Sams Club and Walmart to Launch First Eyewear Collection Created by the Legendary Elton John OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

Sam’s Club and Walmart to Launch First Eyewear Collection Created by the Legendary Elton John

Elton John’s iconic style and famed music career comes to life through an exclusive new eyewear collection

Eyewear line gives fans access to high-quality, stylish products while benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Elton John Eyewear, a new line of stylish, accessible eyewear, is launching at Sam’s Club today and at Walmart later this week.

Elton John collaborated closely with the retailers on the development of the brand, with each pair inspired by his iconic style and famed music career. Each frame was given a name by Elton himself, like “Rocketman,” a nod to his chart-topping hit and most recent Academy Award Nominated film of the same name, “A-List” reflecting moments when he was at the peak of his career, and “Prodigy,” representing his rise from a shy piano prodigy in the UK to international celebrity. From their shapes and colors to their lenses, the goal of the collection was to ensure that there is a frame for every fan.

“Elton John Eyewear celebrates confidence, self-expression, and authenticity,” said Elton. “The line is designed to have something for everyone, so no matter who you are, you can always Look Yourself. It’s not just about glasses, it’s about changing the way people see themselves.”

The launch of Elton John Eyewear also furthers Walmart’s support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s mission. Walmart Inc. will donate a minimum of $1 million annually from the Elton John Eyewear collection to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation to increase HIV education and awareness and encourage individuals to take the first steps toward a healthier future.

“Our customers and members are going to love this collection. We’re thrilled to celebrate Elton John’s creativity and iconic style by launching a fun, on-trend eyewear collection that will help customers feel their best, all at an every day low price,” said Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer, Walmart US. “On top of that, we’re proud to shine a light on the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and donate a portion of the sales to their important mission.”

“We know Sam’s Club members and Walmart customers look to us for quality, on-trend brands at an amazing price, and the Elton John Eyewear Collection delivers just that,” said Megan Crozier, Chief Merchant, Sam’s Club. “We’ve created an eyewear line using materials, elements and contours across expressive silhouettes, making the brand feel like luxury at an affordable price, while also telling Elton John’s phenomenal story.”

The Foundations Collection

The exclusive, evergreen collection – The Foundations Collection – will be available for purchase nationwide in Sam’s Club Vision Centers and on samsclub.com today and at Walmart later this week.

The Foundations Collection includes 60 frames in total: 36 frames that are unique to Sam’s Club and 24 frames that are unique to Walmart. The frames will retail between $95-$100 and are available in prescription, non-prescription, sun and reader categories.

Each frame is embolized with a signature temple tip silhouette with “E” Star mark and Elton John iconic star brand detailing. All details were carefully planned and crafted, with frames featuring vibrant color attributes, elevated metals, and stones.

Elton John Eyewear Found Only at Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club will also offer its members two additional collections that celebrate Elton John’s confidence and self-expression. The Capsule Collection, designed for collectability, showcases Elton John’s musical journey. “The Formative Years” (Capsule I), represents Elton’s childhood and time as a student in music, so the eyewear reflects its most classic and conventional looks. “The Working Musician” (Capsule II) continues the story, showcasing the time when Elton John discovers Rock and Roll is his true calling. As such, the Capsule II offers next generation styles. Currently, five Capsule Collections are planned.

Finally, just in time for the holidays, Sam’s Club will launch The Master Collection. Drawn from Elton’s personal collection, Elton John Eyewear will recreate and reissue his most iconic looks with “collector” frames that are only available at samsclub.com. Each frame will be signed, numbered and sold in limited quantities, with retails starting at $350.

Next year, Elton John Eyewear is expected to offer additional frames, as well as expand its reach to additional locations across Walmart Inc. retail stores globally.

Walmart and Sam’s Club are committed to providing quality, affordable and accessible healthcare in the communities they serve. That includes offering affordable fresh foods and other grocery items, household essentials, and reduced-price prescriptions, along with a broad assortment of high-quality items at a great value, like Elton John Eyewear.

In addition to Elton John Eyewear, Walmart customers can also purchase the latest album by Elton John, The Lockdown Sessions, with an exclusive bonus track called Cold Heart (PS1 Remix) by Elton John & Dua Lipa. The CD is available for $13.97 in stores and Walmart.com.

About Elton John

Elton John’s career achievements to date are unsurpassed in their breadth and longevity. He is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 1 diamond, 40 platinum or multi-platinum, and 26 gold albums, over 50 Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. He holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind 1997”, which sold over 33 million copies. ‘Diamonds’ the Ultimate Greatest Hits album, reached the Top 5 of the UK album charts on its release in November 2017, becoming Elton’s 40th UK Top 40 album in the process. This release celebrated 50 years of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, having logged 67 entries, including nine No. 1s and 27 Top 10s. In August 2021, Elton achieved his 68th Hot 100 hit with single “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” featuring Dua Lipa. The wildly popular track marked his record return to the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 40, extending his run to 50 years. He now holds the longest span of Hot 100’s Top 40 appearances in history. In May 2021, he was honored with the iHeartRadio Icon Award in recognition of his incredible influence on music and pop culture.

In January 2018, Elton announced the “Farwell Yellow Brick Road” Tour at New York’s Gotham Hall. Encompassing five continents, and over 350 dates, the tour kicked off September 2018 and marks his retirement from touring after more than 50 years on the road. In 2019 it was named Billboard’s “Top Rock Tour” and Pollstar’s “Major Tour Of The Year.” To date, Elton has delivered more than 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries since launching his first tour in 1970. 2019 also saw the release of Rocketman and global bestselling autobiography, ME. An epic fantasy musical motion picture of Elton’s life, Rocketman has been a commercial and critical hit, taking close to $200m at the box office. The film has won an Oscar, two Golden Globe Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award and garnered BAFTA nominations. Its soundtrack was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award.

In 1992, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organizations and has raised over $515 million to date in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. In June 2019, President Emmanuel Macron presented Elton the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest award, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.

About Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club®, a division of Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Now in its 39th year, Sam’s Club continues to redefine warehouse shopping with its highly curated assortment of high-quality fresh food and Member’s Mark items, in addition to market leading technologies and services like Scan & Go, Curbside Pickup and home delivery service in select markets. To learn more about Sam’s Club, visit the Sam’s Club Newsroom, shop at samsclub.com, and interact with Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

About Elton John AIDS Foundation

The Elton John AIDS Foundation was established in 1992 and is one of the leading independent AIDS organisations in the world. The Foundation’s mission is simple: an end to the AIDS epidemic. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is committed to overcome the stigma, discrimination and neglect that keeps us from ending AIDS. With the mobilisation of our network of generous supporters and partners, we fund local experts across four continents to challenge discrimination, prevent infections and provide treatment as well as influencing governments to end AIDS. www.eltonjohnaidsfoundation.org

Contacts

Erin Hulliberger, Sam’s Club Media Relations

Carla Landon, Walmart Media Relations

1-800-331-0085 or news.walmart.com/reporter

Morgan Stanley Launches Next Level Fund in Partnership with Hearst, Microsoft and Walmart to Invest in Diverse Start-Ups

  • Fund to Invest in Women and Multicultural Founded Early-Stage Companies
  • Fund builds on expertise from the groundbreaking Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab and HearstLab sourcing disruptive technology and technology-enabled start-ups

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) and the Multicultural Strategy Group today announced it has launched Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund, L.P. (“Next Level” or the “Fund”). The Fund, part of MSIM’s Private Credit & Equity platform, will invest in primarily early-stage technology and technology-enabled companies with women or diverse members as part of the founding team from target sectors including technology, consumer/retail, financial technology, healthcare and media & entertainment. Investors in the strategy include the key inaugural corporate partners: Hearst, Microsoft and Walmart. This new strategy will build upon the expertise of the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Morgan Stanley’s in-house start-up accelerator, and HearstLab, which provides cash investment and services to early-stage, women-led startups. The team anticipates partnering with additional corporate organizations that share similar strategic interests.

Morgan Stanley logo

“By intentionally seeking out high-growth companies founded by multicultural and women entrepreneurs, Next Level presents an exciting opportunity for disruptive startups to increase their visibility and accelerate their businesses with the support of our corporate partners,” said Alice Vilma, Co-Portfolio Manager, Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund. “We are pleased to be partnering with Hearst, Microsoft and Walmart on this exciting new initiative which advances our respective companies’ goals to promote financial inclusion and access to capital for women and diverse founders. Portfolio companies will benefit not only from the capital provided from the Fund, but also from access to the global resources and capabilities of each of our corporate partners.”

“Hearst is delighted to partner with Morgan Stanley, Microsoft and Walmart in the Next Level Fund and to have the opportunity to support target companies and provide strategic assistance. This further augments our commitment to investing in women and diverse founders who are some of our best talent,” said Eve Burton, Executive Vice President, Hearst, and Chairwoman of HearstLab. Ms. Burton will be a member of Next Level’s Advisory Board.

Tahreem Kampton, Treasurer of Microsoft Corporation added, “We’re pleased to partner and support Morgan Stanley and the Next Level Fund to help provide opportunity and access to capital, especially in diverse and underrepresented communities, with the goal of driving positive impact through technology.”

“The Next Level Fund provides a unique opportunity to support women and diverse businesses by increasing access to capital and offering strategic assistance,” said Wayne Hamilton, Vice President, Specialty Tax, and Finance Shared Value Network lead, Walmart. “Walmart is deeply committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities we serve. We’re leveraging this work through four Shared Value Networks we launched last year to advance racial equity at scale. Within our Financial Shared Value Network, we are supporting more diverse suppliers to increase access to capital for women and people of color. We are delighted to be working with Morgan Stanley and our co-inaugural investors on this important initiative.”

“We are pleased to expand our impact-oriented client offerings with the addition of Next Level, and we are proud to partner with like-minded companies that share our commitment to delivering positive social impact through compelling investment opportunities,” said David N. Miller, Head of Private Credit and Equity, Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Our differentiated approach can help to increase access to capital for women and diverse founders in our target sectors.”

The Next Level Fund is based and operated out of Morgan Stanley’s New York headquarters. Debevoise & Plimpton has been retained as counsel for the Fund.

About Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Morgan Stanley Investment Management, together with its investment advisory affiliates, has more than 730 investment professionals around the world and $1.4 trillion in assets under management or supervision as of March 31, 2021. Morgan Stanley Investment Management strives to provide outstanding long-term investment performance, service and a comprehensive suite of investment management solutions to a diverse client base, which includes governments, institutions, corporations and individuals worldwide. For further information about Morgan Stanley Investment Management, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

Contacts

Media Relations Contact: Lauren Bellmare, 212.761.5303