Lacoste’s NFT, Candice Swanepoel Does Swim, London Colleges’ on Show

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OUT OF THE WATER: Lacoste is floating its first NFTs as part of its project titled Undw3 — pronounced “underwater” — which launched Tuesday.

The NFTs will feature the image of a crocodile emerging from the water. Lacoste will sell 11,212 digital pieces in reference to the brand’s iconic polo shirt called L1212, priced at 0.08 Ethereum.

Undw3 is part of the brand’s plans to wade into Web3.

“Undw3 attests to our desire to accompany the phenomenon of decentralization driven by Web3 and bears witness to our ambitions in this area,” said chief brand officer Catherine Spindler.

She added that the project is “an experiential, interactive and co-creative universe, in the image of Lacoste’s creativity and avant-gardism.”

The brand is trying to create a “long-term collaborative community,” and is building a digital-physical bridge. Owners of the NFTs will have access to special physical products as well as a say in the designs.

“In a world more and more connected, we think the next big step is to add you to our core team,” the brand wrote in a series of tweets. “By owning a part of the Lacoste experience, you will join the Lacoste family and will have your word to say on our future.” They promised more information in the weeks to come.

It’s part of the brand’s plans to diversify its customer collaboration, after launching a Discord server earlier this month. The brand waded into Web3 with its “Croco Island” project in collaboration with Minecraft in March.

The launch of the NFTs on the Ethereum coin comes amid a major shakeup in the crypto currency markets. Ethereum has fallen about 70 percent from its peak and was trading just below $1,200 on Tuesday, making the Lacoste NFTs sell for roughly $100. — RHONDA RICHFORD

CANDICE DIVES IN: Candice Swanepoel and Alo Yoga are teaming on a collection of elevated swimwear basics.

The model and her Tropic of C brand are partnering with Alo Yoga on a collection that offers bikinis, one-piece bathing suits, woven hats and bandeau tops in red, orange, black and mauve. The pieces are meant to be mixed and matched and paired with other Alo Yoga styles.

“I wanted this collection to be about simplicity, elegance and power,” Swanepoel said. “The pieces are simple with unique colors, which I think will stand out on any summer adventure. Each piece is designed to accentuate the female form, so fit has always been a key part of my designs and you can feel it when you put these pieces on.”

The collection, particularly its woven pieces, were handmade by indigenous female artisans in northern Peru. In addition to employing the artisans, Tropic of C offers the women computer literacy classes and other education to help them grow their own artisan businesses. This kind of philanthropy is engrained in Swanepoel’s brand, which regularly partners with global charities and works with artisans across the world.

Candice Swanepoel and Alo Yoga Team on Swimwear Collection

Candice Swanepoel models pieces from her Alo Yoga x Tropic of C collection Courtesy of Alo Yoga

Swanepoel explained her favorite pieces from the collection are the red and black swimsuits, as they are classic swimwear staples. She also stated she likes the handmade woven pieces.

“Our design process often starts with a color palette,” she said. “We worked with Alo on what their upcoming color stories look like and built a collection that would complement each other. We want the girl to be able to wear the swimwear together with some of the workout pieces or even as streetwear. We then chose some of our most loved styles that are simple and functional for whatever activities our girls are doing, whether it’s on the beach or beyond.”

The collaboration is not Alo Yoga’s latest foray into swimwear. The brand previously teamed with Frankies Bikinis last summer.

The Alo Yoga x Tropic of C collection will be available through both brands’ websites and at select Alo Yoga stores across the country. The collection ranges in price from $70 to $150. — LAYLA ILCHI

GRADUATES ON SHOW: It’s the end of term for fashion students across U.K. universities and it’s a moment to celebrate after being confined to their homes for the past two years.

The young graduates of two showed their collections alongside the London Fashion Week men’s calendar.

At Ravensbourne, the designers let loose, taking inspiration from mundane everyday items to creating their own fantasy world that their pieces fit into. 

Ravensbourne University London fashion show

Designs from Alessandro M. Raso and Lillian Clark of Ravensbourne University London. “The inspiration behind the show was a character I built of a chef,” said M. Raso. Ravensbourne University London

Standouts included Alessandro M. Raso, who showed deconstructed athleisure from the kitchen. “The inspiration behind the show was a character I built of a chef, based on my own upbringing as the son of restaurant owners observing the dangerous and chaotic kitchen,” he said.

Meanwhile, fellow student Lillian Clark, welcomed in the party with fluorescent body plates. Xander Jones let the monsters out with a fictional character printed onto sweaters and hoofs stomping the runway.

Over at University of Westminster, the pressure and spotlight was on for the students, as alumni Steven Stokey-Daley of S.S. Daley became the first winner of the 2022 edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers earlier this month.

The students had strong sustainablility credentials that hints at a green future for them all. 

“Everything is made from upcycled kites, parachutes and wetsuits,” said Yani Bridge, behind the brand Yani B, who is an avid kitesurfer and skydiver. All the materials in her collection were sourced from a Facebook community she found online.

Her classmate Lily Mae Willan dedicated her graduate collection to all the influential men in her life and being from the north of England, which is where all of her fabrics were sourced from: deadstock tailoring and yarns from Yorkshire; silks from a supplier in Bradford, and the selvedge denim is from Hewitt Heritage Mills, which is the only mill that weaves denim in the U.K.

All the bags in her collection are inspired by her uncle, who would “come to work with a carrier bag as a bag and then he bought a proper bag that everyone took the p–s out of.”

Another graduate, Owen Edward Snaith, based his collection on his fisherman grandad from Dunbar, Scotland.

All the fabrics from the collection were from Scotland — handwoven wool that he could only get 12 meters at a time — to all the handmade jewelry. 

When beginning the collection, he made a conscious decision to “branch into this community of crafters” in Scotland to bridge the gap between them and the metropolitan industry because “there’s a lot of dying trades there.” 

“There’s still people sitting at home hand making things and their careers are on the line because of this movement into tech. There’s no reason why handcrafts can’t go hand in hand with modern tech,” he said.

Edward Snaith designed his own official tartan that’s registered on The Scottish Register of Tartans with the different colored threads representing the LGBTQ community and fishing nets. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

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