Cashmere California: Amsterdam-based Saskia Dijkstra touched down in Los Angeles this week with her cult brand Extreme Cashmere — and it could be coming to a red carpet or NBA tunnel soon.
The founder turned the tables on some of Hollywood’s biggest image makers, styling the stylists Jessica Paster, Petra Flannery, Nicole Ferreira and more in her softest layers to introduce them to the brand.
Contrary to popular belief, Southern California is the perfect place to live a cashmere lifestyle, with the temperatures swinging as much as 30 degrees from day to night for many months of the year. Which is why Dijkstra visited with her genderless, one-size-fits-most line, spanning from the slouchy, aptly named Home turtleneck, to the strapless ribbed knit Diana gown/maxiskirt, the Caress wide-strap bra top to the Bike short.
“If they try it on, they want it. What I realize is we have to train people in the stores because when I look at anybody, I know,” said Dijkstra, set up at the Sunset Tower with piles of cashmere sweaters, swingy dresses, shorts and more, in between store visits to H. Lorenzo, A’Maree’s and other local retailers.
Dijkstra spent two decades working on high-end cashmere production for other labels, including Joseph and Jil Sander, then decided to start her own label in 2016 based on the idea of cashmere for every body. Made in Hong Kong, Extreme Cashmere is now comprised of nearly 300 styles and sold worldwide. (Prices range from $83 for a cashmere cord belt, to $1,373 for a ribbed collar cardigan.)
Styling is part of the ethos, with criss-crossing tops, layer-able tubes and skirts, totes and handbags in classic navy, camel, moss and tree, bright fluorescent pink, green, blazing yellow and more. On the website, pieces are shown on all ages and body types, styled for every occasion, including extreme sports, extreme home, extreme dance and extreme wedding (complete with white cashmere opera gloves). For spring, she’s launching cotton cashmere pieces, including mesh basketball tanks.
Naturally, Dijkstra has very definite ideas about how one should take care of cashmere. “After you wash it, you dry flat on a towel, then you iron with a linen cloth in the middle. You use the little comb we provide with every sweater, and swipe, swipe, swipe. Then you have a sweater for life,” she said, noting her preference for washing cashmere in Miele machines.
The latest brand campaign, photographed by Dan McMahon, pictures members of the WCBL Ohio basketball league playing on court in cashmere. And Dijkstra is hoping some of the ballers out West will be courtside in the brand soon. After all, it stretches to fit. — Booth Moore
TOKYO BOUND: On Saturday, Max Mara will officially open its new flagship in the luxury shopping area of Omotesando in Tokyo. The Italian group has been active within the Japanese market since 1989, and this will be Max Mara’s second boutique located in the country.
The store was inaugurated on Thursday with an exclusive performance by Japanese singer Chara, which was livestreamed and projected on the screens of the famous Shibuya crossing.
The 4,320-square-foot store was designed by Andrea Tognon Architecture studio, which also curated the Old Bond Street unit in London and Max & Co.’s locations in Milan, Hong Kong and Madrid.
The interior design is in line with the other Max Mara stores around the world: the flooring was made using Italian red travertine and carpets were laid out in alternating geometric patterns. Customers will also be able to see an imposing interior metal staircase with mirrors and reflective surfaces that will create optical illusions.
The new campaign image, which shows a gray dog wearing the brand’s staple 10181 “Icon coat” is displayed on the facade of the building.
According to the Reggio Emilia, Italy-based company, the store will also serve as a way to interact with its customers in different ways. For example, in October Max Mara unveiled a permanent installation by artist Eva Jospin in its Milan flagship.
The company was founded in 1951 by the late Achille Maramotti. Max Mara is now available in 2,500 locations in more than 100 countries. The privately owned Max Mara Fashion Group owns nine different brands including Max Mara, Sportmax, Weekend Max Mara, Max&Co, Pennyblack, Marina Rinaldi, Marella and iBlues. — Alice Monorchio
Finding Time: Watchfinder & Co., the popular resource for pre-owned luxury watches, is expanding its partnership with Nordstrom.
According the Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned watch retailer, the partnership builds on a hugely successful limited trial that took place in Nordstrom Seattle and on nordstrom.com in November 2021.
“The U.S. continues to be one of Watchfinder’s most important markets with tremendous potential. Our Nordstrom partnership provides the ideal platform for growth, while aligning perfectly with our shared values and dedication to providing the customer with an exceptional buying experience,” explained Arjen van de Vall, chief executive officer of Watchfinder.
In addition to a now permanent shop-in-shop in Seattle and an online presence, Watchfinder’s in-store footprint will include a new shop-in-shop in the Nordstrom New York City flagship along with seasonal pop-ups at Nordstrom locations in Scottsdale, Arizona, and La Jolla, California.
“We look forward to entering these three new markets and bringing Nordstrom’s New York, Arizona and California clientele a brand new level of access to our impressive range of luxury timepieces, along with the superior service and trust that is already synonymous with both the Nordstrom and Watchfinder experiences,” van de Vall said.
The Watchfinder shop-in-shop in New York is situated alongside leading global fine jewelry brands and near its fine dining concept, Wolf restaurant. The Scottsdale and La Jolla pop-ups will open in mid-November, running through early 2023, while the New York dedicated shop-in-shop is open now. All three destinations highlight a curated assortment of certified pre-owned luxury timepieces from sought-after brands, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Omega, Cartier, Tag Heuer and more.
The evolving alliance with Nordstrom comes as interest in pre-owned timepieces has exploded. Every single timepiece sold will go through a rigorous process of inspection, authentication and service, all executed by Watchfinder’s team of expert watchmakers in Europe’s largest independent service center, which has been accredited by 19 of the world’s leading watch manufacturers.
Watchfinder was founded in 2002, and was a pioneer in the pre-owned watch space and on the online luxury retail sector. The brand has grown to become one of the most accredited online suppliers of luxury timepieces, and has 17 boutiques and showrooms across the world, most recently with openings in Paris, Milan and Zurich. — Thomas Waller
Game Face: Women’s soccer has been rapidly gaining momentum in the U.K. and Il Makiage is getting in on the action.
The New York-based brand has become the official beauty partner of Arsenal Women, which is based at Emirates Stadium in London, England, and which will launch a multichannel campaign called “Focus on My Game Face.”
Long in the shadow of their male counterparts, Arsenal Women has been breaking ticket sale records, garnering much public interest and encouraging young girls to get involved in the sport which has historically been dominated by male players.
Arsenal Women is one of the most globally recognized women’s football teams, and one of the U.K.’s most successful, with 58 trophies.
Il Makiage and Arsenal Women said the multiyear partnership aims to expand the team’s reach to new, global audiences “and to elevate the impact and influence of women’s football more broadly.”
The beauty brand said it will have a significant presence at Meadow Park, where the home matches are played, and Arsenal’s home, Emirates Stadium, during the women’s games.
The partnership includes LED branding rights at the Emirates Stadium and Meadow Park during Arsenal Women matches, as well as a pitchside board at Meadow Park, logo inclusion on interview backdrops, in-stadium activations and additional experiences to amplify the partnership.
The partners said the aim of the campaign is to “elevate the strides women athletes are making everywhere, as well as the collective efforts to inspire a confidence and joy in football for women, girls and fans of all ages.”
Dmitri Kaplun, chief executive officer of Il Makiage, said Arsenal Women “is shaping the future of the sport every time they step onto the pitch. These incredible athletes personify who the Il Makiage woman is — fierce, powerful and ground-breaking.”
He believes the partnership works because Arsenal Women and Il Makiage “are both setting new standards in their respective fields,” and have both experienced a burst of growth and recognition over the past few years.
Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer at Arsenal, said the partnership “will help to grow women’s football in a sustainable way. This shows the impact the game is having around the world, and we’re excited to work together to support the continued growth of Arsenal Women.”
Launched in 2018, Il Makiage is a prestige direct-to-consumer brand that works with Oddity, a consumer-tech company that builds and scales digital-first brands.
Il Makiage employs more than 200 people, including a technology team of 80. It has an office in New York City and a research and development center in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 2020 it began expanding globally, with launches in the U.K., Germany and Australia. — Samantha Conti
New Role: Karen Katz, former interim chief executive officer of Intermix and former president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, has joined the board of Rokt, an e-commerce technology company using machine learning to try to make transactions more relevant to each shopper.
Rokt, which is preparing for an initial public offering, has also named Nathaniel Katz as chief financial officer. Nathaniel Katz, who is unrelated to Karen Katz, is a strategic finance leader who brings to Rokt 20 years of experience at public and private technology companies, covering strategic planning, IPO execution, mergers and acquisitions and scaling teams and systems for rapid growth. Earlier he worked as senior vice president of finance and cybersecurity at software company Datto, where he led the finance and IT functions and drove the company’s successful IPO process in 2020.
Rokt aims to enable companies to tap additional revenues, acquire customers at scale and deepen relationships with their existing ones by using machine learning to present highly relevant messages and offers to each shopper within an e-commerce transaction, when they are most likely to convert.
“Karen has unparalleled expertise and leadership experience building best-of-breed customer experiences, loyalty and financial success with industry-leading brands,” said Bruce Buchanan, CEO of Rokt. “We’re extremely pleased to welcome her to the Rokt board of directors and to leverage her customer-centric insights and deep e-commerce experience as we continue to accelerate Rokt’s growth.”
Karen Katz said she’s excited “to work with such a phenomenal leadership team to support the company’s growth as it continues to drive real returns for e-commerce businesses across verticals.”
Katz serves on the boards of three public companies: Humana Healthcare, Under Armour and The RealReal. She also serves on several private equity-backed consumer company boards. She stepped down earlier this month as interim CEO of Intermix, which is said to be experiencing financial troubles, but remains on the board.
Rokt’s machine-learning technology has powered more than 5 billion transactions globally for more than 2,500 of the world’s leading companies, including Uber, Live Nation, Fanatics and Lands’ End. — Lisa Lockwood
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