• BEENE THERE: Geoffrey Beene will be awarded the National Arts Club’s first Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion on Sept. 30. The black-tie reception and dinner will be held at the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park South in New York, starting at 6:30 p.m., where Beene’s designs will be on display throughout the evening. The program includes a film on Beene, a presentation of a portrait of him and speakers including Laura Jacobs, author of “Beauty of the Beene: A Modern Legend,” and Harold Koda, curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • COMP FLAP: California Gov. Gray Davis has said he will sign into law an accord reached by lawmakers late Tuesday overhauling the state’s troubled workers’ compensation insurance system. The Assembly and Senate are expected to approve the measure this week, which aims to save up to $6 billion annually. Reforms include fee caps to health care providers and limits on pharmaceutical spending and treatments to injured workers. “Given the need to do something now and be dramatic, the [Workers Compensation Conference] committee responded admirably,” Davis said at a news conference Wednesday. But several business groups question the savings figure and say the plan doesn’t go far enough in dealing with costlier aspects of the system, such as permanent disability. “I’m not encouraged,” said Joe Rodriguez, executive director of the Garment Contractors Association of Southern California. He said the real “killer” is a state measure, also approved Tuesday by a legislative committee, that would require employers to provide health insurance for their workers by 2006.

  • CHICAGO CO-OP: Barneys New York will open its fourth freestanding Co-Op store in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago in fall 2004. The 9,000-square-foot site is at 2209-11 North Halsted Street. Howard Socol, chairman, president and chief executive of Barneys, stated, “The Chicago Co-Op will carry an assortment of men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, shoes and cosmetics that is reflective of the merchandise in our Madison Avenue Co-Op departments and our freestanding Co-Op locations in the Chelsea and SoHo sections of New York City and in the recently opened location in the South Beach section of Miami.” More Co-Op sites are being sought. San Francisco and cities on the East Coast, including more in New York, are possibilities.

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