Rihanna Joins a Star-Studded Rimowa Campaign, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Rihanna in Rimowa’s new campaign, called “Never Still”

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Rihanna becomes Rimowa’s latest ambassador as the brand eyes expansion plans…

Earlier this week, Rimowa debuted a campaign featuring its latest crop of brand ambassadors Rihanna and Patti Smith, as well as past names LeBron James and Roger Federer. It speaks to the LVMH-owned luggage brand’s efforts to transform into a “mobility brand,” according to the newly appointed chief executive Hugues Bonnet-Masimbert. “We’re trying to change the way people look at their suitcase, from something that is a beautiful container to something that also expresses who we are as a traveler,” Bonnet-Masimbert tells the Business of Fashion. Rihanna’s star power brings a taste of luxury fashion to the campaign and speaks to Rimowa’s new focus on “legacy shifting” as the brand launches new product categories including soft crossbody bags.

…but the fashion industry still isn’t making strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Despite the strides made last year toward achieving a more equitable and inclusive fashion industry, some Black creatives have expressed concern that the industry is already moving on from its focus on progress. Their concern became clear during New York Fashion Week, when The Fashion Spot’s diversity report found that 50.7 percent of models were people of color compared to 57.1 percent during spring 2021. More Black designers—Sergio Hudson, Theophilio, Khiry, and Laquan Smith among them—are showing during New York Fashion Week, but many are concerned about lacking the resources to take full advantage of the opportunity and scale their businesses in a healthy, sustainable way.

“The industry does not like things that are uncomfortable, so I’m not surprised that they’re ready to move on,” Brandice Daniel, founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, tells the Business of Fashion. “But fashion needs to sit in this. It’s not time for us to move on. We’ve done that before and nothing has significantly changed. There have been commitments that have been made but we’re not sure if those commitments have been followed through.”

Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects, a RIBA finalist. Photography by Morley Von Sternberg

The Royal Institute of British Architects announces its six finalists for the Stirling Prize.

To maintain its legacy of recognising UK architects who uplift its national landscape one building at a time, RIBA shortlists six candidates for the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize. The award is granted to one building in the UK that highlights vision and innovation. The list of curated ventures include a mosque in Cambridge, a museum beside Lake Windermere, and a footbridge in Tintagel Castle, among others. Although the projects are vastly different in location and program, they are underpinned by their creativity and contextual exploration. The winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced at Coventry Cathedral in mid-October as part of the award’s 25th anniversary and the UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations.

Pedro Reyes will no longer design a monument for Indigenous women in Mexico City.

Following its announcement to take down the controversial statue of Christopher Columbus situated in the heart of a popular boulevard, Mexico City gives the go-ahead to mount a new sculpture of an Indigenous woman in Paseo de la Reforma. Originally, the sculpture was to be designed by Pedro Reyes, but the protest of a woman-led activist group deemed the artist choice inappropriate in an open letter addressed to the government. “We applaud that this space of great visibility will be occupied by a monument for women, and Indigenous women in particular,” says the letter. “However, we find it inadmissible that Pedro Reyes, a male artist who does not identify as Indigenous, was selected to represent ‘the Indigenous woman.” A revamped committee composed of scholars, museum officials, and local and federal members is slated to enlist a new artist in the ensuing weeks. 

Donald Judd in his architecture studio in Marfa, Texas, in 1993. Photography by Laura Wilson, courtesy Judd Foundation and Gagosian

Donald Judd’s Foundation jumps from David Zwirner to Gagosian. 

Known for his three-dimensional works that married painting with sculpture and toyed with materiality, the late artist Donald Judd was a famed creative and critic who developed a rich body of work that exhibited at multiple blue-chip venues. The onset of his career saw Judd shift between multiple galleries beginning with Leo Castell and ending at David Zwirner, which has hosted four solo exhibitions since their 2010 partnership—the present shift resonates the mission of Flavin Judd to broaden his father’s artistic legacy. “The priority is always the exhibition of Don’s work in circumstances which reflect the conditions he required,” notes the Judd Foundation artistic director. “Our partnership with Gagosian broadens the understanding of his work and we look forward to the range of possibilities for their sites worldwide.”

NFT marketplace OpenSea confirms that an employee was involved in insider trading.

Known as a digital NFT auction house valued above $1 billion, OpenSea has become the go-to site for purchasers. Its operating protocol follows a public bid for a product once it is live on its homepage, however, a dubious acquisition of NFTs by an unconfirmed employee, prior to its release, sparked social media outrage as they sold those collections for profit. Following their admission, OpenSea tweeted “this is incredibly disappointing. We want to be clear that this behavior does not represent our values as a team,” and adds, “we are taking this very seriously and are conducting an immediate and thorough review of this incident so that we have a full understanding of the facts and additional steps we need to take.”

The heralded restaurant Carbone launches a surprisingly stylish menswear line. 

With a bevy of buzzy culinary concepts under his direction at Major Food Group, chef and restaurateur Mario Carbone has a well-established reputation as a hitmaker in the food world.  Now he’s trying his hand in a new industry: fashion. In partnership with New York–based womenswear brand La Ligne, the chef has launched Our Lady of Rocco, a menswear line designed to match the upscale-casual vibe at his restaurants. The collection includes “leisure set” jacket-and-pants combos, a satin bomber jacket, a knit polo, pleated white pants,  elastic-free tracksuits, and more. Prices range from $95 to $595 and are on sale at the brand’s website.

Ailinginae Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Photography by Greg Asner, courtesy Allen Coral Atlas

Today’s attractive distractions:

Scientists use two million satellite images to create the first map of the world’s coral reefs.

At the unofficial Burning Man, Studio Drift uses drones to recall a collection of memories.

This handy device sucks the snot from your baby’s nose so you don’t have to do it yourself.

Sand has been named a finalist in the National Museum of Play’s 2021 Toy Hall of Fame.

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