PEI TAKES THE SOUTH: Perry Ellis International appointed Superior International as its licensee for the manufacture and distribution of women’s sportswear, under the Perry Ellis and Perry Ellis America brands, in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The collections will debut for holiday 2003, at moderate and better stores.

CITYMEALS-ON-WHEELS SET EVENT: Citymeals-on-Wheels will honor Joan Kaner, senior vice president at Neiman Marcus, and Mikki Taylor, beauty director and editor of Essence Magazine, at a benefit dinner May 5 at Martini’s Restaurant in Manhattan. All proceeds raised will benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels’ program of providing meals to the homebound elderly on weekends, holidays and in times of emergency.

FIRE AT ZEGNA BARUFFA: Investigators are looking into what caused a fire late Friday night at family-owned Italian yarn producer Zegna Baruffa. According to Italian press reports, flames tore through a 64,500-square-foot section of the family’s main factory in the northwestern town of Borgosesia. The damaged area reportedly encompassed a warehouse holding yarns ready for delivery. No one was injured and production facilities were not damaged. Mila Zegna Baruffa, the company’s communications director, could not be reached over the holiday weekend. An official from the investigating fire squad, in the nearby town of Vercelli, declined comment. Founded in 1924, Zegna Baruffa is one of Italy’s largest exporters of yarn for knitwear, producing about 24.2 million pounds annually. Production includes worsted, carded, classic and fantasy yarns in merino wool, cashmere, silk and mixes.

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