Model and TV Journalist Gail O’Neill Passes, Chloé Taps Chemena Kamali, And more news you missed

Model and TV Journalist Gail O’Neill Passes
Model and TV journalist Gail O’Neill, a trailblazer in increasing diversity in the fashion industry during the ’80s and ’90s before transitioning to a journalism career, passed away at the age of 61 on Tuesday. The cause of her death is not immediately known, according to her longtime agent, Stephanie Grill, who confirmed the news. O’Neill’s family plans to hold a celebration of her life at a later date. After graduating from Wesleyan University, Gail O’Neill’s career journey began in marketing for Xerox. However, her fate took an unexpected turn when photographer Chuck Baker and his stylist wife Martha spotted her on a plane. They requested her phone number, leading to a pivotal call to Frances Grill, founder of Click agency. This chance encounter marked the beginning of her remarkable career. O’Neill graced the covers of American Vogue and was featured in British Vogue, Italian Vogue, and Elle, besides appearing in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Perry Ellis, and Calvin Klein fragrances. She collaborated with renowned photographers such as Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, Fabrizio Ferri, and Patrick Demarchelier. O’Neill was also an early supporter of the Black Girls Coalition, an advocacy and support group founded by Bethann Hardison in 1988. Friends and collaborators remember Gail O’Neill for her unwavering support and advocacy for others, as shared by Grill. She embarked on her TV career with a correspondent role on CBS’ “The Early Show” and later contributed to CNN and HGTV. In more recent years, O’Neill’s work as an editor-at-large and books-focused columnist at ArtsAtl, an Atlanta nonprofit, allowed her to explore arts and culture. She also hosted and coproduced “Collective Knowledge,” a conversational series broadcast on TheA network. [WWD]

Chloé Taps Chemena Kamali as Creative Director
Chloé has appointed Chemena Kamali as its next creative director. Kamali brings with her a wealth of experience, having previously worked at Saint Laurent , Lanvin, and at Chloé under both Phoebe Philo and Clare Waight Keller earlier in her career. She succeeds Gabriela Hearst at Chloé and is set to debut her pre-fall collection in January and, later, a runway debut scheduled for fall 2024 during Paris Fashion Week. Kamali’s journey began with her studies in fashion design at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, followed by graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2007. She started her career at Chloé as part of Philo’s team and later returned in 2013 as design director under Waight Keller until 2016 when she left to become Saint Laurent’s women’s ready-to-wear design director under Anthony Vaccarello. Kamali expressed her excitement, saying, “My heart has always been Chloé’s. It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago. Returning feels natural and very personal. I am extremely honored to be taking on this role and to be building on the vision that Gaby Aghion and Karl Lagerfeld defined early in the Maison’s history. I hope to capture the emotional connection and spirit of Chloé for today.” [WWD]

H&M x Rabanne Is Coming
H&M recently unveiled its latest designer collaborator, Rabanne, at a party at the club Silencio in Paris. Key attendees gave us a sneak peek of the collection, which prominently features leopard print and the signature heavy metal materials synonymous with the Maison. The event was graced by notable figures such as Elle Fanning, who donned a shimmering silver dress, and Ashley Graham, who wore a leopard midi dress. Creative director Julien Dossena shared his enthusiasm, stating, “As a designer, I’ve always been interested in exploring hedonism and empowerment. I was very enthusiastic to work with H&M on a collection that will introduce Rabanne’s avant-garde energy to a wider audience in a democratic way.” Notably, this collaboration also marks the retailer’s foray into homeware, incorporating sculptural vases and small accessories. The Rabanne X H&M collection is scheduled for launch on November 9, both in physical stores and online. [Harper’s Bazaar]

Louis Vuitton is Headed to Hong Kong
Louis Vuitton will present its men’s pre-fall collection in a physical runway format for the very first time. Designed under the creative direction of Pharrell Williams, the collection will make its debut on November 30th in Hong Kong. The choice of Hong Kong for this premiere is significant, considering the brand’s longstanding relationship with Hong Kong, which spans four decades. The first Louis Vuitton store in Hong Kong opened at The Peninsula Hotel in 1979, and the brand has since established a presence with seven boutiques in the special administrative region of China. [WWD]’s Top Newcomer’s S/S 24 Selects
The seasonal marathon that is fashion month has ended, and from New York to London, Milan, and Paris, the Spring/Summer 2024 runways unveiled a new set of model rookies that closed and opened top brands shows, landed exclusives and stood out with breakout bookings. Selected from every corner of the world, kept a tally of all the top achievements with our official list, along with a selection of the industry’s most influential creatives that weighed in on the S/S 24 new faces they are keeping an eye on. Find out all of the results here.

How Reni Folawiyo Bridged The Gap Between Africa and Global Design with Alára spoke to Alára’s visionary founder, Reni Folawiyo, about why she started her retail concept store and restaurant, her partnership with the Brooklyn Museum for the “Africa Fashion” exhibit, and bringing African designers to a global audience. Check it out here.