Cultural: News, Travel & Trendsetters

Fendi’s Power Front Row, Area Links With Sergio Ross, Scandal Over Chinese Actor Li Yifeng


SUPE REUNION: Does it get more major than this?

Friday was technically the first day of New York Fashion Week and already, it’s hard to imagine a more show-stopping front row than the turn out for Fendi’s.

Held at Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown Manhattan, the Friday night show — a collaboration between Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs — brought out the designers’ many famous friends. Kim Kardashian is often, easily, the biggest celebrity name to sit front row at any show she attends, but her arrival inside the venue was a blip on the radar compared to who came next: Kate Moss, Christy Turlington Burns, Amber Valetta and Shalom Harlow — the Supers, minus a few — were all in attendance, cheering on Jones and Jacobs. Moss played proud mom at a recital, taking videos of her daughter Lila Moss who opened the show. And when fellow super Linda Evangelista was brought out during the final bow, the whole ballroom, Supers included, went wild.

Elsewhere in the front row was Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Watts, Maude and Iris Apatow, Lori Harvey, Karlie Kloss, Lee Min-ho, Song Hye-kyo, Jordan Alexander, Natalia Dyer, Chloe Bailey, Imaan Hammam, Rachel Brosnahan and more. Designers like Zac Posen and Tommy Hilfiger were also present.

The front rows have been back in a big way this NYFW, with the few shows to have taken place already drawing VIP turnout. Janet Jackson was at Christian Siriano, Doja Cat took in Bronx and Banco, and there even were some familiar faces walking Collina Strada: Ella Emhoff, Hari Nef and Jemima Kirke all were in the show.

So, who might top Fendi’s VIP guest list? Tom Ford, your move. — LEIGH NORDSTROM

NEW PARTNERS: Area, the American luxury brand founded by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Pansczczyk, whose extra crystalline glamour has been embraced by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and former First Lady Michelle Obama among many others, is partnering with Italian footwear label Sergio Rossi on a collection.

Sandals from the Area x Sergio Rossi collection.

The 20-style range will be presented and sold in February 2023, but it is being teased at Monday’s Area fall 2022 fashion show at the Frick Madison, with four pairs of sandals, including a pair of black satin stilettos with crystal pin heels, and crystal protrusions resembling unicorn horns on the toes.

“I strongly believe in this partnership that explores the multiple facets of femininity, finding beauty in all of its form and expressions,” said Riccardo Sciutto, group chief executive officer of Sergio Rossi. “With this collaboration, Sergio Rossi continues to build on a long lineage of collaborations but in this case with one of the most influential brands into the fashion industry. We have the best partner to reshape the rules of femininity together.”

“This collaboration embodies the synergy of heritage and expertise infused with modernity and innovation,” added Piotrek Panszczyk, Area cofounder and creative director.

In the past few years, Sergio Rossi has also collaborated with American designers Rosie Assoulin and Adam Lippes, as well as Milan-based footwear label Manebi. Fosun Fashion Group, parent company of Lanvin, St. John and Wolford, acquired the storied footwear brand in 2021.

Founded in 2014, Area has gained a following for its decadent, ’80s-resonant, extra-glam onstage wear, corsets, jeans and accessories. “We love playing with this idea of cheap and chic, what is done and what is not. It reminds us also of back home. For instance, when my mom was living in Communist Poland, they didn’t really have access to it, but they were all so sophisticated. Russian women were the same. They were doing it by themselves,” Panszczyk told WWD in a 2019 interview. 

“We have all these aspiring ‘It’ girls that also buy into it. I don’t know, it’s kind of like a nice range of people that all aspire to be something they’re maybe not really.” — BOOTH MOORE

YIFENG SCANDAL: Chinese actor Li Yifeng, the face of Prada, Panerai, Remy Martin and L’Oréal Paris, has been detained by the authorities for repeatedly visiting prostitutes, which is illegal in China.

According to the state-run media CCTV, Li’s misconduct, which he confessed, was exposed during a criminal investigation.

While the original announcement from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau regarding the detention on Weibo did not disclose his full name, CCTV confirmed that it was the actor, 35, citing sources from “authoritative channels.”

Li Yifeng walks in Prada’s fall 2022 repeat show in Beijing. Courtesy

Prada and Panerai said shortly after the news broke that both brands have terminated Li’s ambassadorship.

Li is the latest high-profile target in China’s crackdown on the entertainment industry, following a slew of big Chinese stars like Deng Lun, Zheng Shuang, Kris Wu and Zhao Wei who fell from grace for alleged personal and financial misconduct last year.

He walked in Prada’s fall 2022 repeat show in Beijing last month, alongside major film stars such as Liao Fan, winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, and Kara Wai Ying Hong, three-time recipient of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress.

With over 60 million Weibo followers, Li rose to fame by starring in a series of popular TV shows. He won the best actor award at the China TV Golden Eagle Award in 2018 for his portrayal of a spy agent in the period drama “Sparrow.”

Besides being tapped by luxury brands, Li was also the face of Asics, Budweiser, Chinese natural herbal remedy maker King To Nin Jiom, and golf equipment maker Honma.

All brands had severed ties with Li as of Sunday evening. — TIANWEI ZHANG

POST FOR A POST: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini is opening the doors of its upcoming fashion show to the public.

The brand, which is controlled by Aeffe Group, is launching a contest on Instagram to offer five people the opportunity to attend its show during Milan Fashion Week, which runs from Sept. 21 to 26.

Starting Monday, users are invited to share their favorite image of the brand’s feed on their accounts via an Instagram story, flanking it with the label’s tag and dedicated hashtag #PhilosophyGuest.

The contest will end on Sept. 19, when the company will name the winners of the golden tickets granting a seat to the event, which will be staged on Sept. 24 at Palazzo Mezzanotte, the building housing the Italian Bourse.

A moment of the Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini fall 2023 show in Milan.

Aeffe Group’s agenda for Milan Fashion Week is set to be packed, since the company also controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini labels. Alberta Ferretti will stage its show on Sept. 21, while Moschino will introduce its spring 2023 collection the following evening. Accessories brand Pollini will host a presentation on Sept. 23, on the eve of the Philosophy show.

The women’s wear label designed by Lorenzo Serafini is not the first brand to add a democratic twist to its format this fashion season.

As reported, Diesel shared plans to open up its show to the public via an online registration process. Last month, Prada also revealed that its third Timecapsule NFT item would have allowed some customers to attend its fashion show on Sept. 22.

Each of the Prada customers purchasing one of the limited-edition black cotton poplin shirts with archival prints received a complimentary NFT and were automatically shortlisted for a chance to be flown to Milan and attend the event. Details will be communicated on “Prada Crypted,” the brand’s community-minded space on the Discord social platform. — SANDRA SALIBIAN


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