LOVE FOR SALE: In the run-up to Valentine's Day, a crop of luxury brands is out to prove that fashion has a heart. The offerings run wide, from gold-dusted chocolates at Giorgio Armani and a heart-motif glass vase at Christian Dior, to Louis Vuitton's heart-shape monogram purse, Pomme d'Amour, in romantic red, retailing for $300. Celine has joined the courting game with its Valentine debut, in the form of seven ceramic charms designed by Marion Vidal. Dubbed Lucky Ceramic, the pendants, which retail for about $190, come in the form of lucky motifs such as a ladybug and a four-leaf clover.

AUTORE EXPANDS: After planting an office in Los Angeles two years ago to catch Hollywood's eye, South Sea pearl specialist the Autore Group is gunning for a broader audience and will begin wholesale distribution across the U.S. as early as next month. The 15-year-old company already sells to jewelry houses in Monaco, Japan, the U.K., Italy, Spain and its native Australia. Although the wholesale strategy has yet to be fully fleshed out, Autore is targeting high-end stores such as London Jewelers. Sarah Young, international marketing manager at Autore, expects dangly earrings, large rings and pearl strands to be popular wholesale items. On average, Autore pieces retail from $2,500 to $200,000. The new U.S. wholesale effort coincides with Autore's attempt to position itself as a luxury brand. It is moving away from ocean-centric imagery in favor of simple cream and copper logos. In addition, it is on the lookout for a model with international appeal for an advertising campaign that will be shot after New York Fashion Week, during which Australian designer Toni Maticevski will decorate models with colored Autore jewelry. Autore is also prepping for its own retail expansion with a Sydney store to open in June and stores in the U.S. — Beverly Hills and New York are being considered — and Hong Kong planned for 2008.

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