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ROYAL FUSS: It appears that Garrard’s new ad campaign — which features Missy Elliott, Liberty Ross and Rupert Everett with their own coats of arms and tag lines proclaiming “By special appointment to…” — is rattling a few royal cages. According to the London-based Evening Standard, the watchdog group Royal Warrant Holders Association said the ads were “not in the greatest of taste,” and added that only the royal family is allowed to grant permission to use the phrase “by appointment.” Garrard is the former Crown Jeweler and remains the headquarters of current official Crown Jeweler David Thomas. While the newspaper reported that Garrard agreed to alter the campaign at the request of the RWHA, Gianluca Brozzetti, chief executive of A&G Group, which controls the Asprey and Garrard brands, denied that. “The ads will continue, and we have no plans to change the campaign,” he said.
A spokesman for the RWHA declined to comment.
As reported, the color campaign shot by Malcolm Venville broke in the October issues of magazines including W, Vogue, Harpers & Queen and Tatler.
GIVING BIRTH: While Bill Blass fans continue to make the trek to Bloomington, Ind. to view the late designer’s retrospective at Indiana University, the new focus at Blass headquarters in New York is on dressing future generations.
Bill Blass Ltd. has entered into a licensing agreement with Quiltex to launch a line for toddlers called Baby Blass that is expected to develop into a $1 million business for spring. Quiltex, which also markets clothes for toddlers under the J. Garcia, Thomas the Tank Engine and Hello Kitty monikers, is targeting the fashionable 12- to 24-month-old set with cuddly baby sacks, jean jackets and separates made in similar, but softer, prints from the grown-up collection designed by Lars Nilsson. The clothes feature double-B buttons and, in a play on the classic Blass logo, two teddy bears sitting back-to-back.
“Children probably don’t know the Blass brand,” said Michael Groveman, chief executive officer. “But their mothers do. Eventually, we’ll bridge a gap and start selling [to those] children as well.”