RIGHT TIMING: The Bongo brand, a division of Candie’s Inc., has entered a licensing deal with Accutime Watch Corp. to produce a line of watches to debut for spring 2005. The collection of interchangeable leather cuff bands in polkadots, solids and tweeds will retail from $25 to $35 and will be sold in moderate department and specialty stores.

Paul Frank Industries also has launched a new watch division, PF Timing, under a licensing agreement with watch company Vestal. Paul Frank has included watches in its collection for the past four years, but the deal with Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Vestal will allow for a broader range of items, including wall and alarm clocks and limited-edition watches. Priced from $55 to $250 retail, the collection will range from colorful vinyl designs to higher-end limited-edition pieces. Come fall, PF Timing will hit stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Villians in San Francisco.

KANGOL HOPS DOWNTOWN: British accessories brand Kangol already has a store on the Upper West Side, and is adding temporary digs downtown for the month of June. Kangol has taken over a space on Crosby Street to sell its hats and bags, as well as stage a number of fashion, music and art events. A charity auction of products embellished by celebrities is set for June 30, and all proceeds will go to the American Film Institute.

FAMILY MATTERS: Every celebrity seems to be getting in on fashion, but don’t count on actress Samantha Mathis to be among them. She does, however, have bejeweled roots. Viennese fine jewelry design firm A.E. Köchert has been in her family for more than 200 years, most recently taken over by her uncle and cousin after her grandfather’s passing. Reproductions of some original necklaces and earrings in the collection are on display at the Neue Galerie on 86th Street in New York. Several pieces also have been made specifically for the gallery and select items are for sale. Standouts are a coral beaded rope necklace and pink-and-orange coral earrings with pink sapphires and white gold.

But Mathis has a couple stunners of her own. She inherited some Art Deco pieces that her grandfather made for her grandmother, including a pair of gold cuff bracelets with swirls of rubies and diamonds. “They just sit in the safety deposit box,” she said. “I’m waiting to walk down a red carpet that’s fancy enough to wear them, and when somebody asks me what jewelry I’m wearing, I can say, ‘My grandfather’s.’ It’d be sort of sweet.”NEWEST LINK: Luxury accessories and gift company Links of London opened a flagship at 16 Sloane Square in London on June 1. The 4,700-square-foot space will be home to the brand’s new diamond collection, in addition to limited-edition pieces in 18-karat yellow and white gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The opening on Sloane Square marks the start of the company’s global expansion. In October, Links of London will unveil a 2,600-square-foot store on West Broadway in New York’s SoHo, and the company plans to open eight more North American boutiques by the beginning of 2005.

Sharon Buntain recently joined the firm as president and chief executive officer for U.S. operations. She will oversee wholesale and retail operations in the U.S. and Canada. Before joining Links of London, Buntain was North American president of Lalique, the French crystal and jewelry maker. Ellen Eisen was named president of U.S. wholesale operations earlier this year. She had been director of sales and marketing for Michele Watches.

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