SEOUL FOOD: Louis Vuitton is reaching a little further into the hospitality field by opening a pop-up restaurant at its flagship in Seoul’s Gangnam district, WWD has learned.
The menu at the Louis Vuitton Café will be overseen by Korean-born French chef Pierre Sang Boyer, who runs several restaurants in Paris. It is to open in May on the fourth floor of the Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, a cultural space that has already hosted exhibitions showcasing such influential artists as Alberto Giacometti, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol.
Vuitton said the exact opening date, hours and menus would be announced at a later date. Sang Boyer is known for a cuisine that marries Korea and France, served in a range of atmospheres, from an elegant gourmet restaurant to a trendy bistro setting.
The French luxury giant opened its first Vuitton café and restaurant in 2020 at its flagship boutique in Osaka, Japan, and followed up last year with an LV Café and chocolate shop at its new seven-story Ginza Namiki flagship in Tokyo.
The Seoul flagship boasts a facade by architect Frank Gehry. It opened in October 2019.
The pop-up café opens to the public from May 4 to June 10. — MILES SOCHA
GUESS WHO?: Telfar is being very secretive about its next collaboration, which will be revealed Friday. The company sent out a cryptic press release Wednesday explaining the fashion brand would be introducing a four-piece offering with a collaborator whose name it did not name — and firmly declined to reveal. The drop will consist of a blind preorder on Friday, followed by a traditional release in three parts. Each piece of the collaboration will be unveiled individually in advance of each drop date. The release suggested people go to Shop.telfar.net for product descriptions and pricing. The release also included assets and the official video, blurring the products.
According to the website, the collaboration consists of a ___X Telfar small shopper for $140, a medium shopper for $180, and a large shopper for $198, as well as a circle bag for $110. They are all in black.
The medium shopper, for example, comes in tactical nylon with woven hand straps, removable/adjustable shoulder strap and adjustable backpack straps on the reverse site. The exterior features an embossed Telfar logo, top zipper closure and side mesh pockets and the interior features zipper pocket and padded laptop compartment.
In building the anticipation, the release quotes Telfar and the team. “For years, people have asked when we would finally be making a ____. Even though they love our shopping bags, they want to know if there’ll be a __ for __ that they can wear for __ or even just to __. Well the wait is over….”
It goes on to say: “These bags are so hot they will sell out in seconds — so for our real fam — we will be offering a limited blind preorder of all four bags starting March 25 — prior to releasing any images of the bags. Telfar is the first company ever to offer a faith-based blind preorder — because by the time you see this bag — it’s already too late.”
The medium and large bags will drop March 31, the small not-a- bag on April 4, and the brand new __ April 8, according to the release.
The release wraps up: “Please do not contact us with any questions! Yours, Telfar.”
Telfar, who has done collaborations with such brands as Ugg, Moose Knuckles, Converse and White Castle, was founded as a Black-owned genderless fashion project in 2004 by Telfar Clemens in New York City. — LISA LOCKWOOD
FRAGRANCE, PRECISELY: L’Oréal and neurotechnology company Emotiv are partnering on a project to help people make precise and personalized fragrance choices based on their emotions.
L’Oréal’s technology incubator, the Yves Saint Laurent brand, fragrance experts and Emotiv worked together on an in-store fragrance consultation experience that links neuro responses to fragrances through a multisensor EEG-based headset.
In real time, as people experience proprietary scent families, the headset employs machine-learning algorithms that interpret brains’ electrical energy to be able to precisely sense and monitor behavior, preferences, stress and attention.
Fragrance consumers today are homing in on personalized experiences as the line between beauty and well-being blur.
“We are constantly developing innovative, personalized experiences for our consumers,” said Guive Balooch, head of L’Oréal’s technology incubator, in a statement published Monday. « The intersection of neurotech, AI and sciences is an exciting next step ». The science of choosing a fragrance is very complex. This partnership promises innovation for the entire beauty industry, as this is truly the first time that consumers will have access to a state-of-the-art in-store experience that uses neuroscience to provide personalized, precise fragrance advice.”
It will be available in some Yves Saint Laurent flagships starting this year and throughout 2023.
“Together with L’Oréal, we hope this partnership provides unique insights into how consumers feel about fragrances and about how scents make them feel through an unbiased lens,” said Tan Le, Emotiv chief executive officer. “We’re simplifying the decision-making process by connecting emotion and scent through technology, in a way no one has done before. Rooted in science and powerful insights, this technological breakthrough will help consumers decode what fragrances are best suited to their needs.”
L’Oréal said 77 percent of consumers want emotional benefits from their fragrances. During a blind test, the group found that people link emotions such as happiness and relaxation to their perfume preferences. More than 50 percent of people aged 12 to 34 said they base their fragrance choice on mood.
“There are thousands of fragrance options, and we know it can be challenging for consumers to navigate the vast number of scents and make a choice that’s right for them,” said Stephan Bezy, international general manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.
“Through this immersive system, we were able to get 95 percent of people the right fragrance personalized to their needs and desires, which is enormously higher than without this technology,” he continued. « It’s a huge first step in this category. Once we know which scents make people feel happy, energized or with other emotions, we can customize fragrances even more — the potential is boundless.” — JENNIFER WEIL
BERGDORF EXCLUSIVE: Bergdorf Goodman has snagged the multibrand retail exclusive launch for the Valentino Archive collection.
On Thursday, the New York-based retailer will showcase five of the six pieces within the limited-edition collection that debuted on the runway at the Valentino show in October 2021. It will be housed in the Valentino shop on the second floor of Bergdorf’s women’s store.
The Archive collection was designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli, the house’s creative director, and includes reimagined takes on signature designs from Valentino’s history, including the 1967 Tiger long coat, the Romantic Garden Gowns from 1971, and a white minidress famously worn by Marisa Berenson in 1968 .
The collection will also be sold at three of Valentino’s US stores on Madison Avenue in New York, Bal Harbor in Florida and Beverly Hills in California.
Bergdorf’s has had a long history with Valentino and last year opened two shops at its Fifth Avenue flagship dedicated to the Italian luxury brand’s ready-to-wear and handbag collections. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
UNGARO TO SHOW: The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation will host its Collaborating for a Cure Ladies Lunch in New York on May 18. The event will take place at the new Avra at Rockefeller Center in New York.
Ungaro by Kobi Halperin’s spring 2022 collection will be presented to invited guests. This year’s event will be chaired by Marion Waxman and Jani Aronow. Dr. Andrew Jacono, a plastic surgeon, will be honored for his commitment to eradicating cancer.
Over the years, designers such as Nicole Miller, Oscar de la Renta, St. John, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam and Dennis Basso have presented their collections at this annual luncheon, which launched in 2014.
It began at a New York brownstone with 45 guests and remained at private residences on Park and Fifth Avenues until last year when it was held at T-Bar in Southampton, an outdoor space, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The event has grown to more than 150 attendees in 2021.
Individual tickets are $300 and tables are $3,000. Information is available at waxmcancer.org/ladies-lunch.
The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is committed to funding research to improve patient outcomes for those living with breast and ovarian cancer. Funds raised at the Ladies Lunch will be invested towards the SWCRF Women’s Cancer Research Program. — LL
NEW INVESTOR: Fair Harbor, the sustainable swimwear brand, has a new investment partner.
On Wednesday, the brand will reveal that it has received an undisclosed capital investment from Broad Sky Partners, a private equity firm that partners with middle market business services and consumer companies. The investment marks Fair Harbor’s first institutional capital.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Fair Harbor plans to use the investment to fuel its expansion into new product lines, retail channels and sustainability initiatives, the company said.
As reported, the brand, which started as men’s only, will launch women’s this spring. And the business, which is primary direct-to-consumer, will also expand its wholesale reach this year. It is carried at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and some 250 specialty stores.
“After building Fair Harbor for the last seven years, we’re thrilled to have the support of Broad Sky Partners to help us continue our mission and grow our vision for the brand,” said Jake and Caroline Danehy, the siblings who created the brand . “We immediately felt a natural connection with the Broad Sky team. They have incredible experience in the consumer space, along with dedicated operating resources. We are confident that the combination of these will help us take Fair Harbor to the next level and work toward our ambition to become the next great American heritage brand.”
“Jake and Caroline are exceptionally talented, purpose-driven entrepreneurs. Against the backdrop of increased consumer preference for sustainable products, they’ve led Fair Harbor to achieve remarkable success to date,” said Jonathan Marlow, a partner at Broad Sky Partners who leads the firm’s investments within the consumer sector. “As sector-focused, thematic investors, we see significant opportunities to invest in the intersection of sustainable and direct-to-consumer business models and are following the impact of the shift to sustainability is having in consumer packaging and supply chains.”
Fair Harbor was founded in 2014 by Jake Danehy, chief executive officer, and Caroline Danehy, chief creative officer. The business, inspired by their childhood beach community on Fire Island, gathers post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and transforms them into swimwear. — JEP