VIRGIL ABLOH DIES AT 41

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Louis Vuitton artistic director and founder of the Off-White fashion label, Virgil Abloh, has died at 41, following his private battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Shannon, his children Lowe and Grey, his sister, Edwina, and his parents, Nee and Eunice. LVMH revealed the news on November 28, describing Abloh as a genius and visionary. Bernard Arnoult, the CEO of LVMH, shared a statement on behalf of the company that read: “We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend.” The American designer came to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director, but later made history as the first African-American to lead Louis Vuitton. It marked the marriage between streetwear and high-end fashion, mixing sneakers and camouflage pants with tailored suits and evening gowns. The style was embraced by the group as it brought new life into the label, and attracted younger customers.

MATTHIEU BLAZY IS BOTTEGA VENETA’S NEW CREATIVE DIRECTOR

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Following the surprise exit of creative director Daniel Lee, Matthieu Blazy has now been promoted to the top role as creative director. The Paris-born, 37-year-old designer graduated from La Cambre in 2007, and has had designer stints at Raf Simons, Maison Martin Margiela, and Céline. Before becoming Lee’s right hand at Bottega Veneta as design director in 2020, Blazy worked closely with Raf Simons at Calvin Klein as VP of design for womenswear and menswear from 2016 to 2019. Leo Rongone, CEO of Bottega Veneta, said in a statement: “Matthieu Blazy is an extraordinarily talented individual, whom I am proud and excited to entrust with the creative helm of our luxury House. Bottega Veneta has always been equated with signature craftsmanship and distinctive creativity. Matthieu’s appointment will further enhance the modern relevance of our brand and accelerate our growth, while preserving the values that are at the core of Bottega Veneta.” Blazy will present his first collection for Bottega Veneta in February 2022.

VICTORIA’S SECRET ENTERS INDIA WITH E-STORE

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Victoria’s Secret has launched its online store in India, and has entered the Indian markets in collaboration with Major Brands (India). Major Brands has been the Indian partner for various international brands including Aldo, Aldo Accessories, Bath & Body Works, Charles & Keith, Beverly Hills Polo Club, Call It Spring, Inglot, La Senza. The beauty e-commerce store in India will for now house the brand’s fragrance portfolio. “While the brand enters the market with a digital focus on the beauty business, Victoria’s Secret and Major Brands have confirmed plans to launch full assortment lingerie brick and mortar stores in Mumbai in Summer, 2022,” the brand confirmed in a statement.

NOISE AND HRX COLLABORATE TO INTRODUCE A RANGE OF FITNESS TRACKERS

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Noise has collaborated with Hrithik Roshan’s fitness brand, HRX, to unveil a series of fitness bands in India. The tech company has launched X-Fit 1, which is a fitness tracker. The device comes with a 1.52-inch IPS LCD TruView display and other features, including the sleep cycle tracker, heart rate and blood pressure monitor. With up to 10 days of battery life, a sleek design, X-Fit 1 is extremely lightweight, and is certified to be sweat and water-resistant with an IP68 rating. It also allows Noisemakers to access 100+ customisable and cloud-based watch faces. The collaboration merges Noise’s unparalleled product innovation and tech expertise with the HRX’s brand expertise in athleisure, creating a unique expression of wearable fashion tech. Expressing his views on the partnership, Utsav Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer at Noise, said, “We are elated to partner with one of India’s most favourable brands — HRX — that has won over the hearts of fitness enthusiasts within a short span. Our partnership is pivoted to ensure that we bring a new range of products that will cater to all the fitness lovers from the HRX community and is tech-forward and feature-packed. This collaboration is the testament to our commitment for Noisemakers to keep them ahead with innovative and exciting products.”

MYNTRA FORAYS INTO SOCIAL COMMERCE, LAUNCHES LIVE SHOPPING

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Myntra has announced its foray into social commerce with the launch of M-Live to cater to the rapidly evolving content consumption patterns and shopping preferences of consumers. M-Live brings a first-ofits-kind, interactive and real-time live shopping experience to the fingertips of millions of shoppers in the country, according to a statement. It aims to churn out close to 1,000 hours of live video content per month for deeper consumer engagement, contributing exponentially to the creator economy phenomenon. The e-commerce platform’s social commerce business has three distinct propositions that add immense composite value to consumers, creators, and brands M-Live, Myntra Studio, and Myntra Fashion Superstar. With M-Live, it aims to facilitate a real-time engagement between consumers and brands by allowing influencers and experts to host live video sessions of product and styling concepts curated by them on the Myntra app, enabling viewers to shop instantly.

H&M ANNOUNCES INNOVATION CIRCULAR DESIGN STORY COLLECTION

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H&M has announced its Innovation Circular Design Story collection, which focuses on sustainability through circular production. The collection uses circular design strategies and sustainable materials, and was created by the H&M design team alongside stylist Ib Kamara, who contributed as a creative advisor. Using a design tool called the Circulator, the H&M team considers the stages of the garment creation process, looking at expected lifetime, materials, and design strategy. The tool supports the brand in creating more sustainable and circular pieces for the collection. H&M aims at using the tool to design all its products by 2025. “People have preconceived notions about what circularity is. With Circular Design Story, we wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to design a bright, fashion-focused collection with circularity in mind,” said the creative advisor at H&M, Ann-Sofie Johansson. In order to promote the collection, photographer Rafael Pavarotti has captured a series of images titled Just Before The Party Starts. Singer Normani and models Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber have teamed up with the brand for the campaign, offering previews of the collection on their Instagram feeds.

GUCCI’S THE HACKER PROJECT LAUNCHES IN INDIA

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First presented in Gucci Aria, the Hacker Project merges the iconic silhouettes and codes of two Kering powerhouses: Balenciaga and Gucci. This hybrid universe showcases the unique creations as an exploration of ideas, authenticity, and appropriation within the fashion industry. Combining the aesthetics of creative directors Alessandro Michele and Demna Gvasalia, emblematic styles come together to create something new such as the Jackie 1961 enriched with a diagonal Balenciaga print to the City bag in GG canvas, and the Triple S sneaker reimagined with Gucci’s Flora print. The collection includes looks, bags, footwear, and accessories that represent a one-of-a-kind and never-seen-before collaboration between two of the hottest and most stylish fashion Houses. The iconic GG pattern is now widened in proportions in order to celebrate the House’s 100th anniversary as a tribute to its history. The collection is now available in India exclusively at Gucci, DLF Emporio, New Delhi.