STREET SHOTS: The upcoming book “Have I Met You Before? London Street Style From Fashion Week 2001-2018” provides a historical record of how showgoers dressed over the past two decades through the lens of the London-based Japanese photographer Kumi Saito, who passed away in December 2020 from cancer.
Published by Parsnips Archive, the book is edited by Saito’s longtime friend and fashion journalist Mina Wakatski, who also runs London’s famed Japanese-style French pastry shop Lanka on Finchley Road.
Being published on Nov. 23, the book features more than 200 images of 111 fashion editors, buyers, models, bloggers and influencers, including Susie Lau, Sarah Harris, Rebecca Lowthorpe, Alexa Chung, Edie Campbell and Cara Delevingne, as well as comments from the journalists whom Saito worked with during that time.
The book was named after the most common sentence Saito heard from showgoers when she was capturing them outside of the show venues. It served as an effective icebreaker for her and her subjects.
Wakatski said she spearheaded this project because Saito was one of her best friends and collaborators for more than 25 years.
“She left a huge archive, but her husband said: ‘I have nothing to show her work to others. I want a photo book.’ So the journalists, graphic designers and coordinators who have worked with her got together to produce a series of her archival photo books. This book is the first one. Because she wanted to hold a photo exhibition of street style from London Fashion Week under this title,” she explained.
Regarded as a gatekeeper to all the British fashion brands wishing to be featured in the Japanese media before the digital era, Wakatski spent the past 30 years covering shows and she remembered almost every one of them vividly.
“So when I sorted through the tens of thousands of photos this time, the shows that were held at the venues came back to life together with the people who appeared there. This book is a record of memories not only for Saito, but also for the journalists whom she teamed up with as well as the fashion professionals who appear in the book, and even the people who watched the shows at the time,” she said.
“I think it’s like an album for comrades who have been involved with London Fashion Week for the last 20 years — a record of the LFW community,” Wakatski added.
Born in Yamagata, a city in northern Japan, Saito studied photography at Tokyo’s Kuwasawa Design School while working as an assistant for Minsei Tominaga and Studio Ebis. She moved to London in 1994 and began to contribute to Japanese magazines, fashion brands, department stores and a wide range of media. — TIANWEI ZHANG
JOINING GAP: Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel, has been elected to the Gap Inc. board of directors.
Dickson, a veteran of Bloomingdale’s, The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and the former Jones Group, brings experience across fashion, beauty, toys and collectibles. At the El Segundo, California-based Mattel, he leads a portfolio of brands overseeing innovation, strategy, design and development.
Under his leadership the company launched Mattel Playbook, a brand-building approach that has been instrumental in driving the growth of Barbie and Hot Wheels.
He also launched Mattel Creations, a new division to develop limited edition co-branded product and capsule collections with fashion designers, entertainment properties and artists. The brand has collaborated with Gucci, The Hundreds, Herschel, “The Shining” and many more. On Oct. 19 Mattel Creations released the Masters of the Universe c/o Virgil Abloh “Toy.”
“Richard’s many years of experience growing, acquiring and reinvigorating well-known brands will add valuable perspective to the board as we look to strengthen Gap Inc’s purpose-led portfolio and return our brands to consistent, sustainable growth,” Bobby Martin, interim chief executive officer and executive chairman of Gap Inc., said in a statement.
“I am thrilled to have a role in writing the next chapter of Gap Inc. as a member of its board of directors and to play a part in unlocking the tremendous potential in their portfolio of iconic brands,” added Dickson.
Gap Inc. has been navigating rocky waters in recent months, with the departure of president and CEO Sonia Syngal, the collapse of its Yeezy Gap strategy, and the elimination of 500 jobs at its corporate headquarters. The speciality retailer fell into the red in the second quarter and is due to report third quarter results Nov. 17. — BOOTH MOORE
FSF HONORS: The Fashion Scholarship Fund is gearing up for its upcoming gala that will celebrate two honorees.
The fashion-oriented education nonprofit will host its 86th annual gala on April 3 at The Glasshouse in New York City, which will honor Condé Nast chief content officer and Vogue global editorial director Anna Wintour, and Good American cofounder and chief executive officer Emma Grede.
According to the fund, it is honoring Wintour for “her long-standing commitment to supporting and fostering the next generation of fashion talent” and Grede for “her advocacy of diversity and inclusive representation in the industry and her work with The Fifteen Percent Pledge.”
The gala coincides with the Fashion Scholarship Fund awarding more than $1 million in scholarships to 125 students across the country, all of whom will attend the April gala and have their work showcased. According to the fund, this was a record year for applicants, as 52 percent are Black, Indigenous and people of color. The fund provides students with scholarships, mentorships and internships with companies such as Skims, Neiman Marcus, Milk Makeup, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and more.
“The FSF is so pleased to be honoring Anna and Emma for their many contributions to the industry,” said Peter Arnold, executive director of the Fashion Scholarship Fund. “Anna unwaveringly supports, mentors and shines the spotlight on young talent. As an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Emma is opening doors for underrepresented talent. We are also so pleased that this year the FSF received a record number of scholarship applicants, of whom 52 percent are BIPOC, validating the FSF’s long-standing commitment to identifying the most talented college students from diverse backgrounds.”
The Fashion Scholarship Fund has embarked on several other charitable initiatives this year. This fall, the nonprofit teamed with sportswear designer Eric Emanuel to launch a $500,000 scholarship and teamed with True Religion to provide one Los Angeles-based student from an underrepresented community the means to pursue a career in fashion. — LAYLA ILCHI
AN APPLE A DAY: Luca Nichetto is dipping his toes into fashion accessories.
The furniture designer, known for his serial approach to collaborations, has linked with New York-based accessories brand Angela Roi to design a tote bag crafted from apple skin leather.
This marks the first time the handbag label, founded by the South Korea-born Roi in 2012, has ventured into a collaboration.
“We embrace sustainability values leveraging high-equality and eco-friendly materials. Plant-based [leather] alternatives…are the new frontier of green fashion tapping into our clients’ demand for items benefiting the planet,” said Roi, who has designed cacti faux leather handbags in the past.
Named Malala, the bag nods to Nichetto’s functional approach to design tinged with pop references. It features four structured inward-looking pockets shaped as fast food French fry boxes.
Nichetto’s desire to design a bag stemmed from his quest to apply functionality to a new product category, the bag’s eco-credentials an added value that designers cannot overlook, he said.
“Shape is dictated by function…hence the pockets, which help rationalize and organize all the objects in a woman’s bag. I didn’t want to approach leather goods from an aesthetic standpoint, but rather have functionality determine the stylistic blueprint of the object,” the designer said.
Available in three colorways — beige, black and dark red — the bag retails at 1,050 euros, debuting on Tuesday on Angela Roi’s e-commerce site.
Nichetto has a track record as a serial collaborator, having linked with Wien-based furniture company Wittmann; Hermès; homeware and porcelain brand Ginori 1735; Swedish furniture design company Offecct, as well as U.S.-based piano manufacturing company Steinway & Sons, among others.
A new piano under the latter partnership is bowing this week, called Gran Nichetto and inspired by the shell of Venetian gondolas. It is produced as a limited edition.
Nichetto Studio was established in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden. Earlier this year, Nichetto left his role as art director of French furniture and fashion company La Manufacture, which he helped establish as a full-fledged design business since taking over its creative lead in 2018. — MARTINO CARRERA