After little more than three seasons, freelance designer Erica Davies has split from Tyler, the secondary line she cocreated with her one-time mentor, Richard Tyler, to launch her own line, Davies. The Welsh-born, Los Angeles-based designer also ceased designing the Max Azria Collection in March, which she’d continued while doing Tyler. “I felt the time was right, after nine years of designing for others, to do my own thing,” she said. Davies, who had begun assisting Tyler in his Couture line, had done double duty at Max Mara and Marc Jacobs’ Japanese line. A tight 16-piece spring debut of her new contemporary line is set for September’s New York Fashion Week with a more extended collection bowing the next season. With family backing, she is exploring manufacturing in Hong Kong and is looking to enter the Japanese market by October.

The split comes at a challenging time for Tyler, a secondary line launched last April. Problems with fit and shipping have plagued it from the start, and less than a month after announcing a partnership with Red Tiger, a holding company here backed by Lucky Brand Dungarees co-founders Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman, and former Earl president Joe Krafka, the deal was off.

PRUSSIAN COUTURE: It looks like Wolfgang Joop has been up to more than writing a novel. About 60 journalists received invitations for a Wunderkind Couture Fall-Winter ’03-’04 show to be held July 4 in Potsdam, Germany. And while there was no mention of the German designer, Wunderkind is the name of Joop’s public relations, book and arts event agency in Potsdam. Besides, who else but Joop would use a flocked, black, naked male angel as his logo?

Under the terms of Joop’s nasty breakup arrangement in 2001 with the company that bore his name (and as of last April is now under new ownership), the designer is not allowed to engage in any fashion activity until July 1. Joop was unavailable and Wunderkind executives declined to comment.

COACH TO BUILD U.K. BUSINESS: Coach will open two concessions at Harvey Nichols — in London and Manchester — this August as part of a larger U.K. retail rollout, according to industry sources. Coach, which already has a store on London’s Sloane Street and a concession at Harrods, will be working with its British distributor, Case London Ltd. to open the concessions. The sources added that Coach plans to open a total of 15 retail locations across the U.K. over the next year. Spokesmen for Coach and Harvey Nichols declined to comment. The London concession at Harvey Nichols will span 500 square feet, and sell handbags and small leather goods.PRETTY IN PINK: Kate Hudson glowed in a sexy petal pink kimono-style dress by Molly Stern for M.R.S. at Monday night’s premiere of “Alex & Emma” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Unlike the staid stenographer ensembles her character wears in the romantic comedy, Hudson’s draped, leg-baring red-carpet look was anything but stuffy. Not one to follow trends, Hudson said casually, “I’m not interested in wearing what’s hot — I just wear what I want. As long as I’m comfortable in it and it makes me feel good, I’m out the door.” Maybe not quickly enough — Hudson was running half an hour late.

HOOP DIPLOMACY: Nike is out to capitalize on French basketball star Tony Parker’s new star status in France. The American activewear firm plans to produce a Tony Parker shoe collection with the blue, white and red stripes of the French flag. Parker, a 21-year-old point guard with the NBA champions San Antonio Spurs, has brought new attention to basketball in France, which is not usually covered in the mainstream press. Nike intends to release the Parker shoes in August.

RIDING HIGH: Jean Paul Gaultier, who takes up the ready-to-wear reins at Hermès next spring, isn’t the only designer arriving at the French house. Paris-based contemporary designer Bali Barret, known for her funky, androgynous clothes, is said to be working on a secret design project for Hermès. Barret is believed to be readying a collection of silk scarves that would give a jolt of cool to the category. The collection is expected to bow for fall 2004 retailing. Barret, who founded her brand four years ago, has been on a roll recently. She guest designed lingerie for France’s Dim brand for fall and she has been one of the best-selling designers featured in La Redoute’s mail-order catalog.

TATTOO YOU: A temporary tattoo parlor at Selfridges — part of the store’s Bodycraze event last month — will become a permanent fixture, due to its huge success with customers. More than 400 people were tattooed at Selfridge’s Oxford Street flagship during the monthlong event that celebrated the body. “I think lots of people like the idea of tattoos, but did not like the idea of the type of place they had to go to get one done,” said Peter Williams, chief executive of Selfridges.

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