KORS AND CARRY: The fall trunk show circuit is showing marked signs of an improving appetite for high-end merchandise, with some new personal bests. Michael Kors, for instance, racked up $1.6 million during an event at his Madison Avenue store on Friday and Saturday, where customers like Jamee Gregory and Casey Ribicoff did some serious shopping. Bestsellers included a $3,590 cashmere pantsuit with a fur collar, $1,195 silk and wool satin slouch jeans and a number of knits, such as a gray or black cashmere crewneck sweater for $795. A spokeswoman said the results were about 15 percent ahead of a similar event a year ago.
FYI: Sure designers and celebrities influence fashion. But who really controls it? Why, Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahhaf, of course. That’s the punch line for a humorous T-shirt being distributed by Kuwaiti retailer Majed Al-Sabah of Villa Moda. He’s inviting all his VIP customers and some special industry friends to receive the free shirt, which depicts the missing Iraqi minister above the caption: “We even control fashion.” Al-Sahhaf has bemused many in the West with his unfailingly positive assessments of Iraq’s military position and his endless stream of invective. “Now that Iraq is liberated and the war is almost over, it’s time for some fun,” Al-Sabah reasoned. He plans to produce about 1,000 of the shirts.
ON THE DOTTED LINE: The contracts of Valentino Garavani and his business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, have expired but Marzotto, the company that bought the house last year, said there is no reason to panic. “Technically, the contract has already expired,” Valentino chief executive Michele Norsa told analysts in Milan. “But the two are calmly working on the new collections. The company has an agreement with them to continue doing business in great harmony.”
EASY TO BE GREEN: Danny Seo will be making his presence felt on the air and in the tents this fall. The designer, author and “eco-stylist” plans to unveil his first men’s collection in New York this September, and he’s also just signed a deal with Hearst Entertainment to create, produce and host a lifestyle show he described as “The Naked Chef meets MacGyver.” Seo, a former Imitation of Christ member, is working with designer Anamyn Turowski on his collection, which he’s conceived with a “heavy military influence,” and currently includes things like hooded sweatshirts made with wool meant for suits. As for TV, “It will not be shot in a studio,” Seo vowed, adding that he was still searching for a format and look-and-feel that would let him espouse his very green world view without following too closely in Martha Stewart’s footsteps. “If I’m giving tips on washing the dog, I want it to actually be my dog. It has to have a voyeuristic, real-world quality to it.”