NEW BFC HEAD: David Pemsel, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of PR firm ScienceMagic.Inc, has been appointed the new Chair of the British Fashion Council, organizers of London Fashion Week and the Fashion Awards.
He succeeds Stephanie Phair, who was promoted to group president this month from Farfetch’s chief customer and strategy officer. Phair stayed in the role for four and a half years. In May 2018, she took over the baton from former chair and Net-a-porter founder Natalie Massenet.
In his new role, which Pemsel will hold for three years, he will support Caroline Rush, CEO of BFC, in developing and executing the organisation’s strategy and building the profile of British fashion around the world.
Pemsel said it was “a privilege” to take on the role and to serve the British fashion industry at a time of “significant change”.
“It is important to the Board that creativity, innovation and responsible action are at the heart of our strategy now and in the future,” he said.
“The intersection where creativity and business meet has long been my passion. I hope that my experience in this area can have a demonstrable impact on an industry that drives such tremendous economic and cultural value,” he added.
Pemsel became a non-executive director of the BFC in 2016. At the time he was CEO of Guardian Media Group, where he transformed the British newspaper’s digital business and brought the group back to profitability.
Before joining Guardian Media Group, Pemsel founded Shine Entertainment and worked as Group Marketing Director at ITV.
In 2020, Pemsel launched ScienceMagic.Inc with Julietta Dexter and Daniel Marks, who has since left the company, from communications agency The Communications Store. He is also the owner of ScienceMagic.Studios, a sister company that provides Web3 economies for brands, talent and their communities.
ScienceMagic.Inc clients include Gabriela Hearst, Tiffany & Co., Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Harvey Nichols, Canada Goose, Allbirds, Barbour, Max Mara, Glossier, Geox, Depop, The White Company and The Crown Estate, Greenwich Peninsula and Regent Street.
Pemsel was set to become Premier League boss in 2020 but resigned two months before taking office after allegations about his personal life surfaced in British tabloid The Sun. The Sun later apologized to Pemsel and withdrew the article. — TIANWEI ZHANG
METAVERSE MAGAZINE: If there’s room in the metaverse for real estate, fashion, music, art, and more, maybe there’s room for journalism, too.
With this in mind, Gloria Maria Cappelletti, a Milan-based art and fashion curator and advocate for digital art, is launching Red-Eye, a magazine ready to live in and out of the metaverse.
“I witnessed firsthand the historic transition from analog to digital media that forever changed fashion aesthetics… and then the advent of moving images… which also influenced fashion storytelling,” Cappelletti told WWD. “Now we face another crucial transition… and it was time for me to take a risk,” she added.
Red-Eye, which debuts Wednesday with a website and accompanying metaverse on Spatial.io, borrows not only most of its themes from the Web3 revolution, but also those platforms’ intrinsic democratic approach.
“I want the project to be participatory, which is the foundation of the entire Metaverse experience,” Cappelletti said.
She explained that compared to fashion favorites Roblox and Decentraland, Spatial offers a visually immersive experience, is less playful with high-resolution Ready Player Me avatars, and is accessible without a digital wallet, which Red-Eye’s creative director sees as a usability bonus.
The Metaverse component will be accessible via desktop and mobile, and will be enhanced via Oculus VR devices.
Red-Eye’s website is filled with articles without a timeline-based flow to give equal importance to each story, while the magazine’s environment on Spatial will host different rooms, each dedicated to the corresponding feature, article or project and improve them.
Though the flexibility of such a project is hard to describe in traditional media vocabulary, Cappelletti said she’s aiming for quarterly installments.
The first issue features interviews with Cathy Hackl, a Web3 expert and authority often referred to as the Godmother of the Metaverse, who will present her new book and collection of NFTs in Spatial; an interview with BtMedlr, a Web3 artist unveiling the Alejandro Jodorowsky-inspired AI-based exhibition “Dune: Not for Spice” in Red-Eye’s Metaverse room, and a partnership with Afro Fashion, the Italian federation that since 2015 supporting African talents, spotlighting the exhibition “Tracing Identities Through Fashion Photography” with portraits of photography students from Italy and Cameroon.
Web2 Magazine will also feature an interview with Tommy Hilfiger, one of the earliest and most prolific adopters of the metaverse, specifically Roblox.
“It’s a mix of content that attracts a younger audience because they know the area, but also one that could woo and engage adults, it’s a mix of different worlds,” Cappelletti said.
Red-Eye starts in partnership with Gianluca Reina, who has several gigs under his belt, including as co-founder and publisher of Cabana magazine, co-founder and partner of digital agency Ready2Fly and event agency Fasten Seatbelt.
While she won’t reveal the names of current advertisers, Cappelletti noted that the time spent on metaverse is longer than other mediums, which could make Red-Eye an advantage for brands striving to make their media spend worthwhile close. — Martino Carrera
WONDERFUL AND WASHABLE: Anna Sui has teamed up with Ruggable, which makes machine washable rugs, rugs and floor mats.
The 16 whimsical six-edge chenille rugs and floor mats feature unique designs and patterns that Sui is known for. Each item is machine washable, easy to care for and durable.
Prices are $90 for a 2×3 foot rug and $490 for a 9×12 foot rug. The collection is sold exclusively on Ruggable.com.
“I was so excited to work with Ruggable on this project,” said Anna Sui. “I love interiors and had so much fun decorating my apartment. I approached it the same way as my clothing collections with lots of research and inspiration. I hope to do a lot more home design in the future. i love it all Textiles, furniture, lighting and all the trimmings!”
Jeneva Bell, Founder and President of Ruggagle added: “At Ruggable, we strive to offer our customers superior design and functionality at an affordable price, and our collaboration with Anna Sui has enabled us to do just that. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Anna’s quirky yet elevated style and I’m thrilled that the Ruggable x Anna Sui collection has allowed us to bring that joy into the home in a new way. We found her unique aesthetic to fit perfectly with Ruggable’s mission to celebrate imperfection and embrace both the messy and the neat in life. Home should be a place of happiness and comfort and Anna’s designs combined with Ruggable’s washable technology and quality instill a sense of optimism and fun.”
In addition to her clothing line, Sui’s product range includes books and stationery, handkerchiefs, lifestyle and decoration, washcloths, cosmetic accessories, fragrance and beauty. Her previous collaborations include Pottery Barn Teen. — LISA LOCKWOOD
RAISING VOICES: The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s next national juried art exhibition is scheduled to begin September 24 and run through October 16. The exhibition, titled Femmes Ensemble, is curated by BWAC Co-President Alicia Degener and aims to raise awareness of women’s rights.
According to the BWAC press release, “Now more than ever, women need to work together for their rights. In these challenging times we organize, take care of each other and make art. Our multidisciplinary and intercultural artistic work is our lifeline. Women of all backgrounds, ages, career levels and cultures are invited to participate and present a demonstration of unity and strength in the ‘Femmes Ensemble’.”
One participating artist, Arani Halder, spoke to WWD about being a creator during these times of uncertainty. “From this moment on, my goal is to inspire those who see my work to take a closer look at the world around them and to contextualize themselves in larger systems,” Halder said. She also spoke about the importance of diversity and the representation of marginalized groups. “Believing that there are important and revolutionary stories from those who have never been heard, my work seeks to open windows into the lives of diverse people and the broader socio-political movements they help shape.”
“Femmes ensemble” will also serve as a fundraiser, with a A quarter of the sales proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood. In addition, Gap Inc. matches all sales donations. — WWD STAFF