ONE FOR THE ROAD: To celebrate its 10th year in business, fashion watch firm Fossil has taken its show on the road. The Fossil Road Trip, which started on Aug. 9, is due to hit 63 stores across the U.S. by the time it's wrapped up on Dec. 19.

At each of the locations it visits, the Dallas-based watchmaker is featuring a design retrospective at the store's Fossil watch counter. This exhibit consists of collage panels, created by Fossil's own graphic artists. The panels intersperse pictures of watch styles with visual images of historical and pop culture significance -- the Reagans, Nelson Mandella and the Rubik's Cube, among them. Along with these are vignettes highlighting some of Fossil's most popular collections.To go along with the show, the company has introduced a special limited edition watch featuring a cartoon character named Fred Fossil. Each watch retails for $60, and only 10,000 numbered pieces are being made available during the tour.

NEW FACE AT CLAIRE'S: Claire's Boutiques, a division of accessories specialty store chain Claire's Stores Inc., Pembroke Pines, Fla., has named Carol Norman vice president and divisional merchandise manager of accessories.

The post had been vacant for six months. Norman had been vice president and divisional merchandise manager of Pier 1 Imports.

COLE'S MOMENT: Shoe and accessories designer Kenneth Cole pulled a crowd Thursday night at Bloomingdale's New York flagship, where he showed up to host the opening of his second-floor accessories and shoes shop.

The fans ranged from high school teens to career women and grandmothers and Bloomingdale's executives led by Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer. Action was spirited, as many waited for the designer to autograph copies of his latest catalog for Bloomingdale's and watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the 550-square-foot area.

The shop features shoes and handbags on burnished metal shelves and inside antique, clear maple bookcases.

Debbie King, Bloomingdale's divisional merchandise manager for shoes, said the shop was a natural for the store, since Kenneth Cole "produces fashion looks at a price."

"This is a business we've been growing for several years now. Kenneth Cole has been very active in creating the catalogs, the look of the shop and other promotional vehicles that only serve to add to the success of the collection," King noted.Handbag buyer Joyce Packman said sales of Kenneth Cole bags in August were up 60 percent over the same time last year. Kenny Horowitz, Cole's sales agent for handbags, small leather goods and belts, added that the designer's wholesale accessories business was being driven primarily by backpacks and Horowitz's sales so far this year have also increased 60 percent. He projected 20-25 percent increases for next year and noted that new looks for spring will include patent leather, neon-colored nylon and linen.

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