FERRE FACELIFT FOR YOUTH: IT Holding SpA, parent company of Gianfranco Ferré, is working on the relaunch and restyling of the brand’s younger line, GF Ferré, and has tapped Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi to help on the new design, WWD has learned. The two young designers report to Ferré’s creative director, Lars Nilsson, who joined the company in September. Citron and Piaggi previously worked together at Mila Schön and Byblos.
LILY’S BARGAIN HUNT: Harrods has tapped crooner and mother-to-be Lily Allen to open its annual winter sale, which kicks off Dec. 28. Following Harrods’ tradition, Allen will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage at 9 a.m., and be treated to a tour of the store’s bargains by Harrods’ chairman Mohamed Al Fayed. But maybe Allen doesn’t need the tour after all, as she’s notorious for accepting designer freebies. Past celebrities who’ve opened the Harrods’ sale include Eva Longoria, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kelly Brook.
LANE MOVING IN: What better neighbors than baubles and bridal gowns? Neil Lane is planning to set up shop at 708 North La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood, Calif., next door to wedding dress designer Monique Lhuillier, who moved her namesake location from Beverly Hills in October. Lane has yet to flesh out plans for the space, which covers around 1,350 square feet and is expected to open in the spring. “I don’t know what I am going to do with it, but it is a jewel,” he said. Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Lane started his jewelry business, now housed on Beverly Boulevard, in Los Angeles more than 20 years ago.
A BIG BIRTHDAY: In celebration of its 80th anniversary in 2008, Cole Haan is launching a seasonal collaborative series with designers and tastemakers in fields such as architecture, industrial design, jewelry and sculpture. First up is Bing Bang’s Anna Sheffield, who will create a unique collection of clasps, closures and decorative jewelry accents for the accessory firm’s footwear and handbag categories. Cole Haan pieces featuring Sheffield’s hardware will debut in the fall.
A HAT FOR ALL SEASONS: London milliner Justin Smith is adding another feather to his cap. The designer, whose brand is called J Smith Esquire, will launch a range of off-the-peg men’s and women’s hats during London Fashion Week in February. He also plans to create a diffusion line. Smith, who until now has only made hats based on commission, said the new 24-piece ready-to-wear collection will be produced in his London studio, and will be “a bit elaborate and bonkers.” The collection will be priced at about $600 for each hat, and aimed at upscale department stores worldwide. The diffusion line will be called Mr. Smith, and will be priced at an estimated $120. The line will consist of three styles in numerous colorways, each factory made and hand-finished in the London studio. Smith said next up, the goal is a stand-alone store.
HOLIDAY ON HOLIDAY: Mimi Holiday is, true to her name, taking a vacation. The diffusion line by the London-based lingerie brand Damaris is launching a five-piece swimwear collection for spring. “I have always wanted to do a version of Mimi Holiday swimwear,” said Damaris Evans, designer and founder of the brand. “After road-testing the collection in Ibiza [Spain] over the summer, I felt confident I’d managed to create a swimwear collection that exuded understated sophistication.” Mimi Holiday Swim will feature detailing including brass buttons, thick laces and tassels. The collection will be stocked at stores including Barneys New York, Figleaves.com and Nordstrom from February.