F_WD is new sportswear brand launched in June 2019 from a joint collaboration between Raphael Young, a French designer of Korean origin who wanted to create an eco-responsible and positively activist label, and Onward Luxury Group (OLG), an Italian-based branch of the Japanese parent company Onward Holdings LTD, born in 2012 from the merger of two historical manufacturing companies: Gibo Co. SpA and Iris SpA.
OLG counts on a 30-year experience focused on managing premium licensees and top expertise in the production of apparel, footwear, knitwear and leather goods, and operates through its Milan head offices and international showrooms in Milan, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Over the years it has collaborated with world-class designers including Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier, Viktor&Rolf, Paul Smith, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs, both for ready-to-wear and footwear. Today it produces for Rochas, Elie Saab, JW Anderson and more. As part of its network it also works with, among others, sneaker manufacturers serving brands such as Hermès, Vuitton, Balenciaga, YSL, Gucci and Chanel.
In addition, OLG is strongly committed to invest in new projects aimed to support greener fashion. F_WD is a hybrid between streetwear and futuristic urban outdoor. It offers about 25 women’s and men’s footwear styles and a small capsule of unisex apparel pieces and accessories such as caps and bags. The brand produces two collections a year according to the market’s main f/w and s/s seasons.
The collection uses recycled, biodegradable, vegan and environmentally friendly materials. “We are committed to create, research and use the most eco-sustainable and recycled processes and materials from supplying products to final packagings,” says OLG. “We aim to make people react, be more responsible and knowledgeable on environmental issues.” For these reasons the brand is committed to use recycled materials, reduce plastic pollution and be part of the change in the fashion industry towards a cleaner planet. All the materials it uses are PETA-approved vegan materials, made with no animal derived products and are eco-sustainable. It uses polyurethane made from renewable resources and material with 48% corn-based polyol content as an alternative to petroleum-origin products. While it aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by over 50%, it also uses post-consumer plastic bottle sources and yarns obtained from mechanical recycling processes, not chemical ones.
The brand is sold through 50 multibrand stores including prestigious global department stores such as Le Bon Marchè, Lotte Seoul, Level Dubai, Selfridges, Tsum, On Pedder and Takashimaya.