SEEING RED: Red is the new black at Vivienne Tam. The designer said Thursday she plans to launch a line of evening and special occasion dresses and separates for fall 2003. The new line will be referred to as the red label — Tam’s contemporary label is black — and will retail between $800 and $1,500. Tam said the red label will be about 40 percent higher than her contemporary line, allowing her to work with more luxurious fabrics and create more elaborate styles. The collection will be about 15 pieces aimed at specialty and department stores, and will also be sold at Tam’s SoHo boutique and licensed stores in Japan.
WHERE’S THE BEEF? Each week seems to bring another fashion tenant to the meat packing district. The latest is Annelore, a store at 636 Hudson Street featuring the designs of Juliana Cho, whose classic styles have unusual twists. Tailored blazers in herringbone tweed have a waist-slimming ruffle detail; blouses have flowing capelet sleeves, silk dresses are stamped with original patterns and handknit cable sweaters have asymmetrical button-up collars. Prices range from $165 for tops to $518 for jackets and coats. Accessories such as leather clutches with contrasting trim, black Lucite hoop-handled purses in one-of-a-kind fabrics and custom-designed jewelry round out the eclectic product mix.
RALPH’S NEW HIRE: Jen Meyer, who previously worked for Giorgio Armani in Los Angeles, is joining Polo Ralph Lauren. She will handle celebrity relations on the West Coast, replacing Crystal Moffet Lourd, who became a West Coast PR consultant for Christian Dior, as reported. Meyer is the daughter of Ron Meyer, president and chief executive officer of Vivendi Universal.
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Is Muammar Qadhafi ready to trade in his military khakis for a sleek Cerruti suit? It could happen. Cash-strapped Fin.part, which owns Cerruti and Frette, confirmed a local press report that it’s in talks to sell a stake to the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Co., or LAFICO, along with other unnamed investors. State-owned LAFICO has been doing a lot of shopping in Italy lately and forging strong ties with the Agnelli family by snapping up 7.5 percent of soccer club Juventus as well as 2 percent of Fiat. The Agnelli family seems eager to welcome Qadhafi into the fold: the Libyan leader’s son, Al-Saadi Qadhafi, will join Juventus’ board in October, and last month’s Italian Supercup match, pitting Juventus against the Parma team, was held in Tripoli.
LET THEM EAT POILANE: As luxury goods go, a loaf of Poilâne bread is up there with the Kelly bag and the Cartier Tank watch. In New York, fans have theirs Federal Expressed from Paris once a week. In London, the French sourdough bread sells at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and the Poilâne bakery in Belgravia. But since the $10 loaf went on sale at Waitrose supermarkets — where a baguette costs about $2.50 —Londoners have begun to moan about the price. “I just tell them my loaf weighs over four pounds, which is much heavier than a baguette, so the price isn’t much higher if you think about it,” Lionel Poilâne said. “And can you believe it? Since the press started writing about the price, we’ve been selling more than ever.”
DAMIANI REMEMBERS: Damiani, the high-end Italian jeweler, will donate a diamond choker from its private collection to be auctioned off at the gala Saturday following the GIN Montecarlo Invitational Pro-Celebrity golf tournament. Kevin Costner is chairman, and Prince Albert of Monaco will host the event. The money raised will be used to create a living memorial of 2,835 trees, one for each victim of the Sept. 11 attacks. The necklace, called Madame and valued at $33,000, is a one-of-a-kind piece encrusted with brilliant cut diamonds totaling 12 carats and an oversized gray Tahiti pearl.