FALCHI'S YOUTHQUAKE: Carlos Falchi is keeping busy this market. The New York-based designer, famous for his exotic skin handbags, has signed on to be the creative director of Sloane & Alex, a line of leather satchels to launch Aug. 7 through Showroom Seven at Accessorie Circuit Intermezzo in New York. The line is produced by The Betesh Group in New York and inspired by the daughters of two Betesh executives who are mad for fashion.

"It's an alter ego for me," Falchi said of the bags, which range at wholesale from $54 to $281 and hit select Bloomingdale's and specialty stores such as Corsa at the Forum Shops in Las Vegas and Leo in Miami in October.

The first collection features styles like a slouchy leather messenger bag in ivory embroidered with bright pansies and a soft leather drawstring purse with a chunky silver chain woven through the bottom and chevron quilted straps.

"It's for a younger customer, for girls coming out of college," added Falchi.

He has some other things up his sleeve, as well, including a diffusion line of handbags called Falchi by Falchi to launch in fall 2007.

CHANEL'S GEMS: "If I chose diamonds, it's because they represent the greatest value in the smallest volume," Coco Chanel declared in 1932 of her first fine jewelry collection, Bijoux de Diamants. Next month, original pieces such as the legendary Comète brooch along with some 100 of the house's sparklers, including a diamond star necklace reissued for the occasion, will be featured for the first time at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. The exhibition, which runs from Sept. 15-24, will be in a 40,000-square-foot space designed by architect Peter Marino within the Grand Palais.

CHARMED LIFE: Charriol is feeling a bit whimsical. The Swiss watch and fine jewelry manufacturer has unveiled its Bacci Collection, featuring delicate and playful charms in 18-karat gold and diamonds that dangle from necklaces and earrings. It is the firm's first collection targeted at the entry-level price point. Items will retail between $250 and $450.

"For the launch of the new collection, we are keeping our quality but trying to make it more for someone who wants to start into the world of designer jewelry, or for that young customer who wants to own their first piece of designer jewelry," said Ori Zemer, vice president of Charriol USA.

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