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EYEING THE CUP: Salvatore Ferragamo has introduced a World Cup-inspired collection for the upcoming soccer championships.<P>The group consists of vintage-looking soccer balls, performance-oriented and recreational soccer shoes, a canvas bag and silk...

EYEING THE CUP: Salvatore Ferragamo has introduced a World Cup-inspired collection for the upcoming soccer championships.

The group consists of vintage-looking soccer balls, performance-oriented and recreational soccer shoes, a canvas bag and silk ties imprinted with soccer balls and gold cups.

During a presentation of the collection last week, Massimo Ferragamo, president of Ferragamo USA, said, “At Ferragamo, we think sports are very much a part of life. We can’t follow every sport. But there are some sports that have the combination of being elite and widely followed. We have an interesting perspective in those sports.”

Last month, the company unveiled the Salvatore Ferragamo for Nautor Challenge apparel, accessories and footwear collection. Nautor swan yachts are used in this summer’s Volvo Ocean Race, a nine-leg competition formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race.

True to form, the company is serving up its craftsmanship and quality in the World Cup items. The leather soccer cleats, for example, are made to order and carry a $360 price tag. They are also reminiscent of designs common in the late 19th century, when soccer was invented in England, said Jean-Marc Gallot, executive vice president and North American regional director.

“These are very special things,” Ferragamo said. “The average school team is not going to buy 50 for all their soccer players.”

Michael Kors has also gotten in the game with a World Cup line for Céline that will be offered only through the end of June at select specialty stores and Céline stores. Called Céline 2002, logos for the limited edition line use images of soccer balls instead of zeros.

Bloomingdale’s is showcasing the group in its Lexington Avenue windows in New York. The 25-piece line has leg warmers, a tank, hooded top, skirt, sneakers and boy shorts, as well as a shoulder bag, cardholder and purse. The $570 bag is expected to be one of the strongest pieces, and each of the 4,000 bags is imprinted with a number to show off its exclusivity, a company spokeswoman said.As for why Kors wanted to do this group, he said, “Except for America, the world is coconuts for soccer. We have to take that seriously. We also do an enormous business in Asia. People are lining up like crazy to buy anything new.”He also noted that Céline started as a sportswear house free from gowns or dresses. In addition, “the reality is sportswear was initially not meant for city streets.”

CRUNCH TAKES FLIGHT: Crunch Fitness, a New York-based health club chain and activewear brand, has teamed up with Jet Blue Airways to launch “Airplane Yoga.” Crunch has provided instructional cards for seat-back pockets for passengers to practice yoga in their seats. Next month, Crunch will install bright yellow punching bags in Jet Blue’s terminal at New York’s JFK International Airport imprinted with its logo and such tag lines as “Forget where you parked?” or “Left the iron on?”