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PLATINUM GIFTS: At a Badgley Mischka Platinum Sportswear launch party at Saks Fifth Avenue last week, the models did their jobs showing off spring styles. But even more impressive were the many socialites wearing the latest looks. Cristina Greeven Cuomo, Gillian Hearst-Shaw, Tinsley Mortimer, Jennifer Creel, Muffie Potter Aston and the rest of the gang were rewarded for their informal modeling. The designers are letting each of them select whatever strikes her fancy from the new collection as a freebie. Cuomo was among the attendees who took advantage of Saks’ extended store hours, pausing to check out the ballet flats en route to the party.
GET KNOTTED: Jean-Paul Knott is the latest designer to have been tapped by revived Italian house Cerruti, following Nicolas Andreas Taralis‘ appointment as the house’s creative director in August. Knott, formerly at Louis Féraud, will head up the brand’s men’s and women’s diffusion line, 1881, named after the Cerruti family’s founding textiles business. “The line will embody elegance, simplicity and refinement in harmony with [Taralis’] vision,” said Knott.
DOHERTY TO EXIT BURBERRY: Pat Doherty, Burberry’s senior vice president, marketing worldwide, plans to leave her post later this year, according to industry sources. Doherty has been with the company since March 2000 and was a close colleague of Rose Marie Bravo, who stepped down as chief executive last summer. Prior to joining Burberry, Doherty served as vice president, marketing/creative, for Saks Fifth Avenue from 1992 to 2000, and as managing editor of
J. Crew between 1983 and 1992. She began her career at Vogue. A source close to Doherty said she is not leaving to join another company, she’s simply ready to move on. Doherty was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. A Burberry spokeswoman declined comment. Doherty’s departure follows that of another longtime Bravo colleague, Stanley Tucker, the brand’s senior vice president of men’s wear worldwide, who left the company in September.
THE HEIRESS: Rumors are flying — not for the first time — that Inditex founder and chairman Amancio Ortega, 71, is getting ready to hand over the reins to his 23-year-old daughter, Marta Ortega Pérez. She is an economics graduate, an accomplished equestrian and almost as socially shy as her father. A spokesman for the world’s second-largest apparel retailer, whose chains include Zara, declined comment except to say: “The information did not come from our office. We don’t have anything to say. Logically [as Ortega’s daughter], she’ll have a role, but so far she isn’t involved in the company. As for her coming on board, there’s nothing new to report.”
Amancio Ortega is the richest man in Spain with an estimated net worth of 14 billion euros, or $18.7 billion at current exchange. He’s known as a hands-on boss who eschews an office at Inditex headquarters, preferring to sit in an open-plan floor with his executive team.
LEYMARIE ON THE PROWL: “C’est la vie,” said Guy Leymarie of Alyce Alston‘s exit from De Beers. Leymarie, chief executive of De Beers Diamond Jewelers Ltd. — formerly known as De Beers LV — said he soon would begin looking for Alston’s replacement. Alston will quit her post as ceo of De Beers North America at the end of the month to join Reader’s Digest Association in an executive position. Leymarie said he was “very confident” the current in-house team would hold down the fort in the meantime and push the diamond jeweler’s U.S. business forward. “It’s going to take awhile, because it’s never easy to find the right person,” said Leymarie. “But we’re already thinking about whom we want, and I’m positive.” Leymarie added that Alston had a “tremendous” amount to offer, and that she’d done a “very good job” for him.
JOINING THE PACK: New York-based specialty store Intermix will launch its first Los Angeles location in the city’s hotbed of specialty retail, Robertson Boulevard. The retailer will take over a 5,000-square-foot space now occupied by Harari, but has yet to confirm an opening date. The announcement has ruffled the feathers of Kitson owner Fraser Ross, who said, “They broke the balance [between West Coast and East Coast].” Ross seems to have forgotten that influential Robertson boutique Curve set up shop in New York last month and that New York specialty store Dolce Vita arrived on Melrose Place in September.“
WEST COAST HONORS: Zac Posen, Parisian jewelry designer and Yves Saint Laurent muse Loulou de la Falaise and Washington Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan, the 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism, are the honorees at next month’s fashion school graduation from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University. Each will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters, which Alexander McQueen received last year from the university and with which Vivienne Westwood was honored earlier this month when in town to open her exhibit at the de Young Museum. Posen will attend with his mom and company chief executive officer, Susan.
BIDDING FRENZY: San Francisco Junior Leaguers at their annual charity fashion show and auction on Saturday found no shortage of bidders for two tickets to the spring 2008 Ungaro show during Paris Fashion Week in September. The passes were donated by Ungaro owners and San Franciscans Asim and Isha Abdullah, and with a week in a well-appointed Left Bank apartment, went for $15,000 to Gary and Sheila Peace. Since 1926, the JL fashion show has been a rite of spring on Nob Hill, and this year the event at the Fairmont raised more than $500,000 for underprivileged children. Leaguers were the models, outfitted by Macy’s for the 19th year. “We’re oversold,” a celebratory Catherine Hutton, fashion show chair, said at a pre-dinner reception in the penthouse Swig suite. There was still a seat left for Paul Pelosi Jr., son of House Speaker Nancy, who arrived late after stopping by the Gettys’ for a Bob Woodruff book signing.