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WINNING PASS: Louis Vuitton has its eye on the ball by designing the travel case for the 2023 Ballon d’Or trophy awarded to the year’s best soccer players.

The French luxury house revealed Thursday it had designed trunks for the soccer ball-shaped trophies, in partnership with weekly soccer magazine France Football and with the support of its publisher’s advertising division Amaury Media.

Given out since 1956 for men and 2018 for women by the publication, the gold-plated awards crafted by jeweler Mellerio will be presented to the year’s best female and male soccer players, chosen by a panel of 100 journalists from around the world, at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

Past recipients include Megan Rapinoe, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Between 2008 and 2017, the two men, who faced off at chess over a checkerboard canvas of a Louis Vuitton Damier attaché case in a 2022 advert for the French house, claimed every Ballon d’Or between them.

Favorites for the Ballon d’Or this year include the Argentinian star Kylian Mbappé, France’s national team captain who is currently at the Paris Saint-Germain club.

Other gongs handed out at the yearly ceremony include best young player, top goalkeeper as well as three prizes for the striker, and men’s and women’s clubs of the year. The Sócrates Trophy was added last year to recognize players involved in social and charitable projects.

Crafted in the historical Louis Vuitton ateliers in Asnières, the trunks that will house the Ballon d’Or trophies come in the house’s signature monogram canvas, and the V motif on the outside is painted in gold, in a first for its trophy trunk designs.

According to the French luxury house, these latest trunks are “further proof that ‘Victory Travels in Vuitton’ and another landmark in [its] continuing history of creating bespoke travel cases for the world’s most iconic trophies,” which have included the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, the NBA, America’s Cup, the FIFA World Cup, the Roland-Garros tennis tournament and even the esport “League of Legends” World Championship.

On Sunday, either South Africa or New Zealand will walk away from the Rugby World Cup France 2023 with the Webb Ellis Cup, the sport’s greatest prize, housed in another bespoke trunk lined in blue with a blue, white and red V on the front to recall the tournament’s logo and the French flag.

With the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris coming up, the brand has been burnishing its connection to sports, revealing on Monday its return as title partner of the America’s Cup, sailing’s biggest and most prestigious race.

It also signed a clutch of high-profile athletes as ambassadors, including French champion swimmer Léon Marchand and fencing champion Enzo Lefort, who are also sponsored by parent group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, a premium partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. — LILY TEMPLETON

NEW FACE: Lanvin is adding a new global brand ambassador to its roster.

The French fashion house on Wednesday named Chinese actor Cheng Yi its new global brand ambassador, furthering its relationship after working with Yi for several years. 

“Cheng Yi is a star of China’s bustling entertainment industry. He is part of a new generation of actors that are redefining contemporary Chinese culture on a global stage,” Lanvin said in a statement. “With an appreciation for the elegance and contemporary energy of the new Lanvin, Yi is a natural addition to the developing universe of the Maison.” 

Yi has worked with Lanvin for several years, most recently attending the house’s fall 2023 ready-to-wear show. The actor was among a star-studded front row that included the likes of Stefon Diggs, Lisa Rinna, Avril Lavigne, Halsey, Saint Jhn and many others. 

Cheng Yi

Cheng Yi Courtesy of Lanvin

The actor has been a well-known figure in the Chinese entertainment industry since making his debut in the 2011 TV series “Beauty World.” He’s also starred in other acclaimed series such as “Noble Aspirations,” “Love and Redemption” and “Immortal Samsara.” 

The ambassadorship comes after WWD learned in April that Lanvin’s creative director Bruno Sialelli would be stepping down after four years in the role. The house has since established the Lanvin Lab, where it will be inviting international talent for creative partnerships. 

The first partnership is with rapper Future, who was announced as Lanvin’s first guest creative in June. Future is partnering with the brand to collaborate on rtw and accessories for women and men for a collection releasing this winter. — LAYLA ILCHI

LANDING IN SHANGHAI: After pop-ups in New York and Seoul, Parisian label Coperni landed in Shanghai with a pop-up at Machine-A.

Known for its clever mix of technical innovation with Parisian chic, Coperni created a monumental USM furniture installation at Machine-A’s Shanghai mega store that doubled as a window display. The display will remain open until Oct. 31.

Coperni’s latest collection is on display at the Machine-A pop-up.

For the event launch, Chinese influencer Mr. Bags hosted a livestreamed chat with cofounders of the label, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, on Xiaohongshu, the popular social-commerce platform.

Coperni cofounders Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, alongside Mr. Bags.

Ready-to-wear, handbags and accessories from its latest collections, including variations of the popular classic Swipe Bag, priced around 600 euros, and the Horn Hoodie, priced at 290 euros, were displayed prominently in the multibrand store.

“Coperni has been one of the most exciting brands to watch because they combine, in the perfect sense, innovation with new ideas, new concepts, but they also make it about fashion, very sellable, very well-made fashion,” said Stavros Karelis, founder and buying director of Machine-A.

“They’ve created a whole audience that’s also very passionate about fashion, which is the common ground we have together,” Karelis continued. “For me, they will probably soon lead a very big house or build a very big house out of Coperni.”

With viral runway shows that featured Bella Hadid in a liquid dress and Boston Dynamics’ robot dogs, Coperni has been actively creating retail experiences in key markets in recent months. Two weeks ago, Coperni opened its first U.S. pop-up at New York’s Nordstrom flagship. Last week it launched a pop-up with Boon the Shop in Seoul. A permanent shop-in-shop recently opened at Printemps. Next up, the brand is in talks to host its next pop-up in Dubai.

Despite a hectic two-day schedule, Meyer and Vaillant managed to spend time visiting stores around downtown Shanghai.

“Shanghai’s retail scene is impressive. The malls are insane,” observed Vaillant. “All the luxury stores have amazing exposure.”

For Coperni, South Korea is currently its largest market in Asia. China follows to account for around 10 percent of overall sales. For Vaillant, the brand is keen on exploring growth opportunities to raise brand awareness and propel the next stage of growth.

“I think the most difficult part is to understand how people consume products in China, including social media usage and e-commerce. It’s not something we can understand in one trip,” said Meyer. With their first Puma collaboration launching next January, Meyer and Vaillant’s next Vaillant’s next China trip is already underway. — DENNI HU

GLOBAL AMBASSADOR: Bottega Veneta has tapped award-winning actress Shu Qi as a global brand ambassador.

In this role, Qi, who also attended the Kering-owned brand’s spring 2024 show in Milan last month, fronts an exclusive campaign, to be released on Thursday. In the images, photographed by Sander Muylaert, Qi appears holding the label’s new Gemelli shoulder bag or wearing a jacket in Bottega Veneta’s signature Intrecciato technique.

“Bottega Veneta inherits the classic spirit of Italian craftsmanship, invigorated with innovative creativity and a truly global outlook. There’s a cinematic quality to the design, with a beautiful sense of texture, detail and movement,” said Qi, further praising the brand for “such a rich heritage and distinct creative vision.”

“I am happy to welcome Shu Qi to the family, recognizing her commitment to creativity and enduring excellence in cinema,” said Bottega Veneta’s creative director Matthieu Blazy.

Shu Qi appearing in the Bottega Veneta campaign.

Shu Qi appearing in the Bottega Veneta campaign. Sander Muylaert/Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

Qi is the second talent to join the Bottega Veneta family as ambassador under the creative direction of Blazy, following the appointment of BTS pop-star Kim Nam-joon, better known as RM, in March. 

Her appointment builds on the brand’s relation to the arts and will likely further amplify its resonance globally giving the actress’ popularity. With a career spanning almost three decades, Qi has delivered standout performances in both box-office hits and cult art-house films. She had roles in “Millennium Mambo,” “Three Times” and “The Assassin,” all directed by acclaimed film director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, which all made it to the Cannes Film Festival.

Her many accolades include three Hong Kong Film Awards; two Golden Horse Awards for best actress; best actress at the Shanghai Film Critics’ Awards; best actress at the Huabiao Awards, and best actress at the Asian Film Festival. Qi has also served as a jury member of the main competition section at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008, Cannes International Film Festival in 2009 and at the Venice International Film Festival this year.

Shu Qi at the Bottega Veneta spring 2024 show in Milan.

Shu Qi at the Bottega Veneta spring 2024 show in Milan. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

In Venice, the actress was also seen attending the Armani One Night Only event, while earlier this year she appeared in Michael Kors and Tom Ford Beauty ad campaigns. — SANDRA SALIBIAN

NEW YORK’S ALL ABOUT ART: Interdisciplinary design is very much au courant among fashion designers and influencers alike, but soon one of the female pioneers in the field, Sonia Delaunay, will be the subject of a posthumous retrospective.

Dresses, paintings, playing cards, furniture, mosaics and advertisements were among the many items she created in her lifetime. To showcase that agility, the Bard Graduate Center will unveil “Sonia Delaunay: Living Art” on Feb. 23. Nearly 200 objects will be on view in the exhibition that will canvas the painter-artisan-fashion and costume designer’s 70-year career. The Ukrainian-born creative died in Paris in 1979 at age 94.

Visitors will get a glimpse of many pieces that have never before been shown publicly Stateside, including furniture that Delauney made for her Paris apartment in the early ’20s including an armchair with hand-embroidered upholstery. There will also be on view a newly discovered painted wood table that had been commissioned for Jacotte Perrier’s bedroom and a tapestry that had been commissioned by the French state in the 1970s. Fashion types will be drawn to the “Robe Simultanee” or “Simultaneous Dress” that she handmade in 1913 as a means of creating clothing that was reminiscent of her paintings. Delaunay also cooked up a “Simultaneous Vest” for her artist husband Robert.

Another trace of her artistic leaings will be seen in the felted wool cloche hat and silk scarf set circa 1924-25 that infused Orphism and abstract art into fashion. Her Ballets Russes costumes for Serge Diaghilev’s 1918 “Cleopatra” production will also be on display. The show concludes with highlights from the 1960s and 1970s, when she worked on a Matra 530 sports car, jewelry, ceramics and other pieces. Delauney’s ability to capture the spirit of her time still resonates, according to the exhibition’s co-curator Waleria Dorogova. When Dior recreated one of her 1920s dress designs in 1968, it seemed “utterly of the moment,” the independent art historian contended.

In other arts-related news, the Studio Museum in Harlem’s director and chief curator has received this year’s Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her ongoing contributions to the arts. She is the first institutional leader to receive the prize in its 30-year history. The honor comes with a cash award of approximately $250,000.

Another win for New York’s art scene happened this week. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was on hand at Wednesday’s groundbreaking for The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante, a 19,000-square-foot performing arts center. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda Jr. have helped to push fundraising for that project past the $30 million mark, by donating $1 million. Separately, the Hispanic Society will unveil “Picasso and the Spanish Classics” on Nov. 2 as part of the larger international program “Picasso Celebration 1973-2023” that has been organized as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG

TIMES TWO: With one store already established in San Francisco, Fendi is expanding in northern California with a second outpost recently unveiled in the Westfield Valley Fair shopping center in Santa Clara, Calif.

The new 4,700-square-foot location features men’s and women’s ready-to-wear as well as accessories housed in a space with a modern design. It joins other luxury brands at the shopping venue, including Valentino, Loewe, Gucci, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Saint Laurent.

The store’s facade has contemporary marble arches, recalling the architecture of Roman churches and the Italian label’s Palazzo della Civitá Italiana headquarters in Rome.

Fendi in Santa Clara

Fendi’s new outpost is located at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Calif.

Upon entering the retail space, there is a central display showcasing the brand’s iconic handbags. Menswear and womenswear are housed on each side of the store, distinguished by different colors. On the left-hand side, rose and ivory tones dominate the area to play up the femininity of the women’s merchandise. On the right-hand side, the color palette changes to green and yellow for more bold hues where men’s clothing and other goods are displayed.

Hiding a rtw salon is a white marble niche behind which guests can experience the brand’s selections in a private room. The salon includes Fendi Casa seating and carpet featuring German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s signature Karligraphy motif. For decades, Lagerfeld was the creative force behind Fendi’s furs and rtw, before he passed away in 2019.

Fendi opened its first San Francisco store in 2017 at 195 Grant Avenue near Union Square. The two-story location is elegantly designed and spans 5,250 square feet. That same year, Fendi announced a U.S. expansion, soon opening a boutique in Dallas and a new store in New York’s SoHo district.

In Southern California, Fendi has a stand-alone outpost on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and a second location at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Fendi was founded in 1925 by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a fur and leather shop in Rome. Since 2001, it has been part of Paris-based LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton while retaining its headquarters in Rome. — DEBORAH BELGUM