J-Hope’s Vuitton Dance, Wes Gordon’s Ballet, Lil Nas X Drops by Coach – WWD

MOVING ALONG: No static fashion poses for him.

For his first Louis Vuitton campaign, K-pop star J-Hope displayed his dancing prowess while flouting the French luxury house’s iconic Keepall bag.

The campaign, slated to break Wednesday on Vuitton’s digital and social channels, depicts J-Hope busting various moves so flawlessly that “the bag becomes an extension of his shifting form,” according to the brand, which shared a key visual and details exclusively with WWD.

In the campaign, the South Korean rapper, singer, songwriter and producer — who is also lead dancer of the boy band BTS — wears monochromatic, tailored looks, leaving the spotlight on his complex choreography and the roomy weekend bag.

Designed in the 1930s, the Keepall has been a mainstay of Vuitton’s leather goods range and a coveted item for high-profile collaborations with the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Supreme and Stephen Sprouse.

J-Hope was named a Louis Vuitton ambassador last February. BTS were collectively named as brand ambassadors for Vuitton in April 2021, a partnership that has since expired. With the band on hiatus, its members have been inking individual deals with fashion houses as they focus on solo projects and prepare to complete their mandatory military service.

Describing BTS as “21st-century pop icons,” Vuitton said last February that J-Hope “brings his unique charm and style to this exciting new chapter with the maison.”

A new Disney+ documentary, “J-Hope in the Box,” goes behind the scenes of his debut solo album, “Jack in the Box,” and his headlining performance at Lollapalooza last year.

The influence of K-pop stars has been growing steadily, with many European fashion brands inviting them to their fashion shows, often unleashing pandemonium, or signing them on as ambassadors. — MILES SOCHA

PAS DE WES: Wes Gordon will design costumes for the New York City Ballet this fall on behalf of the Carolina Herrera brand.

Gordon is the sole fashion designer participating in this year’s fall gala, which will also mark the kickoff for City Ballet’s 75th anniversary year.

Wes Gordon

Wes Gordon

Masato Onoda/WWD

Previous NYCB fall galas have focused on premiering new works from rising choreographic talents alongside costumes from important fashion designers. Given the company’s significant anniversary, this year’s event will instead stage two works that are elemental to City Ballet’s history.

With that, Gordon will envision new costumes for Balanchine’s 1970 work “Who Cares?” The George Gershwin-scored piece was created as a jazzy, hell-of-a-town type homage to New York City’s bustling energy. For its fall gala, City Ballet will stage excerpts from the piece featuring 10 dancers in new looks designed by Gordon.

“As a New Yorker, I look forward every year to NYCB’s fall season and gala. I have attended numerous times and have always dreamt of being the guest designer; it’s a tremendous honor. I have been a longtime fan of Wendy Whelan, associate artistic director of NYCB — having photographed her in partnership with Elizaveta Porodina for our fall 2020 collection — and I’m excited to work with her and the NYCB costume shop on this project,” Gordon told WWD.

While Gordon has not seen “Who Cares?” live, he’s watched archival footage as research for his designs. “It’s a very fitting piece for Herrera — high energy, fun and [a] celebration of New York,” he said.

As in past years, Gordon will work side-by-side with City Ballet costume director Marc Happel and the company’s in-house atelier of seamstresses and costume technicians.

Happel said the costumes in “Who Cares?” were ripe for reinvention. “There is opportunity to bring new sophistication and elements of the city to the costume design for the ballet. ‘Who Cares?’ is bubbly like Champagne, effervescent like the city itself. It is an entertaining and uplifting ballet, with a lot of old New York period design about it. I was thrilled when Wes Gordon signed on to redesign it, I have always thought he would be a great designer to bring to NYCB. His collections for Carolina Herrera have an elegant sophistication but also playfulness about them.”

“Who Cares?” last got a wardrobe update in 2013 with costumes by Santo Loquasto, which were designed for the piece’s full cast and 40-minute run.

City Ballet’s 75th anniversary fall gala is scheduled for Oct. 5 and will also include excerpts from Jerome Robbins’ “Glass Pieces,” with a score by Philip Glass. On Oct. 11, the company will stage a one-night-only tribute to its anniversary, staging the same program from its inaugural performance, which was held on Oct. 11, 1948. — MISTY WHITE SIDELL

NAS DROPS BY: Coach had a surprise for the latest group of 150 students in its Dream It Real program.

The program, which launched in 2018 and is part of the Coach Foundation, strives to create opportunities, remove barriers and support the next generation of young people in underrepresented communities to achieve their dreams.

As part of its annual Dream Day on Monday, where the scholars visited the Coach headquarters at Hudson Yards in Manhattan, they were greeted by a special guest: Lil Nas X, the brand’s ambassador and collaborator.

The entertainer surprised several of the students with a session with his stylist Matthew Mazur where they collaborated to create career-inspired looks from Coach pieces in the Dream It Real Closets. He also worked with them in the “Dream It Real Portrait Studio,” coaching students as they took headshots for their résumés.

“Always stand beside yourself,” Lil Nas X told the students. “You are going to be the main person you can count on when you’re chasing your dream. The main person that you have to believe in. Always move forward and stand on your own path.” 

Lil Nas X at Coach Dream it Real event.

The students embraced their time with Lil Nas X.

Courtesy of Coach

Together with Coach Foundation’s partner organizations — Opportunity Network, Bottom Line, Point Foundation, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Hetrick-Martin Institute — the students also received a full day of mentorship, networking and professional development advice.

Other activities included the “Dream It Real ‘Real Talks’” where executives discussed their career journeys and topics such as branding and digital marketing.

The day ended with a party for the students where they were able to meet and mingle with their Dream It Real mentors, Coach employees who have offered support and guidance to them over the past academic year.

Stuart Vevers, Coach’s creative director, said, “Dream Day is a special moment for Coach because it’s when we bring together young people from our programs to celebrate all they are doing to make their dreams real. This year, we were especially excited that Lil Nas X could join us to make this day even more memorable for our students. He is someone who fully embodies the spirit of finding confidence in who you are that is so fundamental to everything we do at Coach, and through our foundation.”

Todd Kahn, chief executive officer and president of the brand, added, “Dream Day champions Coach’s Dream It Real initiative and is an amazing opportunity for young people to connect for a day full of mentorship, professional development and creative workshops. The Coach Foundation committed to granting 5,000 students with scholarships through nonprofit partners by 2025. I am proud to announce that we met our goal two years early, helping break cycles of inequality by empowering young people to reach their full potential through higher education.”  

Since its launch, Dream It Real has provided support and resources to more than 150,000 young people. — JEAN E. PALMIERI

WHISKEY AND WORKWEAR: Dickies is ready to tip one back.

The workwear brand is partnering with Jameson, the Irish whiskey brand, on a new apparel and accessories collection. Called Crafted Together, the line will include signature Dickies pieces such as the Eisenhower jacket, as well as overalls, beanies and caps. A new graphic, which pays homage to the original Jameson “Barrelman” icon, used by the brand since the 1700s, is on select Ts and hoodies.

Dickies has partnered in the past with brands such as Gucci and Ford, and Sarah Crockett, chief marketing officer for Dickies, said the latest partnership made sense because both are heritage brands.

“We’re always looking for partners that reinforce who we are as a brand, or offer unique interpretations of our DNA,” she said. “As a legacy workwear brand, we serve a wide range of customers from agriculturalists to skaters to everyday streetwear stylists; but it all starts at the core of who we are, and that’s a 101-years young workwear brand. Our variety in the brands we partner with help us to see the world of Dickies through new eyes while engaging with our consumers and potentially reaching new ones along the way.”

Dickies x Jameson Eisenhower jackets.

Dickies x Jameson Eisenhower jackets.

Courtesy of Dickies

She said that both Dickies and Jameson are known for their “longstanding craftsmanship,” so it “felt like a natural fit.”

“Jameson Irish Whiskey was founded in 1780 when workwear was the uniform of the working community, often seen in the local pub after a hard day’s work,” said Brendan Buckley, global marketing director for Jameson. “Meanwhile, Dickies began its life in 1922 as a quality and respected workwear brand. Craft and kinship underpin both brands and we are delighted to bring that shared ethos to life through the Jameson and Dickies Crafted Together collection.”

The collection is priced at $20 to $80 and will launch Wednesday. It will be sold in 26 markets globally including the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

A campaign to publicize the collection was shot at the Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland, by Dublin-born, Brooklyn-based photographer, Rich Gilligan. In addition, pop-up shops for those 21 and over will open in New York City and London where visitors will be offered samples of Jameson cocktails while browsing the collection. The New York shop is at 9 West 8th Street while the London pop-up is at the Dickies store on Carnaby Street. Both will be open through Friday. The collection is also available to purchase online. — J.E.P.

ART TALKS: Perrotin, the contemporary gallery that features artists including Takashi Murakami, Maurizio Cattelan, Sophie Calle, Pierre Soulages and JR, has entered into exclusive negotiations with Colony Investment Management to sell a majority stake in the company.

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 12: Gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin poses with A work of Hans Hartung during

Emmanuel Perrotin poses with a work of Hans Hartung at Galerie Perrotin in Paris in 2021.


The real estate and private equity investment firm, headed by Nadra Moussalem, would take a 60 percent stake in the Perrotin galleries, with founder Emmanuel Perrotin staying on and retaining 40 percent of the capital, the companies said in a joint statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.

Perrotin has two outposts in the French capital — one in the hip Marais and the other on the tony Avenue Matignon, for nearly 32,300-square-feet of exhibition space.

Colony IM has previously invested in other prime Paris landmark lifestyle locations, including the luxury hotel Le Molitor. The company manages 3 billion euros of assets.

It’s the first time the company has invested in an art gallery, intended to combine Perrotin’s passion for supporting artists with corporate infrastructure with an eye toward long-term growth.

Outside of Paris, Perrotin operates galleries in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Dubai. An outpost in Los Angeles is slated to open this fall.

In addition to representing major artists, the gallery has expanded into retail sales of prints, books and additional products, and recently started working in the secondary art market space. It had $151 million in sales in 2022.

“Emmanuel Perrotin and his team have developed an exceptional gallery business over the past 30 years with a presence across three continents, representing a range of remarkable artists. The partnership we are considering today with Perrotin is the result of a shared vision with Emmanuel Perrotin, aimed at long-term growth and expansion of the business. We are convinced that contemporary art represents a highly promising asset class for the future, Moussalem said.

“We are always exploring new investment sectors and thrive on helping companies to achieve their full potential,” he added of moving into the new sector.

“The association we are announcing today is the culmination of more than 30 years’ work by a loyal and committed team in the service of extraordinary artists who have grown up with the gallery. I am convinced that Colony IM is the ideal partner to accompany us in a new stage of this collective adventure, to which I remain more committed than ever. This new impetus will enable us to further strengthen our existing expertise and develop new ones,” Perrotin said.

The injection of capital would increase Perrotin’s ability to expand in new cities, with London, Zurich and Istanbul among the potential locations, as well as additional acquisitions of other galleries. — RHONDA RICHFORD

SPECIAL CLEAT: Tuesday night at Citi Field isn’t only about the Subway Series, pitting both New York City baseball franchises against one another in an always highly anticipated matchup. It also marks the introduction of the second iteration of the New Balance cleat created for Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Lindor will take the field during the Mets and Yankees game wearing the New Balance Lindor 2, which features a new colorway, the Summer Storm, and performance materials including the energy return midsole foam, FuelCell, with Abzorb cushioning at the heel and forefoot. The upper features a two-strap system that allows move lockdown across the foot and a sliding closure system that fastens in less time than tying traditional laces, something Lindor specifically asked for in the shoe.

The New Balance Lindor 2.

The New Balance Lindor 2.

Courtesy of New Balance

The athlete also made clear his desire for a more environmentally friendly process for the second version of his signature shoe, so no tooling dies were required for the fixed-width webbing and minimal waste was created, according to the company. In addition, by using 3D printing and embroidery, New Balance reduced the use of traditional molds and cutting dies.

“I’m so excited to show off the Lindor 2 throughout the season, starting with the Summer Storm colorway,” said Lindor. “Having an opportunity to work with New Balance on this update allows me to continue to explore my love of design. Combining the latest New Balance technology with even fresher designs, you don’t need to choose between performance and style.”

The Lindor 2 is New Balance’s most premium baseball shoe and when released to the public in July will retail for $110 for the pregame version and $150 for the cleat. It will be sold on the New Balance website.

In addition to the Summer Storm gray shoe with teal accents and a pixel green sole, the Lindor 2 collection will be offered in a Vintage Puerto Rico, Tropical Fiesta and other colorways throughout the season in cleat and pregame versions that speak to Lindor’s Puerto Rican heritage. 

The New Balance Lindor 1 was introduced in 2017 and marked the Boston-based sports brand’s first baseball signature shoe and apparel collection.

“Francisco is uniquely recognized across New York City sports, culture and community, having quickly become the face of the New York Mets,” said Matt Nuzzo, senior product manager for New Balance Baseball. “Working with Francisco on updating the Lindor he wanted to ensure it could meet his demands on the field but also [be] something he could wear out after the game. He is truly redefining the future direction and possibilities of the baseball category.” — J.E.P.

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