Must Read: Christopher John Rogers and Esteban Cortazar to Design Costumes for New York City Ballet, Allyson Felix Launched a Sneaker Brand

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Plus, why is everyone wearing Vivienne Westwood's pearl choker?

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Wednesday.

Christopher John Rogers and Esteban Cortazar to design costumes for New York City Ballet
Christopher John Rogers and Esteban Cortazar will bring their flair for color and drama to the Lincoln Center stage for the New York City Ballet's annual fall fashion gala on Sept. 30. In keeping with the tradition of the event, the designers will create costumes for two emerging choreographers who are setting premiere works for the dance company. {WWD}

Allyson Felix launched a sneaker brand
After parting ways with Nike in 2019 and struggling to reach sponsorship deals with other footwear brands, American track star Allyson Felix used the unexpected time off that she had from the pandemic to build a shoe company of her own. The brand, called Saysh, launches Wednesday with the Saysh One sneaker. Consumers can purchase the shoe for $150 on the company's website and sign up for a lifetime membership to the "Saysh Collective," a digital subscription product that will offer perks like workout videos and opportunities to network with other Saysh members and have conversations with Felix. {Time}

Why is everyone wearing Vivienne Westwood's pearl choker?
In a new piece for Nylon, Hannah Jackson explores the present-day resurgence of the Vivienne Westwood Mini Bas Relief pearl choker, which has been making the rounds on the necks of TikTokers and influencers. The popularity of the "it" girl accessory comes from the record rates at which young Americans are consuming anime. "The manga 'Nana,' which was adapted into an anime series from 2006 to 2007, paid heavy homage to Westwood; its author, Ai Yazawa, was a former fashion student who admired the British designer's punk roots," Jackson writes. "'Nana's' cult following has spawned a craze for Westwood's orb jewelry, as it is often directly mentioned in the series." {Nylon}

American Express launches initiative to support small businesses
American Express is ramping up its efforts to support small businesses by committing more than $100M globally to independent retailers and rolling out the "Let's Go Shop Small" campaign. The company has also teamed up with Pinterest to launch the first-ever branded Pinterest Shop. The digital Shop Small Summer Pinterest Shop will feature fashion essentials and help consumers easily access products from small businesses. {Fashionista inbox}

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