WOMEN LEADERS: OTB Foundation’s ongoing commitment to support young entrepreneurial women and combat the C-suite gender gap is broadening.
The not-for-profit organization established by OTB founder Renzo Rosso in 2008 is earmarking its second investment, 550,00 euros, for its Brave Women Awards project, which covers the tuition fees for young female students capping off their academic education with two-year courses.
The investment follows the first made in 2022 of 280,000 euros for the original edition of the initiative in partnership with Milan-based Bocconi University.
The second iteration aimed at the 2023-2024 academic year involves other universities, including Rome’s LUISS Guido Carli University; the Alma Mater University in Bologna, referred to as the world’s oldest academic institution; the University of Padua, and Venice’s Ca’ Foscari University.
Through the donation, the OTB Foundation will offer 55 scholarships for female students to attend the final two-year courses for master’s degrees in economic and public administration science.
“Allowing more girls to access a higher degree of education, we are building the foundations for them to enter sectors and industries where female representation is currently low. The ultimate goal is to value gender diversity and [obtain] equal payment,” said Arianna Alessi, vice president of OTB Foundation.
“We also encourage all female students taking part in the project to spearhead similar initiatives whenever they will have the power to do so, thus building a virtuous cycle geared at female emancipation,” she added.
According to the foundation, the program’s goal is to contribute to solving the lack of female representation in C-suite roles across industries and institutions by helping to shape the next generation of female leaders.
Data provided by Italy’s National Institute for Statistics ISTAT related to 2021 shows that employment rates among women stands at 55.7 percent, below their male counterparts and below the European average of 68.5 percent, though more women than men have degrees.
Since its establishment in 2008, the charitable arm of the OTB Group, the parent company of brands including Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander and Viktor & Rolf, has supported about 300 international projects focused on social development with an impact on the lives of 300,000 people. — MARTINO CARRERA
Beautiful Blooms: Macy’s is partnering with Dior Beauty as its first beauty sponsor for the 48th annual Macy’s Flower Show.
Thousands of plants, flowers and trees will be on display on the main floor, balcony and windows of Macy’s Herald Square flagship in New York City from March 26 through April 10.
Dior’s exhibition, centered on its fragrance offering, will be located on the balcony level, guiding guests through the brand’s regenerative flower fields in Southern France, with content opportunities and personalization stations throughout including bottle engraving, hand-painted fragrance bottles and MyABCDior charms. Guests will also have the opportunity to attend a host of special events during the two-week period, such as master classes with Dior fragrance experts.
Will Coss, executive producer of Macy’s Flower Show, said: “Escaping reality, this year’s spectacle leverages gravity-defying and oversize elements to highlight the importance of dreams and embracing child-like wonder. In partnership with Dior, a special showcase within this floral dreamscape will further ignite the senses with the scents of their iconic fragrances welcoming spectators during the magical two-week exhibition.”
Dior participated with a mix of other fragrance brands last year, and Macy’s executives saw an opportunity to expand on that partnership.
“It is the first time that we’ve had an exclusive partnership,” said Julie Walsh, senior vice president of beauty at Macy’s. “For our flower show, we really see the direct correlation to fragrances and fragrances, as an example, has been our customers favorite category.”
As for Macy’s beauty offering in general, Walsh told WWD that beauty and fragrance continue to be strong categories. “We’re always strengthening our product assortment, finding new brands that are relevant and trendy and that our customers are looking to. We’re also looking always to continue to add onto the selection that we have for our customer with more products evolved in units.” — KATHRYN HOPKINS
SURF’S UP: It’s time to dive into summer for Puma, which has teamed up with Palomo Spain for a surf-inspired capsule collection launching on Saturday.
Including ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories, the line is about “the idea of a dream summer,” said Alejandro Gómez Palomo, the founder and creative director behind the Spanish brand.
The figure of “sexy, slightly older surfer and skater boys” the designer remembers from his young days at the beach in Tarifa, a well-known destination for wind sports in southern Spain, inspired him to “identify and create a new idea of a surfer or street skater, looking from the prism of [his] own little universe.”
Gómez Palomo named Bruce Brown’s documentary “The Endless Summer” and Stacy Peralta’s “Dogtown and Z-Boys” as visual references for a gender-fluid lineup that includes filmy mesh T-shirts that resemble rash guards, T-shirts emblazoned with dreamy prints and baggy trousers that can unzip into board shorts.
A palette of soft pinks, blues and greens further evoked the surf culture of the 1960s and ‘70s, as well as the laid-back vibe that crystalized in the 2000s.
“Surf culture was an angle Puma had never really taken on before. Filtered through Palomo Spain’s gentle, couture-inspired lens, it immediately took on an exciting, innovative perspective. It just made so much sense,” Nils Moersch, Puma’s apparel global creative director, said in a statement.
This is the second collaboration for the Spanish designer and Puma, following a soccer-inspired capsule collection that took its cues from ’70s soccer stars and their glamorous off-field lives for a retro take on team sports gear.
The capsule will be available from Saturday on Puma and Palomo Spain’s e-commerce platforms as well as selected Puma stores and retailers worldwide. It will retail between 45 euros for a reversible printed bucket hat and 225 euros for a lightweight blouson. The “Slipstream Lo” sneaker and the matching slip-on version will be priced at 150 euros and 140 euros, respectively. — LILY TEMPLETON
Playful Pants: It’s been more than 50 years since British singer/songwriter David Bowie introduced his over-the-top, flamboyant Ziggy Stardust alter ego to the world in an album released during music’s glam rock era.
Mother is known for its playful and nonconformist spirit. It is also recognized for its well-ftting jeans with soft fabrics that got a nod of approval six years ago from Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, when she was dating Prince Harry and wore a pair of Mother jeans to the Invictus Games in Toronto.
But the brand does more than denim. It is also known for its capsule collections, and this year, for the capsule launching Tuesday, Mother is paying homage to Bowie’s otherworldly Ziggy Stardust character with reinterpreted ’70s styles.
“Mother is rooted in the experiences of growing up in the ‘70s, and we have long been inspired by Bowie’s ever-changing personas. The opportunity to design with the imagery and iconography of the Ziggy Stardust era felt like a full-circle moment,” Kaeding said in an email. “Bowie’s legacy spans generations, and the world as we know it today wouldn’t be nearly as colorful or unique without his contributions. He was the ultimate rebel, and our collection leans into his and Mother’s non-conformist spirit.”
The Mother team designed the eight-piece capsule collection using the Bowie archive. “We approached the collaboration the same way we do our main line, leaning into a feeling of whimsy while using interesting design techniques,” Kaeding explained.
The Bowie x Mother collection, priced between $28 and $475, is made in Los Angeles, except for the cardigan and the socks. It includes a ’70s-inspired flared jean, a cardigan using Bowie’s iconic red and blue palette, concert T-shirts, a sweatshirt and Let’s Dance socks.
For fall, Mother will release a second Bowie x Mother capsule collection. — DEBORAH BELGUM
Event Expansion: Kathleen Ruiz has had a productive consulting career since leaving Hudson’s Bay Co. and its Saks Fifth Avenue division.
Ruiz, the former senior vice president of partnerships and media for Hudson’s Bay and vice president of marketing for Saks, formed KRW Consulting in 2017, shortly after exiting the retailer.
And now, she’s forming KRW Productions, a new events division to provide clients with global event production, strategy, marketing and management.
Although the consulting firm had always produced events, by creating a separate division, the company can take on larger-scale productions in the U.S. and internationally, Ruiz said. The plan is to manage all aspects of the event, from concept and logistics to marketing and execution. “If that means helping you build your guest list, inviting influencers, garnering media buzz, or developing your event advertising strategy, we are with you every step of the way,” Ruiz said. “We don’t start and stop when the event does.”
Ruiz said KRW Consulting has “produced dozens of events across multiple industries since its inception in 2017, most recently, a large-scale fashion show in Tampa featuring Sachin & Babi’s spring 2023 collection to celebrate the new Ritz Carlton Residences by The Related Group. Other events have included a series of beauty launch activations across the country, press preview events in New York, London, and a global fashion production in Riyadh celebrating Saudi designers.” There have also been smaller-scale, intimate events, such as top client dinners and exclusive trunk shows.
“Post-pandemic when things started opening up and people wanted to do more in-person events, we started seeing an increased demand for event services,” Ruiz said. “It was then we decided to expand our capabilities and offer a new division hyper-focused on this area of growth,” noted Ruiz.
“By allocating additional resources and expertise to event marketing and production, we will have the ability to not only take on more types of events but also larger scale events on a global stage.”
The new division will also be adding some new faces, she said. “We are bringing on experts in event production and logistics with the goal of providing an exceptional experience for our clients and their guests.” She said she is in the process of finalizing some hires now.
KRW currently employs a team that includes former Saks executives Gretchen Manolakis, Cara Fratto and Steven Salton as well as Emily Crinage, formerly of MM Luxe Consulting and the chief of staff at Fernbrook Capital Management. — JEAN E. PALMIERI