FINDINGS

BEYOND HATS: Milliner Kokin is taking a crack at the ready-to-wear business with his first collection of apparel.
The 56-piece line, which bears his name, made its debut at the recent 7th on Sixth fall collection shows in New York. Prices are set at the designer level; shirts, for instance, wholesale for about $200, while blazers go for about $450. Though he hasn't determined a first-year wholesale volume projection, Kokin said he expects the rtw to develop into a major part of his business. He is producing the line in-house at his firm on 20 West 36th St. in New York.
"The ready-to-wear business just represents more opportunities for me right now," he said. "I've been making designer hats for 12 years and I've pretty well saturated that market, so I thought the clothing would be a logical next step."
Unlike many other U.S. designers showing at Fashion Week, Kokin--not surprisingly-- chose to adorn his outfits with plenty of accessories, his own and those of fashion jewelers James Arpad and Jose Berrera. In fact, he put on a millinery runway show at the Plaza Hotel during the May accessories market last year.
"That was my way of testing the waters in terms of presenting a show to buyers and press," he noted.

NEW PREZ AT TORRES: Fine jewelry firm Omar Torres has appointed Julia Anne Farrell to the new post of president.
Farrell was president and chief executive officer of Guerlain Inc. from 1990 to the beginning of 1994, and then was an independent marketing consultant for a variety of firms.
The company, based in New York, has been in business for 1 1/2 years and distributes to fine jewelry and specialty store retailers. Farrell reports to the designer and company head Omar Torres.

WINSTON FETES GALATEE: The jewelry house of Harry Winston unveiled its $1 million Galatee watch at a cocktail party at its Fifth Avenue salon in New York last Wednesday evening.
Conceived by Ronald Winston, the firm's president and the founder's son, the one-of-a-kind watch has traveled to Europe and will make stops on the West Coast and in Tokyo before being sold. Also on display was the firm's regular watch collection, which retails from $7,400 to $160,000.
In addition to Harry Winston clients and executives, the event drew a surprise guest--boxing promoter Don King. King, who was sporting his own platinum and 436-diamond Harry Winston watch, quipped that the Galatee would be a perfect reward for Mike Tyson for winning his next bout.OMEGA BUCKLES UP AIGNER: Belt firm Omega Fashions has entered into a licensing agreement with Etienne Aigner to produce a signature collection of belts.
The line will be launched for the upcoming May accessories market. It will wholesale from $7 to $25 and be directed to better specialty and department stores.
There will be traditional, classic, luxury and sport styles, to fit various lifestyles and price points. Natural and textured leathers and fabrics will be used, and some groups will feature the brand's signature equestrian hardware.
The line will be sold at the Omega showroom in New York at 404 Fifth Ave.

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