No Dior Deal for Meghan, Kenzo Taps Vernon, Deneuve on Show in Paris – WWD

FAKE NEWS: Blackpink’s Jisoo and actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Yara Shahidi and Anya Taylor-Joy are among official and confirmed brand ambassadors of Dior.

Meghan Markle is not — and not about to become one either, despite a flurry of media reports saying the Duchess of Sussex was about to sign a deal with the French fashion house.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Dior in Paris told WWD the reports are unfounded, stressing there have been no contract negotiations or recent contact with Markle.

The narrative spun by many news outlets was that Markle’s talent agency in Hollywood, William Morris Endeavor, was pursuing a marquee fashion deal in a bid to blunt negative publicity surrounding her and her husband’s strained relationship with the British royal family, and their split from Spotify.

Like many other fashion houses, Dior had occasionally dressed Markle when she was a working member of the royal family alongside Prince Harry. Harry also donned a Dior suit for the recent coronation of King Charles.

But Dior already has a wide slate of famous ambassadors, including actors Robert Pattinson and Johnny Depp and tennis star Emma Raducanu.

Just this week, the house added Thai actors Nattawin Wattanagitiphat, better known as Apo, and Phakphum Romsaithong, nicknamed Mile, as its newest men’s ambassadors for that country.

For its recent campaign for its Lady 95.22, Dior lined up a multigenerational cast of outstanding women from the realms of fashion, film, literature, sports, music and art, including Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose essay and related TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists” inspired the T-shirts in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut show for Dior in 2016. — MILES SOCHA

CHARM SCHOOL: Kenzo’s artistic director Nigo, no slouch when it comes to music, has selected Vernon, one of 13 members of South Korean boy band Seventeen, as a global ambassador for the French house.

The 25-year-old K-pop star is to front various Kenzo advertising campaigns for clothing and sneaker categories, and make his first official appearance at Kenzo’s coed fashion show taking place on Friday during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.

Nigo and Vernon, Kenzo brand ambassador.

Nigo and Vernon, Kenzo’s newest global ambassador.

Courtesy of Kenzo

Revealing the appointment exclusively to WWD, Nigo said he’s “pleased and grateful to welcome Vernon into the Kenzo family.”

For his part, Vernon said he’s “excited to explore the synergy this partnership will introduce” and that he looks forward to “showcasing a new side of me to fans around the world.”

Born into a French Korean family, Hansol Vernon Chwe has dual American and South Korean nationalities, and is considered the main rapper and face of Seventeen, a band created under Pledis Entertainment.

According to Kenzo, his “exceptional command of vocal range, tone and visual versatility quickly helped him garner global recognition and reputation.”

He is said to be gearing up for Seventeen’s comeback this summer.

With an early background in television, Vernon’s charm caught the eye of Pledis, now his management company. The artist is credited with authoring almost 70 songs, and he counts 6 million followers on Instagram. — M.S.

LEADING LADY: The quintessential Parisian, actress Catherine Deneuve is set to be celebrated in a dual exhibition on both sides of the Seine. The “Catherine Deneuve, Rive Droite, Rive Gauche exhibition,” at the Galerie de l’Instant in the 3rd arrondissement and at the iconic Hôtel Lutetia on the Left Bank, features pictures of the actress through the decades by an array of photographers, from her ex-husband, David Bailey, to Kate Barry, Helmut Newton and Ellen von Unwerth, as well as veteran Paris Match photographer Jean-Claude Deutsch.

Catherine Deneuve with Serge Gainsbourg on the set of Claude Berri's 1980 movie "I Love You All," shot by Georges Pierre.

Catherine Deneuve with Serge Gainsbourg on the set of Claude Berri’s 1980 movie “I Love You All,” shot by Georges Pierre.

Georges Pierre / La Galerie de l’Instant

Julia Gragnon, director of the Galerie de l’Instant, remembers listening to Deneuve’s voice as a child on recordings of Disney stories on vinyl, then discovering her, years later, alongside Bowie and Susan Sarandon in Tony Scott’s cult movie “The Hunger.”

“We all have a particular relationship with Catherine Deneuve. Her unique expression, her blondeness, the fantasies and other projections she inspires…her relationship with artists, with fashion, her friendship with Yves Saint-Laurent,” said Gragnon, who has been collecting imagery for some time with a view to putting it on show. Pictures by her father, photographer François Gragnon, also feature in the selection.

Many of the images are behind-the-scenes shots of the actress on set, often with her signature cigarette in hand, and show her alone or with fellow screen icons including David Bowie and Serge Gainsbourg. Others show her in some of her key cinematic roles over the years, like in Luis Bunuel’s “Tristana” in a shot by Philippe Le Tellier. There are signed originals, reproductions and vintage prints among the selection, spread between the two venues.

A household name the world over who is known for being enigmatic off-screen, Deneuve, who will turn 80 in October, is having something of a moment. She notably featured on the poster for this year’s Cannes Film Festival in a shot from 1968 movie “La Chamade.”

The exhibition opens on Wednesday at the Lutetia, where pictures will be on show until Sept. 8, and on Thursday at the Galerie de l’Instant in the Marais, where they will remain on view until Oct. 1. — ALEX WYNNE

TJAY’S TIEUP: BoohooMan is continuing its series of collaborations with a new collection.

The fashion brand is teaming up with rapper Lil Tjay to release an 80-piece fashion collection of T-shirts, jackets, hoodies, jeans, shorts and other styles. The collection is available on BoohooMan’s website starting Tuesday and styles range in price from $5 to $75.

The collection offers neutral, earthy colors of beige, sage and orange, as well as an array of styles designed in shades of blue. Standout styles include a white varsity jacket, a distressed camouflage-patterned vest paired with a gray sweatshirt, a green acid wash denim jacket and a printed cropped jacket with matching oversize trousers, among others. 

Lil Tjay for BoohooMan.

Lil Tjay first came into the spotlight in 2017 with his hit song “Resume,” which helped him sign to Columbia Records that year. His songs have garnered 18 million streams across platforms and have gone viral on TikTok, according to BoohooMan. 

The BoohooMan collaboration is meant to launch in conjunction with the rapper’s upcoming album release, though it does not yet have a confirmed release date.

This is BoohooMan’s latest collaboration with a public figure. Last fall, the fashion brand teamed with rapper Toosii on a 76-piece fashion collection. Last year, BoohooMan released its latest collaboration with rapper Swae Lee and teamed with Shaquille O’Neal’s sons, Shaqir and Shareef, on a collection. — LAYLA ILCHI

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