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FANCY FEET: Christian Louboutin has a snazzy way of describing the high-profile location for his next Paris boutique. “Just across the street from Carla’s house,” he joked, referring to one Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France’s glamorous first lady. The two-level boutique, at 68 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré near the Elysée Palace, will be the shoe guru’s third Paris location and one of the largest, with 1,200 square feet of selling space. The unit, reflecting Louboutin’s latest design concept, is slated to open in August.
BAGGING CARLA: Speaking of the first lady, who gave a royal flush of fashion credits to Dior last week during her London sojourn, Tommy Hilfiger is the next brand hoping to benefit from her fashion touch. A limited edition tote signed by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is to be put up for auction April 21 at Hilfiger’s Parisian flagship on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The item is one of four remaining bags from the sold-out line launched last fall to benefit the Breast Health Institute. A gaggle of fashion bloggers, including Cory Kennedy, will be among around 60 high-profile guests who will be invited to bid. Bruni-Sarkozy has also been approached to squeeze an appearance into her schedule. For faraway fans, two signed bags will also be sold via online auctions on tommy.com and elle.fr in the run-up to the event, while Hilfiger’s Parisian flagship will host a silent auction open to the general public during the three weeks leading up to the event.
DOUBLE BOOKED: Dakota Johnson — spawn of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson and newcomer to the Manhattan social scene — painted the town red on Thursday night. Decked out in a scarlet Moschino cocktail number, the 18-year-old aspiring model and actress (she just signed with IMG) stopped by Saks Fifth Avenue for a W magazine-sponsored preview of Moschino’s fall line. Next, Johnson headed downtown to Paris Commune, where she joined a Zac Posen-clad Eva Amurri at her fete benefiting the UNA-USA’s HERO initiative. A gaggle of young thespians like Taylor Momsen, Mamie Gummer and James Snyder (who headlines the new Broadway production of “Cry Baby”) rubbed elbows with the hostess’ mom and step-dad (Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins). Silent auction lots included photos by Sarandon and Robbins, a dinner and wine tasting at Daniel and fashion looks from Alberta Ferretti, among others. Amurri’s charity (for which the starlet is a Goodwill Ambassador) supports children in HIV/AIDS communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
ART AND FASHION: Brian Wolk and Claude Morais of Ruffian have figured out a way around the current sluggish retail environment: make your collection look like a bargain by juxtaposing it with expensive antiques. The duo have set up a booth at the Park Avenue Armory as part of the Westchester Enterprises New York Art and Design Fair, and their fall collection is selling like hotcakes. “We don’t have any price resistance,” said Morais at a luncheon he and Wolk hosted on Friday. “The paintings here sell for $160,000.” In contrast, a Ruffian coat is a mere $2,995.
The only drawback of not being in an actual store is the lack of changing rooms — as lunch guest Poppy de Villeneuve found out. The brave fashion fan resorted to hiding behind the booth to change from her street clothes into a printed Ruffian dress before sitting down to eat.
A GOOD CAUSE: Style.com’s party to celebrate Laird Borrelli-Persson’s book “Fashion Illustrations by Fashion Designers” last Thursday also served as a kickoff of sorts. On Friday, eBay started an online auction of 10 illustrations from the book, including ones from Christian Lacroix, Doo.Ri, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Badgley Mischka, Isaac Mizrahi, Peter Som, Betsey Johnson, Giambattista Valli, Sonia Rykiel and Rodarte. All proceeds from the auction, which will go through April 18, will benefit the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer initiative.
RUNNING FAST: Having just celebrated their 10-year anniversary, it’s turning out to be an eventful year for DDC Lab’s Savania Davies-Keiller and Roberto Crivello. The New York-based duo opened the doors to their Melrose Heights shop recently to present their latest collection, full of skinny stretch leathers and nubby wool knits trimmed with vintage ribbons from Rajasthan. Also on display was their newest footwear collaboration with New Balance called NB, part of which will debut at retail in their new 3,000-square-foot SoHo store, set to open in early August.
OH, OSCAR: It seems that when winning Hollywood’s top prize, actresses should start thanking Chopard in addition to their laundry list of agents, producers, directors and family. The jewelry firm, which has dressed either a best actress or best supporting actress every consecutive year since 2004, is showing off its Oscar gems in its Madison Avenue windows this week. Blow-ups of the actresses on their winning nights accompany a selection of impressive jewelry, which each of them wore. Helen Mirren’s $4 million, 62-carat cognac diamond brooch is on display. She wore the brooch to accept the Oscar for “The Queen,” while Marion Cotillard’s $2.6 million champagne diamond briolette pendant is on display, still warm from her win for best actress in “La Vie En Rose” last month. “We always have requests after a big red-carpet season and Chopard was certainly successful in that aspect this year,” said Marc Hruschka, president and chief executive officer of Chopard USA. “Dressing celebrities certainly has an indirect effect on sales, through the increase of brand awareness overall combined with the exposure of our unique and special creations.” Hruschka declined to divulge exactly what has been sold, but confirmed that the interest to buy was there.