FAREWELL, JANET BROWN: The new year is going to have to get along without Janet Brown. The Port Washington, N.Y., designer boutique, which was in business for 24 years, officially closed its doors a few days before Christmas. According to one source at the scene on Dec. 21, the store’s last day, remaining merchandise was drastically reduced, and throngs of bargain hunters were hauling off clothing in their SUVs. Since Brown’s death of a heart attack in March, the 1,000-square-foot boutique had been overseen by her sister, Elaine Edelstein, an accountant from Philadelphia. Calls to the store went unanswered Thursday.
BIDDING AT THE CHANCE: Catching a Bryant Park fashion show might be ho-hum to some, but apparently a few Aspenites were willing to pay a pretty penny for the chance to get front-row seats. At last week’s Freestyle 2007, an annual après-ski benefit for the Aspen Art Museum, the auction paddles were waving for a private jet journey and two tickets to Derek Lam’s show next month in Bryant Park. The winner wound up plunking down $31,000 before guests including Eleanore and Domenico De Sole, Michele Herbert, Ivana Trump and Denise Rich. The bidding was said to be even livelier for a Dennis Basso full-length Russian broadtail coat with Russian sable trim, which went for $110,000. Perhaps the final bidders did so in the name of charity — Dennis Basso, who served as the title sponsor, watched the play-by-play. The event’s final tally topped out at $700,000 — a $57,000 increase compared with last year.
THE ARTIST KNOWN AS PRINCE: Richard Prince fans might be sad over the upcoming closing of his “Spiritual America” exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, but fashion fans have a reason to be eager for it to end. On Tuesday, Louis Vuitton will host a party to fete the final day of the museum exhibit. Models outfitted in Vuitton nurses’ outfits will roam the event carrying what will arguably be the most coveted handbag since consumers ever uttered the name Murakami — Prince’s bags for Vuitton. The limited edition bags, on which Prince collaborated with Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs, will officially go on sale Feb. 1. But all those invited to the Vuitton party will get a leg up on their competition: They’ll be able to preorder the bags there.