Los Angeles

Fred Segal on a Major Push to Expand Stores in US and Around the World

Fred Segal on a Major Push to Expand Stores in US and Around the World

Until recently, Fred Segal has had only five stores, mostly in Southern California, in its lineup of cool outposts filled with trendy merchandise.
But that will change with two stores opening soon and more on the way as the company reprises expansion plans in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic.

First up is a store in Marin County near San Francisco followed by a new store on a premier shopping avenue in Santa Monica, California. In addition, the company is looking to expand in other U.S. cities and Asia.

In the next few weeks, Fred Segal will open a 2,100-square-foot location at the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, California, a well-to-do suburb across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. It is the retailer’s first foray into Northern California.

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The Marin store’s development came about through a bit of retail networking by Jeff Lotman, who bought the Fred Segal brand in 2019.

Lotman knows Jim Rosenfield, the owner of the 75-year-old Brentwood Country Mart, a quaint collection in Los Angeles of red barn-like sheds around a central courtyard. That friendship set the stage for Northern California because Rosenfield also owns the Marin Country Mart as well as the Montecito Country Mart near Santa Barbara, California.

“We had been talking back and forth about doing something together, and there was an opportunity that came up. I had been up there before to Marin, and I know it is a really great spot,” Lotman said. “With everything happening in San Francisco now, this location actually works to our benefit because there aren’t that many great places to shop in downtown San Francisco anymore. Being over the bridge is going to work well for us and that demographic has a lot of money.”

The Marin Country Mart, an open-air shopping village established in 1975, has several well-known tenants, including James Perse, Jenni Kayne, Birkenstock and The RealReal.

The Fred Segal store is slated to open around Sept. 15, depending on construction, and will contain several California brands, non-California brands and the curated vintage collection Found by Fred Segal. The store’s California labels will include Staud, Simon Miller, Slvrlake Denim, Les Tien and Monfrère. Other brands will include By Malene Birger, Sir., St. Agni, Applied Art Forms, Corridor, MM6 and r13.

Next up is an outpost at 1533 Montana Avenue, a prime shopping street in Santa Monica. The 2,600-square-foot store is scheduled to open sometime in October. Again, it was a matter of good retail networking to find the right location. “I literally got a call on a Saturday that Burro, a gift store, was moving out. On Monday, we had a deal with the landlord,” Lotman said. “We had been looking for a long time for a spot, and this came about. I immediately knew the spot, and the landlord was super excited to have us.”

More locations are in the works. Recently, Fred Segal closed a New York City pop-up store, launched last November at 252 Lafayette Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The retailer is now considering a larger permanent location. “We got a great response as expected because New York is our second-best area for e-commerce sales. Los Angeles is number one and Miami is third.”

With Miami a popular e-commerce spot for the brand, Lotman said he is also considering that city for a new footprint.

On the international front, Fred Segal has had a store in Seoul for two years. It was done in partnership with Hanwha Group and is located at the Galleria Luxury Hall. More stores in Asia could be on the way. “We’re investigating and really want to get into Japan. It was something that before the pandemic we had a deal that was set up,” Lotman said. “We’re hoping something there develops quickly. That’s sort of my next target. And then after Japan would be China. I would go to Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Again, pre-pandemic we were very close to starting with a partner in China. I am hoping that will come back again.”

While retail is expanding quickly, Lotman said e-commerce and private label is still his primary focus. “E-commerce has done incredibly well, and we are trying to build our private label,” he noted.

On the e-commerce front, Fred Segal recently partnered with live shopping social network Covet by Christos to sell pieces from Found by Fred Segal, the retailer’s curated collection of vintage designer clothing, handbags and watches, as well as gifts, limited-edition books and other items.

Fred Segal’s first live streaming event was on Aug. 26 and lasted two-and-a-half hours. “We took in just a hair under six figures,” Lotman said. “We sold like literally 20 vintage bags and some gifts. We sold a ton of candles and a ton of T-shirts. It was very successful, and we are going to do a lot more.”

The idea is to do two shows a month. 

The Fred Segal brand has gone through several iterations since it was founded in Los Angeles in 1961 by renowned retailer Fred Segal, who passed away at the age of 87 in 2021. He was a man before his time who wanted to make more expensive blue jeans that would sell for $19.95 instead of $3.

He started out with a 350-square-foot store on Santa Monica Boulevard before he moved to Melrose Avenue where he pioneered the then-novel shop-in-shop concept and experiential retail that introduced up-and-coming labels synonymous with SoCal style (think Juicy Couture, Hard Candy Cosmetics and Earl Jeans). He later opened another location in Santa Monica with the same shop-in-shop format.

In 2012, Sandow Media acquired the worldwide rights to the brand and began taking things in a more tourist-oriented direction. It opened a Fred Segal store at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. Then it opened a location on the Las Vegas strip. Later, both those stores closed. Two years ago, Lotman opened a Las Vegas location at The District at Resorts World.

In 2014, Creative Arts Agency-backed Evolution Media Capital acquired a majority stake in the brand and opened a 13,000-square-foot store at 8500 Sunset Boulevard, which is still the company’s flagship in Los Angeles.

Jeff Lotman came into the picture in 2019 when he acquired the Fred Segal brand and has been slowly expanding ever since, including launching buzzy collaborations with pop-ups. Next up, on Sept. 7 will be Canada Goose x Rokh x Matt McCormick.

LVMH-backed Madhappy Planning First Permanent Store and Collab With L.A. Dodgers

LVMH-backed Madhappy Planning First Permanent Store and Collab With L.A. Dodgers

Madhappy is a lifestyle brand launched six years ago by four young men who wanted to make a statement about mental health and optimism.
In those six years, the company has been on an upward swing with a $1.8 million investment in 2019 by LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, more than 20 pop-up stores across the country, a number of collaborations with food and sports entities and a growing following by men and women between the ages of 18 and 35.

Now Madhappy is collaborating with three big Los Angeles names to create capsule collections that further the Madhappy message. And later this year, the streetwear label is hoping to open its first permanent store in Los Angeles.

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“I feel like our collaborations have played a role in what we’re doing by trying to spread optimism and create awareness around mental health,” said Peiman Raf, the company’s 29-year-old chief executive officer, who started the company with his younger brother Noah and two friends. “Being a brand based in Los Angeles, we like to tie back to Los Angeles in the things we do.”

Madhappy’s newest collaborations are with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles and Courage Bagels.

A look from the L.A. Dodgers collaboration. Photo courtesy of Madhappy.

With the Dodgers, Madhappy launched the collaboration a few weeks ago by creating five caps and two hoodies with shades of Dodger blue and white. “We created the Dodgers logo with Swarovski crystals just to do some fun and unique things,” Raf noted.

The venture with Roscoe’s started on June 30 with a capsule collection of sweatshirts, hoodies, T-shirts and hats, featuring Roscoe’s logo.

The collaboration with Courage Bagels, a bagel store with lines out the door at its hip Silver Lake location, started Friday. The collection of a hat, hoodie, sweatshirt and T-shirt displays a drawing of a bagel with arms and legs sauntering along the way.

“Food and beverage have always been a big part of the brands we work with,” Raf said. “The message we are trying to spread is that people love eating food and people love the idea of the community around food. It makes people happy.”

Madhappy launched when Raf, his brother and friends Mason Spector and Joshua Sitt decided to build a brand centered around positivity. It was counter to many streetwear brands that took on a dark, sometimes nihilistic vibe. They wanted to change that image.

The mental health message was initiated by Spector, who over the years struggled with uncertainty and depression at times.

Since its inception, the brand has concentrated on basic items including hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats, with 80 percent of its merchandise being manufactured in Los Angeles. Pop-up stores have been a great vehicle for getting out the message across various geographic areas in the U.S.

Right now, Madhappy has pop-ups in Aspen, Colorado; East Hampton, New York, and Chicago, and more are planned. But the company’s next big goal is to set up a permanent location later this year. “We’ve learned a lot about the connection between the digital and physical and felt that a permanent store was super important,” Raf said. “So, we’re definitely gearing up for something on the permanent side in our hometown of L.A.”

Elyse Walker Opens New York Flagship on Madison Avenue

Elyse Walker Opens New York Flagship on Madison Avenue

Los Angeles retailer Elyse Walker has opened the doors to her New York flagship on Madison Avenue at 74th Street.
The 4,000-square-foot store follows the smaller space she opened in November in TriBeCa, on North Moore Street.

Stocking her edit of designer and advanced contemporary pieces from Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu, Nili Lotan, Saint Laurent, Celine, Altuzarra, Bottega Veneta, Gabriela Hearst, Eterne, Sablyn and more, Walker’s nine brick-and-mortar stores are among the highest-performing multibrand fashion boutiques in the U.S., with close to $8,000 in sales per square foot in her Pacific Palisades, Newport Beach and Napa Valley locations (not counting stock room space).

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Expanding east has been a homecoming for the native New Yorker, who was raised in retail in Scarsdale, New York. She started her career opening her own outpost of her family’s Capretto Shoes on Madison Avenue before moving west to build a fleet of multibrand luxury boutiques in California.

“I still have clients from my mom’s shoe store.…I used to help Sylvia Yasgur, and her in-laws owned Yasgur’s Farm,” she said of the Bethel, New York, dairy farm that hosted Woodstock in 1969. “Sylvia still shops with me. We’ve always had a following in New York because of my roots. In the early years, people would walk in the store in L.A. and recognize a New York sensibility. We opened with suiting, which was unusual being miles from the beach. Somehow we’ve kept that.”

Elyse Walker Madison

She’s been looking for a Madison Avenue location for 10 years. “When we started, Madison was falling down, but we still believed in it long term. Now it’s going up,” she said. “We’re surrounded in every direction by every fantastic monobrand, so we’re working on the Elyse Walker edit — our four favorite suits from Alex Perry, for example — Madison will highlight that more than any other store.” There’s also a sizable fine jewelry selection.

While other retailers may be item driven, Walker said she is styling-driven, meaning her selection is focused less on price points than creating the best head-to-toe looks.

“Our shoe business is very designer, but we always like to throw in a zinger, like Paloma Barcelo sandals, which most people have never heard of, or don’t see everywhere,” Walker said of the $395 average price point styles. “So why would you come to us for Saint Laurent or Celine or Gucci? Because you’re coming for our point of view, and second, we’ll take those blazers and mix them with Mother denim and put on a Gianvito Rossi pump, and then throw on a Staud bag.”

One of the secrets to her success has been her in-house Memo styling program; her 25 stylists account for 50 percent of total sales, often selling clients merchandise before it even hits the floor or the web.

“When we have funding and room for growth, we could have 300 stylists,” Walker said, adding that one of her best ones works remotely out of state.

Elyse Walker Madison

“We’ve been looking for a growth partner,” she said, adding that her Towne stores, which are 1,500 to 2,500 square feet, selling mostly denim, T-shirts and sneakers, are also under realized and could be in every high-end neighborhood, from The Hamptons to South Miami.

“We’ve been approached by a lot of amazing people,” she said of potential investors. “Sometimes their weaknesses are ours, and I’m looking for someone we can build off of. We’re getting close to our goal of $100 million in net sales. To get to that next few hundred million, it’s going to need to be someone who has done it before,” she said, acknowledging the unpredictable dealmaking terrain.

“When we went out in 2020 to raise, everyone was anti brick-and-mortar. Now everyone is pro brick-and-mortar because web business is soft, return rates are out of control and digital marketing costs grew exponentially. We’re newbies so we’re still testing all the waters…but it will happen; it’s like meeting your partner for life.”

She’s not looking for an exit, however. “In a perfect world, I’d love to work on branding and opening stores…and maybe be out of the CEO role one day.I love brand building, and working with designers new and old.”

Elyse Walker Madison

Walker believes in digital to support the stores and stylists, demurring when asked what percentage of her overall sales is coming from her new e-commerce business.

“One client value to us in our lifetime relationship is worth over $100,000 and a really good client is worth over $1 million.…We’re planting seeds for the next five or 10 years,” she said. “That kind of touch is different from online where you want to sell one unit to 100 people. We want to sell 100 units to one person over our entire relationship. And we work hard at it.’

Over the years, she has built a client database with more than 125,000 names, including many on the Upper East Side where she’s now open.

“We have sales in Chicago, Austin, Dallas, almost every state…Alaska, Minnesota. We love a good online sale but when that woman goes to New York City, we think she’s going to say, ‘Let’s check out Elyse’s new store.’”

Mônot’s Eli Mizrahi Hosts L.A. Dinner Party at Chateau Marmont, Following Win at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion L.A. Awards

Mônot’s Eli Mizrahi Hosts L.A. Dinner Party at Chateau Marmont, Following Win at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion L.A. Awards

“Have you guys seen Eli?” asked Dove Cameron.
She was seeking the man of the hour, Eli Mizrahi.

“Oh, look at him,” she smiled, spotting the Mônot designer on a couch snuggled up with Natasha Lyonne.

“Everyone has been with me from Day One,” Mizrahi said of his intimate dinner party at the Chateau Marmont penthouse Sunday in Los Angeles.

All wearing his designs — a sea of black and white cutout dresses — his guests included Teyana Taylor, Ciara, Zoey Deutch, Demi Lovato, Normani, Christine Quinn, Elsa Hosk, Alessandra Ambrosio, Emma Myers, Tiffany Haddish, Olivia Culpo, Sami Miro, Cindy Bruna, Kat Graham, Kristina Romanova, Nausheen Shah and Rose Bertram.

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“And we got a lot of requests of people that wanted to come attend,” he went on. “But, you know, it’s not about collecting credit of who’s coming to my dinner. Yes, I got the award, but it’s more about appreciation of who has been a part of it from Day One, and they’re all here with me tonight.”

Mizrahi was in town for the Daily Front Row’s seventh annual Fashion L.A. Awards, where he took home Emerging Brand of the Year. Taylor had presented the trophy earlier in the day.

“Everyone can be pretty in their own individual way, but to me, it takes a lot more than just physical aspects,” he said of his Mônot woman. The designer, who launched the brand three years ago, created 29 looks for the awards ceremony. “It’s more about personality and attitude and confidence.…But you know what’s funny? When Teyana presented the award, she said, ‘Listen, I’m a mom in my sweatpants and in my baggy clothes, but when I put on a Mônot dress, I transform into this creature. I don’t know who I am.’ This makes me happy, actually.”

Mizrahi, who’s from Lebanon, explained he originally wanted to produce his collections in the U.S. when he moved to New York.

“The factories in New York did not want to work with a young brand,” he said. “I had no choice but to look at alternative options.”

He turned to his home country, working with Syrian refugees that he trained, he explained: “They’re still part of Mônot.”

These days he’s in Lebanon once a month, more often in Paris — where he recently relocated.

“Yes, the brand is growing,” he continued. “Yes, it has a presence in Paris. Yes, it has a presence in New York. But I’m not giving up on Beirut. Beirut has been my home, will always be my home.”

In L.A., he’s testing the waters, and the city may be seeing more of him soon.

“If you look 10 years ago when you said L.A., people think Juicy Couture,” he said, when asked about the fashion scene. It’s taken more seriously now, he added. “For me, I’m loving the whole shift. There’s a big movement happening. And funnily enough, I’m talking about having a bit more of a presence in L.A., possibly doing a show in the future. We’ll see.”

For now, he planned to extend his trip: “I was meant to leave at midnight tonight. I’m probably not going to get on that flight and staying for two more days.”

New York is his next destination, for meetings and “something big, potentially, that’s still in the works, TBD.”

Also in the works? Mens, which he plans to unveil next.

“We’re launching it soon.”

An hour into the event, most guests were still mingling as they sipped Champagne and cocktails on the terrace. A few sat at the open air dinner table, ready for their first dish.

“Chop chop, I have a hard out,” announced Haddish, her finger twirling in the air.

Across from her was Lyonne. In her familiar laugh, she chimed in, “Chip Chop, OK?”

Jacquemus and Saks Release ‘Été’ Capsule

Jacquemus and Saks Release ‘Été’ Capsule

Jacquemus and Saks have teamed for a capsule collection, “Été” (French for summer) — unveiled just in time for the season ahead.

The line is available exclusively on Saks.com and at Saks Fifth Avenue stores in New York and Beverly Hills.

“We are thrilled to partner with Jacquemus to launch this exclusive capsule collection and bring it to life in a big way at our Beverly Hills store,” Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer at Saks, told WWD in a statement. “Jacquemus’ unique aesthetic and innovative approach to design have put the brand at the forefront of luxury fashion, and we know both our men’s and women’s customers will resonate with this limited-edition collection that exudes confidence and effortless elegance. At Saks, we always strive to deliver newness and fashion our customers can’t find anywhere else from the most sought-after names in luxury.”

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Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills is showcasing a special Jacquemus window display and in-store installation. Created by design studio Perron-Roettinger, the store facade is up through May 3, while the in-store visuals are on view through May 18.

Saks x Jacquemus


The limited-edition collection is an ode to the French Riviera — often a source of inspiration for designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, who grew up in the small town of Mallemort in southern France. He offers both women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, with handbags and hats, in canary yellow and his signature earth tones.

Saks x Jacquemus


Saks fashion director Roopal Patel and Jacquemus chief executive officer Bastien Daguzan hosted a dinner at Flamingo Estate in Los Angeles on Thursday night to celebrate the launch. The event brought out Christine Quinn, Benito Skinner, Amelia Gray, Rickey Thompson and Bretman Rock.

Cher Channels Y2K Style in Leather Top and Puffer Jacket at ‘Chevalier’ Screening

Cher Channels Y2K Style in Leather Top and Puffer Jacket at ‘Chevalier’ Screening

Cher attended a special screening of “Chevalier” in Los Angeles on Sunday, wearing an ensemble channeling Y2K fashion.

The singer wore a purple and black leather zip-up biker jacket with a circular graphic print on it. She paired the top with a gray puffer jacket with a matching graphic print. She completed the look with black trousers featuring a white stripe on each side.

Cher attends the Los Angeles special screening of “Chevalier” on April 16 in Los Angeles.

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After a decades-long career in entertainment, Cher has no plans to slow down. In March, she revealed she was working on two albums with the help of her boyfriend and music executive Alexander Edwards.

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Cher also walked the runway for Balmain’s September runway show. The collection featured more than 100 looks, with the singer closing the show alongside the brand’s creative director Olivier Rousteing. For her runway walk, Cher wore a futuristic sculptured silver bodysuit, shiny black leggings and chunky boots.

Cher attends the Los Angeles special screening of “Chevalier” on April 16 in Los Angeles.

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Following her runway appearance, in November, Cher starred in Balmain’s futuristic superhero campaign for their new Blaze handbag, which drew inspiration from armored superheroes.

“Chevalier” tells the story of Joseph Bologne, the illegitimate son of an enslaved African woman and a French plantation owner, who rose through the ranks of French society and classical music to become one of the most celebrated composers, violinists and fencers of his time. The film also depicts his love affair and falling out with Marie Antoinette. The movie stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton, Alex Fitzalan and Minnie Driver. “Chevalier” premieres in the theaters on Friday.

Star-studded Fashion Trust U.S. Awards Put Next Young Designer Prize on the Map in L.A.

Star-studded Fashion Trust U.S. Awards Put Next Young Designer Prize on the Map in L.A.

It’s no easy feat gathering high-wattage stars Ciara, Tracee Ellis Ross, Demi Moore, Olivia Wilde, Paris Jackson, Paula Abdul, Hannah Einbinder and more for a gala on yet another rainy Tuesday night in Los Angeles, barely a week after the awards-race-capping Oscars.
But the inaugural U.S. Fashion Trust Awards did, putting the next young designer prize on the map in L.A., with help from celebrity board members and corporate sponsors Shop by Google, Farfetch, Code 8 Beauty and St. John Knits.

“I’m excited L.A. is getting some fash-un, because there’s a lot of fashion here,” said Heidi Klum during the boisterous pre-awards cocktail hour at Goya Studios, where she was showing off her sculptural silver gown by up-and-comer Kate Barton, complete with fishbowl handbag.

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“I am on the advisory board so I was a part of making the decision this morning and what we’re doing is so special, giving artists opportunities,” said Storm Reid, wearing a sparkly minidress by L.A. designer Jonathan Simkhai.

Not to mention shopping opportunities. “Today I was supposed to be voting, and I was like, um, where can I buy that?” she laughed.

From a pool of more than 400 applicants, six grants in amounts varying from $50,000 to $150,000 were awarded to a diverse group of American brands — knitwear designer Aisling Camps; L’Enchanteur jewelry; Agbobly (formerly known as Black Boy Knits); recent FIT grad Papa Oppong; Puppets and Puppets, and recent CFDA Award winner Elena Velez.

Heidi Klum and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards held at Goya Studios on March 21, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Buckner for WWD

Fashion Trust U.S. is the brainchild of Tania Fares, who assembled a buzzy board of founders and advisers for the contest, including stylists Karla Welch and Law Roach; LB Media founder and former InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown; Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Samira Nasr; fashion consultant Anne Crawford; Academy Award-winning costume designer Arianne Phillips, and designer/TV personality Tan France.

Hollywood stylists were key movers for the nascent event. They gave out awards onstage (“I can’t mess this up because I need this job,” joked Roach, addressing his much-covered retirees ). They called up their clients to participate (Welch enlisted Wilde and Ross, among others, and brought on collaborator St. John). And they proved their power in supporting young designers on stage and screen.

For example, stylist Zerina Akers was wearing fingers full of rings by L’Enchanteur, which she helped gain exposure by putting in Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” visual album.

Although none of the winners were from L.A., the awards underscored the importance of Hollywood in the fashion industry.

Sustainability award winner and Milwaukee-based designer Elena Velez, who incorporates Midwestern craft and industrial remnants into her collections, shared with WWD that during her L.A. visit she inked a deal to design some pieces for Beyoncé, as well as work on a few commissions for the upcoming Coachella Art & Music Festival. “It’s been a great trip,” the designer said.

“It was the coolest morning to meet all these designers, I was so blown away by the originality…I left feeling really energized,” said Kiernan Shipka, who is a Fashion Trust U.S. board member, of the judging process.

Charlotte Lawrence and Kiernan Shipka at the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards held at Goya Studios on March 21, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Buckner for WWD

Fares confirmed that the awards ceremony will remain in L.A. And many of the city’s established designers and brands came out to support, including Mike Amiri, Greg Chait, Clare Vivier, Zaid Affas, Andrea Lieberman and Nick Fouquet.

“It’s the garage, man. The best things are made in the garage,” Amiri said of his passion for young talent, and why he is happy to meet up with anyone wanting advice “as long as they don’t film me,” he laughed.

“For us as one of the original American luxury brands, to come back and support young American designers, we thought it was the right thing to do and very circular,” said St. John chief executive officer Andy Lew of supporting the ready-to-wear award won by Camps, which will include a capsule collection and mentorship.

“I’m in a room with all these amazing people and I spend so much of my time in a 350-square-foot room with knitting machines, this is insane I’m getting acknowledged,” said Camps in accepting her award.

Soull Ogun and Dynasty Ogun of L’Enchanteur at the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards held at Goya Studios on March 21, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Buckner for WWD

“We want to thank Fashion Trust for trusting us with this award.…We are really shocked. Our dad is in Nigeria and he said ‘call me.’ Even though he’s sleeping, we’re going to right now,” said the Brooklyn-based Ogun designer twins of L’Enchanteur. “This is dedicated to our mother who passed away two years ago.”

Hosted by comedian Phoebe Robinson, the gala was slickly produced with long banquet style dinner tables, hundreds of flickering candles, and a small stage and projections of the nominated designers on walls overhead.

“I want to send a lot of love to Tania Fares, because this is her baby, she believes in the up-and-coming generation…you guys need to know that,” said Ciara onstage.

Tania Fares, Tan France and Lake Bell at the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards held at Goya Studios on March 21, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Buckner for WWD

Fares, who lives between Lebanon, London and L.A., has always had a passion for fresh faces. She created the U.K.’s BFC Fashion Trust in 2011, and Fashion Trust Arabia in 2018. 

To establish the Fashion Trust U.S., she enlisted L.A.-based British heiress Jordana Reuben Yechiel, jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche, Juicy Couture cofounder Gela Nash-Taylor and 23 other founding patrons in the real estate, finance and art worlds.

“I met Tania years ago and I think she has a real passion,” said Nash-Taylor, with hubbie John Taylor on her arm, before turning her praise to winning designer Velez. “It’s made in the glamorous USA, which matters to me, and I love her story, wanting to build factories in her hometown, but she’s also really talented. The stuff looks great.”

Fares said there was no intent to set up a rivalry with New York; indeed, she has collaborated with the CFDA before and many of the designers and presenters have, too.

“There’s not enough money, $150,000, $175,000, those amounts don’t go very far. It’s just nice to show up and get recognize them, it builds their self-esteem, if they are smart they will know how to use it, that’s why I’m here,” said diversity activist Bethann Hardison, who serves on both the CFDA and the Fashion Trust U.S.’s boards. “We need more people to learn how to build a business, so prizes are always welcome.”

Elena Velez and Jacques Agbobly at the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards held at Goya Studios on March 21, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Buckner for WWD

The sponsors seemed pleased.

“We’ve featured the designers all week on the site, are doing mentoring for them, incorporating them onto Shop Google, and will get them two months of training on e-commerce,” said Stephanie Horton, global consumer marketing director for Google Commerce. “We already added a second prize today because we couldn’t decide. I literally called my number two and said I just spent money I hope we had,” she said.

“I think it went very well, the talent was amazing, the room was so positive,” said Fares.

“It was very heart-centered with the messages that came through of humility, and the appreciation for opportunity…and appreciation for mamas,” said Demi Moore, whose daughter Scout LaRue Willis blew the crowd away with her husky performance of “Mysterious Ways.”

“I’m deeply humbled to be in this room and so in awe of the level of artistry and authentic unique expression,” said Willis, as she settled in with her guitar, sparkly pink dress and Barbie boots. “I’m grateful to be here to share the thing that I love.”

Scout LaRue Willis and Demi Moore at the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards held at Goya Studios on March 21, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Buckner for WWD

Anne Hathaway Brings Wild Flair in Crocodile-embossed Minidress to Versace’s Fall 2023 Runway Show

Anne Hathaway Brings Wild Flair in Crocodile-embossed Minidress to Versace’s Fall 2023 Runway Show

Anne Hathaway continued her fashion streak at Versace’s fall 2023 runway show in West Hollywood on Thursday in a black, crocodile-embossed minidress.

She paired the dress with sheer black tights, glossy black platform boots, a black Versace top-handle bag and square-framed sunglasses. Hathaway’s full look was from Versace.

Anne Hathaway at the Versace fall 2023 fashion show on March 9 in West Hollywood.

Michael Buckner for Variety

WWD characterized Versace’s fall 2023 runway show as “a Hollywood moment at magic hour in L.A., with a strong collection pushing power tailoring, pure shapes and a lot of black — for men and women.” The collection drew inspiration from Versace’s archives, specifically the spring 1995 collection shot by Richard Avedon and Steven Meisel.

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Earlier this year, Hathaway wore Versace at the Sundance Film Festival, wearing a winter-ready ensemble from the brand for the premiere of her film “Eileen.” The look included a padded, sleek coat with a corset-like insert on the bodice that cinched her at the waist and had a slightly oversize silhouette. Underneath the coat, she wore a textured black minidress with gold detailing on the straps and gold embroidery on the hem of the skirt.

Anne Hathaway at the Versace fall 2023 fashion show on March 9 in West Hollywood.

Michael Buckner for Variety

The actress is no stranger to luxury fashion or jewelry. In May, she became a brand ambassador for Bulgari. She wore many pieces from the brand to the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Versace recently partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on an LGBTQ-focused educational initiative.

Versace’s fall 2023 runway show had a star-studded front row featuring Lil Nas X, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Elton John and Tan France. The brand’s Los Angeles show, featuring both men’s and women’s collections, was originally scheduled for Friday, however, it was changed to an earlier date due to unfavorable weather conditions expected in Los Angeles.

Ole Henriksen Taps Anine Bing

Ole Henriksen Taps Anine Bing

Celebrating 40 years, beauty brand Ole Henriksen has tapped Anine Bing for a long-term partnership. The designer, who began her career as a content creator, just turned 40 herself.
“There’s a synergy there for sure,” said Bing. She and Henriksen, both Danish, recently met in Los Angeles and visited her Melrose flagship.

“He’s everything that you can imagine, just a bag of sunshine,” she said of Henriksen.

The two discussed their collaboration and shared lifestyle philosophy, rooted in Scandinavian culture and “simplicity” — in beauty and fashion.

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“Less is more,” explained Bing. “We kept coming back to that. And that’s the way [it is] in my own closet, I keep on cleaning out. Same for skin care. You don’t need a million products. You just need a few products that really work.”

Her Ole Henriksen go-tos are the Truth Juice Daily Cleanser, Lemonade Smoothing Scrub and Banana Bright+ Eye Crème. “It’s hard to pick just a few.”

Bing will be working with Ole Henriksen — assisting with content creation (showcasing both beauty and her personal style) — as the brand revamps itself, its spas and returns to its roots.

“I really believe that our secret to longevity as a brand in this incredibly saturated, fierce marketplace is our commitment to evolving with our consumer and the way that we connect with them,” said Sarah Koch, senior vice president at Ole Henriksen.

“For a brand to succeed, it’s so critical that they identify and lean into what makes them special, what sets them apart,” continued Koch. “And for us, in addition to our obviously incredibly efficacious formulas, it’s our Scandinavian heritage. It’s authentically at the core of everything we do, from the lifestyle we promote, to the formulas we create — all packed with Scandinavian antioxidant ingredients. And so we really have been challenging ourselves. How do we bring that story to life in a fresh way?”

Bing is “relevant” to their target consumer, she added.

Along with Bing, the brand aims to bring diverse Scandinavian voices to its consumers, visible through their social channels. (Past collaborators have included Kim Cattrall and Diplo.)

What’s the secret to successful content?

“It’s important to stay true to yourself,” said Bing, whose personal Instagram has more than 1.1 million followers. “You know, everything keeps changing, [with] new trends on TikTok, so much happening. Of course, you want to follow along and follow what’s happening in the world, but it’s also really important to just stay true to yourself.”

Launched in the ’80s, Ole Henriksen was acquired in 2011 by Kendo Brands, the beauty brand incubator owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

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