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Findings: Schuster Exits Icing … Arnold Joins the Hut … Touting Totes …

<CS:BOLD></CS><STRONG>SCHUSTER EXITS ICING</STRONG>: Dan Schuster has left as merchandise manager of The Icing to start his own business, an accessories buying office in New York.<BR><BR>Schuster's firm, Regent Accessories, opened June 27 at 134 West...

SCHUSTER EXITS ICING: Dan Schuster has left as merchandise manager of The Icing to start his own business, an accessories buying office in New York.

Schuster’s firm, Regent Accessories, opened June 27 at 134 West 32nd St., between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. For now, he said, he will be a one-person staff.

“With all the staff cutbacks happening at the retail level, I thought it would be a great time to start up this kind of a service,” he noted. At The Icing’s headquarters in Enfield, Conn., Schuster’s duties have been absorbed by Michael Castellano, the company’s vice president and general merchandise manager.

ARNOLD JOINS THE HUT: Sheila Arnold has joined Sunglass Hut International Inc. as senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, a new post.

Arnold, who until last November was president of merchandising at Macy’s West, will manage all aspects of Sunglass Hut’s marketing campaigns, global merchandising and sales promotion and visual presentation.

She will report directly to Jack Chadsey, president and chief executive officer of the Miami-based chain.

Arnold spent 17 years at Macy’s. William Cappiello succeeded her as president of merchandising.

TOUTING TOTES: Acquisition by Bain Capital of a majority interest in Totes Inc. — a deal announced last week — will mean a substantial cash infusion for the Cincinnati-based umbrella and rain gear company.

Both Bain, a Boston-based venture capital firm, and Totes, a private company with estimated sales of $175 million, declined to reveal the size of Bain’s holding or the amount of investment. However, David F. White, managing director at Bain, said the investment was “pretty substantial.”

“We put a significant amount of equity in the company to help fund the growth and provide capital for new product development at the company,” White said.

A spokesman for Totes, which has been restructuring the last two years, said the firm had been looking to boost its credit line in the face of new competition. The capital infusion will enable Totes to be “much more aggressive in the marketplace,” the spokesman said.

Bain, which has acquired 60 companies since its start in 1984, had acquired another accessories company, Mutterperl, a fashion handbag manufacturer, in 1988, but the business ran into problems and most of it was later sold to Hartstone Group, White said.

“Mutterperl was unfortunately a tough situation and did not work out for us,” he noted. “Totes is entirely different….[It’s] a well-recognized consumer product, definitely has a fashion component and is an innovator. I believe with this new capital the company can continue what they have done in the past and hopefully continue doing what they’ve done in the past in the new product development area.”

Bradford E. Philips will continue as Tote’s chairman and chief executive officer, and Sheldon A. Kopin, president and chief operating officer, will become vice chairman and president.

Among Bain’s holdings are Bealls and Palais Royal, two Houston-based specialty department store chains, and Fashion Bar Inc., a women’s apparel specialty retail store based in Denver.

FERRARI WATCH RACE: Swiss luxury watchmaker Girard-Perregaux has collaborated with Italian automaker Ferrari to launch a timepiece named for the car.

Girard-Perregaux, the licensee for the watch, recently launched the 18-karat gold chronograph at a luncheon in New York. Guests also got to see Ferrari’s latest set of wheels.

Only 499 numbered copies of the piece, which is set to retail at about $19,500, will be available worldwide. The first 25 will be distributed via a drawing, to be held Aug. 10 at the Laguna Seca auto race in Pebble Beach, Calf. Forms for entering the drawing will be included in the race program, as well as in July issues of the Robb Report, a financial news magazine, and the International Wristwatch magazine. The 25 drawing winners will be shipped non-sequentially numbered watches through local retailers during November and December.

In addition to the U.S., Girard-Perregaux plans to distribute the line in Italy and Japan.