Entertainment

The Metaverse Gets a Magazine, and Anna Sui Collaborates for Rugs – WWD


NEW HEAD OF BFC: David Pemsel, cofounder and chief executive officer of PR firm ScienceMagic.Inc, has been named the new chair of the British Fashion Council, the organizer of London Fashion Week, and the Fashion Awards.

He succeeds Stephanie Phair, who was promoted to group president from chief customer and strategy officer at Farfetch this month. Phair stayed in the role for four-and-a-half years. She took over the baton from the former chair and Net-a-porter founder Natalie Massenet in May 2018.

In his new role, which Pemsel will hold for three years, he will support Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC, with the development and implementation of the organization’s strategy and building the profile of British fashion globally.

Pemsel said it was “a privilege” to take on the role and to champion the British fashion industry at a time of “significant change.”

“It is important to the board that creativity, innovation and responsible business are at the heart of our strategy now and in the future,” he said.

“The intersection where creativity and business convene has long been my passion, I hope my experience in this space can make a demonstrable impact on an industry that drives such vast economic and cultural value,” he added.

Pemsel became a non-executive director of the BFC in 2016. At the time, he was the CEO of the Guardian Media Group, where he transformed the British newspaper’s digital business and restored the group to profit.

Prior to joining Guardian Media Group, Pemsel launched Shine Entertainment and worked as group marketing director of ITV.

In 2020, Pemsel launched ScienceMagic.Inc with Julietta Dexter and Daniel Marks, who has now left the company, from the communication agency The Communications Store. He is also the owner of ScienceMagic.Studios, a sister company that caters to Web3 economies for brands, talent and their communities.

ScienceMagic.Inc’s clients include Gabriela Hearst, Tiffany & Co., Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Harvey Nichols, Canada Goose, Allbirds, Barbour, Max Mara, Glossier, Geox, Depop, The White Company, as well as The Crown Estate, Greenwich Peninsula and Regent Street.

Pemsel was set to become head of the Premier League in 2020 but resigned two months before he was due to take up the role after allegations appeared in the British tabloid The Sun about his private life. The Sun later apologized to Pemsel and retracted the article. — TIANWEI ZHANG

METAVERSE MAGAZINE: If there’s space for real estate, fashion, music, art and more in the metaverse, there might be space for journalism, too.

With that in mind, Gloria Maria Cappelletti, a Milan-based art and fashion curator and a champion of digital art, is launching Red-Eye, a magazine poised to live inside and outside the metaverse.

“I’ve experienced firsthand the historic transition from analogue to digital media, which changed the fashion aesthetics for good…and then the introduction of moving images…which also affected fashion storytelling,” Cappelletti told WWD. “Now we’re facing another crucial transition…and it was time for me to take a risk,” she added.

Debuting Wednesday with a website and accompanying metaverse space on Spatial.io, Red-Eye borrows not only most of its topics from the Web3 revolution, but also the intrinsic democratic approach of those platforms.

“I want the project to be participatory, which is the baseline of the whole metaverse experience,” Cappelletti said.

She explained that compared to fashion favorites Roblox and Decentraland, Spatial offered a visually captivating experience, less game-y with high-definition Ready Player Me avatars, and is accessible without a digital wallet, seen by the Red-Eye’s creative director as a usability bonus.

The metaverse component will be accessible via computer, mobile and enhanced via Oculus VR devices.

Red-Eye’s website is populated by articles without a timeline-based river, to give each story the same importance, while the magazine’s environment on Spatial will house different rooms, each dedicated to and enhancing the corresponding feature, article or project.

Although the flexibility of such a project can hardly be described using vocabulary of traditional media, Cappelletti said she aims for quarterly installments.

The first issue features conversations with Cathy Hackl, a Web3 expert and authority often referred to as the godmother of the metaverse, who will present her new book and a collection of NFTs inside Spatial; an interview with BtMedlr, a Web3 artist unveiling the AI-based “Dune: Not for Spice” exhibition inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky within Red-Eye’s metaverse space, and a partnership with Afro Fashion, the Italian association supporting African talents since 2015, to spotlight the “Tracing Identities Through Fashion Photography” exhibition featuring portraits by photography students from Italy and Cameroon.

The Web2 magazine will also contain an interview with Tommy Hilfiger, among the earliest and most prolific adopters of the metaverse, especially Roblox.

“It’s a mix of contents drawing a younger audience because they know the environment, but also one that could court and engage adults, it’s a blend of different worlds,” Cappelletti said.

Red-Eye is launching in partnership with Gianluca Reina, who has several gigs under his belt, including as a co-founder and publisher of Cabana magazine, cofounder and partner at digital agency Ready2Fly and events agency Fasten Seatbelt, among others.

Although she won’t reveal names of current advertisers, Cappelletti did notice that time spent on metaverses is longer than other media, she said, which could turn Red-Eye into an asset for brands eager to make their media spend worth it. MARTINO CARRERA

WHIMSICAL AND WASHABLE: Anna Sui has hooked up with Ruggable, which makes machine washable area rugs, runners and doormats.

The 16 whimsical chenille rugs and six edge doormats feature one-of-a-kind designs and patterns which Sui is known for. Each item is machine-washable, low maintenance and durable.

Prices are $90 for a 2×3 foot rug and $490 for a 9×12 foot rug. The collection will be sold exclusively on Ruggable.com.

“I was so excited to work with Ruggable on this project,” said Anna Sui. “I love interiors and had so much fun decorating my apartment. I approached it the same way as doing my clothing collections with a lot of research and inspiration. I hope to do a lot more home design in the future. I love it all. Textiles, furniture, lighting and the trimmings!”

Jeneva Bell, founder and president of Ruggagle, added, “At Ruggable, we’re dedicated to offering our customers elevated design and function at an accessible price, and our collaboration with Anna Sui has allowed us to do just that. I’ve personally always been a fan of Anna’s whimsical yet elevated style and I’m thrilled that the Ruggable x Anna Sui collection has allowed us to bring that joy into the home in a new way. We felt that her unique aesthetic aligned perfectly with Ruggable’s mission of celebrating imperfection and embracing both the messy and neat in life. The home should be a place of happiness and comfort, and Anna’s designs combined with Ruggable’s washable technology and quality provides a sense of optimism and fun.”

In addition to her clothing line, Sui’s product range includes books and stationery, handkerchiefs, lifestyle and decor, washcloths, vanity accessories, fragrance and beauty. Her past collaborations include with Pottery Barn Teen. LISA LOCKWOOD

Anna Sui rugs from Ruggable.

courtesy shot.

RAISING VOICES: The next national juried art show from the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition is set to begin Sept. 24 and run through Oct. 16. The exhibit, titled “Femmes Ensemble” is curated by BWAC copresident Alicia Degener, and aims to put a spotlight on women’s rights.

According to the release from BWAC, “Today more than ever, women need to work together for their rights. It is in these challenging times that we organize, we care for each other and we make art. Our multidisciplinary and cross-cultural artistic creations are our lifelines. Women of all backgrounds, ages, stages of career and cultures are invited to participate and to exhibit in ‘Femmes Ensemble’ in a show of unity and strength.”

One participating artist, Arani Halder, spoke with WWD about being a being a creator during these times of uncertainty. “As of this moment, my goal is to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully at the world around them, and to be able to contextualize themselves within larger systems,” Halder said. She also spoke to the importance of diversity and giving representation to marginalized groups. “With a belief that there lie important and revolutionary stories from those that go unheard from, I aim to use my work to open windows into the lives of different people and the broader socio-political movements that help shape them.” 

Femmes Ensemble” will also serve as a fundraiser, with a quarter of the proceeds of sales donated to Planned Parenthood. In addition, Gap Inc. will match all sales donations. — WWD STAFF





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