BAMMIE TIME: Louis Vuitton has appointed K-pop star BamBam its latest brand ambassador.
The Thai-born rapper and singer joins fellow Got7 member Jackson Wang among the French luxury brand’s faces. BamBam kicked off his first solo world tour in Asia last year and is due to begin the South American and European legs at the end of February. He has canceled several planned U.S. dates this month due to an ankle injury.
“I’m sorry for letting you down,” he wrote in a statement on social network X. “I should’ve cared about my health more.”
BamBam last year released his first full-length studio album, “Sour & Sweet,” having embarked on a solo career after he and his six fellow Got7 bandmates parted company with longtime agency JYP Entertainment in 2021.
Now signed to Warner Music Korea, they have assured fans that the group, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has not disbanded.
BamBam, who has 17.7 million followers on Instagram and 11.6 million on X, attended Pharrell Williams’ debut show as creative director of menswear in June, as well as his fall 2024 show in January. The hashtag #BamBamXLVFW24 generated more than 2.1 million impressions on X following his appearance, Vuitton said.
Known for his culinary videos on YouTube, under the hashtag #BamuEats, the singer has been revealed as one of three hosts for a new Netflix unscripted series about the lives of the super-wealthy in South Korea, alongside singer Mimi of girl group Oh My Girl and comedian Cho Sae-ho.
Other Vuitton ambassadors affiliated with K-pop include girl band Le Sserafim, Felix of Stray Kids, J-Hope from BTS and Hyein from NewJeans. — JOELLE DIDERICH
FASHION WILD: National Geographic is headed to the runway.
In support of its upcoming docuseries “Queens,” which highlights animal matriarchs, the network is staging an immersive fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Produced by a female-led team — naturally — “Nat Geo Presents: ‘Fit for a Queen’” will take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 at Moonlight Studios in downtown New York. An after party will follow the invite-only show, DJed by Dede Lovelace.
“While it might seem a wild departure for Nat Geo, what better place to give a nod to queendom and celebrate our contribution to the movement of unstoppable women and powerful female matriarchs,” said Janet Vissering, senior vice president of program production and development at National Geographic.
The three-act presentation, styled by Sakinah Bashir, will feature animal-inspired designs by Theophilio and JéBlanc, who both created custom looks, as well as Studio 189 and Bed on Water. Accessories include jewelry by Almasika and L’Enchanteur and footwear by Téjahn Burnett. Models will be accompanied by dance performance and holograms of three “queens” — a lion, an elephant, and a brown bear — featured in the series, which premieres March 4 and is narrated by Angela Bassett.
“Fit for a Queen” is the latest entry in the environment-focused brand’s list of fashion initiatives. In 2022, National Geographic collaborated with shoe brand Cariuma, and teamed with De Beers in 2021 to fund conservation of the Okavango Basin. And in 2019, a capsule collection with The North Face, using recycled plastic bottles, supported the National Park Foundation. — KRISTEN TAUER
GO BIG OR GO HOME: The German fashion label Boss on Wednesday projected a 10-meter hologram of supermodel Gisele Bündchen and South Korean star Lee Min-ho in front of London’s Tower Bridge to celebrate the launch of the brand’s spring 2024 campaign.
“Innovation has a prominent role in our strategy to achieve consumer impact at scale and create something intriguing. The hologram is the most current expression of our exploration and curiosity around harnessing the power of technology in our communications,” said Nadia Kokni, senior vice president of global marketing and brand communications at Hugo Boss.
“The novelty that it delivers also helps us to create captivating content that’s immensely shareable and memorable, offering a new experience to our audiences, resulting in positive associations toward our brand,” added Kokni, who believes this activation will ultimately encourage consumers to engage more deeply with the brand.
Bündchen and Lee are among a cohort of stars that include baseball player Shohei Ohtani, tennis player Matteo Berrettini, actress Suki Waterhouse and model Adwoa Aboah fronting the brand’s spring 2024 campaign, which was billed as “a journey of self-determination.”
The campaign is also accompanied by a series of videos, with the talents announcing “the choice is yours” as they move through maze-like rooms. — TIANWEI ZHANG
PAINT THE TOWN RED: To mark its 30th anniversary, Assouline has teamed up with Pantone to create its now-signature red.
For Alexandre Assouline, chief of operations, brand and strategy of the family-owned publishing brand, this was a natural continuation for the company as a purveyor of coffee table tomes.
“We work with Pantone every day,” he said. “Every cover that we design, every object that we review, the whole creativity of [our] team starts with opening a Pantone book.”
In a nutshell, this full-bodied warm red with a hint of yellow is meant to embody the boldness and imagination at the heart of Assouline.
According to creative director Prosper Assouline, who founded the brand in 1994 with his spouse Martine Assouline, this signature hue “stimulates the imagination, representing beauty and energy, while heightening our senses to the art and wisdom of knowledge.”
Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, described Assouline’s signature color as “a vibrant and vigorous red tone that breaks boundaries, inspiring a gloriously captivating feeling that ignites our consciousness and redefines our experience of red” and “emblematic of [Assouline’s] sensorial richness.”
Although only formalized with the Pantone partnership, the hue “transcribed into the brand because it emanates from the family,” said Alexandre Assouline, who is also the founders’ son, sharing how the shade links to memories of pastels from famed Parisian art supply shop Sennelier used for annotating works, a lacquered vase in the family home and even a childhood teddy bear.
Previously distilled in discreet touches, it will become a major touch point for the brand, which has already used it as marker of its retail spaces, used on the indoor walls of its own stores and delimiting areas within partners’ addresses, along with brass lettering.
The Assouline red will make its debut in marketing campaigns but also through in-store activations such as roses wrapped in paper printed with the new Pantone card. Launching on Valentine’s Day was also a way to allude to the brand’s enduring love affair with culture.
And that won’t be the last of it, as Assouline intends to grow from a publisher to a lifestyle brand.
A first step in that direction will be the launch of limited-edition objects. These will lean heavily toward library accessories, to stay within its territory — naturally.
And if deeming a 30-year-old company, particularly in publishing, as heritage sounds forward, Alexandre Assouline found it a fitting way to express that “our business is to celebrate heritage — of other brands, themes, interesting people,” he said. “We are showing that publishing is here to stay and we have a clear path for the 30 years ahead of us.” — LILY TEMPLETON
BOARD ROLE: Chief executive officer of Pandora Alexander Lacik has joined the board of directors of the Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030.
“I am honored to join the Board of the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030. The industry has a pivotal role to play in addressing global sustainability challenges, and I am excited to bring our learnings from Pandora and collaborate with industry peers to drive change and innovation,” Lacik said in a statement.
Founded in 2021 by Cartier and Kering, WJI2030 is guided by the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Today, it has more than 50 members that collaborate to achieve sustainable industry development in areas including climate, resource preservation, and inclusiveness.
“The WJI is a coalition formed to support the sector in addressing the question of sustainability through multi stakeholder cooperation, measurable actions and partnerships,” said the executive director and secretary general of WJI2030, Iris Van der Veken. “Alexander Lacik’s extensive experience and commitment to responsible business practices will contribute greatly to this objective. His support will undoubtedly strengthen the industry-wide efforts to create positive change.”
Before joining Pandora, Lacik held leadership positions at global consumer goods companies Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble. He is a Swedish national and based in Copenhagen. — THOMAS WALLER
SHIFTING GEARS: The big luxury slowdown is witnessing the switching of lanes, specifically in how brands communicate their stories and products. It’s no longer about sitting under the umbrella of a storied PR agency, but rather under a steady and firm hand.
In London alone, the city is brewing with new and creative approaches to PR.
Dominique Temple, a former beauty editor who made the jump into the world of public relations, is shifting gears once again with the launch of DT Consulting, a London-based consulting agency that specializes in beauty, lifestyle and luxury.
The agency will offer a collection of services from multichannel communications; special projects; influencer and key opinion leader strategy; retail and product storytelling to sustainable and charitable partnerships and initiatives.
In her portfolio, Temple will be working closely with Hailey Bieber’s beauty brand Rhode’s European and U.K. markets; celebrity facialist Melanie Grant, and personal shopping platform Luminaire’s strategic proposals that help drive extremely important customers, otherwise known as EICs.
“All of the brands that I’m starting with sit on the intersection of fashion, beauty, culture and creativity. I love the idea of community around a brand because it’s intimate,” she said in an interview.
She was previously chief strategy officer at beauty communications consultancy agency Claire Goodwin Consultancy and prior to that, a beauty editor at The Daily Telegraph and Glamour magazine.
At CGC, she moved to New York City to kick-start the business’ operations in the U.S., overseeing Rose Inc., a biotech company founded by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in partnership with Amyris and Stella by Stella McCartney.
“I’ve always dreamed of having my own business — I loved the idea of bigger brand building and the power of being on the brand side,” she explained, mentioning that her role as a former journalist has equipped her with the right tools to advise clients and to find the hook without dabbling in gray areas.
“Experience is such an important part of a brand’s success and DNA. It’s really about creating the right events and taking customers, influencers and journalists on a journey,” she added.
Temple pointed out that since coming out of lockdown, many brands that she’s worked with are pivoting their strategies into super serving their customer and weaving a tight-knit community.
“Now in PR we work so much more holistically with the retail, marketing and branding teams of a brand to make sure we’re strategically aligned to drive commercial value,” she added.
DT Consulting has been self-funded and is located in London’s Sloane Street. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE: Tinder, the dating app that popularized the swiping mechanism, has teamed with the London-based American Chinese designer Chet Lo for a “lovestruck” capsule that features a series of hats and T-shirts with witty slogans such as “No-one’s type” and “I wear my heart on my sleeve” that reflect the essence of modern dating and the desire for human connection.
The capsule, which is available on Chet Lo’s website, was inspired by the ups and downs of Lo’s dating life. On a broader sense, it also followed in the footsteps of Lo’s spring 2024 collection, which delved into the designer’s queer identity and the ideas of sexuality in Asian culture.
“From playful chaos to the vulnerability we often experience when dating, these designs capture the realness of modern dating and human connection. It’s an exciting exploration of love, fear and the messy, beautiful journey we take in the world of dating,” said Lo, who chopped off his long hair last year as he declared to WWD that he was entering boyhood on the red carpet of the Fashion Awards.
Joanna Pons, senior marketing director for Northern Europe at Tinder, said the partnership with Chet Lo is “a natural fit.”
“It’s a brand that shares our vision of authenticity and embraces the diverse narratives that make modern dating. This capsule collection is more than just clothing; it’s a reflection of the realness, humor and relatability that defines the dating experience of those using Tinder today,” added Pons.
According to Tinder, more than half of those using the dating app are aged between 18 and 25, and very sexually fluid. To show its support and commitment to Tinder’s fast-growing LGBTQIA+ community, 20 percent of the sales from the capsule will be donated to Akt, a charity that supports LGBTQIA+ young people in the U.K. experiencing homelessness or in a hostile living environment.
Prior to the Tinder collaboration reveal, Lo earlier this month also worked with the affordable footwear and accessory brand Charles & Keith on a collection that saw Charles & Keith’s classic silhouettes reimagined in Lo’s playful spiky materials.
Lo, a BA graduate from Central Saint Martins, has been making a name for himself with electric-hued, spiky knitwear that’s sheer, figure-hugging, and designed to make the wearer feel sexy. He made his runway debut with Lulu Kennedy. — H.M.