FRETTE HEIST: More than $70,000 of luxury at-homewear, bedding and home accessories by Frette was stolen last week on its way from customs to the Frette showroom in New York, said Filippo Arnaboldi, U.S. director of marketing for the Frette division of Italian apparel giant Fin.part.

"Thirteen of 17 boxes were stolen, as well as merchandise from other fashion companies," said Arnaboldi. "We contacted the police and I’m sure it is not a coincidence. We’re not talking envelopes here. They were big and heavy boxes filled with cashmere, silk and mink throws."

As a result, he said, Frette will have to cancel the presentation of its fall-winter collection scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Of course, we were insured, but even if we were reimbursed $1 million, these were one-of-a-kind samples," said Arnaboldi. "It’s not like you can manufacture them again in one week."

He added that the presentation of the fall-winter collection will be rescheduled in late April.

WAL-MART LAUDS LEEDS: Richard Leeds International has been selected to receive Wal-Mart’s Supplier of the Year Award for sleepwear and loungewear for women and juniors.

The awards ceremony will take place April 11 at the Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Other festivities, including a cookout, will be staged at the Benton County Fair Grounds.

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