season because of the strike, so it’s given us the opportunity to introduce some edgier subjects, some more stand-alone episodes, and more hijinks — if you can believe it.”

And there’s even more to come. Last week, the beloved series was renewed for a fourth season.

“I’m so proud of myself because I’ve known for awhile, and I told no one. I didn’t even tell my mom,” said James. “To be renewed after just one episode had dropped — it tells you we’re kind of killin’ it. We’re working hard.” — K.T.

ALL EYES ON ZHAO: A year after Self-Portrait tapped Chinese actress Zhao Liying as a regional face for China, the brand is elevating her role to a global brand ambassador.

Hailed as the queen of daytime TV drama in China for leading a slew of major productions, Zhao is steadily entering the arena of the film industry. Her recent portrayal of a hearing-impaired mother in famed director Zhang Yimou’s Lunar New Year box office hit “Article 20” has earned her universal praise on Chinese social media.

Her name has been mentioned 5.1 billion times on Xiaohongshu and she has more than 90 million followers on Weibo.

Zhao Liying has been named a global brand ambassador of Self-Portrait
Zhao Liying has been named a global brand ambassador of Self-Portrait.

“I am always looking for women to represent the brand who my customer can identify with and connect to. Given the strength of our business in China, and our large community in the market, partnering with an ambassador who transmits the values of our brand was critical,” said Han Chong, founder and creative director of Self-Portrait.

“I have been a fan of Zhao for a long time. She’s an incredible actress who is able to transform herself into such a broad range of roles. This is something that really attracted me to her, and made me realize how perfect she would be to embody the Self-Portrait woman who I often describe as multifaceted and utterly unique. Our customer is not just one note — she is worldly, confident, soft, powerful and effortless. And Zhao Liying is all of those things, and more,” added Chong, who forged a partnership with the Shenzhen-based Ellassay Group to comanage the brand’s Chinese assets in 2019.

The brand now has 60 stand-alone stores in China across key luxury retail hubs like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, with plans to open more in the near future.

“I am really energized about the opportunities we have in newer markets for Self-Portrait, like China,” Chong said: “It’s a market and customer I care deeply about, and which I understand very well. I am fascinated by the speed at which the market is growing, and at which the customer is evolving. We are constantly listening to and monitoring the market so that we can adapt our business strategy, content and product offering accordingly.

The London-based Chinese Malaysian designer noted that the appointment of Zhao is an example of how the brand’s marketing efforts are becoming more bespoke and dedicated to the Chinese consumer, whereas globally the brand uses models with huge online followings like Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kate Moss and Irina Shayk.

“I think it’s critical to engage with our communities in an authentic way that is relevant and well understood, and through the appropriate channels and platforms,” he added.

Zhao’s announcement was accompanied by the dedicated campaign “New Ray,” with Zhao sporting key looks from the brand’s spring 2024 collection.

Later this week, Chong is cohosting a festive free-flow dinner with British Fashion Council chair Caroline Rush in London’s Chinatown for a double celebration of the 40th anniversary of London Fashion Week and the arrival of the Year of the Dragon in the lunar calendar.

“Lunar New Year is an important time for me and with London being home to so many creatives from the Asian community, it feels like the right time to formally honor and spotlight our heritage alongside the British fashion community. Having an official moment on the calendar to celebrate our diverse cultures and time-honored traditions is very special, and shows the importance of London as a creative melting pot,” he added. — TIANWEI ZHANG

PROTECTION NEEDED: Leading environmental artist Anne de Carbuccia has written and directed her first 93-minute documentary feature film called “Earth Protectors,” distributed by Minerva Pictures International, which just debuted on Amazon Prime and will also be available on AppleTV+ later this month.

De Carbuccia for the last decade created striking photos reflecting on the damage mankind has done to nature and animals. She addresses climate change, which causes environmental loss and therefore cultural loss and during her trips, she met a new generation of women and men who are working to save our planet, whom she calls Earth protectors.

Inspired by their commitment and their achievements, she decided to start filming “because a lot of people when looking at my images didn’t really believe that I was physically going to those places to create my installations. Little by little, the documentary film making became a narrative, a story.” She understood “the extraordinary reach of film, how much more awareness you can create with moving images. It’s one of the most powerful instruments for change.”

The “Earth Protectors” range from marine biologist Mariasole Bianco, founder of the NGO Worldrise, who is implementing projects to safeguard the marine environment in Italy, to Nepal-based humanitarian Tashi Bista, who is working with several remote villages in the Himalayas that are running out of glacial water and need to move. Another example is Jared Cairuna Cauper, Shipibo tribal ranger, a forest protector of the Peruvian Amazon from illegal incursions and deforestation often putting his own life at risk. Scientists include Roberto Ambrosini, a scientific researcher who has traveled to all continents to study the presence of microplastics on glaciers and high mountain ranges, and Julie Pullen, earth scientist and oceanographer, whose expertise spans climate, weather and hydro science.

A still from “Earth Protectors” directed by Anne de Carbuccia.
A still from “Earth Protectors” directed by Anne de Carbuccia.

“I want to take viewers on a journey and inspire them,” de Carbuccia said. “I want them to realize that each and every one of us can become a positive geological force. Our daily thoughts and actions affect the planet as a whole, and that is empowering. It means that if mankind chooses to, we can change the future of our planet overnight.”

De Carbuccia has established the One Planet One Future Foundation in the U.S. and in Italy. She has also been a featured speaker at the United Nations World Oceans Day conference and participates in mentorship programs for several institutions such as the Guggenheim and IOC-UNESCO, which appointed her role model for the Ocean Decade and member of the Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy. — LUISA ZARGANI

I-D’S NEW ID: i-D Magazine is pausing its print publication and digital output for the foreseeable future as it focuses on repositioning itself in the publishing world.

In the time being, the British bimonthly magazine acquired by Karlie Kloss last year is launching a newsletter and will continue to post across its social media channels on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

“The truth is that there is a lot going on at i-D. And we’re doing it ourselves,” the magazine said in a statement.

“Creating something that can stand the test of time has always been our goal. In many ways, the world is different to when we first started — and yet the same things are just as important to us now as they were back then: reflecting the most exciting and creative expressions of youth culture through fashion, music, photography, art and everything in between.”

i-D magazine poster, a collage of iconic covers over the years
i-D magazine poster, a collage of iconic covers over the years.

Even though i-D Magazine is rethinking its strategy as the statement revealed, it promised its readers that it will be “back bigger and better than ever: online, in print, and everywhere else you can imagine.”

In November 2023, Kloss saved the magazine from bankruptcy adding it to her media portfolio, which also includes W Magazine that she acquired in 2020.

The sale of i-D was handled through Kloss’s newly former company Bedford Media, where Kloss is chairwoman. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Alastair McKimm, who has led i-D since 2019, has taken on more responsibilities since the sale of the magazine by stepping up to become chief creative officer and global editor in chief.

Vice Media, which purchased i-D in 2012, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2023 and was acquired for $350 million by its creditors, led by Fortress Investment Group that same year. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

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