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.

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