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Fashion Scoops: When in Rome … Top Secret … Black is Back …

<B>WHEN IN ROME:</B> It looks like Fendi has found its new U.S. chief. Word has it in Europe that the Roman fashion house has tapped <B>Gianluca Flore</B>, chief executive officer of the U.S. unit of Bologna, Italy-based apparel giant Gruppo La Perla....

WHEN IN ROME: It looks like Fendi has found its new U.S. chief. Word has it in Europe that the Roman fashion house has tapped Gianluca Flore, chief executive officer of the U.S. unit of Bologna, Italy-based apparel giant Gruppo La Perla. A Fendi spokeswoman in New York declined to comment, and Flore could not immediately be reached. But among his first orders of business will certainly be real estate: as reported, Abercrombie & Fitch is taking over Fendi’s spot at 720 Fifth Avenue. Fendi has said it will maintain a presence in Manhattan.

TOP SECRET: In keeping with her usual trickster antics, Tara Subkoff is being typically coy about the address of her new Imitation of Christ store in New York. Set to open Wednesday, Sept. 8 (the same day as the runway show), the store’s actual address will be revealed the day of. Word is that Subkoff is eyeing other cities like Los Angeles, London and Paris. Wonder what devious tactic she’ll use when she opens in those towns.

BLACK IS BACK: Ferragamo has found a replacement for Graeme Black — the designer himself. Unexpectedly, Black, who parted ways with the Florentine luxury goods house in April, is back as ready-to-wear designer, only this time he will act as a consultant, working with Nathalie Gervais, Ferragamo’s creative director. A Ferragamo spokeswoman confirmed the appointment on Wednesday, but couldn’t disclose further details.

Black didn’t renew his two-year contract when it expired in mid-April due to diverging opinions with Ferragamo’s new management, namely product general manager Hervè Martin, who wants to raise the accessories bar. A source said that in his revised post, Black would have the freedom to consult for other companies.

In July, Fulvio Zendrini resigned as Ferragamo’s international head of communications, only four months into the job, and Clarice Pecori Giraldi, a Prada veteran who most recently was involved in arts-related communication, has replaced him starting this month.

CHOO ON THIS: Looks like those Palm Beach ladies will have to trade in their Jack Rogers sandals in favor of teetering Jimmy Choos. The accessories company is opening a 1,100-square-foot boutique on Worth Avenue later this month. The new shop will keep the Forties boudoir feel found in the company’s other U.S. stores, but Choo president Tamara Mellon has opted to use hues of sea foam green in a nod to the aquatic environs. This will mark the 12th Jimmy Choo store in the U.S. “Worth Avenue is among the world’s most exclusive shopping destinations,” said Mellon. “We are delighted to be opening in such a perfect location for our brand.”

This story first appeared in the September 2, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

STREET PREVIEW: “American Style,” Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s new book, won’t be out until later this fall, but images from it are already on display in Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue and 58th Street windows. Published by Assouline, “American Style” examines U.S. fashion history through the prism of 200 icons that have influenced it, including Superman, the Rockettes, bodybuilders and the Rat Pack. Bensimon, whose husband, Gilles Bensimon, is publication director of Elle, selected the images and wrote the accompanying text, while Harold Koda, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, wrote the foreword. And what does Kelly Bensimon see as the essence of American style? “I think the identifying word is ‘leisure,’” she said. “We really created active sportswear. We took the tweed off the golf course and put it into mainstream society.”