ALL EYES ON MACY’S: It’s been 91 years since the release of Harry Richman’s song “I Love a Parade” — but the sentiment still rings true.
The 97th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last week was seen by 28.5 million viewers — a new record for viewership. This year’s airing, which featured Cher and Jon Batiste as performers, earned a 7.2 rating in the 18 to 49 demographics sector, according to a Macy’s spokesperson. Both of those figures increased by 6 percent compared to last year’s parade.
That was based on all platforms — NBC live coverage, which spanned from 8:30 a.m. to noon, the encore coverage for late risers that stretched from 2 to 5 p.m. and via Peacock. NBC’s morning airing was 30 minutes longer than last year’s telecast, but the average audience was still higher. The linear telecast of the parade — as in content that was delivered via satellite or cable — made it the highest entertainment program of the year across all of television in both categories. The parade qualified as Peacock’s number-one entertainment simulcast to date, more than doubling streaming hours compared to streaming for last year’s parade.
The Nov. 23 parade faced two widely publicized controversies. The 2.5-mile procession from the Upper West Side to Macy’s Herald Square flagship was temporarily stopped after about 30 pro-Palestine protesters were taken into police custody. In response to that incident, Macy’s issued the following statement, “Macy’s honors and respects the rights of all Americans to express their views peacefully. Our route is limited to authorized credentialed personnel and anyone that did not follow this protocol was subject to removal by the appropriate authorities.”
Earlier this month, an online petition started by One Million Moms regarding the planned participation of a few nonbinary individuals circulated online, garnering about 22,000 signatures. The group described the parade as “not family-friendly.”
Macy’s addressed that matter with another statement: “For nearly 100 years the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has showcased the very best in entertainment, delighting Americans everywhere with the most popular music acts, the best of Broadway, our country’s finest marching bands and dance teams, and giant balloons and floats that capture your imagination. Every performer and volunteer is there with one mission — to entertain millions of spectators and kick off the holiday season. We look forward to celebrating this iconic Thanksgiving tradition again next week.” — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
CHINA PUSH: Ralph Lauren is betting on a major expansion in China both in the digital and physical space, shortly after a recent meeting between President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in California that may have signaled a slightly warmer era in Sino American relations.
On Monday, Ralph Lauren announced that it is creating limited-edition versions of the Polo ID shoulder bag, developed with Tao Liang, professionally known as Mr. Bags. There will be a black calfskin and a pink suede version of the mini Polo ID, and a black calfskin large-size Polo ID.
“It’s the end of a year now. Many people have worked hard for a whole year and they want to buy something to treat themselves but do not want to stress too much,” Liang said in an interview with WWD.
“That’s why we decided to develop around the Polo ID style. It comes with a simplistic and elegant shape, which is very much in line with the old money trend. It’s also very practical. Both sizes have good capacity, which is good for outings and commuting, and can be matched with different styling. The price point is very reasonable as well for a full leather, well-made bag,” he added. The mini-sized bag is priced at 4,290 renminbi, or $605, and the big one retails at 6,590 renminbi, or $928.
He also noted that pink is a hot color for young Asian customers, while the black and silver combination is considered a timeless and versatile option that can fit into either the old-money narrative or the cool-girl vibe.
A limited run of 118 pink suede versions of the mini Polo ID, alongside the other two styles, will go on sale on Dec. 6 on Mr. Bags’ WeChat Mini-program. The black versions will be then available for purchase from all Ralph Lauren stores in mainland China at a later date.
Chua Shin Hwee, regional chief executive officer at Ralph Lauren, said the handbag, which is a core part of the brand’s womenswear business, has “enormous potential upon brand development in the long term.”
The collaboration with Liang is meant to help the brand build long-lasting connections with local customers in China, especially in the digital space.
“Liang is an expert in luxury handbags and one of the most influential fashion bloggers in China. We believe this collaboration can really elevate Ralph Lauren’s credentials on handbags as well as women’s apparel in terms of expanding its reach among the discerning fashion-conscious audience in China. We would further invest in smart retail, and leverage social media and e-commerce channels to drive our growth. This collaboration is also an innovative attempt for us in this area,” Chua said.
In 2024, Ralph Lauren said it will continue its strategic plan introduced in 2022 — dubbed “Next Great Chapter: Accelerate” — to deliver long-term, sustainable growth and value creation in the Chinese market.
“Emblematic stores will be a significant part of our plan as we continue to elevate the shopping experience and tell the Ralph Lauren story to our customers. It is a combination of global strategy and the understanding of what’s relevant to local customers, providing a unique engagement platform that captures the Ralph Lauren story,” Chua said.
“With this solid foundation, we expect our growth to accelerate and are planning to open more than 30 new stores per year in China over the next couple of years,” Chua added.
The brand operates four flagship stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen.
“We wanted to make sure we have a presence in these key cities and radiate throughout the smaller cities; that’s where we started when we mapped out the key cities strategy. These emblematic stores are developed with a digital-first mindset that puts consumers at the center, aiming to deliver an elevated, immersive brand experience that integrates smart retail, digital activations as well as hospitality such as Ralph’s Coffee and Ralph’s Bar,” Chua noted.
The brand’s effort in digital space, such as the collaboration with Liang, meanwhile, is aimed at brand elevation, consumer engagement and acquisition.
Ralph Lauren is available across Tmall, JD and the WeChat Mini-program, and has been embracing local digital tools such as WeChat Work, ShopDog and livestreaming to connect people, inventory and places.
With more than 6 million followers on Weibo and a dedicated fanbase on WeChat, Liang is known for helping brands including Chloé, Burberry, Dunhill, Givenchy, Tod’s and Longchamp to sell out limited-edition bags in China. — TIANWEI ZHANG
WEARING THE RITZ: Frame, the Los Angeles-based fashion house, will release the third drop of its collaboration with the Ritz Paris Hotel on Wednesday.
Erik Torstensson, cofounder and chief creative officer of Frame, has previously worked the Ritz logo into baseball caps, sweatshirts and sneakers. Now, for the third iteration, the collection has moved into ready-to-wear, with bombers, blazers and wide-leg pants. The hotelier’s well-known crest can also be seen on cashmere cardigans and sweaters, pajama sets, swim and other items.
With an irreverent play on the “Do Not Disturb” hotel sign, the brands have created sweaters and bombers emblazoned with “Privacy Please.”
The 37-piece, limited-edition collection will be available starting Nov. 29 on frame-store.com and the Ritz Paris’ concept store, with prices ranging from $98 to $1,498.
“Taking the identity of a luxury hotel and creating a collection was a little unconventional when we started this collaboration three years ago. We thought it would be a cult project for our friends, but the commercial success was unprecedented. Part three is a much more elevated look at wardrobe staples in the Frame x Ritz Paris aesthetic. From the quilted leather bomber to the most luxurious slippers, each piece is refined enough to transport you straight to a suite at Place Vendôme, no reservation necessary,” Torstensson said.
“This new capsule collection is a testament to the incredible success of our collaboration with Frame, which began in 2021. It combines the timeless elegance of the Ritz Paris with the contemporary, high-end style of this renowned American brand. A chic yet casual capsule that will once again appeal to discerning fashion enthusiasts,” said Laurent Herschbach, general manager of The Ritz Paris. — LISA LOCKWOOD
DECK THE HALL: The London-based fashion label Roksanda translated its voluminous and artisanal dresses in bright colors into a festive Christmas tree covered in pink and burgundy tulles for the boutique hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam.
Taking initial inspiration from the work of Norwegian textile artist Hanne Friis, whose sculptural and tactile pieces challenge tradition with an organic expression reminiscent of nature and the human body, the tree is clad in tulle fabric twisted and turned into different directions to resemble shapes from nature.
The result also resonated with many archival designs by Roksanda Ilinčić, who scored a British womenswear designer of the year nomination at the Fashion Awards this year, alongside Erdem Moralıoğlu, Maximilian Davis, Nensi Dojaka and Simone Rocha.
Earlier in the summer she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, in King Charles III’s debut birthday honors list for services to fashion.
The design of the tree also nods to the hotel’s playful interiors, which were reimagined by Jacu Strauss in 2016 with residents of the building over the past four centuries — artists, antique collectors, writers and musicians — in mind.
Located at the heart of the Jordaan neighborhood in the city center, the 225-room Pulitzer is made up of two canal houses from the 17th and 18th centuries and overlooks two of the city’s most picturesque canals Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht.
This is not the first time that Ilinčić has worked on an interior project. In 2019, she furnished one of the penthouses at The Gasholders, a refurbished Grade-II listed industrial structure that has been transformed into modern apartments in Coal Drops Yard at King’s Cross. — T.Z.
NEW VENTURE: Samata Pattinson is striking out on her own after 11 years as chief executive officer of Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress, where she helped bring sustainability into the fashion conversation at the Academy Awards alongside talent ambassadors Billie Eilish, LaKeith Stanfield, Marlee Matlin and Naomi Harris, wearing sustainable looks by Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab, Christian Siriano and Vivienne Westwood, among others.
The British-born Ghanaian entrepreneur has launched Black Pearl, a “cultural sustainability” organization that will provide content, insights and services to the fashion and entertainment industries, as well as launching its own educational resources, reports and projects.
“The work I’ve been doing around sustainability has really focused predominantly on the luxury red carpet space. And I’m really proud of all of the projects and all of the initiatives I’ve been involved with and also the community that I’ve built. But the last year or two, there were things I wanted to be developing that looked at sustainability more through a creators’ lens, a Black perspective or a Black woman’s perspective,” she told WWD of what will guide the mission of Black Pearl. “We recognize that the fashion industry and music and film have all these global touch points and what we’re creating needs to be culturally sensitive to as many of them as possible.”
Already, Pattinson has animated short films, a documentary and a TV series in development storytelling sustainability in different ways, and she is working on a curriculum that covers sustainable fashion from a Global South perspective.
Pattinson helped program Eilish’s Overheated Live event in September and will work with other artists on similar projects, she said, citing the band Coldplay’s sustainability report as an example of what those could be. She will also provide services to artists looking to design and manufacture more sustainable merchandise.
Black Pearl will be based in L.A. “It makes sense when I look at things like the new Fashion Act which is coming out of New York, the conversations we’re having about material innovation in L.A., or the platforms that are spotlighting sustainability here like the Environmental Media Association. And every other weekend there’s a screening or a talk about the kind of plastic in the ocean in Malibu…but I know it’s a bubble, which is why I’m trying to make sure that within these spaces, what we’re putting out to the world is representing more people.”
To that end, she is developing a framework for cultural sustainability, which creative industries will be able to look at their projects and determine if they are meeting the needs of a diverse and representative community of people.
“How are we making sure that we’re respecting their intellectual property rights? How are we making sure that these groups are not marginalized? How are we making sure that when we launch this campaign, we are not completely torn apart because of the messaging that we’ve used or the use of the symbol that had this inherent meaning and we didn’t remunerate anyone for it? We want to give the tools to these industries to safeguard themselves properly and make sure that they aren’t trespassing culturally,” she said. “There’s plenty of frameworks for carbon assessments to impact on global waters, but not one that touches on culture.”
Reflecting on RCGD, Pattinson said, one of her proudest achievements was getting Westwood on board, and continuing to correspond with her through cards sent “in five times used envelopes.” Another was writing the sustainable style code for the Oscars that came out earlier this year.
Will the organization go on? “I’m not sure,” said Pattinson, who has worked with RCGD since becoming the student designer winner of Red Carpet Green Dress contest in 2011, adding that she hopes her work “stands the test of time.” — BOOTH MOORE
JOINING GOOGLE: More changes are in the pipeline at Condé Nast in the U.K. as Vanessa Kingori, chief business officer at Condé Nast Britain and Vogue European business adviser, plans to leave the company to join Google.
Kingori will join Google in 2024 as managing director of tech, media and telecoms. She forms part of a trio of female senior executive hires to be revealed by the tech giant on Tuesday.
In a statement Kingori said: “The lure of pivoting my career to apply my love of positive, transformational leadership at this key moment of change at Google feels urgent and is a dream realized.
“Having a seat at the table to drive a focus on deep relationships, learning and partnership to create positive outcomes for all, in the era of AI, is a privilege. It’s an exciting new frontier.”
Kingori will report to Debbie Weinstein, vice president and managing director of Google U.K. and Ireland.
She will focus on helping U.K.-based businesses drive growth through AI-powered technology and advertising solutions.
Weinstein noted: “As the U.K. continues to solidify its standing as a global leader in AI, businesses across the country have an extraordinary opportunity to harness this powerful technology to transform their operations, expand into new markets, and achieve unprecedented growth. I’m delighted to have three incredibly talented new leaders join my team to help businesses unlock creativity, innovation and new possibilities through AI-powered advertising solutions.”
In 2021 she took up the role of chief business officer at Condé Nast Britain and Vogue European Business adviser as part of a sweeping reorganization — and streamlining — of the editorial and publishing structures at the company.
A well-known figure in London media, Kingori was Condé Nast Britain’s first Black publisher, and the first female business leader in British Vogue‘s history.
Prior to joining Condé, she worked at London’s Evening Standard and Esquire in Britain.
Kingori’s departure comes amid Condé Nast’s global restructuring under chief executive officer Roger Lynch and Anna Wintour, global chief content officer for Condé Nast and editor in chief of American Vogue.
Next spring, Edward Enninful will step away from his post as editor in chief of British Vogue to take on the new position of global creative and cultural adviser at Vogue. He will also become an editorial adviser at British Vogue.
Chioma Nnadi, who was named head of editorial content at British Vogue in September, will take over the responsibilities of day-to-day running of the magazine from Enninful, mirroring the situation at all of Condé Nast’s titles. — T.Z.