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COURTING JANKOVIC: The U.S. Open’s number-two seed, Jelena Jankovic, cooled her heels Wednesday in Stuart Weitzman’s Madison Avenue store in New York. The Serbian-born ace tried on multiple pairs of shoes before deciding on lace-up ankle boots, a freebie from the designer for returning to the boutique on Fashion’s Night Out to challenge him to a charity Ping-Pong game. Teetering in 6-inch heels, she immediately recognized the occupational hazard. “These are too risky for a tennis player,” she said.
Her hours of outdoor training were evident from the serious tan lines caused by athletic socks, but Weitzman was more fixated on her generosity. “It’s really wonderful how athletes today are so willing to give their time to charity. Jelena just did an event with Derek Jeter in Florida,” he said. “Of course, a girl can’t resist a free pair of shoes. She is like a kid in a candy store.”
This story first appeared in the September 3, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 25-year-old, who wore a colorful printed Roberto Cavalli dress and toted a Gucci bag, only competes in the Chinese brand Anta and she launched a line of children’s clothing in China earlier this year. Her mother, Snezana, actually worked in design for a Serbian fashion designer. “When I finished school, I couldn’t find a job so I went into fashion. I was an economist,” the elder Jankovic said.
KARL’S TAKE ON HOGAN: The one-off capsule collection of the Hogan by Karl Lagerfeld line will be unveiled in Paris on Oct. 2. The fruits of the tie-up between the Tod’s Group-owned brand and the storied designer was announced earlier this year, and in January will arrive in Hogan’s 22 monobrand stores, plus select points of sales. That same month, Hogan will cut the ribbon of its new store in Shanghai, its first in China. The selection includes apparel and accessories imbued with Hogan’s characterizing sporty urban edge, including a special rendition of Hogan’s much-coveted Interactive sneaker. A price list was unavailable. A short movie on the Hogan universe, conceived and filmed by Karl Lagerfeld, will be projected at the presentation. In the first half of this year, Hogan’s sales advanced 4.2 percent to 137.5 million euros, or $175.7 million at current exchange.
ANSWERING BACK: Dolce & Gabbana has spoken up about its recent split with Selfridges. On Thursday, the company said space — or lack thereof — was at the heart of the problem. “Given the unavailability in Selfridges stores of ideal spaces which could fit with Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands’ levels and expectations, the group decided to discontinue the distribution of both brands’ collections through the department store,” the company said. “This decision is consistent with the group’s constant work to always ensure the best expression of brand and to preserve its image.”
Last month, Selfridges said it was “unable to accommodate” the Dolce & Gabbana brands due to the evolving demands of its fashion and accessories departments. Dolce & Gabbana executives were said to be disgruntled that the two collections’ locations in the store had been moved. The last Dolce & Gabbana collections to be carried by Selfridges will be for fall.
UNBELIEVABLY GOOD PRICES: Gilt shoppers may have noticed some unusually sharp bargains at the Women’s Final Sale Wednesday. Long wool cape coats from Y-3, which at full price sell for more than $1,000, were priced at about $30. Printed silk secretary dresses from Tucker, normally starting at $325, were $29 — while, strangely, the same item in a shorter blouse version was $49.
But customers were charged different prices at checkout or when the item shipped. A Tucker silk dress rang up at $49, not $29. A BCBG blouse became $39, not $29.
“We had a lot of technical difficulties with that sale,” said a Gilt customer service rep when questioned about the discrepancy on an order. “A lot of people have called.” She said Gilt would refund the difference if the customer called back after the item shipped.
The sale was a large one, with as many as a dozen items or more each from 53 designers, from Alice + Olivia to Vera Wang Lavender Label.
A Gilt spokeswoman said the company is not yet sure how many orders were affected, but plans to refund all errors and already has started reaching out to customers. The glitch was a coding error, and there is no issue with the company’s software, she added.
But Gilt could face not only a software glitch, but a legal one: Federal Trade Commission rules make it against the law to charge customers more than the advertised “shelf price” and stores that do may be charged civil and criminal fines.