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Brand Building

Real estate isn't the most obvious source of inspiration for a fashion designer.

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Real estate isn’t the most obvious source of inspiration for a fashion designer, but when you own a mint Gordon Bunshaft-designed building on Fifth Avenue, why not pluck a few ideas from the impressive structure?

This story first appeared in the August 11, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Elie Tahari — proud owner of 510 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 43rd Street — did just that with his spring 2009 accessories collection, which made its debut on the building’s rooftop Thursday.

“We named it the 510, after the building, and [it was] inspired by the Harry Bertoia sculpture on the second floor,” Tahari said of his centerpiece bag (no doubt created with “It” status in mind), a roomy gold python shoulder bag whose colors echo those glinting off Bertoia’s copper, nickel and brass wall piece.

In addition to bags wrapped in skins from stingray to python, Tahari showed thong sandals and clutches, which came off as pretty rather than fussy with delicate jeweled embellishments. The various necklaces, one made of green agate with embroidered metal discs, drew admiring touches from editors (as did a pair of deep-red leather flat sandals, made elegant with straps that wrap up the ankle). Despite a Desperate Housewife of NYC (or two) roaming the David Monn-designed presentation, there was plenty of chic atop Tahari’s tower, proving the designer has come a long way since he launched the accessories category two years ago.

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