Fenty Hits Pause, NYFW’s Extracurriculars, and more of the news you missed

Fenty by Rihanna Has Taken a Pause
In less than two years, Rihanna’s brand Fenty owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, is on a hiatus. When the line made its pop-up debut in Paris, it was momentous as Rihanna was the first Black woman to create an original clothing line under LVMH’s stable and the second person ever backed by the conglomerate since Christian Lacroix. LVMH said in a statement to WWD “Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the ready-to-wear activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions.” One clear thing about the pause is that selling luxury clothes in a pandemic isn’t very lucrative, even if the creative director is a Grammy-award winning, fashion icon. On the upside, Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin, and her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty are still flourishing with their accessible price-points and inclusive lingerie sizes. [Vogue]

Philipp Plein Faces Homophobia Lawsuit
Philipp Plein, regarded by some as high fashion’s Ed Hardy, has been accused of homophobia in the workplace. A former regional manager, Amro Alsoleibi, has filed a lawsuit against the designer for wrongful dismissal and discrimination case through the New York courts. Alsoleibi is accusing the designer of making repeated homophobic comments to him and other gay employees, canceling his health care, and terminating his employment after learning Alsoleibi was HIV-positive. “At the time Mr. Alsoleibi started working for Philipp Plein Americas, Plein was not aware of the fact that plaintiff was gay, or of his HIV-positive status,” the lawsuit alleges. “Very early in Mr. Alsoleibi’s employment, Plein started to be transparent with his distaste for gay men, saying, ‘I hate to work with gays.’” Alsoleibi will seek damages for wrongful termination, emotional distress, back pay, and harassment. Plein has refuted the allegations, calling them “baseless and defamatory.” [WWD]

More Magazine World Hirings
It’s a whirlwind of change in the media world at the moment. The last year has seen plenty of comings-and-goings, but here’s who’s new:
– At Elle U.S., Jessica Roy has been promoted from deputy digital director to digital director. She is taking over from Katie Connor, who has moved on to W Magazine.
– Masha Fedorova’s replacement at Vogue Russia has been named. Ksenia Solovieva will take over from Fedorova as editor-in-chief. Solovieva was previously at Tatler Russia.
– There is now a French edition of Nylon Magazine and Elisabeta Tudor has been named as its editor-in-chief. Tudor previously worked as a content strategist, senior copywriter and content creator for clients such as LVMH, Armani Beauty, and has written for vogue.co.uk and nowfashion.com.
– Another new publication, Grazia USA, has begun to reveal who will be on staff. Zoe Ruffner, previously at Vogue, has joined Grazia as fashion and beauty features editor, Gabrielle Prescod (formerly of Bustle) is market director, and Channing Hargrove is culture editor. They will be working under recently appointed editor-in-chief, David Thielebeule. [WWD]

IMG’s Celeb Signing Spree Continues
IMG has been busy signing celebrities and their offspring over the past year, and the newest addition to their boards is 18-year-old Natalia Bryant. The daughter of Vanessa and the late Kobe Bryant, Natalia is fulfilling a longtime ambition to model, and IMG will be “connecting her with fresh, exciting opportunities that showcase her multifaceted personality and look.” according to IMG senior vice president Maja Chiesi. [WWD]

NYFW Starts Sunday and It’s Bigger Than the Shows
Many are asking how will NYFW get people excited about clothes again as we continue to dredge through the pandemic and the CFDA is betting on immersive experiences. Yes, there will be plenty of live-streams as New York Fashion Week kicks off on Valentine’s Day but the extracurricular events are where you might truly get your attention’s worth. First up, fashion’s new favorite Bootcamp (sorry Barry) AARMY will bookend the week with virtual training and mental health conditioning sessions. Model and DJ Mona Matsuoka will host a DJ set with Maison Kitsuné and the Black in Fashion Council will host Discovery bicoastal showrooms in New York and L.A for audiences to discover emerging black talent. There will be panels featuring Inaugural designers Sergio Hudson and Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill with Emmy-winning journalist, Tamron Hall; artist Kehinde Wiley will talk about style with the Ogunnaike sisters; and IMG’s series NYFW: The Talks will host Jack McCollough + Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, LaQuan Smith, Prabal Gurung, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. Here’s a link to the schedule and don’t count New York out, yet.

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