BOY ZONE: Part of Coco Chanel’s fashion legacy was the way she slyly borrowed elements of men’s wear and adapted them for women. Word has it Karl Lagerfeld will underline this point at his Chanel show on Friday by having several boys mixed in with the female models on the runway. It’s not the launch of a men’s line. What’s good for her will be good for him — tweed jackets and all.



SUIT CASE: Marcello Bottoli, the former chief executive of Louis Vuitton, has landed at another luggage giant. On Wednesday, he was named the new president and ceo of Samsonite Corp., which sells north of 10 million bags each year and was recapitalized last summer. Bottoli, who will spend the next month packing his bags and traveling between Asia, Europe and the U.S., will be initially based out of Samsonite’s operational base in Belgium. Bottoli, who came to the fashion world from Reckitt Benckiser, was president of Louis Vuitton from September 2001 until January 2003. You know what they say about being bitten by the travel bug.



SEPARATION ANXIETY: Kevin Bacon has nothing on Fred Wilson in the degrees-of-separation department. Attending his first Paris runway show Wednesday as Saks Fifth Avenue chief, Wilson greeted a dizzying array of LVMH executives as they filed into the Christian Dior show — and had a story about each of them from his “old life” as an LVMH veteran. For example, along came Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, chief operating officer at Dior, who had previously been president of Louis Vuitton North America, succeeding Wilson himself. So what’s the connection to In Style magazine’s Hal Rubenstein? Turns out he swung Wilson a reservation at an Italian restaurant in New York to celebrate his 27th wedding anniversary.



CALVIN, THE JET SET: Calvin Klein has been a man about town in recent weeks, turning up at restaurants around his future West Village apartment on a regular basis. “I’ve been eating here practically every other night,” he said after dining at Matsuri on Tuesday night, where he sat with Ross Bleckner and Christopher Makos at a booth next to one occupied by Diane von Furstenberg and Roberto Benabib. But don’t expect to see him again for a few weeks.“I’m going on safari,” he said, with an expected Rio de Janeiro today, and then on to Cape Town, South Africa, where he and a group of friends will trek the wilds for a couple of weeks.



LONG LIVE THE SUPES: With a dearth of celebrities at the close of Milan Fashion Week, supermodels of yore came to the fore. Towering Nadja Auermann walked for Dolce & Gabbana, while Eighties model Marpessa closed Antonio Marras’ show. “I like to help young designers, just as I liked helping Dolce & Gabbana,” she said after the show. Eva Herzigova appeared at shows including Dolce & Gabbana, Ermanno Scervino and Roberto Cavalli. At Blumarine, all the supes were out in force — albeit on-screen. A video featuring past clips of Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista and others wearing the clothes opened and closed the show.



EYE SPY: So what was Krizia doing in the second row at Antonio Marras’ show? With her latest design collaborator, Hamish Morrow, out the door, could Mariuccia Mandelli be spying some new talent? Inquiring minds want to know. “I adored the show — he has an incredible sense of theater,” said Mandelli, who denied she was on the lookout. “I’ve known Antonio for a very long time. I wanted to see one of his shows and he invited me.” In case she didn’t get her fill, she can fly to Paris next week, where the Sardinian designer will show his first collection for Kenzo.



COLE TO NEWCASTLE: OK, so that’s not entirely true, but Kenneth Cole was in London this week to promote his fragrance, Black — Kenneth Cole New York, for men and women. As part of his tour, he gave a speech to students at the London School of Economics, and described his business philosophy: “I’ve been a lunatic for 20 years, and I feel good having arrived where I am.” While the men’s fragrance is already on sale in the U.K., Black for women will make its debut in the fall and will be sold exclusively at Selfridges. “Maybe it would have been more appropriate to launch at Boots,” he later joked, referring to the British pharmacy chain.

CLOWNING AROUND: Turns out Alexsandro Palombo’s fashion show invitation — which caused controversy last week for its depiction of burning Twin Towers, Anne Frank and expletives — was not off-putting for luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. One of the French luxury group’s top talent scouts, Bernard Arnault adviser Concetta Lanciaux, was seated front row and broke into a smile when the first model hit the runway with her dunce hat, tinsel hair, rubber boots and clown-like dress. Lanciaux admits she has her eye on the emerging talent from Italy’s Puglia region, from which the two hail. “He has a fantastic sense of color,” she said after the show.



KATE FIGHT: Perhaps Kate and Andy Spade should step up their efforts to reopen a Los Angeles door. Security had to intervene between two guests at last Saturday’s IFC/Independent Spirit Awards-Target after party in Santa Monica when a fight broke out over one of the last of the Kate Spade cosmetics cases given away there. The case, along with an Andy Spade DOB bag, was custom designed for the event and was the first of four limited-edition items to be distributed at IFC-Target film festival after parties in Cannes, New York and Sundance in the coming year. Last weekend’s event attracted more than the 750 guests expected, so many left empty-handed. Contacted Tuesday about the incident, Kate, who was still stuck in New York Saturday and missed the bash because her market samples arrived late, had to laugh at the news. “I’m flattered people would fight over these bags — as long as no one gets injured.”She and her husband did make it here in time for Sunday night’s Vanity Fair fete, and spent the following day checking out retail spaces in town.



BAL HARBOUR BLOWOUT: Shopping wasn’t an option, but Tommy Lee Jones, Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Creed’s Scott Stapp and Don Shula were out in force anyway for Friday’s Fashion Destination at the Shops at Bal Harbour. For the first time, the shopping center shut down early to throw a party and Ralph Lauren fashion show for 2,000 guests. Each store was decorated with accents for individual countries — pythons and monkeys for Africa, Moulin Rouge-type dancers and cheese for France. A sit-down dinner was served at Neiman Marcus, and Kool & The Gang performed during dessert at Saks Fifth Avenue. The event raised more than $1 million for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Founded by former NFL Hall of Famer star Nick Buoniconti after his son, Marc, was paralyzed in a college football game, the organization specializes in spinal research and rehabilitation.

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