Findings: New Era … Saks Moves … Celebrate Good Times …
NEW ERA: MCM Products, the German brand noted for luxury handbags, luggage and other fashion lifestyle accessories, will develop and relaunch the MCM brand worldwide through a partnership with Sungjoo Design Tech & Distribution...
NEW ERA: MCM Products, the German brand noted for luxury handbags, luggage and other fashion lifestyle accessories, will develop and relaunch the MCM brand worldwide through a partnership with Sungjoo Design Tech & Distribution Inc.
Based in South Korea, SDD will become the major shareholder of MCM Products AG. Ralph Polese, formerly president of Gucci Korea, will be president and chief executive officer of the new venture. Sung Joo Kim, president and ceo of SDD, will act as chairman.
MCM will be positioned as a luxury product and over the next two years will expand its presence into Europe, Asia and the U.S.
SDD, along with Sungjoo International Ltd., distributes brands such as Marks & Spencer, Lulu Guinness and Billy Bag in South Korea.
SAKS MOVES: Christine Merrick has been promoted to buyer of fashion jewelry for Saks Fifth Avenue, replacing Ondine Lamstein who has become fragrance buyer for the retailer. Fashion jewelry has been identified as “a major growth opportunity in the company with a focus on creating fashion congruency with the modern product direction that Saks is pursuing in ready-to-wear and accessories,” according to a spokeswoman.
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES: Most women don’t need to be given a reason to splurge on themselves. Some can even find justification in the simple fact that it’s a Tuesday.
But for those women who have a tougher time treating themselves, Tiffany & Co. has introduced its collection of Celebration rings. Supported by a new ad campaign, the line of 22 stackable diamond rings is meant to be purchased to celebrate life’s little pleasures. Prices range from $1,500 up to $9,325.
Just in case a particular achievement doesn’t warrant a $1,500 purchase, Tiffany’s Web site offers daydreamers the option to play with any number of rings online and stack them up according to their taste. Serious shoppers and celebratory types can purchase the rings on the site as well.
TAYLOR HEADS TO IRELAND: House of Taylor, the recently created fine jewelry brand from Elizabeth Taylor, has partnered with Kathy Ireland Worldwide to offer fashion and bridal jewelry collections. The brand will be marketed as Kathy Ireland for House of Taylor. Design sketches have not been released, but retail prices will range from $200 to $2,500.“For House of Taylor Jewelry to have a good-better-best program, Dame Elizabeth wanted a partner with innovation, creativity and business savvy that would enhance rather than conflict,” said Monty Abramov, vice president and design director for House of Taylor Jewelry. “Kathy’s ability to build a billion-dollar brand and market particularly to women is something we can all learn from.”
Ireland will attend JCK this June in Las Vegas, where House of Taylor Jewelry will premier, and be a keynote speaker on the power of strategic partnerships and the need for branding at retail.
CHARRIOL’S CHARIOTS: Dealing in diamonds can be a cushy job, so Phillipe Charriol gets his rush from race-car driving on ice tracks. The 78-year-old owner of the fine jewelry and watch firm that bears his name has been racing for 13 years and averages about 20 races a year, 12 on asphalt and eight on ice.
“The ice races are short because the ice melts,” Charriol said during a recent visit to the U.S.
In 1997, Charriol won the French GTA championship.
“I love driving, I love racing and I love cars only in regards to their relationship to driving,” he said. “We live in the mountains [near Geneva, Switzerland], so coming in my car is quite an experience.”
Charriol draws a parallel between racing and the jewelry business. “When you race, you race to win,” he said. “There’s no other solution, there’s no use in being second.”
There are 68 Charriol stores worldwide. A location in Bombay, India, opened two months ago and Charriol signed the lease for a store in Kiev, Ukraine, which will open in June.
SAY HANDBAG: Crest White Strips, Brittany Murphy and handbag brand Botkier don’t make the most obvious trio. But there they were together Thursday at a press conference announcing Crest’s latest whitening product, Whitestrips Premium, and a sweepstakes to receive 18 of-the-moment Botkier handbags — one for each of the 18 months that those little clear strips promise whiter teeth.
BENIGN BLING: “We can bling without hurting anyone else,” said Montel Williams, master of ceremonies at Wednesday’s inaugural auction and party for Diamonds for Humanity, an initiative that supports the development of programs to help post-conflict communities in Africa. The charity event at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall was sponsored by Gemesis Cultured Diamonds and Harper’s Bazaar.Olympic ice-skater Oksana Baiul was just beginning her off-season work.
“In the winter I skate and in the summer I do charity,” she said.
Lisa Gastineau, resident mom on E!’s “Gastineau Girls,” was in attendance reporting for “Full Frontal Fashion.” Her diamonds were not Gemesis-made, but she was unapologetic.
“Mine are real,” she said. “But I’d be willing to wear the Gemesis ones.”
CHARMED, I’M SURE: Aaron Basha, the fine jeweler known for his elaborate, enamel baby shoe charms, unveiled his new aquatic-themed charm collection to the press at an in-store event last week.
On display were googly-eyed frog pendants with gold coronets and fish charms with diamond eyes, with more than a little resemblance to the much-loved Pixar guppy Nemo.
Also shown was a life-sized pink and blue baby shoe in gold, diamonds and enamel.
“Saudi customers buy them as paperweights,” said Basha.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)