The Karl Lagerfeld Brand Does Skates, Cucinelli and Neiman’s Party, Hennessy Adds NFTs – WWD

QUAD SQUAD: Karl Lagerfeld has hooked up with Australian skate firm Impala to create a futuristic-looking version of the latter’s quad roller skates.

The Karl Lagerfeld x Impala skates are made with a holographic version of the KL monogram, and come with a detachable ankle bag that can be used to shelter credit cards and keys. Black hardware and black glitter wheels heighten the sleek, dressy allure of the roller footwear — distinct from the retro look of many Impala skates.

The Melbourne-based brand, founded in 2017, also makes in-line roller skates and skateboards, and bills its products as vegan.

Priced at 179 euros, the Karl Lagerfeld x Impala skates drop this week in the U.S. and Australia via and through select sportswear and lifestyle retailers.

They go on sale in Europe on and in early November. They will also be available at Karl Lagerfeld boutiques on Regent Street in London and in the brand’s Paris locations in the Saint-Germain and Marais neighborhoods, as well as specialized distribution in store and online.

The Karl Lagerfeld brand shot a campaign in several picturesque parts of Paris, including Les Invalides, near the Eiffel Tower, and on the Pont Alexandre III.

In the spirit of its late founder, the Karl Lagerfeld house continues to roll out surprising collaborations, with recent projects including an electric surfboard and snow goggles. — MILES SOCHA

CUCINELLI AT THE RANCH: As the sun went down over the hills of Ferris, Texas, on Thursday evening, a collection of guests gathered about with glasses of Bollinger in hand, dressed in their Brunello Cucinelli finest. The occasion was at the orchestration of Neiman Marcus, which threw a dinner party at Roadrunner Ranch in honor of Muse of the West, a capsule women’s collection designed by Cucinelli exclusively for the luxury retailer.

Brand copresident and co-creative director Carolina Cucinelli said she felt right at home on the horse and cattle ranch.

“Being in Dallas is quite special for me and my husband,” she said. “We like to come to the U.S., and we are constantly inspired by the culture, the warmth and the beauty of the people we meet. Thank you for that. I feel like we are truly in the heart of the U.S. tonight.…It is a very special experience, and we will hold it in our hearts for a long time.”

“This friendship is really deep and authentic and emotional and passionate, and it’s been holding us together for several decades since the early ’90s,” said Neiman’s president and chief merchandising officer Lana Todorovich, addressing the 110 guests seated for dinner at two long tables under an open-air tent.

The 31-piece collection is a polished riff on classics, featuring cashmere cardigans, long shirtdresses in silk plaid or chocolate lambskin, quilted outerwear, denim, and leather accessories and boots.

Carolina Cucinelli with guests at the dinner.

Kaitlin Saragusa/

Muse of the West has exceeded expectations since it dropped Sept. 14 at all 36 stores and online, said Jodi Kahn, the retailer’s vice president of luxury fashion.

“It has blown us out of the water from a business perspective,” Kahn said. “People are really responding to the aesthetic.”

Cucinelli described creating the collection with her sister Camilla as a labor of love.

“My sister and I are very passionate about western culture since the beginning,” she told the group, explaining that as children they watched western films and listened to country music, especially Johnny Cash. “We grew up with the dream to be here one day.”

Todorovich thanked her and the Cucinelli team and presented Carolina, who was wearing heels, with a tall pair of red Lucchese cowboy boots. The Neiman’s executive then promised Cucinelli U.S. president Massimo Caronna that a pair of Luccheses were on their way to him as well.

Most of the guests were brand fans from the North Texas area.

Maricela Heckelman said she’s been wearing Cucinelli consistently since she discovered it about five years ago.

“We own restaurants, so I want to look good but not overdressed,” she said. “The textures and fabrics are so easy to wear.”

“I love wearing Cucinelli,” said Dallas hospitality guru Kim Whitman, who topped her Cucinelli ensemble with an ecru felt cowboy hat and a squash blossom necklace. “You can take any Cucinelli outfit and pair it with boots and a hat and it works.” — HOLLY HABER

VIRTUAL COGNAC: Luxury brands continue to make a play for the metaverse, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brand Hennessy is the latest to reveal its plans to mint an NFT.

The cognac brand has partnered with decentralized autonomous organization Friends With Benefits to create Café 11, a luxury web3 social club. Club membership will be available through the purchase of NFTs, which will be minted on Nov. 4 and sold for $450 per token. In tribute to Hennessy’s founding year, 1,765 NFTs, designed by artist John P. Dessereau, will be released.

Café 11 will also have an in-person component, inspired by the communal spirit of ’20s Parisian cafes. Programming will launch during Art Basel Miami Beach in December. Members (NFT holders) will be invited to a host of in-person events including cognac tastings and live music, with invitations to additional “exclusive” experiences to follow after the fair. — KRISTEN TAUER


MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS: Diane von Furstenberg took St. Louis by storm, meeting hundreds, hosting a trunk show, advising local fashion designers, dishing in a question-and-answer session and mingling with St. Louis Fashion Fund patrons at a Caleres-sponsored cocktail party. That was all in a day’s work Wednesday for the designer.

Upon touching down Wednesday morning at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, she beelined it to the trunk show, which was being held at the Contemporary Art Museum. Hundreds were on hand, with many seeking styling advice and selfies with the designer. Von Furstenberg helped to ring up $86,000 in trunk show sales there for her collection and $50,000 more had been generated the day before, according to Joan Berkman, who was part of the advance team for von Furstenberg’s visit. Online orders are still being taken.

Diane von Furstenberg with Derek Blasberg and St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.

Derek Blasberg, Diane von Furstenberg and St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.

Photo by Suzy Gorman/Courtesy of the St. Louis Fashion Fund

The designer then met with some local designers and a handful of Washington University fashion students. Afterward, it was off to the university’s Graham Chapel for the aforementioned chat for 800 fans. An additional 1,000 were on the waiting list for the free trunk show. The “Conversation With Diane von Furstenberg” was presented by the Saint Louis Fashion Fund in partnership with the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones presented the designer with a proclamation declaring Oct. 12 “Diane von Furstenberg Day” in St. Louis.

Susan Sherman, the St. Louis Fashion Fund’s board chair, surprised von Furstenberg with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund Award. The honor had previously been bestowed on Iris Apfel, the late André Leon Talley, Dapper Dan and two Saint Louis natives — Karlie Kloss and Derek Blasberg. Before winging it back to New York, von Furstenberg took in the sights, visiting The Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Upfront as she was about her personal life and career, the designer’s parting words during the Q&A were ones that others can emulate. Berkman, the STLFF’s director of public relations, recalled, “Diane said, ‘Every day I try to get in touch with somebody, who I haven’t been in touch with, to do something nice for them. It would be nice if everybody thought about doing that, because it will make you happier if you do something for someone else.’” Those who missed out on the talk or were waitlisted can catch it on the STLFF’s site. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG

BIGGER MAISON: Maison Ullens is ramping up its presence in the U.S. and the Middle East, having recently mounted a pop-up at SaksWorks in Greenwich, Connecticut, and plotting another next month in Dubai.

Additional pop-ups are planned for Florida and Texas in 2023, as well as a bigger wholesale presence for the Belgian luxury brand, known for its ready-to-wear in fine wools, cashmere and leather.

Maison Ullens New York

The Maison Ullens store in New York City.

Courtesy of Maison Ullens

Leading the international expansion effort is Jérémy Hautin, who quietly joined Maison Ullens earlier this year as its first chief operating officer. He was previously finance and administration director, Benelux, for Spanish fashion and beauty group Puig. His LinkedIn profile also lists finance roles at GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Cabot Corp., a chemical firm.

Charged with expanding the brand’s retail footprint, enhancing its positioning and developing its international teams, Hautin already brought on Jonathan La Morte as retail director. La Morte has done stints at Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior and Montblanc.

Maison Ullens was founded in 2009 by Brussels-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Myriam Ullens and billed as “wearable luxury” for globe-trotters. Originally dubbed Mus and hinged on high-end knitwear, the Maison Ullens collection has expanded into a complete wardrobe.

Today, the brand has boutiques in Paris, New York City and Aspen, and is sold in such specialty stores as Blake in Chicago, Le Bon Marché in Paris and Swank in Hong Kong. — M.S.

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