HEADING EAST: Oakland, California-based McMullen is popping up in Detroit.
Influential retailer Sherri McMullen, who has made it part of her ethos to support designers of color, and has an eye for spotting new talent from New York to Nigeria, opened her luxury specialty store 15 years ago. She now occupies a 2,775 square-foot space where she sells to customers such as Phenomenal Media founder Meena Harris; “And Just Like That” actress Karen Pittman; Huey P. Newton’s widow, activist Fredrika Newton, and author/political strategist Alicia Garza, even styling some of them, including Golden State Warriors’ star Steph Curry and actress Ayesha Curry.
As part of her 15th anniversary, she has taken her store on the road. She started in June in L.A.’s Leimert Park neighborhood.
Now, she’s coming to Detroit, opening Sept. 16 for six months, where in addition to her assortment of Christopher John Rogers, Proenza Schouler, Peter Do, Khaite, Aisling Camps, Lisa Folawiyo and more, she’s adding Detroit designer Tracey Reese’s Hope for Flowers label. It will be her first brick-and-mortar store outside of California.
“McMullen is excited to open a pop-up in Detroit, a city much like Oakland, with a rich history and culture, and generally underrepresented in the fashion industry,” said the retailer, who is featured on the cover of the September issue of San Francisco magazine. “We look forward to tapping into the city’s arts, entertainment and food scene, and engaging in meaningful conversations with the Detroit community both through our unique assortment of up-and-coming designers and also through facilitating connections and knowledge sharing.”
She’s partnering on the venture with Bedrock, the real estate developer managing more than 100 properties in Detroit and Cleveland, and the parent company of Shinola. She will be opening her shop at 1419 Woodward Avenue along the Woodward retail corridor.
McMullen will be across from the Shinola Hotel and joins Gucci, Bonobos, Warby Parker, Lululemon, Nike and H&M, in addition to Detroit’s own Good Neighbor, The Lip Bar, Greyson Clothiers and House of Pure Vin in the revitalized downtown shopping area.
“Sherri McMullen is a fashion pioneer, and we can’t wait to welcome this forward-thinking, women-owned concept to downtown Detroit,” said Ivy Greaner, chief operating officer, Bedrock. “This is such a pivotal time for retail in Detroit and McMullen not only brings a fresh designer offering, but they are also paving the way for up-and-coming brands to break through in the market.” — BOOTH MOORE
NEW LICENSE: Bluestar Alliance LLC has signed a license deal with CHF Industries for home textiles and soft goods for Brookstone.
As a result of the deal, CHF Industries, recognized as a leader in the home textiles space, will expand the Brookstone offering of its heated blankets and throws along with air mattresses and air beds, bedding, robes, towels and other home products.
Brookstone was founded more than 50 years ago in New Hampshire and sells entertainment, wellness and travel products in addition to home goods in retail stores, online, through catalogues as well as wholesale channels.
“CHF Industries will develop products that promote the Brookstone legacy of quality and innovation, utilizing best-in-class materials and technology, while expanding the home category of solution-oriented products that help ‘Do Life Better.’ We look forward to the advancement in design and technology of the Brookstone home products especially for the heated blankets and throws,” said Joey Gabbay, chief executive officer of Bluestar Alliance.
“With over 90 years of experience in making home products and being recognized for their integrity and craft, this partnership will continue our commitment to providing innovative product of the highest quality uniting two iconic brands, CHF Industries and Brookstone,” added Bluestar’s chief operating officer Ralph Gindi.
“Together CHF and Brookstone are heating up the home space with new and innovative products to enhance people’s lives,” said Spencer Foley, president and CEO of CHF Industries.
Bluestar was founded by Gabbay and Gindi in 2006 and it now owns and manages an array of brands with retail sales of more than $6 billion, including Hurley, Justice, Tahari, Bebe, Catherine Malandrino, English Laundry and Joan Vass.
CHF manufactures bedding, window treatments, decorative hardware, towels, rugs, shower curtains, bath accessories, and soft storage goods for a number of brands including Donna Karan, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart and G.H. Bass. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
CURBING WASTE: Scaled clothing recycling is a big infrastructural need in fashion, and some brands are taking the front seat to its acceleration.
With a mission to minimize all clothing waste, circular brand For Days has built up a take-back system to process, upcycle, recycle and resell large quantities of returned clothing and is opening up the service to other brands and retailers — starting with its first partner, Bombas.
The B Corp, best known for its humanitarian aims and comfy socks, is partnering with For Days to curb landfill waste. To date, Bombas has chalked up 50 million sock donations to people experiencing homelessness, while For Days has saved nearly 1 million pounds of clothing from landfill.
For Days’ “Tale Back Bag” operates similarly to a clean-out kit. Available for $10, Bombas shoppers fill the branded Take Back Bag with not only outworn Bombas clothing and accessories, but any other clothing from any other brand (in any condition) to be responsibly recycled. In exchange for their recycling efforts, customers get $10 in Bombas store credit.
Brands like Thousand Fell — under its SuperCircle initiative — are also powering scaled take-back for brands like Reformation, Mate the Label and TenTree. As with anything, scale is key, and the process involves tedious sorting to ensure materials — be it cotton, polyester, nylon or rubber (shoes are accepted in this program) — are put to their next best use.
For Days said there are no textile limitations to what it can accept and process for now. As for what’s next, the company said it has 10 brands in the pipeline for which they’ll be announcing Take Back programs over the next year. “Our community is really our pulse,” said For Days cofounder Kristy Caylor. — KALEY ROSHITSH
ALL ABOUT FEELINGS: DKNY on Monday launches a fall campaign, titled “Today I Feel,” photographed by Sam Rock and styled by Edward Bowleg.
The ads feature Quannah Chasinghorse, model and climate champion; Miles Chamley-Watson, Olympic fencer; Julia Cumming, singer-songwriter and activist, and singer-songwriter Yendry.
The individual portraits look to capture the vigor of New York City and were taken in such locations as the Lower East Side and a Brooklyn rooftop. The text captures a range of perspectives, experiences and ideals of the modern New Yorker.
For example, Chasinghorse says, “Today I Feel Mischievous,” Yendry says, “Today I Feel Grateful,” while Cumming says, “Today I Feel Electric.”
The women appear in such fall DKNY looks as checked suiting, vegan leather, and statement outerwear, while the men are wearing athleisure sets, fresh tailoring and easy essentials.
DKNY is partnering with mental health organization the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)) to create a customizable sweatshirt with the campaign tagline “Today I Feel” as a prompt for consumers, celebrities and advocates to celebrate their feelings and inspire self-expression on World Mental Health Day and every day. The sweatshirt retails for $129 and will be available for preorder on dkny.com and in select global retailers beginning Sept. 6.
DKNY will introduce the #IFeelDKNY hashtag through outdoor advertising in key global markets. — LISA LOCKWOOD
IT’S A WONDERFUL TOWN: The Michael Kors Collection fall campaign launched Saturday featuring models Adut Akech and Rianne Van Rompaey as they hit the town.
The ads were photographed by Dutch duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
“For fall, I wanted the collection to echo the energy and big-city glamour of New York, when you’re out on the town,” said Michael Kors. “The clothes and accessories are really everything you need for stepping up, stepping out and making an entrance.”
The collection includes short and long hemlines, sharp tailoring, dramatic hoods and skin-baring cutouts. The palette ranges from camel, chocolate, black and white to electric fuchsia and taxicab yellow. Menswear tweeds and lush faux furs play against gleaming pailettes and crystal embroidery.
Also being introduced is the Campbell travel satchel, crafted from Italian leather. The season’s other key handbag is the Christie envelope, a fold-over Italian leather clutch.
The global campaign will appear on social media platforms, digital outlets and in traditional outdoor media placement, while print ads will run in select fall issues.
Akech, the 22-year-old Sudanese-born model, spent the first four years of her life in the Kkuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. After two years of shuttling between Nairobi and Nakura, she moved to Australia at six years old with her siblings and her mother. She started modeling at 15 and got her big break in Europe in September 2016, when Saint Laurent signed her exclusively to walk in Anthony Vaccarello’s debut show for the brand.
Van Rompaey, the 26-year-old Dutch model, was scouted at the age of 19 in the small university town in Holland in which she grew up. She made her catwalk debut closing Nicolas Ghesquière’s first show at Louis Vuitton in 2014.
As reported, Kors presented his fall collection in February in a show that celebrated New York City and its energy and allure at night. A musical performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Miguel provided the backdrop for the brand’s first live evening show, which was held at the music venue Terminal 5 in Manhattan. — L.L.