HAIR FLARE: With many American women obsessing over the latest hair-straightening techniques or styles created to look naturally mussed or shattered, hair accessories have been on hiatus for some time.

Hair accessories firm Evita Peroni is hoping to help turn the fashion cycle. In January, the Denmark-based company opened its first U.S. store in Aventura Mall in Aventura, Fla., followed by a smaller location in The Falls shopping center in Miami. The two shops mark the beginning of an aggressive five-year plan to open 100 branches in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, according to Ignacio Giraldo, president of EP USA LLC, an independently owned subsidiary of Evita Peroni.

In addition, the company has signed an agreement with Burdines to open its first in-store shop location at Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Located on the main floor, the 300-square-foot Burdines shop will offer Peroni’s styling tools, fashion jewelry and hair accessories, including barrettes, combs, headbands, elastic ponytail holders, and banana and shark clips. Projecting U.S. sales of $1.5 million in 2003, Giraldo believes customers will be attracted by the stores minimalist, soothing, Danish design.

Product designer Kate Knudsen, who met founder Henning Deichmann while creating one-of-a-kind Reebok sneakers for celebrities, said her goal is to interpret runway looks into easy, wearable items such as ponytail holders in fox or mink. Prices range from $5 for a plastic shark clip to $250 for an oval barrette with magenta, lavender and pink Swarovski crystals in an Art Deco pattern.

ACE NOMINEES SET: The Accessories Council plans to hand out its annual Accessories Council Excellence awards with a black-tie event at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan on Nov. 3.

Coach will receive this year’s Hall of Fame Award. Nominees for the other awards are:

  • Designer of the Year nominees: Gordon Thompson III for Cole Haan, Reed Krakoff for Coach, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Thomas Maier for Bottega Veneta.

  • Rising Star Award for Emerging Talent nominees: Blinde Designs Project, Gunmetal, Hollywould, Buzz by Jane Fox and Alexis Bittar.

  • Best Accessories Advertising Campaign nominees: Dooney & Bourke, Fendi and Bottega Veneta.
  • Retailer of the Year nominees: Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Henri Bendel.

  • “It” Accessory of the Year nominees: Eye Love Monogram handbag by Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton, Bisaccia handbag by Hogan, The Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons Limited Edition Motorola i95cl cell phone and Okla Mod boot by Manolo Blahnik.

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