Brand partners Cara Delevingne, Laura Harrier, Aly Raisman and Ava Phillippe stopped by the Gansevoort Plaza pop-up, which feted the launch of Aerie’s fall collection. The foursome made their way around the marketplace, posing for photos at the DJ booth and in front of a bra-fitting station.
Local businesses across New York City staged stalls at the event: florist Brooklyn Blooms allowed visitors to craft their own bouquets, while Inked By Dani decorated attendees with trendy temporary tattoos.
“Aerie is a hidden gem itself, so we were inspired by the hidden gems of New York City,” said Stacey McCormick, Aerie’s chief marketing officer. “We have over 400 local stores within many, many communities all across the country. So localization is such a big deal for us.”
Kiosks hosted by PopUp Bagels and Schmackary’s Cookies handed out complimentary treats, the former nicknaming their sample “Be schmear” — a play on the brand’s slogan “Be real.”
Since its inception in 2006, Aerie has built a cult following around its cozy staples, as well as its message; American Eagle’s sister label was the first major intimates retailer to feature a diverse range of models, and they don’t photoshop their campaigns.
“I’ve always been really interested in Aerie’s branding, which focuses on empowering women and being authentic and real and true to you,” Phillippe said. “That really resonates with me, so it was just a natural partnership.”
Raisman, who’s worked with the brand for six years, compares Aerie to family. “It’s been such an incredible experience,” she said. “Aerie has really helped me learn more about my own body, and my relationship to my body. The fact they don’t retouch anything helps me [with] the way that I see myself, too.”
The Hidden Gems Marketplace also featured a bra donation bin pegged to Aerie’s charity partner, Free the Girls. The nonprofit empowers survivors of sex trafficking, providing economic opportunity by giving them gently used bras to sell to other local women.
“They’re near and dear to our hearts just because of their mission,” McCormick said. “Knowing that our bras can go to something good is fantastic.” — HANNAH MALACH
Naomi in Brazil: As part of its mission to empower communities in different parts of the world to foster greater diversity, equality and acceptance, Liberatum will be staging an event in Brazil to celebrate Black Changemakers and Black Visionaries, with Naomi Campbell as a headliner.
Open to all at no cost, the three-day multicultural festival will run Nov. 3 to 5 in Salvador, Bahia. Upward of 40,000 people are expected at the festivities, with the majority of attendees expected to turn up at a humanitarian concert. Liberatum Brazil will have elements of special programming, fashion installations, cinema, architecture and fashion photography.
Another major attraction will be the Brazilian singer Alcione, who will be honored with the Liberatum Cultural Honor Award at the opening gala. Performer Debbie Harry, Oscar winner Lee Daniels, Brazilian actress TaísAraújo, artist Kehinde Wiley and Brazilian actor and filmmaker Lázaro Ramos are also expected at Liberatum Brazil.
Liberatum, a global multimedia company, specializes in creating content for festivals, summits and collaborations. Reached in Bali Wednesday, founder and artistic director Pablo Ganguli said holding an event in Brazil has been “a lifelong dream” and one that has only intensified due to the country’s current political climate.
In addition to drawing attention to Black creatives in Brazil, organizers aim to raise awareness about the disproportionate rate of crime that members of the Black community are facing. In 2017, the number of Black individuals who were killed was nearly triple the number of non-Black people who were killed, according to Brazil’s Violence Map, an annual study that is conducted by the Institute for Applied Economic Research and the Brazilian Forum for Public Safety.
Liberatum Brazil is designed to connect creatives with their Brazilian counterparts, especially their Afro-Brazilian counterparts. The location is intentional. Bahia is the country’s state with the most residents who are of African descent; more than 80 percent of the population in the capital city of Salvador is of an African background.
Campbell collaborated with Liberatum for a 2018 multicultural festival in New Delhi, which featured former President Barack Obama among other notables. The idea of bringing together world leaders like Obama and Campbell, “who singlehandedly [have] done so much work to change the face of diversity in fashion,” made perfect sense to Ganguli. “She is seen as a sign of hope and inspiration for the fashion community in Brazil. To have this for a primarily Black audience in Brazil is very exciting for us.”
The key reason for shining a light on Brazil is to showcase Black and brown Brazilian artists and designers “who have never been given solid representation in the media or really celebrated,” Ganguli said. Campbell will take part in a discussion with Hisan Silva and Pedro Batalha, the creators of the brand Dendezeiro. Their work will be among the designer creations that will be showcased at Liberatum Brazil. Other creatives like the model Alton Mason will also be saluting Black excellence in fashion.
Having artists and fashion woven together into its events has always been part of the equation for Liberatum. Other fashion forces who have hooked up with Liberatum in the past for different events include Kim Jones, Vivienne Westwood, André Leon Talley and milliner Stephen Jones.
“My partner who I am going to marry is Afro-Brazilian. One thing that shocks me, and us as a cultural organization that has always been neutral and diplomatic — there are times when you want to take a stand and say rather publicly that you don’t agree with this particular fight,” Ganguli said. “In the last few years under a particular head of state, things just deteriorated. So to host an event like this further strengthens the Afro-Brazilian identity, builds confidence and morale, and gives people hope. It’s an event that lets them speak with their voices and it lets them know their contributions are valued, respected and admired.”
This marks the first time the company has an organized an event that is focused on race, Ganguli said. “To do an event that makes the statement that Black cultural artists’, fashion designers’ and artists’ contributions are very much respected is the message that we want to send.” — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
Cool Coats: New York-based emerging designer and interim CFDA member Elizabeth Kuzyk’s namesake ready-to-wear label debuted on Moda Operandi this week.
Through the exclusive trunk show, 10 of Kuzyk’s looks are available for preorder through Sept. 5, with made-to-order styles set to deliver to customers in October.
“Last Fall, we came across Kuzyk in downtown Manhattan and fell in love with designer Elizabeth Kuzyk’s aesthetic and forte for vintage meets must-have. The collection is mused by rock ‘n’ roll, yet timeless in every way. After trying on two jackets (The Bobby and The Gabrielle), it was clear we had found a brand our customer needed to know about. From sourcing deadstock materials to providing scrap materials with a second life, Kuzyk’s production is done thoughtfully, manufactured in the United States,” said Moda Operandi buyer Kelsey Lyle.
“We are very discerning when it comes to partnering with retailers, but our ethos aligns with Moda Operandi. I got to know the team at Moda and it just made sense — Moda’s collector clientele has incredibly discerning taste and standards. Personally, I believe in carefully curated wardrobes and I am discerning when I make a new piece. I don’t make pieces just for the sake of ‘new stuff,’ it needs to serve a purpose,” said Kuzyk, adding the partnership is a big step forward for her label, which launched in 2019.
Since her brand’s inception, Kuzyk has homed in on designing specialty, vintage-inspired pieces crafted from mostly deadstock materials. Her assortment on Moda Operandi includes cool-girl wardrobe staples for everyday wear, as seen through her stellar matching leather skirt and jacket sets (the Miles embossed leather maxi pencil skirt and embossed leather bomber, offered in red or black) or deadstock cowhide Bobby jacket, which Kuzyk initially designed for herself.
Other highlights of the trunk show’s assortment include an expanded range of strong outerwear, ranging from a Debaun suede kimono (based off a kimono from the 1800s in South China that was given to Kuzyk by archive dealer Bob Melet) to a reversible shearling lambskin Fort Coat with enveloping hood and deadstock washed lambskin Rose hoodie. Kuzyk’s outerwear is accompanied by a boxy, relaxed white T-shirt and a select number of bottoms, including a pleated deadstock leather basketball shirt and two skirts.
“A rock ‘n’ roll twist on high-end, quality, everyday pieces. Each piece always has the same intention: to be the timeless treasure in your wardrobe, inspire confidence and become an essential part of your lifestyle,” said Kuzyk. — EMILY MERCER
Just Like New: British heritage brand New & Lingwood has launched a new sustainability-focused initiative, called Re:New at its Savile Row store.
In addition to offering one-of-a-kind dressing gowns, each crafted from upcycled cloth, services include a repair station where customers can bring in any item of clothing to be restored, a patchwork option, where holes can be patched with an eclectic mix of scrap fabrics, or customization service, where items can be personalized with embroidery.
The label, which specializes in bespoke tailoring and has grown to include loungewear and more informal suiting, cites the move as a step toward reaching its goal of net positive sustainability.
“This space is about engaging in conversations around sustainability and circularity, to not only help educate, but also learn and listen to what others can teach us. It’s also a space for experimentation, allowing us to learn in a playful and constructive way,” said Tom Leeper, creative director at New & Lingwood.
Freddie Briance, the company’s chief executive officer, teased more circular initiatives to come.
“It is the first of several concrete steps we are taking toward our goal to be Net Positive and will be a seeding ground for sustainable products, ideas, innovations and business models that will filter through into our main lines and core channels over the coming months and years,” he said.
First founded in 1865 by Elisabeth New and Samuel Lingwood, business partners and who later married, the label quickly found footing in Eton High Street, establishing a storefront on Jermyn Street in 1922 and making its New York debut in 2018. — Violet Goldstone