Celeb Support: LaQuan Smith held his runway show at Lower East Side venue Skylight at Essex Crossing on Monday night, drawing a front row that included musicians — Babyface, Mary J. Blige, Fabolous, Summer Walker, and Saweetie — along with actors like Laverne Cox, Leyna Bloom, Quinta Brunson and Yvonne Orji, and model Coco Rocha.
“I was actually at one of his first fashion shows,” Saweetie said of her support for the designer. “But when I was at his [early] shows, I was standing, not sitting. I’ve evolved in the fashion world, I know that’s right.”
The Grammy-nominated rapper was dressed in one of Smith’s designs, a red sequined gown with a midriff cutout. “I like that he takes risks,” she added. “I feel like his personality matches the clothes, so it always feels super authentic.”
Laverne Cox has also been an early supporter of LaQuan Smith.
“I’ve been wearing him for years, and I love his clothes,” said Cox, who was seated next to June Ambrose. “The clothes are so sexy and so wonderful, and I love the evolution. I wore him years ago — I think it was 2015 — he made a beautiful bodysuit for us for one of the ‘Orange Is the New Black’ premieres. And to see how his brand has grown and how everyone has caught on, it just makes me really grateful and that we were there early, thanks to my stylist Christina Pacelli. She’s amazing, [LaQuan] is amazing, and I’m excited,” Cox added. “He brings out a very eclectic, diverse and fierce crowd.” — KRISTEN TAUER
Front Row Feeling: One of the perks of fashion week is that the shows, dinners and parties often take you to newly opened parts of the city, and for those of us who’ve yet to make it to the Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation in the American Museum of Natural History, Tory Burch’s Monday night show helped cross that off the bucket list.
Sitting in the front row was a strong showing of A-list fans, including Uma Thurman, Emma Roberts, Naomi Watts, Lori Harvey, Hari Nef, Suki Waterhouse, Taylour Paige, Chloe Fineman, Maddie Ziegler and Madelaine Petsch, Monica Barbaro and Leon Bridges.
Tiffany Haddish, who’d flown in the night before and gone straight to the Net-a-porter party from JFK, also attended the show.
“I came from across the country. Started in Los Angeles. Changed on the flight. Straight to the party,” she said of the previous night. “It’s not fashion week dedication. It’s dedication. I’m always going to show up when I say I’m going to show up and when she show up, she ready? Black unicorn style baby,” she said, motioning to the necklace she had on, a diamond strand with a unicorn made of black diamonds as the pendant.
“I designed this. I designed it with Icebox. These are black diamonds and regular diamonds,” she explained.
Haddish has attended her fair share of fashion shows over the years, and when asked to explain what it’s like sitting in the front row, for someone who has never been, she had the following to say:
“If you’ve ever gone to high school and been at lunch and you get to the cafeteria before everybody else, you sit down before everybody else and you watch everyone walk into the cafeteria, that’s what fashion week is like,” Haddish said. “Except with way more beautiful people with way better style — and no one’s carrying a milk carton.” — LEIGH NORDSTROM
For the Love of Clothes: Jenna Lyons, wearing a bright yellow bustier-and-bolero set in Sergio Hudson’s front row Sunday night, said she’s barely going to any shows this fashion season.
“I don’t get invited to shows anymore,” said the former executive creative director and president of J. Crew, who now stars in “Real Housewives of New York” and launched LoveSeen, an eyelash brand.
Dressed in a yellow bolero, bustier and black pants, Lyons was seated with photographer Cass Bird. Other front-row guests included Tamron Hall, Halima Aden, Aoki and Kimora Simmons, June Ambrose, Lala Anthony and Jordyn Woods.
She said filming her role for the “Real Housewives of New York” wrapped up in December, so it’s like a distant memory.
Does she miss the fashion industry?
“I love clothes and will always love clothes,” said Lyons. — LISA LOCKWOOD
Collegiate Stories: Parsons hosted its latest MFA fashion show on Monday at the Brooklyn Museum, bringing together 15 students who showed diverse, abstract collections as part of their “We Dem Kids” activation.
“This is such a special group of students because they’re telling such important narratives through their collection,” said Ben Barry, dean of fashion at Parsons. “Whether they’re drawing from their lived experience, whether it’s a larger commentary on the world or whether their collection is really about the process and making — these collections tell stories. These are also collections that have been thought about and conceptualized for two years of their graduate degree, so these are also very meaningful pieces of work because of the time that they’ve put into developing them.”
The 15 designers included Anna Roth, Chang Liu, Fabiola Soavelo, Hsiao-Han Kuo, Mel Corchado, Nan Jiang, Natsumi Aoki, Pipenco Lorena, Ren Haixi, Siri, Story, Sunny Ning, Yamil Arbaje, Ying Kong and Yu Gong. Each designer showcased several looks that ranged from contemporary fashion to avant-garde looks.
On the contemporary side, many of the designers created new takes on suiting, such as deconstructed looks and cropped silhouettes, as well as knitwear designed with bold graphics.
Other designers went more abstract with their collections, such as one designer who sent models down the runway in heavily draped hooded garments with large eyes.
“You’ll see it’s a range — there’s not a central theme that unifies them,” Barry said about the collections. “Really each of [the designers] has honed their own creative voice and vision and been encouraged to develop that over the two years. I’m excited that they’re able to present together as a group and at the Brooklyn Museum. I think this is a really important moment for Parsons to be part of New York Fashion Week, and to be a part of the Brooklyn community and, of course, to be a part of the fashion industry.” — LAYLA ILCHI
Trailblazers: Canada Goose has released a fall ad campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz that aims to embrace female strength and individuality.
Dubbed “Live in the Open,” the campaign features three trailblazing women from different worlds of cinematography, performance and sport. They are connected by a relentless pursuit of purpose and the passion to be part of something bigger.
The three are Sheila Atim, actor, musician, writer and composer; Sophie Darlington, wildlife filmmaker and cinematographer, and Kimberly Newell, Olympic ice hockey goalie.
The campaign was shot in New Mexico, with the same backdrop that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe.
The three women are styled in Canada Goose outerwear, knitwear, footwear and accessories.
“I loved these women — and their compelling stories,” said Leibovitz. “We were all bewitched by the power of the New Mexico landscape. Bringing them together in such an incredible, natural environment was very inspiring.”
This is not the first time Leibovitz has photographed for Canada Goose, she shot the fall 2022 campaign.
Penny Brook, chief marketing and experience officer at Canada Goose, added, “This is all about celebrating fearless and visionary women, past, present and future. It’s a great honor to do that with the highly esteemed cast and crew involved in this year’s ‘Live in the Open’ campaign, all of whom play a crucial role in inspiring our female consumer to live boldly, without compromising on style or performance.”
The global campaign breaks today and will appear on social media across talent and Canada Goose, as well as Canada Goose e-commerce.
As reported, Canada Goose has unveiled a major retail expansion plan to double its store footprint to 100 stores by 2028. The Toronto-based company has also been diversifying products beyond its cold weather outerwear. By the end of fiscal 2023, Canada Goose’s non-heavyweight down sales represented 42.9 percent of sales, up from 38.5 percent the prior year. It has added warmer weather options such as rainwear and footwear, and will be adding eyewear, luggage and home. — L.L.
GET SMART: British fashion labels including Rixo, Me+Em and Cefinn have created a capsule collection of looks to raise money for Smart Works, the U.K. charity that donates clothing to unemployed women preparing for job interviews.
The 11 female-founded fashion labels have contributed one item each to the collection of fall 2023 looks and will donate 25 percent of those sales to the charity, which is marking its 10-year anniversary.
The full capsule collection launched on the Smart Works website Tuesday and the individual pieces are being sold via the brands’ own e-commerce platforms.
Designs range from an oversize houndstooth lambswool scarf by TBCo priced at 72 pounds to a green wool maxi-coat from Jigsaw costing 385 pounds. Missoma is offering a pair of twisted medium hoop earrings for 89 pounds, while Rixo is showcasing a bright red jacquard dress that costs 255 pounds.
The capsule collection has been selected by the stylist and Smart Works ambassador Isabel Spearman, who said she wanted the pieces to be designed by women to represent “the best of British fashion.” She said she was eager to raise awareness of smaller, independent British brands among the public.
Kate Stephens, Smart Works chief executive officer, said that every time someone buys a piece from the new capsule collection, “they will be helping another woman connect to her potential and transform her life. The belief in fashion as a force for good sits at the heart of Smart Works.”
Smart Works, which also partners with big retail brands such as Burberry, Marks & Spencer and Reiss, has recently expanded to 11 centers across the country. The charity raises money through donations and regular sales of clothing and accessories.
The charity said that against a landscape of the cost of living crisis and the aftermath of the pandemic, its support is needed more than ever and it’s hoping to double the number of women it helps by 2025.
Over the past 10 years, Smart Works said it has supported 30,000 unemployed women with “the clothes, coaching and confidence they need to get the job and transform their lives.”
Some 69 percent of the women the charity supports go on to get a job within one month of their appointment, according to Smart Works. — SAMANTHA CONTI
POWERING UP: L’Oréal Paris’ fashion show is due to take place in Paris on Oct. 1 by the Eiffel Tower.
“In the heart of the world’s fashion capital, the esplanade of the iconic ‘Iron Lady’ will set the stage for a spectacular tribute to women’s empowerment — the first major event ever hosted at this monumental site,” the brand said.
The show will be staged during Paris Fashion Week and called “Walk Your Worth.” It will begin at 9 p.m. CET and be broadcast live on Instagram, the brand’s websites and — in a first — on Roblox.
L’Oréal Paris is an official partner of Paris Fashion Week.
The brand’s spokespeople will walk the runway there. They will include Marie Bochet, Cindy Bruna, Camila Cabello, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Viola Davis, Elle Fanning, Luma Grothe, Kendall Jenner, Liya Kebede, Katherine Langford, Eva Longoria, Andie MacDowell, Helen Mirren, Aja Naomi King, Soo Joo Park, Aishwarya Rai and Yseult.
This is to be the sixth edition of “Walk Your Worth,” since it was kicked off in 2017. It “will celebrate sisterhood as well as the synergy between state-of-the-art beauty expertise and fashion,” L’Oréal Paris said. — JENNIFER WEIL
Watch Hunger Stop: Fresh off his fashion show on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Michael Kors co-hosted a reception at the United Nations Monday night for Watch Hunger Stop, a worldwide campaign in support of the United Nations World Food Programme to help achieve a world with Zero Hunger.
Kors co-hosted the event with Cindy McCain, WFP’s executive director. Halle Berry, who joined Kors 10 years ago for the launch of Watch Hunger Stop, was also there to show her ongoing support.
Others who attended included Hayley Atwell, Alina Cho, Valentino Ferrara, Tina Leung, Olivia Perez, and Camilla Alves.
The evening kicked off with remarks by Kors and McCain to acknowledge WFP’s life-changing work around the world and the 30 million school meals that Watch Hunger Stop has supported in the decade since its inception.
Kors said that the company would be raising its level of support for WFP from donating the equivalent of 3 million to 4 million meals annually, effective this year.
This year’s Watch Hunger Stop campaign features Berry and Kate Hudson, another early and strong supporter of the Kors initiative, in imagery shot by photographer Cliff Watts. Hudson joined Watch Hunger Stop from 2015 through 2018 before becoming WFP Goodwill Ambassador herself. Both women have visited WFP-supported communities, with Berry traveling to Nicaragua and Hudson to Cambodia.
The Watch Hunger Stop 2023 watch, T-shirt and tote will launch Oct. 1, and will be available online and in select Michael Kors Lifestyle stores globally. The special edition watch ($325) features a blue face with a tonal globe design, while the back is engraved with Kors’ signature and the line “10 Years and Counting” to acknowledge the brand’s commitment to continuing its partnership with WFP. The organic cotton T-shirt ($40) and recycled canvas tote ($98) feature the same blue heart graphic and the WFP logo. Kors will donate 100 meals to WFP for the sale of each T-shirt and the equivalent of 216 meals for the sale of each tote. Two hundred meals will be donated for each watch sold. — L.L.