Jenne Lombardo launched MAC & Milk two years ago, an upstart parallel programme that provided show space to the likes of Proenza Schouler and enlivened the New York fashion scene in one masterstroke.
Now shes transferring her fashion magic to W Hotels, which she joined as Global Fashion Director in August.
When they approached me with this opportunity, it was really that perfect moment that you dream of, she tells ELLEuk.com. Theyve got this incredible global infrastructure, and fashion is one of the main pillars to their DNA. Its who they are.
A compact blonde with an impish air and hands full of rings by Pamela Love (one of her best friends), Lombardos remit is to deepen Ws ties to emerging designers across its global territories. Her main tool is the Fashion Next initiativea platform created to support and showcase the work of emerging designers anywhere theres a W Hotel.
Its a grand ambition that has sent Lombardo flying to front rows from New York to Thailand as she seeks the next, newest thing. In London, W supported Marios Schwabs show (I about died at the end when those sheer black gowns with the sparkly bodies came out, she says) and highlighted Craig Lawrence, Jordan Askill and Fleet Ilya. In Moscow, where we met, Lombardo worked with Dasha Zhukova to identify new talent Vika Gazinskaya, a stylist and street-style darling who showed her first collection in March 2010. Then it was off to Bangkok to pinpoint local talent with the aid of ELLE Thailands editor.
Im much more familiar with the New York-London-Milan-Paris circuit, so its great for us to work with these figures in their cities to help us unveil whos percolating at the right momen More