Suga’s New NBA Collab, Ami’s Rugby Play, Brian Cox Fronts Kith
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Suga’s New NBA Collab, Ami’s Rugby Play, Brian Cox Fronts Kith

Jul 23, 2023

SUGA’S NEXT MOVE: BTS’ Suga is furthering his partnership with the NBA with a new collaboration.

The K-pop star is teaming with Mitchell & Ness for an apparel collection that celebrates the NBA. Suga was named an NBA ambassador last April and appeared in the NBA Finals campaign.

Suga’s Mitchell & Ness apparel collection offers T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, shorts and hats highlighting six NBA teams from cities where the musician performed on his recent solo tour. The teams include the Brooklyn Nets, the Chicago Bulls, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks.

The K-pop star worked closely with the Mitchell & Ness team to design the collection. He incorporated his Agust D moniker into many of the styles and also utilized several motifs inspired by his album, “D-Day,” for the clothing.

“I’m so excited for the next phase of my relationship with the league with the launch of my very own capsule collection,” Suga said. “As a longtime fan of the NBA and its teams, this collection is incredibly special to me. I look forward to sharing this with all of you.”

A release date for the collection has not been revealed; however, fans can sign up for early access to the collection through the NBA’s website.

Suga has long had a presence in the fashion world thanks to his eye-catching style both individually and as part of BTS. In addition to his ambassadorship with the NBA, Suga was tapped by Valentino in January as a brand ambassador. In 2021, Suga had his first high-fashion role with Louis Vuitton, which named BTS house ambassadors to work with the late Virgil Abloh. — LAYLA ILCHI

DROP KICK: As France gets ready to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Ami is dropping a limited-edition collaboration with French rugby player Antoine Dupont on Monday.

At 26, Dupont, who plays in the scrum-half position, is considered one of the world’s top rugby players. As captain of the French national team, he led France’s squad to a number of victories, including winning the Grand Slam at the 2022 Six Nations championship.

For Ami founder and creative director Alexandre Mattiussi, teaming up with the athlete was a way to celebrate the game’s friendly values and spirit. “Rugby is a sport that wholeheartedly mirrors the values of Ami: it advocates friendship and inclusion, respect and team spirit,” he said.

Mattiussi pointed out that the number of items in the capsule — nine in total — matched his lucky number and Dupont’s shirt number on the field. The tournament is slated to run between Sept. 8 and 28 in various French cities.

Dupont said Mattiussi and the brand had “integrated [him] at the heart of the project, giving the word collaboration its full meaning.

“Rugby brings people together, it unites them, it teaches and encourages solidarity, integrity and loyalty,” said the sportsman, who also stars in a campaign shot by South African photographer Darren Gwynn, a regular collaborator of the French fashion label.

Available in ivory and navy, the Ami Paris x Antoine Dupont capsule will priced between 130 euros for a cap up to 480 euros for a coach jacket. It will be available from Monday on Ami Paris’ e-commerce platform as well as select points of sale in France, the U.K. and Japan. — LILY TEMPLETON

COX AND KITH: Kith is debuting its fall 2023 collection with the help of a famous face.

The fashion and lifestyle brand has tapped “Succession” actor Brian Cox to be the face of the collection’s campaign. Cox appears in the campaign in several images, modeling outerwear and tailored pieces from Kith’s fall collection, which will hit stores and its website on Friday.

Cox is seen in the campaign modeling at a country home wearing pieces like a wool, two-toned varsity jacket, a navy corduroy jacket and a gray pullover designed with the Kith logo and a floral motif, among other styles.

Kith’s fall 2023 collection offers some new styles, including the Wyona Full-Zip Varsity Sweater that Cox models in the campaign. The collection also offers new versions of some of Kith’s classics, like its Gorman Jacket, Double Weave Boxy Collared Overshirt and Nelson Crewneck.

For accessories, Kith reprised its partnership with New Era to bring back the 59fifty and 9fifty caps. The collection also offers new styles as part of Kith’s collaboration with Converse, including an update of the Chuck Taylor All Star 1970.

This is Cox’s first campaign with Kith. The actor is best known for his role in HBO’s hit show “Succession,” which aired its final season earlier this year. The show was known for popularizing the “quiet luxury” fashion trend that the “Succession” characters, including Cox’s Logan Roy, became known for.

Kith has worked with several male celebrities for its collection campaigns in recent years. Last fall, the brand tapped Jerry Seinfeld to front the campaign for its City University of New York collection. In February, Kith worked with actor Bryan Cranston to appear in its spring 2023 campaign. — L.I.

FOR SALE OR NO?: Rumors are circulating that body care brand Tree Hut is exploring sale options.

Sources told WWD that Tree Hut, the Naterra-owned body and bath care brand that launched in 2002, had reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to explore a sale, but most recently had halted the process.

Naterra’s chief executive officer, Jon Song, denied the speculation, saying the company is not for sale. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Tree Hut counts Target Corp., Ulta Beauty and Walmart among its retail partners.

The brand has benefited from virality in recent years around its Shea Sugar Scrub, a manual body exfoliant that has spawned a robust lineup of scented variations, such as “Cinnamon Dolce” and “Moroccan Rose.”

The hashtag #TreeHut has more than 1.2 billion views on TikTok, while #TreeHutSugarScrub has more than 350 million.

Sources said the brand’s net sales passed $200 million last year, and estimated the valuation to land between $400 million and $1 billion. Song said the business was growing and that those figures were inaccurate, but declined to elaborate further.

Some sources said the process had stalled over a misalignment in valuations, but that the company was still an attractive option to potential buyers.

It also comes as the deal market shows signs of life. As reported, K18 and Naturium had both also headed to market earlier this year. In tandem with its bankruptcy proceedings, Amyris is also exploring sale options for its stable of brands, including skin care brand Biossance and hair care brand JVN.

On the mass market side, Yellow Wood Partners acquired the Suave brand in North America from Unilever in May. — JAMES MANSO

NEW SIGNING: J.Lindeberg has signed Czech athlete Markéta Vondroušová as its newest brand ambassador. The 24-year-old tennis player is currently ranked number nine in the world and recently made history by becoming the first unseeded woman to clinch the Wimbledon title in the Open era.

Vondroušová has signed a multiyear contract with the brand for an undisclosed sum. She will make her debut as an ambassador at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, which begins Monday and continues through Sept. 10 in Queens, New York.

“We are so thrilled to welcome Markéta to the J.Lindeberg family,” said Hans-Christian Meyer, chief executive officer of J.Lindeberg, in a statement. “Her tenacity, skill, and groundbreaking achievements on the tennis court perfectly mirror our brand’s commitment to tireless innovation and pushing boundaries. Like J.Lindeberg, Markéta is a true game-changer, making waves and challenging the conventional. With her crafty play style and ability to upset expectations, we believe she is the future of tennis and fashion, and we’re very excited to embark on this journey with her.”

“I’m very excited to partner with J.Lindeberg, since it’s a brand that aligns with my core values and we share a vision for breaking new conventions in the tennis world,” said Vondroušová in a statement. “Their new collection offers a unique crossover between high-end fashion and athletic performance with a design that is trendy, stylish and athletic. I can’t wait to introduce their upcoming looks on the courts at the U.S. Open and look forward to working closely with J.Lindeberg’s designers on upcoming collections.”

In addition to signing Vondroušová, J.Lindeberg has been working on growing its retail footprint this year. In June, the brand opened a summer pop-up shop at Harrods. In August, it set up a flagship in Copenhagen in a space previously occupied by Burberry. — KRISTOPHER FRASER

MEN’S BOOMS: Menswear at British retailer John Lewis has become a steady category that’s growing at its own pace.

Sales have increased by 13 percent for the brand’s in-house labels such as Anyday, Kin and John Lewis & Partners.

“We have expert product design teams that are intensely focused on fabric, silhouette, print and quality, and they skillfully balance style and trend to ensure our customers keep coming back for more,” Daniel Bradley, menswear design lead at John Lewis, told WWD.

“While trends hold importance, our approach to design is authentically rooted,” he added, naming London’s cultural scene as an inspiration for the upcoming fall 2023 designs.

A highlight of the season for John Lewis has been knitwear and outerwear, which use natural and ethically sourced fibers, as well as luxurious merino cashmere blends.

“The collection that garners the most attention and is perhaps best known to the British customer is our tailoring. With expertly cut pieces featuring a soft shoulder and a higher-rise in the waist, we have reimagined suits from the ground up to prioritize comfort,” Bradley said.

The 2022-23 fiscal year results showed that John Lewis and Waitrose group sales sat at 12.25 billion pounds, a 2 percent dip from the previous year. As a whole, the group reported a 78 million pound loss, but the men’s category soared with a 20 percent year-on-year increase while womenswear sales rose 17 percent.

“The tailoring market is back in a big way and over the past year we have been busy behind the scenes developing an all-new proposition, new fits, modernized constructions and luxury fabrications with us being one of the only high street retailers to offer Ermenegildo Zegna fabrics within our suiting,” Kathleen Mitchell, commercial director at John Lewis, told WWD earlier this year. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

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