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SWAROVSKI DONATION: Swarovski made its mark at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, Calif., recently when it placed the world’s largest illuminated crystal octahedron, weighing one ton, atop the tower at the entrance of GIA’s headquarters. “It will be like a great diamond in the sky,” said Nadja Swarovski, who dedicated the Tower of Brilliance, which took craftsmen at the company’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria, over two years to complete. Swarovski also gave the institute more than $1 million to further gem research and education.
LEIBER IN A CLICK: Accessories firm Judith Leiber has launched its first Web site, judithleiber.com. The informational site features the history of the brand, red-carpet moments and special Web pages showcasing minaudières, day bags, evening bags, shoes and eyewear. Visitors can also read about how the bags are made and where to buy them. “This will allow those customers who are new to Judith Leiber to fully understand what the brand stands for,” said Victor Lipko, Judith Leiber’s chief executive officer.
In addition, the site has information about the company’s new collector’s club. Twice a year, the company will offer special bags to club members. “We see this is as another tool to maintain an informative dialog with our current and future customers both nationally and internationally,” said Lipko. “At a later stage, we also plan to provide links to our retail partners in different markets so that the Web site becomes a more effective sales and marketing vehicle.” The site, which was created by design company Dillon/Thompson, is not equipped for e-commerce transactions.
HARTMANN ANNIVERSARY: Luggage and accessories firm Hartmann Inc. recently celebrated its 125th anniversary with a big to-do at Bloomingdale’s in New York, featuring celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch and an exhibition of some of its vintage styles. The Lebanon, Tenn.-based firm showed classic pieces from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, as well as some current styles. Among the items were a 1935 Pathfinder wardrobe trunk used by actor Jimmy Stewart, and the 1886 honeymoon trunk of first lady Frances Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland.
“The evolution of Hartmann’s products illustrate the transformation of travel in the U.S., as well as abroad, over the past 125 years,” said David Herman, president of Hartmann. In addition to luggage, the firm now makes business cases, accessories and personal leather goods.