DIANE AND DANCE: Diane Von Furstenberg continued supporting the arts Thursday night by hosting an intimate gathering at her West Village headquarters to preview "Forward," the latest piece by the contemporary dance company danielandsomesuperfriends. According to Daniel Wilkins, who founded the dance troupe two years ago, the performance investigates the limits of physical architecture, athleticism and agility through techniques from ballet and modern dance. "Diane’s studio is like an empty palette and an ideal location for what we do artistically," said Wilkins. It is the third piece the group has performed at Von Furstenberg’s and it includes 19 numbers performed by six dancers. "Forward" opens to the public tonight and runs through Saturday with shows beginning at 8 p.m. at Diane Von Furstenberg The Theater. Tickets are $15 and available at the door.

FERRAGAMO KUDOS: Salvatore Ferragamo was honored as best international brand of the year in China last week. Ferruccio Ferragamo, chief executive officer, received the award during a ceremony at the Opera House in Shanghai, at the gala evening MTV-Lycra Fashion Awards 2002, which was shown live on MTV in China. The Asia/Far East region is one of the company’s main markets, accounting for 46 percent of sales, which last year were $525.9 million (converted from euros at current exchange rates). There are 14 Ferragamo sales points in China, seven of which are company owned.

LESS REDRESS:CIT Group/Commercial Services won a partial victory last month when a Manhattan federal district court judge dismissed individual antitrust claims against it and seven other factors dubbed the Uptown Credit Group. As reported, Donald Weiner, owner of a Plainview, N.Y.-based retail chain called Dresses for Less, filed a lawsuit in May 2001 against CIT and Uptown Credit Group, alleging that the defendants bankrupted firms Weiner co-owned by denying them credit. Claims by several apparel firms owned or co-owned by Weiner were allowed to continue.

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