WILT WEAR: Sotheby’s is continuing its streak of rare sports memorabilia auctions with a new item.
The auction house revealed Wednesday that it will be offering NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain’s 1972 NBA Finals Los Angeles Lakers jersey in its next sports memorabilia auction. Chamberlain wore the jersey during the team’s first championship win. It is expected to sell for more than $4 million. The online auction will take place from Aug. 28 through Sept. 27.
“This jersey holds an extraordinarily significant place in the history of Los Angeles, not only adorned by the man many consider to be the greatest player ever to step on the court, but as a relic from one of the greatest franchises in sports history,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles. “We’re incredibly excited to offer one of the most elite sports artifacts ever to come to market and to bring it back to its home city for a monthlong display where it can be cherished by Lakers fans and basketball enthusiasts alike.”
According to Sotheby’s, the jersey is Chamberlain’s most valuable item to ever appear on the auction market. The NBA player wore the jersey several times during the 1972 NBA playoffs, culminating in the championship game. During the championship game, Chamberlain was nursing a broken hand but still scored 24 points and had 29 rebounds. He ultimately received the NBA Finals’ MVP Award that season.
The jersey will be showcased in a public exhibition at Sotheby’s Los Angeles gallery from Wednesday through Aug. 31. It will then be showcased at Sotheby’s New York gallery from Sept. 11 to Sept. 27.
This is Sotheby’s latest sports memorabilia auction. Sotheby’s hosted its largest sports auction to date in June, offering rare, game-worn pieces from athletes such as LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Derek Jeter and Rafael Nadal. — LAYLA ILCHI
ON THE BEACH: Swedish sneaker brand Axel Arigato is taking over El Silencio, a beach house created by the Paris nightlife establishment Silencio, in Ibiza this summer with a branded experience that stretches beyond its footwear offering.
For the peak holiday season, Axel Arigato is filling up the beach club with branded slushies, towels, inflatables, fans and sunscreens, alongside sand sculptures in the shape of the soles of the brand’s sneakers.
The brand kicked off the takeover with a 12-hour summer party last week, with DJs Wekaforé and Venus X playings back-to-back sets. Guests then headed to the Cabaret Club with Cici who performed until the very end.
The brand said the takeover idea has long been on the agenda. The island is known for its influence within the music scene, and music has equally been a major part of Axel Arigato’s brand DNA.
The brand hosts regular music gigs for its community across Europe. Its ongoing Music Truck Tour saw a slew of buzzy music artists performing in Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam and London, and is heading to Paris afterward.
The brand is also hosting a party at Sweden’s Way Out West Festival in collaboration with Soho House later this year. — TIANWEI ZHANG
The Italian fashion company has opened its first monobrand boutique in Monte Carlo, located at the Metropole Shopping.
In addition, the brand has unveiled a newly restyled shop-in-shop at Rinascente in Milan and a corner on Harrods’ first floor in London.
The new spaces were decorated in sync with the brand, with walnut wood and champagne-finished metal characterizing the artisanal furnishings entirely made in Italy, as is the woven carpet in agave and metal. Resin and concrete are some of the main elements, together with the paisley-patterned wallpaper — a reference to Etro’s signature motif, and soft upholstered seats.
The new boutique in Monte Carlo will carry Etro’s women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections, while the curated selections for Rinascente and Harrods will exclusively feature women’s designs. The new locations in Monte Carlo and Milan were designed in collaboration with the multidisciplinary design studio Thirtyone.
Etro’s collections are designed by creative director Marco De Vincenzo, who joined the brand in June last year. In May, the Italian fashion house signed a licensing agreement with manufacturing company Simonetta for the development and production of the Etro Kids line, which is set to include newborn, baby and junior collections. In January, De Vincenzo unveiled his first men’s collection for the brand, and in April, his first home and interiors collection, during Salone del Mobile, which included a tie-up with New York-based artist Amy Lincoln.
In June, Etro and Safilo Group inked a 10-year licensing agreement for the design, manufacturing and distribution of eyewear collections. The first sun and optical collection will bow for spring 2024.
Etro relies on a global store network that comprises more than 130 boutiques all over the world.
The brand is widely known for its signature paisley motif, bold patterns inspired by travel, and precious fabrics. The company was founded in 1968 as a textile firm. In the ‘80s, it expanded into men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, accessories, beauty, fragrances and home goods. — ANDREA ONATE
JEREMY, THE JUDGE: Jeremy Scott will host the 16th annual Supima Design Competition, where eight finalists from the nation’s leading design schools will compete for a $10,000 prize. The show will take place during New York Fashion Week on Sept. 7 at 3 p.m.
“I’ve been happy to be a small part of helping bring new talents to the larger public’s awareness on the past two seasons of Amazon Original’s ‘Making the Cut.’ So it was a great honor to be asked to host the Supima Design Competition’s Sweet 16. How could I say no? I look forward to seeing all the finalists’ work,” said Scott, who is the creative director of his namesake label and former creative director of Moschino.
The Supima Design Competition supports emerging talent by enlisting graduates from top design universities across the country. This year’s finalists include Amber Kuia, Academy of Art University; Carla Pierini, Drexel University; Alexander Ziemba, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising; Hee Jin Hwang, Fashion Institute of Technology; Wendy Weng, Kent State University; Tianze Wu, Parsons School of Design, The New School; Sahara Clemons, Rhode Island School of Design, and Mariana Espinosa, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
These finalists are selected to partake in a months-long mentorship program through Supima, the nonprofit luxury brand that promotes the use of American-grown Pima cotton worldwide. The mentorship program culminates in a showcase of eveningwear capsule collections created with Supima cotton fabrics. The 16th annual competition provides the students with visibility and a chance at a financial prize of $10,000 awarded to the winner to support their fashion industry career kick-off.
Scott will emcee the live runway show and be joined by this year’s panel of judges, which includes more than 20 industry veterans, tastemakers, editors, designers and stylists.
“Jeremy Scott is the personification of the Supima Design Competition. He has dedicated his career to supporting emerging designers and brings that sense of mentorship to the Supima Design Competition. Who better to host the Supima Design Competition and give insight to this talented group of newly minted designers than Jeremy who has already walked their path and can challenge them to push the boundaries of creativity. He’s a true inspiration,” said Buxton Midyette, vice president of marketing and promotions at Supima.
All eight finalists will present their final designs during the New York Fashion Week runway presentation, where the jury will determine this year’s winner. The winner will be announced live during the Supima Design Competition runway show, which will also be available to livestream on Supima’s Instagram page.
Once again, CFDA Award-winning eveningwear designer Bibhu Mohapatra will join the Supima Design Competition for his ninth year as mentor to the finalists. — LISA LOCKWOOD
PLAYING LIFE’S OBSTACLES: Shave brand Billie is taking a jab at double standards affecting women with its cheekily designed, aptly named board game, “No Worries If Not.”
Retailing for $24.99, the game challenges players to traverse through obstacles like “Self-doubt Spiral” and “Judgment Junction” in order to get to the finish; game pieces include desk salad, biological clock and eternal youth, among others.
“As a team, not only did this project let us relate and commiserate with one another, but making a joke out of these absurd scenarios that women are faced with in daily life quickly makes you realize that the whole game is pointless,” said Georgina Gooley, who launched Billie in 2017 alongside Jason Bravman.
The brand tapped director Luca Venter and actress Ruby McCollister for an accompanying, retro-style infomercial to sell the game, which ultimately embodies the ethos Billie was founded on: Women shouldn’t have to maneuver the expectations of others as a requisite for existing.
“This isn’t a one-off marketing campaign; we’ve always said we’re here to champion women and upend the societal pressures women face,” said Gooley, who has long prioritized showcasing real leg, body and pubic hair in Billie’s commercials, which historically has not been the case among women shave brands.
A portion of proceeds from No Worries If Not will go toward women’s organizations including Every Mother Counts, YWCA and Black Girls Code.
In 2021, Billie was acquired for $310 million by Schick maker Edgewell. Within three months the brand made its first retail expansion in all Walmart doors and has since entered most national retailers including CVS Pharmacy, Target and Walgreens. The brand’s products, which range in price from $5 for a razor travel case to $37 for the four-piece Ultimate Shave Set, also sell at Amazon. — NOOR LOBAD
TRIPLE PLAY: UpWest, a contemporary men’s and women’s brand under the Expr umbrella along with Express and Bonobos, will open three stores this summer.
The apparel, accessories, wellness and home goods brand, whose mission is to “Provide Comfort for People & Planet,” operates 13 stores around the U.S. The new locations will be Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, Colorado, which will open on Saturday; Bellevue Square in Bellevue, Washington, on Aug. 26, and The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 9. Each store will offer the full assortment of UpWest’s men’s and women’s apparel crafted from sustainable fabrics, along with outdoor accessories, candles and diffusers, throw pillows and blankets.
In keeping with its mission, UpWest will partner with local organizations to donate 1 percent of sales in each of the new stores to the respective communities. During each location’s opening weekend, UpWest will donate 100 percent of sales and $1 for every customer e-mail collected.
“We’re thrilled to expand UpWest’s presence with the opening of three new stores in Bellevue, Boulder and Nashville,” said Jamie Schisler, president and chief comfort officer. “These locations will offer our customers a genuine brand experience while supporting local organizations. We can’t wait to share UpWest’s mission and inspire shoppers in these cities to be part of our vision for a better, more compassionate world through our Give Back programs.”
In addition to the store rollout, UpWest will partner this winter with the Aura app on a capsule collection of apparel that will include QR codes on the interior label offering curated meditations by Aura, as well as specific design elements such as soft touch snaps and functional fidgets. These special design details were created in partnership with Mental Health America to help promote grounding. During the winter season, each order on UpWest.com will go toward providing one free mental health screening in partnership with Mental Health America.
UpWest was founded in 2019 and while Expr does not provide sales volume for its individual divisions, the brand posted sales growth of 43 percent last year, according to the 2022 annual report, and expanded beyond its own direct-to-consumer operations to a wholesale relationship with Nordstrom. Its casual sportswear and loungewear is created from organic cotton and recycled polyester and nylon. — JEAN E. PALMIERI