BOOK BAGS: Now, travelers can carry their favorite books in their books.
An unlikely entry in the accessories market, Italian publishing house Salani has taken reproductions of its Fifties book covers and converted them into minihandbags. The cover of a romance novel adorns one side, while a kitschy ad for other titles geared toward women makes up the other panel.
Measuring about 9 inches by 6 inches, the bag can’t hold much more than a set of keys, a cell phone and a change purse. Salani said the bag is coated in a special waterproof enamel to make it more durable. The “Borsalibro” sells for $28.48, or 25 euros in local currency, and hits Italian bookstores and the Web site parcolibri.it in September.
NEW HIRES: There have some executive changes recently at accessories and jewelry firms. Blanche Napoleon has been named executive vice president of accessories at Oscar de la Renta Ltd. replacing Yvonne Guest, who has left the company after less than a year. Napoleon joins de la Renta from Via Spiga, where she was president, and reports to designer and chairman Oscar de la Renta and Rachel Barnett, chief operating officer.
De la Renta launched accessories for fall 2001 in-house. The accessories offerings include handbags, shoes and belts, and company executives have described it as the fastest-growing division of the business.
Meanwhile, Carlos Saavedra has joined British accessories firm Lulu Guinness Inc. as creative director for the brand worldwide. Saavedra joins from scarf and accessories firm Collection XIIX, Ltd. where he was head designer for seven years. In the newly created position, Saavedra oversees the design for the label’s whimsical handbags, as well as the company’s growing number of licensed line extensions, which to date include shoes, fragrance, hosiery, scarves and sunglasses. The company is launching sunglasses in a license with New York-based manufacturer Tura next month, although further information was not available.
In addition, former fashion journalist Holly Brubach has joined Mayor’s Jewelers Inc. as creative director, a new position at the retailer. She will oversee product development and direct merchandising strategies and visual presentation for Mayor’s, as well as Birks, the Canadian chain that took control of Mayor’s last August.Brubach, who has worked for publications such as Vogue and The New York Times, will also serve as product spokesperson for the Sunrise, Fla.-based company, which now has 28 units.
STRONGWATER SHOWROOM: Home accessories firm Jay Strongwater has opened a showroom at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan. The 8,000-square-foot space includes a spacious showroom area, as well as a design center and corporate offices.
“Our lease was up, and we just wanted more space and to be in this location,” said Strongwater, who noted that the area where the new showroom is located has more home and gift firms, while its old location on 36th Street had more accessories firms.
The company’s jeweled frames, home and beauty items are sold in such stores as Neiman Marcus, and the firm also just opened its first freestanding store at Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops in Las Vegas. It’s also building some of its newer categories, such as compacts and small beauty items. Wholesale prices for its offerings start at $40, with the average price point at about $400.
“We are also really focusing on growing our international business,” said Mona Hirson, president of Jay Strongwater, who noted that the company recently began selling in Harrods in London and is also building its business in Japan.
FINA HONORED: Manhattan retailer Michael C. Fina has been named Jeweler of the Year by the New York State Jewelers Association.
The 68-year-old company has been steadily adding more jewelry and watches, and last year opened a ring gallery devoted to designer bridal rings, and enlarged its watch area to carry more luxury brands. Located at 47th Street and Fifth Avenue, the 20,000-square-foot store also carries a wide variety of tabletop items, china and gifts. Fina, which is still owned and operated by members of the Fina family, was selected by the membership of the NYSJA, which is an organization founded to promote retail jewelers operating stores in New York state.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews