Prada Designs ‘In Conversation With a Flower’ Windows

AWARD TIME: Actress Yara Shahidi will be the 18th recipient of the annual WIF Max Mara Face of the Future Award, to be presented during the 2023 WIF Honors on Nov. 30, which this year marks its 50th anniversary.

Shahidi will attend the Max Mara spring 2024 show in Milan on Thursday.

Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti, Max Mara’s global brand ambassador, praised Shahidi’s “outstanding work, both on- and off-screen,” describing it as “an incredible inspiration.”

She said that, “as a brand we are extremely proud to be associated with a talented artist, a successful entrepreneur, an accomplished activist, and a graceful ambassador for culture at such a deep and honest level. She is an exceptional ambassador for all the messages that we strive to send to women in our community.”

 Fighting for gender parity and equity in the entertainment industry since 1973, the award recognizes not only Shahidi’s professional career but also her fight for inclusivity and equity.

“At just 23, Yara has already cemented herself as a style icon, an incredibly talented actress and producer, and most critically, as a fierce advocate for equity within the entertainment industry and beyond,” said Kirsten Schaffer, chief executive officer of WIF. “Yara has shown tireless commitment throughout her career to bettering our world. Her leadership amongst her generation makes Yara the perfect complement to the list of talented women who have received this award over the past 18 years.”

Shahidi is the breakout star of ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated seriesBlack-ish” and in 2019, alongside her business partner and mother Keri Shahidi, she expanded her relationship with ABC by signing a multiyear producing deal under the moniker “7th Sun Productions.”

She serves as executive producer and lead of Freeform’s “Black-ishspinoff series, “Grown-ish.”

Earlier this month Shahidi executive produced and starred in the Amazon Studios’ film “Sitting in Bars with Cake.” Additional recent credits include Apple’s limited series “Extrapolations and Meta’s “Yara Shahidi’s Day Off,” an interview-style show which she both starred in and executive produced. 

Inspired by her extensive work with President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, Shahidi founded Eighteen x 18, now called WeVoteNext, to shine a light on Gen Z and Black, Indigenous and people of color inclusion in the political process.

Founded in 1973 as Women in Film, Los Angeles, WIF advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries, to achieve parity and transform culture. Past recipients include Zazie Beetz, Gemma Chan, Elizabeth Debicki, Alexandra Shipp, Zoey Deutch, Natalie Dormer, Kate Mara, Rose Byrne, Hailee Steinfeld, Chloë Grace Moretz, Katie Holmes, Zoë Saldana, Elizabeth Banks, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emily Blunt and Maria Bello. Last year, Lili Reinhart was bestowed the award. — LUISA ZARGANI

IN CONVERSATION WITH: Prada is making a splash at Bergdorf Goodman this fall.

Starting Wednesday and through Oct. 3, Prada will present an exclusive installation in Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue windows encompassing five women’s and four men’s windows, dedicated to a special selection of ready-to-wear and accessories from the brand’s fall women’s and men’s collections.

The project is inspired by Prada’s latest advertising campaign titled “In Conversation With a Flower,” showcasing the collections in an ethereal and stylish atmosphere set against an illuminated white backdrop. Special mannequins are positioned to appear in dialogue with oversized flowers, while bags and accessories are displayed on slender display units evoking plant stems.

In the campaign, which was released in July, actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Hunter Schafer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Letitia Wright and Li Xian are captured in imagery by Willy Vanderperre, conversing with the flowers.

The special selection in Bergdorf’s windows features ultra-light cashmere wool knitwear, tailored jackets borrowed from the men’s wardrobe, embroidered floral skirts and suits inspired by military uniforms, in colors that range from pale shades and the warmer tones of cork beige and iron gray to pure black and white, along with vibrant prints.

A range of spazzolato leather pumps and slingbacks sit alongside sophisticated new interpretations of loafers made of patent and brushed leather. The bags and accessories also feature such materials such as the signature Prada Arqué, Re-Nylon and brushed leather shoppers and handbags. — Lisa Lockwood

BRITISH CRAFTMANSHIP: Zegna veteran Raul Verdicchi has been named the new chief executive officer of the British fashion label Sunspel.

Raul Verdicchi

Raul Verdicchi

Courtesy of Sunspel

Nicholas Brooke, company owner and CEO of Sunspel since 2005, will remain executive chairman.

A Bocconi University alum, prior to Sunspel, Verdicchi served as chief commercial officer at AlphaTauri. Before that, he spent more than 12 years working at the Zegna Group, moving from chief financial officer of Spain and Portugal to CFO of Japan, South Korea and Mongolia, to general manager of South Korea to eventually regional director of Western Europe until his departure in 2021.

Before officially entering the luxury sector, Verdicchi worked in audit and strategy consulting for Deloitte and Accenture, respectively, where he specialized in the luxury and fashion sectors.

With regard to his new role, Verdicchi said he is excited to join a brand that comes with “a unique story of British craftmanship dating back to 1860, that has demonstrated a pioneering and brave spirit throughout its long life.”

“The fact that Sunspel is associated with some of menswear’s most iconic styles such as the T-shirt, polo shirt and boxer shorts and continues to be based in the factory that it has occupied since 1937, makes it very special,” he added.

Verdicchi acknowledged that the brand “has undergone intelligent and consistent growth in recent years” to become an international, multichannel, luxury casualwear brand, with ambitious plans for significant future growth.

“I look forward enormously to telling this brand’s beautiful story and to accelerating its expansion worldwide,” he added.

Brooke, who acquired Sunspel with Dominic Hazlehurst in 2005 from the descendent of brand founder Thomas Hill, said Verdicchi’s extensive experience in the luxury and fashion industry particularly in international business development combined with his appreciation for product quality and understanding of brands makes him “ideally suited to drive the next phase of Sunspel’s growth.”

According to Companies House filings, the brand logged a net turnover of 18.4 million pounds in the fiscal year that ended on Jan. 31, 2022, representing a 20.2 percent increase year-over-year. Gross profit in the period increased by 21.4 percent to 11.9 million pounds compared to a year prior.

Last year, the brand released a capsule collection inspired by men’s clothing with Edie Campbell. The British model said Jarvis Cocker, Harry Wormwood (Danny DeVito’s character in “Matilda”), and David Bowie were the muses she looked to when designing the pieces. — Tianwei Zhang

SUMMER LOVING: Ibizan resortwear brand Charo Ruiz has released its first collection for fall, dedicated to those who may not live in eternally sunny climates.

“We tried to respect and to keep the brand’s codes,” said Alberto Amador, the brand’s fashion director, explaining that the collection uses lace, 3D pattern panels and embroidered detailing to stay true to the label’s summer-loving DNA.

“All the shapes are very similar, and the volumes, but they’re more tailored because the fabric is thicker,” he added. 

A top made from upcycled lace offcuts and trimmings.

A top made from upcycled lace offcuts and trimmings.

Courtesy of Charo Ruiz

Instead cotton and sustainable nettle-based textiles, which require less water to grow and aren’t sprayed with pesticides, are used. The collection also utilizes upcycled materials, seen across the assortment of body-con tops, bottoms, jumpsuits and dresses made of upcycled offcuts and trimmings of layered, lacy mesh.

Describing the label’s main consumers as American, English and northern European, Amador said the new collection’s reception has been very positive. “It’s doing very well. People are really appreciating the concept, the new styles and the new vision.”

A look from the brand's new collection.

A look from the brand’s new collection.

Courtesy of Charo Ruiz

Stocked at Frwd, Revolve, Net-a-porter, Intermix and Browns, Amador estimates that around 5,000 units have been bought by retailers. Charo Ruiz pricing starts at 100 pounds and goes up to 910 pounds on Net-a-porter.

“For us, that’s very good,” due to the label mainly selling resortwear, he explained.

“It’s a challenge to go into a market where other brands are very strong, so it was a good kickoff for us.”

Charo Ruiz, the daughter and granddaughter of dressmakers, grew up in Seville among fabrics and patterns. She began her career as a model in Barcelona during the late ’70s and eventually settled in Ibiza to start her own collection, which launched in 1989.

Geared to the girl with a Mediterranean vibe, the collection highlights artists and uses different prints. Her son and daughter, Pablo and Paloma, run the company, which is still based in Ibiza. — Violet Goldstone

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