Agnes Varda passes, LVMH finalists, Love Ball in Qatar and more of the news you missed

Ken Downing Leaves Neiman Marcus for Triple Five
Former SVP and fashion director for Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing, announced he’d be leaving his position and joining Canadian retail developer, Triple Five Group. The conglomerate has been mostly known for their Frankenstein retail and entertainment centers such as the Mall of America in Minnesota and their newest venture opening this Summer, American Dream in New Jersey. Reporting this Monday, April 1st to his new position as Chief Creative Officer, Downing’s first project will be the East Rutherford mega-mall where he “will be very influential in curating and determining tenant mix, both within and outside of luxury,” Don Ghermezian, President of American Dream declared in a press release. The appointment is a unique role for a real-estate investment trust but perhaps a necessary one in a time where retailers struggle to stay afloat. [WWD]

Tommy Hilfiger Shutters Fifth Ave Flagship
As a further example of the change of the retail tide, American brand Tommy Hilfiger closed this week its 22,000-square-foot global flagship on Fifth Avenue, in a move to connect more with digitally-savvy consumers. With past see-now-buy-now global collaborations with Gigi Hadid and Zendaya, the brand plans to explore more modular retail experiences (read: pop-up stores) instead of traditional brick-and-mortar spaces. In addition, WWD reports Hilfiger will close its store on Collins Avenue in Miami at the end of April as well.

Andrew Rosen steps down from Theory
Chief executive officer and co-founder of Theory, Andrew Rosen announced he will step down from his position after 22 years. The contemporary label known for men’s and women’s work staples was co-founded by Rosen, former CEO of Anne Klein and a Calvin Klein executive, and designer Elle Tahari in 1997. He will be replaced by current chief operating officer Dinesh Tandon, effective Monday, April 1st. [WWD]

Hermès Is Launching Beauty
French luxury house Hermès announced plans to develop in-house an eponymous skincare and cosmetics range by 2020. With an already successful fragrance line, the new additions confirm the brand’s ambitions to enter the beauty conglomerate fray. BOF` reports that for the new extended line Hermès plans to use plastic-free packaging and will be manufactured by third-party suppliers, mainly in France and Italy.

Glossier Taps Former Elle Editor as Head of Content
Newly minted unicorn Glossier has tapped former Fashionista editor and digital director for Elle, Leah Chernikoff to join the brand as its first head of content. BOF reports that Chernikoff will report to both the senior vice president of marketing Alexandra Weiss and creative director Marie Suter and oversee all of Glossier’s editorial content, including Into the Gloss.

Natalia Vodianova’s Charitable Love Ball Heads to Qatar
Natalia Vodianova Love Ball, which raises money for the model and philanthropist’s Naked Heart Foundation takes place today in Doha, Qatar. The fundraising gala, held at the Museum of Islamic Art, is bringing the likes of Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Diane Von Furstenberg, and actors out to the Middle East country’s capital in order to raise awareness and funds for people with mental disabilities, as well as the Al Shafallah center, an organization that supports those with special needs, WWD reported. The cause is near and dear to Vodianova, whose sister has cerebral palsy and autism. [WWD]

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The Eight LVMH Finalists Have Been Announced

The names of LVMH’s Young Designer Prize finalists have been revealed, which includes a diverse selection of eight designers from around the globe included for the first time finalists from Nigeria, South Africa, and Israel. In total, they are the Tokyo-based Anrealage from Kunihiko Morinaga; London’s Bethany Williams; Bode by Emily Adams Bode from New York; Israeli Paris-based Hed Mayner; Kenneth Ize from Nigeria; Phipps by American designer Spencer Phipps; Stefan Cooke by Central Saint Martins graduates Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt, and South African designer Thebe Magugu. The winner will be announced in June after being judged by a panel of industry experts. [LVMH]

Vogue Italia and Creative Director Part Ways
Giovanni Bianco and Vogue Italia have parted ways, Bianco has been the publications creative director since 2017 following the death of Franca Sozzani. A name has not been announced as to who will fill in Bianco’s shoes. The June 2019 issue will be the final Bianco-led issue. “The upcoming final two issues of our collaboration promise to be especially outstanding and an exciting finale of our work together,” Condé Nast said in a statement. [WWD]

Legendary Filmmaker Agnès Varda Has Passed Away
At age 90, Agnès Varda, the iconic Belgian-born French New Wave filmmaker, icon and feminist has passed away. A pioneering female director, she became known as The Mother of French New Wave. Throughout her career which began in the ‘50s, her most notable films are “Cléo from 5 to 7,” “Vagabond,” “One Signs, the Other Doesn’t’” and “Beaches of Anges.” Varda was married to French director Jacques Demy who passed away in 1990. In 2015 she won an honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes and in 2017 an honorary Oscar, making her the first woman to do so. Earlier today, Cannes Film Festival tweeted, “For almost 65 years, Agnès Varda’s eyes and voice embodied cinema with endless inventiveness. The place she occupied is irreplaceable. Agnès loved images, words, and people. She’s one of those whose youth will never fade.” Rest in peace, Agnes.

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