Chanel’s Manchester Show, Waiting for Fabolous, PETA Pressures Hermès – WWD

NEW HORIZONS: Luxury brands are casting a wider net when it comes to the location of destination fashion shows — and it’s not only Asia’s fast-growing mega-cities that are on their radar.

Chanel said Wednesday it will show its next Métiers d’Art collection in Manchester, England, on Dec. 7.

The city built its fortune on the textile industry during the 19th century’s Industrial Revolution. Dubbed “Cottonopolis,” Manchester was once the international center of the world’s cotton industry. Chanel, however, is more closely associated with tweed produced in Scotland, a heritage it explored with a high jewelry collection shown in London in June.

The brand has presented the Métiers d’Art line, timed around the pre-fall season, in cities as far-flung as Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Rome, Edinburgh, Salzburg and Dallas, and last year became the first European luxury brand to stage a fashion show in sub-Saharan Africa by holding the event in Dakar, Senegal.

“Presented in cities and places that inspire the house, from Tokyo to New York, via Dakar last year, this collection bears witness to the historic commitment of Chanel to this exceptional artisanal heritage and its influence around the world,” the French luxury brand said in a brief statement.

Chanel did not elaborate on the exact location of the show, or its reasons for heading to Manchester. The brand has a shop-in-shop at the Manchester branch of department store Selfridges.

Founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel had strong links with Britain, through her relationships with Arthur “Boy” Capel and subsequently Hugh Grosvenor, the second Duke of Westminster. She frequently visited the latter’s properties, including Eaton Hall, his family estate in Cheshire, which is about 50 miles southwest of Manchester.

The Métiers d’Art collections celebrate the capabilities of the specialty ateliers Chanel has acquired through its Paraffection subsidiary. Several of them are now grouped at Le19M, a striking building designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti and located near Porte d’Aubervilliers, a working-class area north of Paris.

Le19M brings together embroiderer and tweed-maker Lesage, its embroidery school and Lesage Intérieurs; embroidery workshop Montex and its decoration department MTX; shoemaker Massaro; feather- and flower-maker Lemarié; milliner Maison Michel; pleater Lognon; grand flou atelier Paloma, and goldsmith Goossens. It also houses swimwear and lingerie brand Eres.

Ahead of the show in England, Chanel plans to stage its first major event in China since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, with a repeat showing of its cruise 2024 collection scheduled to be held in Shenzhen on Nov. 2. — JOELLE DIDERICH

TAKING THEIR TIME: Partygoers packed into Philipp Plein’s Spring Street store Tuesday night to welcome the pop-up store to the neighborhood. The party was called for 5 to 7 p.m., with a special performance by New York rapper Fabolous. And in true Plein fashion, there was a lot of waiting around for the performance to begin.

Fabolous and Philipp Plein

Fabolous and Philipp Plein

Cara Friedman/

The Plein shop, which opened Tuesday, was converted from a former Plein Sport pop-up that went in last February. Plein has a 10-year lease on the nearly 1,951-square-foot space that features Plein’s flashy ready-to-wear and accessories set against each wall and a substantial sneaker and footwear display. Plein has more than 110 Philipp Plein stores globally and opened a 4,000-square-foot store in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles last week. In the U.S. alone, there are eight full-price Plein stores, with one Plein Sport store coming up in Las Vegas, and five outlet stores.

Like the Beverly Center store, the SoHo shop carries the new Modern Renaissance and Thousand and One Nights collections. The store is decorated with custom Philipp Plein homeware fixtures and features contemporary lounge couches, marble podiums and chrome and glass tables. In addition to the main line rtw collections, there is footwear, eyewear and Philipp Plein timepieces.

RTW at Phillip Plein's new store.

The ready-to-wear at Philipp Plein’s new SoHo store.

Cara Friedman/

While waiting to interview Plein, WWD chatted with celebrity stylist, designer and TV personality Phillip Bloch, who was making the rounds in SoHo having just come from the Barbie shop at Zara. Bloch has a personal connection to Barbie because in 2006 when Barbie and Ken were having problems, he was asked to give Ken a makeover. “I gave him dark hair and made him more metrosexual, which today is called ‘urban,’” said Bloch, who added that it must have worked, since Ken is still in the picture. “I saved their relationship,” he quipped.

Other guests at the party included Lil Mo’ Mozzarella, Flaviana Matata, Katya Tolstova, Ash Forde and Alexander Sim.

Two hours after the party began and was scheduled to end, Plein arrived around 7:05 p.m., Fabolous made his entrance closer to 8 p.m., and finally performed for the crowd at 8:20 p.m. — LISA LOCKWOOD

PRESSURING HERMÈS: PETA is putting the pressure on Hermès International once again to retire the crocodile-skin Birkin bag and commit to a corporate policy against the use of exotic skins.

Following the death of actress and singer Jane Birkin on Sunday, the animal rights group is asking the French luxury house to retire the crocodile skin versions of her namesake handbags “so that no more wildlife is killed in her name.”

An Hermès bag offered in the Getty sales at Christie's.

A crocodile Hermès bag offered for auction at Christie’s.


The group is also asking that Hermès commit to wider company agreement against using exotic skins.

“Will Hermès continue to hark back to the past, treating these magnificent and highly intelligent exotic animals as nothing more than living, breathing ‘fabric,’ or will you embrace positive change and make a commitment to continue Ms. Birkin’s legacy in a manner that respects the natural world and all who live in it by using the finest cruelty-free materials to create a modern Birkin and other accessories? We hope you will choose the latter,” said PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk.

PETA added that the move would be to “honor her legacy,” it said in a statement.

In July 2015, Birkin herself had asked the luxury house to remove her name from the crocodile skin handbags after watching an expose film of a crocodile farm that showed animals being skinned and sawed open while alive, and other methods used to harvest the skins.

“Alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their killing for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name, as a signatory of Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Mercy for Animals’ petitions protesting all the bad treatment of animals, I have asked the Maison Hermès to rename the Birkin Croco until best practices responding to international norms can be put in place for the bag’s fabrication,” she said at the time.

The following September, Hermès said it had reached an agreement with Birkin to continue to use her name on all versions of the bag, including crocodile, and said the practices shown in the video were an isolated incident. It vowed to investigate the farm in question.

“Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles,” Hermès said at the time. “Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.”

In calling for a corporate commitment to discontinue the use of crocodile skin, the organization noted that other luxury houses — including Burberry, Chanel, Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, Karl Lagerfeld, Paul Smith and Stella McCartney — have banned exotic skins from their collections. Few of those brands use exotic skins in any significant way, however.

Hermès is said to have paid about $40,000 in royalties to Birkin annually in exchange for the use of her name. She consistently donated this money to various charities.

Representatives for Hermès did not respond to a request for comment. — RHONDA RICHFORD

AN IRISH GREETING: Matty Bovan, Nicholas Daley, Mowalola and Molly Goddard have all hosted exhibitions at the Now Gallery in London’s Greenwich.

Now, Dublin-born fashion designer Robyn Lynch is making her mark for the 2023 fashion commission with a show titled, “Greetings From Ireland.”

The exhibition will open this winter, from Dec. 6 to Feb. 25.

“Being awarded the Now Gallery 2023 Fashion Commission has been a monumental moment for my brand. I have been an admirer of the Now Gallery fashion commission since it was established in 2015, when I got the opportunity to assist on Phoebe English’s commission whilst interning at the brand,” said Lynch, who was a 2023 Woolmark Prize finalist.

“From assisting another designer as an intern, to now having the opportunity to express my brand’s world in the same space is a full 360 moment for me. I am extremely honored to be given the opportunity to celebrate Irish creatives and culture within the gallery walls,” she added.

Lynch’s showcase will explore “what it is to be Irish,” as well as the creative process that happens behind the scenes of a fashion brand.

The exhibition will open this winter, from December. 6 to February. 25 2024.Charlie Murray

Robyn Lynch will present her debut exhibition this winter at Now Gallery.

Charlie Murray

She will be collaborating with fellow Irish artist Rory Mullen, who will be creating a bouncy castle-esque inflatable structure that pays homage to their roots and the freedom of expression before the rise of technology.

One of the rooms will be dedicated to Lynch’s fall 2019 and 2023 collections, visually explaining to guests the research phase of a collection, which moves onto the second room, where the collections are put together through different materials.

The final space will be a celebration of the designer’s community, which is accompanied by a short film depicting her close ties with her community.

Lynch has partnered with Kepler on a motion sensor that will pick up body shapes to give showgoers the opportunity to try on the designer’s garments.

“[Lynch] has made dozens of films of the people who have helped her along the way, particularly those at the industrial estate where her father works; footage of the man who lent her first sewing machines. It is the essence of how fashion starts, with a strong will and a lot of help,” said Jemima Burrill, curator of Now Gallery. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

BEACH COLLABORATION: Adriana Degreas, the Miami-based swimwear designer, has designed an exclusive resort collection for Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth. The collaboration includes two swimsuits, bags and other resort wear. A pop-up of her designs, along with her main collection, are featured in the property’s boutique. This exclusive follows a decade-long relationship with Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth and Adriana Degreas.

An exclusive Adriana Degreas swimsuit.

An exclusive Adriana Degreas swimsuit.

courtesy of Adriana Degreas.

The collaboration plays into the trend of hotel properties forming partnerships with fashion brands to offer style exclusives to guests.

Degreas’ exclusive capsule retails from $320 to $380 for swimwear; $340 to $740 for resort wear, and $180 to $220 for accessories.

Styles include a bikini and a one-piece in Degreas’ signature designs with a retro twist that sport the resort’s signature seal. There are also five additional resort pieces curated by Degreas, including a clutch bag in two sizes, a skirt to pair with the swimsuits, a dress, and a fluid caftan.

“The proposal of my designs has always been to introduce an elegant and irreverent mark in beachwear, and I envisioned this collaboration as an opportunity to bond two great worlds: the French Caribbean heritage with the Brazilian Cool-Chic Bossa. I designed this collection to represent the perfect synergy between my world and Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth’s elegance and unique essence, matching my iconic and avant-garde Bain Couture alongside playful styles that represent the Brazilian woman in a French summer rest,” said Degreas.

The capsule collection will be available through the summer as a limited edition, though the boutique carries pieces from Degreas’ line all year round. — L.L.

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