GUCCI'S SWISS CONNECTION: Milan magistrate Carlo Nocerino, a financial crimes expert who is investigating the murder of Maurizio Gucci, said he will be traveling to Switzerland next week to review Gucci's banking records after having struck an agreement with Gucci's ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani. He said the agreement allows for the family members to be present during the review of Gucci's accounts, and that this has helped speed up access to the information, which otherwise could have been hung up for months, if not years, by the Swiss authorities. Nocerino is also expected to fly to the U.S. soon to meet with his counterparts in New York and possibly also Los Angeles. U.S. investigators have reportedly uncovered an $18 million loan to the former fashion executive by parties that had links to the U.S. Mafia. Nocerino declined to comment on the reports.
IN DISTRESS: Troubled times continue in England. The latest fashion house in distress is Xavier Foley, which has lost its backer, TPC Investments, and will not deliver either its spring or fall 1995 collections. TPC said it pulled out because of production delays which meant the Xavier Foley spring collection would not be shipped until mid-May, and most retailers said that was just too late to accept.

CALLING MADAME BUTTERFLY: The opera company of Milan's legendary Teatro della Scala will be singing its heart out in Japan this September, and Italian fashion hopes some of the glamour will rub off. Italy's Foreign Trade Institute (ICE) plans to launch a major publicity campaign in Japan to coincide with La Scala's month-long tour, including a television special on Italian fashion, in-store promotions, a catalog and print advertisements. "We're counting on the popularity and the authority of La Scala to promote Italian fashion," said Ugo Calzoni, the head of ICE, which is helping fund the tour.

LA DOLCE VITA: Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have signed a deal with the Italian eyewear company Marcolin SpA to produce and distribute a line of sunglasses and prescription frames for men and women. A spokesman for the designers said annual sales are expected to reach $59 million (100 billion lire). The line will be on sale in Italy by the end of the year and available in the U.S. in 1997. Marcolin also produces and distributes eyewear for Calvin Klein and Mila Schon.

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