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GOODBYE LESLIE FAY: The Leslie Fay Co. has changed its name to LF Brands to reinforce its image as a holding company of diverse brands. It marks the first time since the firm was founded in 1947 by Fred Pomerantz that the corporate name will not contain the Leslie Fay moniker. The firm was named after Pomerantz’s daughter, whose brother, John, is still chairman of the firm.
According to company executives, the moderate overtone of the Leslie Fay name was cause for confusion, since the company caters to several different markets. It remains the moniker of its signature dress label, however.
“As we continue to develop existing brands and add new ones, it is important that each brand’s identity and positioning remain independent,” said W. John Short, chief executive officer, “but that all of our brands be supported under the corporate umbrella of the LF Brands holding company.”
LF Brands distributes apparel under the following labels: Leslie Fay, Joan Leslie, David Warren, D.W. Studio, Rimini and Cynthia Steffe.
HANNANT’S MEET AND EAT: Bergdorf Goodman held a lunch last Wednesday with Douglas Hannant for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America in Goodman’s Cafe. After sipping bellinis and dining on salmon, guests nibbled at their dessert while browsing Hannant’s collection on the fourth floor. The designer will present his fall collection in a runway presentation at the foundation’s annual Women of Distinction awards luncheon May 14. That luncheon, held in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, will honor actress Lorraine Bracco.
VIVA ITALIA: Here’s an idea: Close down a few lanes on Madison Avenue, park some Ferraris outside, get Cipriani for the catering and call it a party.
That’s what the Italian Trade Commission and the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District did March 27 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the promotion “Italy Salutes New York.”
ITC commissioner Roberto Luongo, Italian Consul General Giorgio Radicati and Roffredo Gaetani of Ferrari attended the opening festivities alongside local residents and representatives from the Madison Avenue BID. Two lanes of traffic were closed between East 66th and 70th Streets.
The program continued through April 6 as more than 30 Italian brands with stores on Madison Avenue participated. Inside the boutiques — Bottega Veneta, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Missoni, to name a few shoppers found booklets that looked like passports. After visiting 20 stores and making sure to get their passports stamped in each location, shoppers were eligible to win prizes, including Vespa scooters and trips to Italy on Alitalia, as well as gifts from each of the participating brands.
UPDATE YOUR CALENDAR: Several trade shows have shifted their dates for next month’s fall II editions. The Annex by Designers & Agents will run May 5-7 at the Starrett-Lehigh Center, 601 West 26th Street, New York. Atelier will be held May 4-6 at the Rihga Royal Hotel, while the Nouveau Collective Lifestyle Show is now slated for May 4-7 at the Park Central Hotel.