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Fendi’s Pokémon Tribute Might Not Be for Longtime Fans
We’ve entered the Year of the Dragon—and Fendi is paying tribute to the Chinese zodiac by adorning its staple Baguette and Peekaboo bags with dragon-type Pokémon. The latest installment of the “Friends of Fendi” lineup sees the Italian label’s artistic directors Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones join forces with Fragment founder Hiroshi Fujiwara, known as the “godfather of streetwear” and anoted idol of Jones’s. Pieces from the resulting collection reinterpret the classic Fendi logo in brown and tobacco shades while adding an unexpected bright yellow to the mix. It’s about the same shade as mascot Pikachu’s electric fur, but also close to the color of Dragonite—a bipedal reptilian Pokémon and the collection’s shining star.
Tributes to Dragonite land in the form of a Baguette emblazoned with a leather 3D marquetry image of the Pokémon, or a mini version adorned with its pint-sized pre-evolution Dratini, a light blue serpentine creature. The main highlight, though, is meant to be a leather Dragonite“totem” created by Fendi artisans as a limited-edition collector’s item that required more than 30 hours of manual workmanship per item. It may be a luxurious homage to the beloved creature, but fans weren’t thrilled with how the $2,300 plush uses calf and lamb leather—the cornerstones of the franchise are “nature and animal friends,” Tama Hero, a Pokémon YouTuber with 631,000 subscribers, wrote on X. “Jackets, bags, shoes, they can be durable and last,” she continued, pointing out how calfskin is rarely a co-product of the meat industry. “This has no logical utility.” —Ryan Waddoups
Virgil Abloh’s Freedom skatepark in Accra, hailed as a beacon for the local skateboarding community, is facing closure after being blocked off for nearly a year due to contractor issues. The park was one of Abloh’s final projects before his untimely death in 2021. Paved over with a concrete wall, the vacant space has sparked concerns about the park’s future, with skaters resorting to makeshift solutions while demanding action and accountability. “Virgil worked so hard to raise money to help get this done before he passed, and nobody is even talking about its closure,” Wole Olosunde, founder of skating collective Surf Ghana, tells Designboom. The rapper Travis Scott vowed to rescue the skatepark after learning of its closure.
Guerlain’s new “quantum” anti-aging cream has sparked controversy for its unconventional scientific claims. In a video posted to YouTube, user G Milgram questioned the validity of the science and asked quantum physicists to explain the term; they found its use to be pseudo-scientific. The controversy prompted the skincare brand to defend its research: “These new treatments are effectively based on significant scientific advances in the field of quantum biology applied to skin cells (measurement of Ultra-weak Photon Emission), with demonstrated results,” it wrote on X, while acknowledging confusion surrounding use of the term.
The Nanhai Art Center in Foshan City, China, designed by MAD Architects, is slated to become a public hub blending social and creative spaces. Inspired by Southern Guangdong’s traditional culture, the center will feature three main structures: a grand theater, museum, and sports center. Green spaces and sustainable technology are integrated throughout, aiming to create a harmonious and forward-thinking artistic center.
Art advisor Lisa Schiff, facing fraud accusations and millions in debt, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, aiming to wipe clean liabilities to collectors, galleries, and the IRS. Schiff, the founder of shuttered Tribeca gallery SFA Advisory, now faces lawsuits alleging she used client funds for personal expenses and failed to deliver promised artworks. Her assets are being liquidated through court-ordered auctions to settle debts. “The bankruptcy filing allows her some breathing room,” a lawyer for Schiff told ARTnews.
Zaha Hadid Architects’s sculptural The Henderson office tower is nearing completion in the heart of Hong Kong, defying the city’s real estate slump with a sinuous glass facade inspired by the Hong Kong orchid. With a column-free interior, sky gardens, and unparalleled city views, The Henderson aims to become an urban oasis merging seamlessly with the adjacent Chater Garden. Despite delays, its distinct form and prime location are attracting prestigious tenants like Christie’s and solidifying its place as the city’s latest architectural landmark.