OLD FRIENDS: What were Stephen Ruzow, president of the women’s division of Kellwood, and Allen B. Schwartz of ABS by Allen Schwartz doing wandering around the fashion floors of Barneys New York on Monday? Of course, they both used to work under Linda Wachner at Warnaco, so perhaps they were just exchanging fond memories of the Wachner years.
WAR TALES: Hot on the heels of Ralph Lauren’s unauthorized biography comes one devoted to French luxury titan Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Dramatically titled “Angel Exterminator: The Real Life of Bernard Arnault,” it just arrived in French bookstores and has some in the European financial community chattering.
Written by French journalist Airy Routier, who writes for the left-leaning newsweekly Le Nouvel Observateur, the 425-page book delves into Arnault’s personal war with François Pinault, who foiled LVMH’s attempt to gain control of Gucci. But so far, the book seems unlikely to unseat Karl Lagerfeld’s diet book as a bestseller — it’s received scant attention in the French media and insiders in the LVMH camp dismiss its contents and question the author’s independence.
DECORATING 101: When it comes to accessories, more is more. That’s the perspective of Paris’s museum of fashion and textiles, which is devoting its next exhibition to jewelry and decoration in fashion. Titled “Trop,” the French word for “too much,” it will feature the private costume jewelry collection of Barbara Berger — which spans the Twenties through the Sixties — along with decorative fashions from the museum’s collection, from Vionnet to John Galliano. Swarovski is sponsoring the exhibit, which runs through the end of August.
THE EYES HAVE IT: They’ve taken inspiration from the Hilton sisters, Liza Minnelli and trailer trash, but now Heatherette designers Richie Rich and Traver Raines are aiming at a slightly higher class, basing their fall collection, to be shown Feb. 7, on the 1978 cult classic “The Eyes of Laura Mars.” It was not lost on the designers that the Faye Dunaway screamer happens to be a favorite of establishment designer Michael Kors, who screened the film at his 20th anniversary party. “We’re going there, yes,” Rich said. “But it’s Laura Mars in a blender.”
SLAM DUNK: Saks Fifth Avenue better be sure it has plenty of big and tall sizes lying around. This All-Star Game weekend, NBA players are getting a taste of the Hollywood perk machine because the retailer is setting up a 1,200-square-foot shopping suite with a selection of its best merchandise at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, where NBA’s All-Star Game players will stay. “So many people do this for awards shows, we thought it would be interesting to do this with athletes,” said a Saks spokesman. “They’re an untapped market for freebies.”
From Friday through Sunday, there’ll be gifts for players and celebrities, complimentary makeovers and special shopping opportunities from such brands as Birger Christensen, Chris Aire watches, Penhaligon’s, Ninni Collection Fine Jewelry, Nars cosmetics and Safilo Group. Among those invited to the suite are Ben Affleck, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, LL Cool J, Usher, Nelly, Edward Norton, Freddie Prinze Jr., David Schwimmer and Chris Tucker.