ON MORRIS TIME: Accessories designer Robert Lee Morris has added a signature timepiece to his lineup.
The watch, which was rolled out for the May accessories market, will wholesale for about $300 in sterling silver and $350 in vermeil. Morris is producing the watch in a joint manufacturing venture with Swiss Watch Co. The designer is projecting a wholesale volume of $250,000 through the end of this year, though a full first-year projection has not yet been determined.
The watch comes in just one signature style, with a concave face that the designer says reminds him "of a reflecting pool." Once the item has hit the market and become established, he noted, he will begin work on a less expensive fashion watch line with multiple styles.
To celebrate his newest venture, Morris held a party at his New York headquarters on May 11.
HART STARTS: A new organization, Help AIDS Resources Triumph (HART), is raising money for AIDS charities through sales of its own line of fashion jewelry. It held its first event early this month in New York.
HART is a nonprofit group that was started by Ron Rose, the brother of the late fashion jewelry designer Robert Rose. Since Robert Rose died of AIDS in 1993, Ron Rose has continued to run Robert Rose Jewelry. Last year, Rose also decided to institute a group that would raise contributions for AIDS and HIV-related charities, and HART was born.
Charivari will carry the line in all of its stores, and Rose said it is also being sold in several smaller New York specialty stores. The jewelry retails from $10 to $25.
Rose said that since HART's main goal is to maximize the contributions it makes to groups such as God's Love We Deliver and DIFFA, at least 75 percent of the total retail sales of the jewelry will go to charities. Much of the material and labor required to make the jewelry is being offered free of charge, Rose noted, and in some cases stores are carrying the jewelry as a service to HART and giving back 100 percent of the retail receipts to the group.

PEARL JAM: Neiman Marcus and Carolee Designs have teamed up to promote pearls via an exclusive traveling exhibit, which opened May 4 at Neiman's Oakbrook, Ill. store.
"Pearls...The Enduring Signature of Style" will be on display for 10 days at each of four selected stores. In addition to glass pearl merchandise from Carolee, the exhibit includes photos of pearl devotees including the Duchess of Windsor, the Princess of Wales and Kelly Klein wearing their favorite pearls. Historical information on pearls, both real and fake, is also included. All of the Carolee pieces are available for sale.
After Oakbrook, the exhibit will move on to Tyson's Corner, Va.; Atlanta, and Troy, Mich. Carolee Friedlander, owner of Carolee Designs, will make a personal appearance at the Troy location.
On another marketing front, the jewelry firm has produced a 12-page watch catalog for retailers to mail to their top customers. The booklets carry an 800-number of the store so shoppers can purchase watches over the phone or in person.HANS STERN HONORED: About 200 people turned out Thursday night at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York to honor Hans Stern, named man of the year by the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Stern is founder and chief executive officer of the Rio de Janeiro-based H. Stern retail jewelry firm, and was in New York also as part of the firm's 50th anniversary celebration.
The evening, which included a fashion show, a raffle, dinner and dancing, was a benefit for the medical center, with proceeds of $150,000 going to help fund the planned expansion of its women's and infants' center.
Stern told the crowd it was "particularly gratifying to be associated with such a project since over 80 percent of our employees worldwide are women."
Stern has more than 175 stores, including seven in the U.S. and six in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

VUITTON'S SALUTE: Luxury leather goods firm Louis Vuitton held a victory luncheon Thursday in New York for Team New Zealand, the winners of the 1995 America's Cup.
The luncheon, held at the Four Seasons restaurant, was attended by members of the winning crew as well as executives from the Paris-based division of LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton has been the sponsor of the America's Cup challenger races since 1983, and Team New Zealand and its boat, Black Magic, won the Challenger Cup on its way to taking home the event's grand prize.
Louis Vuitton president Yves Carcelle presented skipper Russell Coutts and syndicate head Peter Blake with pieces of the company's luggage, and flashed a pair of red socks in a nod to Blake. Blake wore red socks every day of the five-month campaign, except for one day when he was not on board the boat and the team lost its only race of the competition. Blake's legwear became so popular in his native country that a New Zealand company, Holeproof, manufactured a line called "Peter Blake's Lucky Red Socks."

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