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WHO’S THAT GIRL?: Escorted by a no-nonsense-looking strawberry blonde female FBI agent, the arrest of alleged mob boss Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello on Thursday played out like something from Hollywood. The 85-year-old suspect, who is accused of being the acting chief of the Genovese crime family, was said to be asleep in an easy chair as credits for “The Godfather III” rolled on the TV when he was seized.
Despite looking a tad like Mariska Hargitay, the woman in question is the real deal, and that might explain why reporters are clamoring to interview her. But the FBI is passing on the requests, citing concern for her personal safety. This is new terrain for the buttoned-up bureau. Other agents have been profiled in magazines and newspapers, but generally for their specialty or accomplishments, not their looks. “That’s what we were thinking this one was,” an FBI spokesman said.
The agent, known only as “Kim,” wore a black low-waisted pantsuit with a white shirt that would have made J. Edgar Hoover — a real stickler for white shirts — proud. Ianniello, on the other hand, was not so pulled together in Velcro sneakers, a Ralph Lauren shirt with an unbuttoned collar, khakis with what appeared to be a sizable cigarette burn and, of course, handcuffs.
HERE COME THE BRIDES: That former Brooklyn landmark, Kleinfeld, did not leave anything to chance for the opening of its Manhattan store on Friday. Co-owners Mara Urshel and Ronnie Rothstein lined up a priest and a rabbi to bless the new $10 million bridal salon at 110 West 20th Street, and 100 of the company’s 185 staffers showed up for extra support.
Plumbers, electricians, architects, painters and staff employees were buzzing around the by-appointment-only wedding boutique Thursday dealing with last-minute fixes. But Rothstein wasn’t flummoxed by the blitz — it was familiar territory. In 1956, his father had a crew work through the night before the opening of the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami. The joint’s opening act, Harry Belafonte, was among the first to see the finished product.
This story first appeared in the August 1, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Some minor touch-ups still need to be done at Kleinfeld, but that didn’t deter 200 bridal and eveningwear shoppers from visiting the store on opening day.
ELBAZ GOES EAST: While most Paris designers are getting ready to take time off, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz is traveling to Beijing to start working on a huge fashion show he’ll stage in the Chinese capital on Sept. 18. It is planned as part of the closing festivities for the “Year of France in China.” Other events in the cultural extravaganza will include an exhibit of French art and dance, as well as a Christian Lacroix retrospective.
VIVA ITALIA: Why should Milan have all the fashion fun? There’s plenty of bella moda down south in the province of Naples. And about 250 Italian government officials and executives were in New York on Thursday to prove it. They gathered at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street to celebrate the region’s best in design and style with a gala dinner and fashion show. Ten designers showed their wares, from Amina Rubinacci‘s casual, sporty knits to Margherita Mazzei‘s sexpot beachwear to D’Alessandro‘s wedding whites finale. “Tonight, we’re able to bring a piece of the homeland to the U.S.,” gushed Giovanna Martana, councilwoman for small business and tourism for the region.
But what was with the occasional French tune as models strutted their stuff? “Naples is an international city,” Martana laughed. That may explain one of the lines that was named “La Parisienne a Capri.”
EAGLE LANDS: American Eagle opened a new flagship store in Union Square last Wednesday night — with a little help from Nick Lachey, Tori Spelling, Adrian Grenier, Carson Kressley, Karolina Kurkova and Rosario Dawson. The celebs presented awards to the six winners of American Eagle’s “Live Your Life” contest. Inspired by American Eagle’s new advertising campaign, “Live Your Life,” teens and young adults participated in a nationwide contest promoting the idea of aiming high, living large and achieving more. The winners were chosen from 6,000 entries and were granted $25,000 to pursue their philanthropic aspirations. Party-goers rocked out to live music courtesy of hipster band Louis XIV and Nicole Richie‘s betrothed, DJ AM. The 10,000-square-foot, bi-level Union Square location is the third flagship here, joining the 34th Street and SoHo locations