Balqees, Salma Abu Deif, Karen Wazen and Other Style Stars Spotted During Paris Fashion Week FW23

Balqees, Salma Abu Deif, Karen Wazen and Other Style Stars Spotted During Paris Fashion Week FW23

All eyes have been on the streets of Paris as sartorial enthusiasts from around the world flocked to Paris Fashion Week. While the runway certainly presented some unforgettable collections, a lot of our major style inspiration came from the Arab tastemakers as they flitted around corners on their way to fashion shows or lounged in bistros.
The much-awaited Loewe FW23 show under Jonathan Anderson had many Arab faces in attendance with Rania Fawaz supporting an oversized knit dress in lavender and furry sage green boots reflecting the playful identity of the brand. Saudi influencer Hala Abdallah was spotted at the show in denim-on-denim with a white Loewe puzzle edge bag in her hand. Later, Abdallah opted for a burgundy ensemble at Stella McCartney with delicately designed jewelry from her personal brand Ofa.
Karen Wazen was understandably busy this season as she attended multiple shows in Paris – from Lebanese couturier Elie Saab to Isabel Marant, Dior, and Coperni. Valentino FW23 also saw a number of Arab stars in attendance – Salma Abu Deif was spotted in a shimmering mini-dress while Emirati singer Balqees adorned herself in a modest animal print jumpsuit.
Scroll down to discover what your favorite Arab style stars wore to Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2023.
Imaan Hammam in Loewe. Photo:
Karen Wazen in Coperni. Photo:
Rania Fawaz in Loewe. Photo:
Nojoud Alrumaihi in Hermès. Photo:
Zeynab El Helw in Givenchy. Photo:
Hala Abdallah in Stella McCartney. Photo:
Nada Baeshen. Photo:
Balqees in Valentino. Photo:
Salma Abu Deif in Valentino. Photo:
Dima Sheikhly in Elie Saab. Photo:
Read Next: Here’s What Arab It Girls, Hala Abdallah, Rania Fawaz, and More are Wearing During Milan Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week AW 23: All the Highlights You Need to Catch Up On

Paris Fashion Week AW 23: All the Highlights You Need to Catch Up On

The fourth day of Paris Fashion Week was ‘eventful’ with a packed schedule of runway shows as powerhouse luxury fashion brands continue to present their Autumn/Winter 2023 collections. The day saw Gabriela Hearst bringing sustainability to the Chloé show, Givenchy celebrating feminine fare on the runway, Rick Owens travelling to the former pharaonic stronghold in the modern Egyptian city of Luxor, and much more. Here are all the highlights you need to know and the best looks from yesterday’s shows at Paris Fashion Week AW 23.
Off-White: Vogue Runway
If last season was a reflection on accomplishments and a celebration of all that was, this season was effectively Kamara’s first fully authored mainline show at Off-White. On a trip back to Big Wharf  Ibrahim Kamara drew references from his humble beginnings: rain-rusted corrugated roofs influence color palettes, and West African motifs are reinterpreted to conjure a new vision of indigenous civilizations. The Off-Whit Blue in all its intimate power remains a point of reference with its humanity and vulnerability. Worldbuilding is an integral part of the process that engages in an unshakeable childlike whimsy. This season, logic is evaded in favor of an imagination with little to no limits. This collection envisions the future. Though sci-fi inspired, it doesn’t follow ageing tropes.  It is not about costuming or recreating.
Chloé: Vogue Runway
Gabriela Hearst is known for her philosophy of designing elegant wearable clothes presented in a minimal setting and with her commitment and real passion for sustainability at the forefront. Inspired by Artemisia Gentileschi, the pioneering 17th-century female painter, flattering scooped out shoulder details, long thick statement coats and flared textured pants were among standout garments that felt at once modern and historic. The collection primarily sticks to black, browns and creamy shades of white, to emphasize each look’s rich materiality. It helps tie together the various ways one can be feminine; in a suit, in a leather bomber and midi-skirt set, in a knit cape dress. The collection also conveys the timelessness of the designs.
Givenchy: Vogue Runway
For the Fall-Winter 2023 Women’s Collection, Givenchy investigates a generational sophistication through reconsidered classical compositions. A new elegance, a contemporary study of glamor and a  re-contextualisation of archetypes. The reflection on a new elegance takes shape in a balance between the new and the old: silhouettes, constructions and styling informed by the past but adapted for the present. Defined by magnified volumes, tailoring cuts a strong shoulder with a softly nipped-in waist achieved without constriction. Black coats developed in the haute couture atelier are crafted in satin, tricotine, cashmere or mohair and sculpted with inverted pleats either at the back or with buttons at the waist. Suit jackets structured in the same silhouette appear with sheer underpinnings only, observing a contemporary evocation of a mini dress.
Rick Owens
Rick Owens: Vogue Runway
“Egypt and the pyramids hold an exotic mystery and magic. Also, just the monumentalism, just the hugeness, the mysticism, the pureness, the legend, how they dealt with death,” said Owens. “Being in Egypt, there is a disconnect between the world and my silly concerns, and my silly comforts. Egypt is a crudeness and sophistication, it is timelessness. When you’re there, the sense of history is so much bigger than when you’re in Paris. It’s just grander, that sense of history.” Owens is passionate about Ancient Egypt which was highlighted even further in  this show which was titled “Luxor”. The models featured his take on the era. Or rather, it showcases how women can dress today “to walk among the gods.” First, they would pull on their armor—Rick Owens over-the-knee leather boots. Then, they would wrap their bodies in thin fabric or voluminous puffer clothes covered in pink sequins. Shoulders jut upwards as if about to burst with wings. Trailing behind, cloth that reminds of a mummy’s shroud. That symbol of passage into the other world.
Schiaparelli: Vogue Runway
Elegance and quirkiness walked hand in hand at the Schiaparelli  show. Sleek designs (mostly in black) were elevated through the use of unexpected elements, such as buttons in the shape of key holes, or beautiful necklaces sculpted as golden oyster shells. Not surprising, as Daniel Roseberry has been consistently proving that everything he touches turns into gold. It was also refreshing to witness a show were glamour was fully embraced, not only in the choice of rich fabrics such as velted and faux fur trims, but also with the hairstyle of the models, sleek and acessorized with an XL band under, turbans, or with glorious Hollywood diva waves. Press play the check out the collection.
Off-White: Vogue Runway
Off-White: Vogue Runway
Off-White: Vogue Runway
Chloé: Vogue Runway
Chloé: Vogue Runway
Chloé: Vogue Runway
Givenchy: Vogue Runway
Givenchy: Vogue Runway
Givenchy: Vogue Runway
Rick Owens: Vogue Runway
Rick Owens: Vogue Runway
Rick Owens: Vogue Runway
Schiaparelli: Vogue Runway
Schiaparelli: Vogue Runway
Schiaparelli: Vogue Runway

Brands Hop Into Year of the Rabbit With Playful Products, Thoughtful Rituals

Brands Hop Into Year of the Rabbit With Playful Products, Thoughtful Rituals

SHANGHAI — As China gets ready for the first Chinese New Year holiday rush following the removal of COVID-19-related restrictions on Jan. 8, brands have released their Year of the Rabbit campaigns for the key gifting period.
With the country’s economy expected to experience a steady U-shape recovery and the luxury sector set to grow between 5 and 10 percent in 2023, brands are introducing Chinese New Year capsule collections with a wide range of product offerings and global retail releases as Chinese shoppers resume traveling.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, tourism revenue grew 4 percent year-over-year to 26.5 billion renminbi, or $3.8 billion, during the 2022 Chinese New Year holiday, while a New Year travel boom is expected this year.

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Dior Men’s Year of the Rabbit campaign.


This year, Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 22 and marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, an energetic and prosperous animal that is said to be the luckiest of the 12 zodiac signs.

Pooky Lee, fashion curator and partner at the Shanghai-based creative agency Poptag, said Chinese New Year offers “an opportunity for brands and designers to demonstrate their ability to make localized creative expressions of culture.”

Louis Vuitton, Dior and Gucci have created playful and childlike motifs of the rabbit on a range of products, including festive and casual outfits, handbags, jewelry and a popular gifting item, the scarf. 

Neither Chanel nor Hermès has released any capsules for the occasion, but the latter is running a rabbit-themed edit on its e-commerce site on the WeChat mini-program.

Balenciaga is also noticeably missing from the festive event, possibly due to the recent controversies about past ad campaigns. Its Year of Tiger campaign was well received last year.

Burberry’s Year of the Rabbit campaign.


Burberry created a Chinese New Year capsule with the brand’s signature TB monogram reimagined with rabbit ears and cartoon-inspired motifs. Some are positioned back-to-back so that the ears meet to form a heart shape while others sit atop the Burberry logo.

The collection is accompanied by a series of short films featuring actors Qi Xi, Shi Pengyuan, and sportswoman Zhao Lina. Images were captured by video director Zika Liu and photographer Sky.

To add a sense of pop and fun, brands such as Givenchy, Mulberry, Moschino and Moncler linked with famous bunny characters to create a sense of nostalgia and cater to a broad audience base.

Mulberry collaborated with the Dutch bunny Miffy on a capsule collection featuring bags and accessories in Miffy’s signature orange, green and blue. Mulberry brought the collection to life with a campaign that features cheerful models playing hide-and-seek against the backdrop of the Shanghai skyline.

Mulberry’s Year of the Rabbit campaign featuring Miffy.

The brand said the collection’s “bright color palette and playful designs encapsulate Miffy’s joyful and adventurous spirit,” while Miffy’s “youthful character” appeals to audiences globally.

“In the short time since the collection launched, we have already seen a great reaction to the collaboration, in China and across our global store and digital network,” Mulberry added.

The American pop culture character Bugs Bunny took over Moschino’s Chinese New Year collection. Moschino’s biker bag now has bunny ears while biker jackets and silk trousers are printed with Bugs dressed in black tie and snacking on a carrot.

Moncler teamed with Roger Rabbit, the protagonist from Disney’s 1988 animated film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” with a campaign shot by the up-and-coming Chinese photographer Sky capturing Moncler ambassador Wang Yibo and models in a dreamlike setting.

Givenchy collaborated with another Disney character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, for a capsule collection.

Moschino’s Year of the Rabbit campaign featuring Bugs Bunny.

Bottega Veneta and Prada focused less on rabbits and instead created poetic narratives exploring the evolving meaning of the Chinese New Year.

For Pooky Lee, “emotionally sensitive” campaigns can further engage the younger generation of Chinese consumers who value nuanced, creative expression from brands. “It means that you truly understand and respect the complexity of the market,” said Lee.

Bottega Veneta released a fashion film called “Reunion in Motion,” which portrays young travelers, including Chinese model Liu Wen, embarking on journeys back home. 

Echoing creative director Matthieu Blazy’s vision of setting “craft in motion,” the brand also set in motion a traditional green-skinned train that bore no brand markings, only the slogan “On the road back home, Happy New Year.” 

Stills from Bottega Veneta’s “Reunion in Motion” fashion film.

The month-long initiative will take passengers from Shanghai to Dalian, making a special stop at the Shanhaiguan district near the Great Wall, a nod to the Italian luxury brand’s destination campaign for the Year of the Tiger in 2022.

Prada also took a subtle approach by focusing on creating an intimate connection with its brand ambassadors. Named “Memories of Beauty,” the campaign features Prada ambassadors Cai Xukun, Chunxia, actor Yufan Bai and model Du Juan alongside still-life images of objects such as a record player and a pot of daffodils, which “bear witness to moments from their past.”

For Self-Portrait founder and creative director Han Chong, celebrating traditional values such as “unity, community and shared rituals” is just as important. 

The contemporary womenswear brand enlisted British Chinese photographer Alexandra Leese and Chinese stylist Audrey Hu to recreate a scene from a family banquet in rich colors and textures.

Self-Portrait’s Chinese New Year campaign shot by Alexandra Leese.

The collection features designs for women and kids and includes holiday dresses inspired by the cheongsam, or qipao, in the brand’s signature guipure lace and crepe fabrics.

“This is our second Lunar New Year capsule collection, which has seen increasing popularity with our wholesale and retail partners,” said Chong. “We believe that part of the success is due to our sincere yet contemporary approach, respecting traditions but also celebrating this important moment with modern sensibilities that was previously missing from the market.”

Also, keen on forging new rituals and “cherishing every day,” Chinese designer brand Xu Zhi created a holiday campaign featuring friends and family dressed in his bunny-filled sweaters and cardigans. The designer, Daniel Xu Zhi Chen, even made a cameo himself. 

Xu Zhi’s Year of the Rabbit campaign featuring friends and family.

“Our ancestors celebrated the 24 solar terms and the 72 pentads, but I think the deeper meaning of creating rituals is to live in the moment, to document the love and goodwill that surrounds me, and to share that love with our customers,” said Chen.

For another local brand, Short Sentence, the Chinese New Year holiday celebration extends to Valentine’s Day. The brand unveiled the “I love you, too” (with “too” rhyming with the Chinese character for rabbit) campaign featuring red and pink “Mr. Bunny” sweaters and a rabbit hole-like window installation at the brand’s Shanghai store.

Short Sentence’s Year of the Rabbit store installation.

Short Sentence designer Lin Guan said the collection aims to break the stigma of expressing love and gratitude for family members and loved ones.

“The Chinese only express love and admiration in a very reserved fashion. Love should not be expressed passionately; if you do so to your family members, it could be met with embarrassment,” said Guan. “But when you say, ‘I love you, too,’ it’s less embarrassing.”

Givenchy Offers New Capsule Collection Recognizing Walt Disney Co.’s 100th Anniversary

Givenchy Offers New Capsule Collection Recognizing Walt Disney Co.’s 100th Anniversary

Givenchy and Disney have teamed for a new capsule collection that features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, recognizing the Lunar New Year and 100 years of Disney.
Created by Disney and its studio artists and known as the precursor to Mickey Mouse, Oswald is a first in the history of character animation. Earlier this month, Walt Disney Animation Studios introduced an all-new Oswald short for the first time in nearly 95 years.

Matthew Williams, Givenchy’s creative director, worked with Disney to create a “one-of-a-kind world tour” that fuses Oswald’s mischievous, high-energy spirit with his own aesthetic for Givenchy in a capsule that captures the spirit of adventure.

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A campaign image from the Disney x Givenchy capsule.

The campaign and Oswald’s world tour will come to life in a mixed reality short produced in collaboration with both Walt Disney Animation Studios and art director and photographer Julian Klincewicz. The journey begins at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles and moves through Shanghai, New York, Tokyo and Paris, where Oswald ends up at the House of Givenchy.

Women’s pieces in the capsule include a blue varsity jacket with white sleeves with Givenchy and Paris lettering that accentuate placements showing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit offering a flower to his sweetheart, Ortensia. On a bright red oversize shirt and sporty short ensemble, Oswald appears on a horse in white framed by bandanna-style prints. There’s also denim where the two characters return, this time in graffiti-style treatments as multicolored motifs on a jean jacket with Givenchy lettering and its 4G logo, and on jeans decorated with musical quarter and eighth notes. Rounding out the capsule are T-shirts in pink, white, black or red-and-black tie-dye, while hoodies, tanks and track pants incorporate the 4G emblem stylized into a heart and the Magic Kingdom in dropout white.

A campaign image from the Disney x Givenchy capsule.

For men, there is a red varsity jacket that shows Oswald riding a bronco to Los Angeles, while a blue button-down shirt frames the character in bandanna-style motifs. There also is statement denim, T-shirts, sweatshirts and track ensembles.

Accessories range from Disney x Givenchy tennis shoes, totes and small cross-body bags to card carriers, phone cases, earbud cases, and caps.

A campaign image of Disney x Givenchy capsule.

Consumers can participate in the digital journey on Snapchat with the Oswald World Painter AR lens, which allows users to color the sky with paint, stencils and passport stamps, highlighting the five cities of Oswald’s Givenchy tour, beginning Thursday. The lens will drive users to the Givenchy site to discover more about the capsule collection.

The Disney x Givenchy capsule collection will be available starting Friday in China, Singapore and at a Tokyo Ikebukuro pop-up, as well as the Miami Aventura pop-up on Tuesday, and will be available globally on Dec. 30 in stores and on Prices range from $255 to $5,690.

As reported in May, Givenchy said it was working closely with Walt Disney Animation Studios to design pieces featuring such iconic cartoon characters as Bambi, Perdita and Pongo from “101 Dalmatians,” Elsa and Olaf from “Frozen,” and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The project kicked off in May with a limited-edition capsule of luxury ready-to-wear, the first of the series, followed by a “101 Dalmatians” capsule in July.

In May, Williams said, “Disney has always held a special place in my heart, as it has for so many across generations, countries and cultures. As a boy from California and a father in Paris, Disney has always been a source of meaningful moments throughout my life. It’s a true honor to bring two iconic brands together for this project.”

Trend Alert: Givenchy’s FW22 Collection Bags Are a Celebration of Sophisticated Femininity

Trend Alert: Givenchy’s FW22 Collection Bags Are a Celebration of Sophisticated Femininity

Photo: Amina Zaher
Ever since Matthew M. Williams was appointed creative director at Givenchy in 2020, the fashion house’s collections have come with a modernized air, offering a sense of reality, authenticity and an elevated sort of chicness. “I want to make clothing that feels like it’s been touched by the human hand,” Williams once said about his creations.
When Williams designs, his focus extends to the tiniest of details, and Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection serves as proof. The latest season seems to galvanize the world by making both the formal and informal accessible for everyday wear. Think sharp pieces that share space with worn denim, sequins and pearls, blending opposing elements to create a new narrative. Ruffled wool dresses sit pretty alongside tailored numbers, and ornamental elements balance out the practicality of day-to-day staples.
What’s more, the new season also reimagines embellishment for a modern finish. Hardware is repurposed as jewelry, and pearls dot clothing in place of predictable studs. Accompanying the interesting collection, of course, is a new era of ‘It bags’. This time around, Givenchy offers up a selection of accessories that embrace a softer construction with bags like the G-Hobo, which comes with the brand’s signature lock, and new-age editions of the Kenny and the 4G bags. Presented in a soothing palette of celadon, ultraviolet, and pearly white, the fashion house’s arm candy is anything but basic. Below, take a closer look at Givenchy’s latest season.
Photo: Amina Zaher
Photo: Amina Zaher
Photo: Amina Zaher
Givenchy’s FW22 Collection is available online at

Photography: Amina Zaher Style: Mohammad Hazem Rezq Hair and makeup: Ivan Kuz Model: Kristine Angeshi at MMG Production: Danica Zivkovic Photography assistant: Mostafa Abdu 

Harvey Nichols Sees Sales Dip, Losses Widen in Year Marred by Closures

Harvey Nichols Sees Sales Dip, Losses Widen in Year Marred by Closures

LONDON — Sales dipped and losses widened at Harvey Nichols in fiscal 2021, but the company said it is well financed and ready to expand.The group, which operates eight department stores in the U.K. and Ireland; six international units, and the OXO Tower restaurant in London, said Monday that in the year ended March 27, 2021, losses after taxes widened to 38.6 million pounds from 15.5 million pounds in the previous year.
For earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the group registered a loss of 28.1 million pounds, compared with a loss of 1.1 million pounds a year earlier.
The larger loss reflected ongoing lockdowns, a “sharp” reduction in tourist arrivals, and store closures that lasted nearly eight out of the 12 months in the reporting period, according to the accounts filed this week at Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses.

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Group turnover fell to 121.3 million pounds in fiscal 2021, compared with 222.1 million pounds in the previous period.
The group noted it has a “supportive owner” in the Hong Kong-based businessman Dickson Poon, and is well funded after having secured 66 million pounds in the year. It received 26 million pounds from its owner; 35 million pounds from a new five-year term loan secured in June 2021, and has a 5 million pound overdraft facility, which Harvey Nichols said is not currently being used.

Harvey Nichols welcomed customers back on June 15, emphasizing social distancing.

Manju Malhotra, chief executive officer of Harvey Nichols, said that like most retailers, the group was significantly impacted by lockdowns and a sharp reduction in tourist arrivals due to travel restrictions. She added while online performance remained strong, it was not sufficient to offset the impact of the closure of physical stores and the reduced footfall in city centers.
“During these unprecedented times, we have not stood still and focused on managing costs and cash flow during store closures and investing in our IT systems and website to drive our online channel. We have broadened our category appeal and continued to look at creative ways to maintain the excellent service our customers expect,” she said.
Malhotra noted that there remains a “high degree” of uncertainty around how the pandemic will play out, “but during the period we have continued to implement exciting new initiatives across the business to drive loyalty and excellent customer shopping experience. While market conditions remain extremely challenging, we believe we have the right strategy in place to achieve our ambition of delivering sustainable profitable growth over the long term.”
The company said that since the fiscal 2022 year began, it has continued to invest in the website and IT systems and a new customer rewards program, which it plans to launch at the end of January 2022, offering customers “curated benefits” and cash back. The program is meant to align with the launch of a transactional app in the new year.
The company said it has fortified its relationships with Farfetch and Ocado in the wake of online demand during the pandemic and has “elevated” its personal shopping offer, including the launch of an at-home wardrobe refresh service.
From a sustainability standpoint, the retailer has been working with The Restory, a specialist repair service for luxury products, and Kids O’Clock, which resells children’s pre-loved clothes. The store also welcomed Cocoon to its London store offering a luxury bag subscription service.

Harvey Nichols has expanded into children’s clothes, which it said was the fastest-growing area of the industry. The department, both in-store and online, features brands including Givenchy, Balmain and Chloé.

The Style Evolution of Kim Kardashian West, from Socialite to Trendsetter

The Style Evolution of Kim Kardashian West, from Socialite to Trendsetter

There’s no denying, Kim Kardashian, Vogue Arabia’s September 2019 cover star, has an impactful influence on fashion. While today her choices are often sleek and inspiring, her journey to obtaining the polished, Instagram-worthy look has been a little rocky along the way.
When Kardashian first made a name for herself – as Paris Hilton’s stylist and friend – her style featured figure-hugging bodycon dresses, in the noughties IT bags and oversized gold hoops were her go-to accessories of choice. Over a decade later, and beauty mogul has transitioned into a sartorial trailblazer with a fearless approach to fashion. Her daring style is emulated around the world. Whether she’s wearing an emerging streetwear label or a vintage designer relic, the KKW effect has the power to create a new craze, or controversy – either way, she gets people talking.
“I think that Kim Kardashian’s style evolution is definitely something worth mentioning,” says Egyptian celebrity fashion stylist, Yasmine Eissa, “Kim is a perfect reference for how fashion can be a great marketing and PR tool. She started off by wearing high-end party dresses, which were all wearable and could be sourced. She later transformed her style into a bold, unique look. We now see her in second-skin silhouettes, mesh and plastic fabrics, exotic leathers and a lot of pastel and nude colors. She opts for cutouts, transparent pieces, the latest catwalk looks and custom made outfits. Her style is definitely controversial, but it makes her the woman everyone wants to copy.”
In the early years of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the former reality TV star made laid-back red-carpet appearances in jeans and knee-high boots. This was followed by a series of wrap dresses and platform wedges – before she advanced to designer outfits from the likes of Givenchy, Azzedine Alaïa and Balmain. Kardashian was then spotted on front rows at fashion week and formed close friendships with some of the industry’s most noteworthy names; including Olivier Rousteing, Riccardo Tisci, and Valentino Garavani.
As Kardashian’s style has evolved, we’ve learned to appreciate her elevated take on athleisure, her monochromatic dressing in earthy tones and her interesting play on proportions – often styling an exaggerated fur coat with a waist-pinching bodysuit. In recent years, she has taken inspiration from her former designer-husband Kanye West and adopted a low-key, street-inspired aesthetic, yet she has always maintained a penchant for skintight silhouettes that have become her signature style throughout the years.
Read Next: 9 Times Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West Served Couple Goals in Style

Givenchy Leans Into Its New 4G Bag

Givenchy Leans Into Its New 4G Bag

Living up to a name that coincidentally echoes widely used cell-phone technology, Givenchy’s new 4G bag is sending out signals around the world.
Two gleaming steel huts composed of outsized Gs folded into cubes recently landed at the IFC mall in Shanghai, to be followed by other pop-ups at Centria mall in Riyadh and the Isetan department store in Tokyo in the coming months.
A fast-paced campaign video featuring Meadow Walker and He Cong debuts online today, just ahead of the 4G’s arrival in stores on May 1.
South Korean girl group Aespa, already fans of Givenchy, are among celebrity ambassadors conscripted for activations. Others include Ouyang Nana and Fan Chengcheng.
In short, Givenchy is putting major marketing muscle behind the sleek, chain-handled style, which debuted in December as part of the pre-fall 2021 collection by creative director Matthew Williams, who has brought a fierce, hard-edged chic to the couture house since arriving last June.

Givenchy’s 4G bag comes in small and medium sizes. 

The bag’s clasp and embossed leather display a tweaked version of Givenchy’s 4G emblem, which has been present in collections since the time of founder Hubert de Givenchy, who retired from fashion design in 1995 and passed away in 2018.
It arrives on the market amid renewed interest in visible branding at Europe’s heritage houses, with Versace building its fall 2021 collection around its new La Greca motif, Celine riding high on its emblem and signature canvas, and Balmain spinning out new versions of its Labyrinth pattern from 1945 on new clothes and leather goods, to cite but a few examples.

Givenchy’s 4G bag is a classic, rectangular style that has been modernized with sharper architectural lines and a prominent logo clasp. It comes in a range of leathers, either smooth, crinkled or embossed with the 4G logo, and in chain or flap versions. The length of the chain on the former, in silver or gold, is adjustable, while the flap bag’s strap can be removed or adjusted. Both can be worn in a number of ways — as a clutch, shoulder bag or hands-free slung across the body.
Retail prices range from 1,290 euros for a small, crossbody flap version to 1,690 euros for a medium-sized chain bag. A python version runs up to 3,190 euros.
Williams said he discovered the 4G emblem during a trawl through the archives, spotting it as a repeating pattern on a carpet in a boutique. The links in the chain handle are also subtly G-shaped — among a range of signature hardware that Williams designed when he first arrived at Givenchy, applying skills learned at his 1017 Alyx RSM brand, famous for its roller-coaster buckle.

Givenchy’s 4G logo is embossed on the leather. 

The one-minute campaign video shows multiple copies of Walker and Cong, and is edited to look like it was done via a seamless, single take. Williams worked with director Simon Schmitt to achieve the intricate camerawork and Surkin for the techno drone that drives the action.
“I just had seen too many choppy videos and commercials and I wanted to explore one-shot more,” Williams told WWD. “We had that in our [fall] show film with that amazing opening one shot and I’m kind of into exploring that lately.”
Walker, the 22-year-old daughter of late “Fast & Furious” actor Paul Walker, is a friend of Williams’ and she embodies “the energy of a woman that I’m inspired by,” the designer said. “I just really connected with her and loved her energy as a person and wanted her to be a part of the campaign. I love her style and attitude and I think she’s a great ambassador for the brand.”

Model Meadow Walker in a still from Givenchy’s video campaign for the 4G bag. 

In an exclusive interview, Williams talked about his approach to the linchpin leather goods category:
WWD: When designing Givenchy bags, what are your guiding principles?
Matthew Williams: When I’m creating a show, I like a mix of bags that maybe are more traditional, and then bags that can complement the silhouette of the ready-to-wear, or be like extensions of the silhouette. What’s inspiring now, too, is playing with materiality. There are so many possibilities, how you can fabricate materials and also construct bags that can really subvert a traditional handbag. Being at a place like Givenchy, with all its know-how, savoir-faire and craftsmanship, that potential to unlock new languages is really amazing to have at my fingertips.
WWD: Can you give an example of an unexpected material?
M.W.: In the last collection, we made these bags out of bandanas — not that that hasn’t been done before. Also the way the monogram is embossed into the new 4G bag. That’s a modern technique of treating leather.
WWD: Hardware is a specialty of yours. Should we expect that to be a defining feature of handbags during your reign at Givenchy?
M.W.: Definitely. I love hardware and playing with finishes and shapes. Even just the satisfaction of opening and closing the 4G emblem clasp. It has this magnet that kind of finds itself when you open and close it. That’s something we really spent a lot of time kind of obsessing over. Also the feeling of the chain in your hands. I think those little details and unseen features really set one bag apart from another. And we are trying to make these products super timeless and something that can live in the collection for many years.
WWD: We seem to be in a period of logos, monograms and obvious brand signifiers. How do you approach this?
M.W.: I think that the Gs in the chain links are quite subtle: If you didn’t know they were there, you wouldn’t be able to see them. And if you look, throughout my collection, there are squares cut into a lot of the patterns, and appearing as Velcro and trim. So it’s like branding through design and pattern cutting. But as far as logos and monograms go, I think with a luxury house with the heritage that Givenchy has, that’s really natural to have that kind of branding carry through the collection. That’s what other large maisons have as well. I mean, that’s one thing you can’t buy — history.

See also:
Matthew Williams Discusses Alyx, His ‘Life’s Work’

Matthew Williams Zooms to Givenchy

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Williams’ Debut Collection for Givenchy Is Hitting Stores Early

10 White Sneakers to Up Your Shoe Game with Ease This Summer

10 White Sneakers to Up Your Shoe Game with Ease This Summer

If there’s one thing that has never gone out of style, it’s white sneakers. From Adidas Stan Smith to Golden Goose, and with a little help from our favorite celebs such as Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, white sneakers are a must have for Spring Summer 2021.
From the classics at Loro Piana, to the chunky “dad” sneakers at Roger Vivier, something floral at Valentino, or futuristic, (we’re looking at you Balenciaga) your sneakers should be fabulous enough to speak for themselves.
Scroll down for our gallery below:
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Why Are Fashion Designers So Drawn to Rave Culture?

Why Are Fashion Designers So Drawn to Rave Culture?

MILAN — Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons asked electronic music mogul Richie Hawtin, aka Plastikman, to create the soundtracks for the Prada brand’s men’s and women’s fall shows. In particular, in the digital video presenting the women’s collection, models were captured dancing in a dark, techno club-inspired scenario.
MSGM creative director Massimo Giorgetti staged a rave party under the snow for his men’s fall unveiling; Matthew Williams re-created the atmosphere of a techno concert for Givenchy’s digital presentation, and GCDS presented a club-ready lineup with a trippy mood. Meanwhile, in Paris, Coperni brought its guests to the AccorHotels Arena to assist with a parade of club gear featuring techno music as a soundtrack, while newly appointed artistic director Nicolas Di Felice celebrated club culture with his fall collection for Courrèges.

These are just a few examples of the significant, ongoing influence of rave and clubbing culture in the collections presented by a range of fashion houses a year after the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shook the world, imposed restrictions on individual freedom and asked people to rethink their personal and professional lifestyles.
Escapism had already emerged as a theme in the spring 2021 collections presented last fall as the pandemic raged on. However, if then it was expressed more as sweet nostalgia and the desire for reassurance, a season later, escapism had a harder edge, more subversive in a way and surely more proactive.

“I think the lack of freedom has gone on longer than anyone expected and the novelty of being able to work from home, wear what you like all day and be free of the constraints of ‘the office’ have worn off. People are excited about the return of freedom, meeting others, seeing and being seen. I would expect there to be a rush to engage with the world at large whether that’s through clothing or socially (eating, drinking, clubbing, etc.),” said Professor Carolyn Mair, behavioral psychologist, PhD, author of “The Psychology of Fashion” and founder of “Fashion reflects the zeitgeist. Uninterrupted music and dancing with a lot of other people over a period of time enables us to lose ourselves in the moment. It takes us away from our thoughts outside the rave. It’s akin to listening to an audiobook or reading a book and loosing yourself entirely in the story. This escapism takes our attention away from everyday concerns and responsibilities to focus only on the moment.”

Ottolinger, fall 2021 
Courtesy of Ottolinger

Doris Domoszlai, fashion historian and cofounder of Fashion Forward, a New York-based fashion think tank, also believes that fashion’s new desire for escapism is strongly connected to the lack of freedom we are all experiencing.
“With the world now living through year two of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m not surprised that many designers have turned to escapism to express their frustrations and hope for the future,” said Domoszlai. “The outdoors and rave culture make sense as venues of escape: they’re literally outside and away, and far more exciting than the closed spaces that we’ve found ourselves in for the past year.”

In particular, Domoszlai reflected on some of the digital shows presented during the fall 2021 fashion weeks.
“Givenchy presented an exciting collection in the kind of warehouse that’s an ode to both the infamous acid raves of the ’90s and also the illegal raves rule breakers have been hosting during the pandemic. The electronic music to which the show is set emphasizes the urgency to escape this dystopian reality,” said Domoszlai, who also drew a link between the GCDS digital presentation and early Aughts’ Millennium Bag and the fear of a digitalized unknown future. “Referencing the infamous scene in ‘The Matrix’ — when the main character Neo chooses to eat a red pill that exposes the cold, hard reality that he’s been blind to — a model eats a red hard candy and literally exposes viewers to a collection that represents the current pandemic-plagued reality that we are living through. Taking place in various outdoor scenes, the GCDS collection is an escape to both the future as it was seen in the past, as well as to all the potential places we can go to get away from our long-term quarantine.”
In addition, Domoszlai spotlighted the digital presentation of Ottolinger, which channeled escapism in an outdoor perspective.
“In their digital presentation, they transport the viewer to an unnamed, futuristic, rocky landscape. This scene, and the activewear-inspired clothing shown within it, simultaneously demonstrate the designers’ need to escape the confines of the closed spaces to which many were relegated because of COVID-19, and the feeling of being lost in uncharted territory as a result of it all,” she said. “The last few words of the soundtrack are very telling. The narrator describes the setting as ‘formerly known as somewhere, now known as nowhere,’ summarizing the disconnect the brand’s designers feel with the world today.”
An interesting fact related to how designers are interpreting escapism is the aforementioned switch from a sugar-coated type of nostalgia seen for the spring collections to the darker, more introspective and probably more rebellious vibe seen for fall.
“Nostalgia is an interesting construct. It is defined as a bittersweet emotion, yet fashion tends to think of it only as ‘sweet.’ When we look back, we do often see the past in a positive light, wishing for the return of a past when things were perceived of as better than they are now. But perception is selective and what we ‘see’ is not all there is,” Mair explained. “The idea of nostalgia triggering positive memories has come about in part through studies in which participants were asked to remember something positive in the past, but more recent studies have led to a different definition. Researchers found that when participants were given an artifact from the past, rather than when they were asked to recall a positive event form the past, it triggered a negative emotion. In sum, nostalgia, like all other psychological constructs, is more complex than it appears on the surface.”

GCDS, fall 2021 
Courtesy of GCDS

Giorgio Riello, professor of early modern global history at Florence’s European University Institute, explained that “this alternation between more nostalgic and more proactive social and cultural responses is recurrent in modern history.”
In particular, Riello pointed out how, after World War II, Christian Dior evoked 19th-century fashion with the launch of the New Look in 1947. But how only a few years later, in the early ’50s, Italian designers proposed a new, more practical and unfussy take on fashion. “I believe that the nostalgic vision is transitory, especially because it normally refers to a vision of the past that in most of the case is not real,” said Riello.
The professor also created a parallel between the global situation during the pandemic, when people are indulging in comfort clothing as they work from home and are restricted in going out, with what happened after World War I.
“Coco Chanel opened her first store in 1913 before the war and with her creations she contributed to developing a more informal and more practical idea of elegant dressing,” Riello said. “However, a few years after the end of World War I, the Roaring Twenties came and they brought a new wave of excess and eccentricity.”
It is a point made by many others, from designers to retailers to financial analysts. With the trillions of dollars pumping through the global financial system, and consumers having spent the last year mainly at home with little chance to spend on travel or restaurants, predictions are that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic will see another ‘Roaring Twenties’ over the next decade. Fashion already is reflecting that for fall, with many designers creating exuberant collections perfect for dressing up to go to a party.
Riello explained that something similar happened after the French Revolution, during the French Directory, when members of Paris’ aristocratic subculture responded to the austerity and terror of the recent past by indulging in luxury and decadence. Called the Incroyables e les Merveilleuses, these men and women welcomed the new regime with hundreds of balls where they used to wear see-through dresses inspired by the ancient Greeks and Romans or wide trousers and huge neckties, bold wigs and giant hats, as well as sandals with ribbons to wrap around the legs.
But why do these different creative responses happen? Because, according to Mair, creativity is a complex construct.
“People we consider, or who consider themselves to be, creative may react to crises and emergencies in many different ways. Nevertheless, crises and emergencies demand the ability to think quickly to produce novel solutions that work. To do this, people need to take new and diverse perspectives to join concepts in novel ways. Not everyone has a natural ability to do this, we need to move away from the idea that creativity resides in the fingertips,” she said. “Creativity is a brain process and so in order to be creative, particularly in times of crisis or emergency, we need to be alert to changes in the situation, to be problem identifiers rather than problem solvers, be able to make good decisions quickly, have good communication, teamwork and leadership skills as well as the ability to stay calm and alert simultaneously.
“To answer the question, creative minds tend to react to crisis and emergencies calmly and decisively, drawing on a range of people they know to be creative thinkers also. They tolerate ambiguity and understand that the best they can hope for in the short term is to find the optimal solution. This will not be the only solution or even the best one possible. Once the crisis or emergency has passed, they review the processes to learn from them so they don’t repeat mistakes in future.”
See also: 
5 Lessons Multibrand Showrooms Learnt During the Pandemic
What Has COVID-19 Really Been Like for the Retail Store Employee?
How Six Female Entrepreneurs Found Success During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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