LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Cartier has declared June 8 “Love Day” as the company follows up on its Charity Love bracelet initiative started last year. In 2006, the firm appointed eight ambassadors, including Salma Hayek, Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler, to each represent a charity. Cartier then created the Charily Love bracelet with a rose gold charm on a silk cord strap in a color that corresponds to the particular cause. This time around, the jeweler has partnered with more celebrities and will add eight new bracelet colors with a white gold charm. On the roster are Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Djimon Honsou, Eva Mendes, Julianne Moore, Elie Wiesel, Rachel Weisz, Rihanna and Usher. Among the charities they represent are the Neighbor’s Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, the Art of Elysium and the Constant Gardner Trust.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT: Antony Price, the English designer whose clients have ranged from Bryan Ferry to Annie Lennox and the Duchess of Cornwall, is setting up shop in central London once again. The designer has a new backer: Paul Davies, the luxury property developer who just purchased London’s Number Eleven Cadogan Gardens hotel. Price will open a store and couture studio on Mount Street, near Marc Jacobs’ new store and the soon-to-be-opened Luella Bartley boutique, in the autumn. The store will sell Price’s ready-to-wear, couture and men’s wear. Price told WWD he was excited to have some financial backing: “I’ve never had a red cent from a single soul, and now that I do, I shall be a force to be reckoned with,” said the designer, who broke into fashion in the Sixties. “I’ve always had to make silk purses out of sow’s ears. It’ll be nice, finally, to have a bit of silk!”
ACTION AT ANNABEL’S: Sources in London say Mark Birley, 77, is close to selling Annabel’s — and quite possibly the other private Mayfair clubs he has created. Birley is reported to be in very advanced negotiations with Richard Caring, a British clothing supplier, close buddy of Topshop tycoon Philip Green and owner of London restaurants The Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheekey. It’s no secret that Caring, whose net worth is reported to be $900 million, has been stalking Annabel’s for a while, but a deal seems to be closer than ever, a source said. The price is said to be in the neighborhood of $200 million for the whole Birley empire, which includes members-only restaurants George, Mark’s Club and Harry’s Bar. Both sides declined to comment.
This story first appeared in the May 14, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A FAMILY AFFAIR: “Teenagers can be very hard to reach,” said Neil Cole, chairman and chief executive officer of Iconix Brand Group. “I know: I have two.” Cole made the quip to a crowd of hundreds at Thursday night’s The Event to Prevent, which was indeed a family affair, designed to advocate waiting to start a family. The benefit, complete with performances from Jennifer Hudson and Jackson Browne, was held at Cipriani’s 42nd Street locale — “where money and cathedral meet,” in the words of “Good Morning America” anchor Chris Cuomo, who hosted the event and who happens to be the brother-in-law of Neil Cole’s brother, Kenneth Cole, also in attendance. “Neil is a smart guy. He’s not just a successful guy; he’s not just a handsome guy,” Cuomo joked. “He is certainly the best-looking guy in that family….My brother-in-law, Kenneth, is like, ‘What?'” Cuomo applauded the work Cole has done through the Candie’s Foundation to help prevent teen pregnancy. Ciara, who has appeared in the ads, made a $20,000 bid on an auction package donated by Mark Badgley and James Mischka — an offer so generous that the design duo doubled the donation for a second bidder who matched the bid.
DESIGNER KICK: This year’s Upstairs at the Library event at the 2007 CFDA Fashion Awards comes with some one-of-a-kind gadgets, courtesy of the night’s sponsor, T-Mobile Sidekick. To mark the new partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, T-Mobile Sidekick asked several designers to customize Sidekicks, which will be displayed at the Upstairs event on June 4 and auctioned this fall to benefit Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. Those who created special Sidekicks include CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach’s Reed Krakoff, Cynthia Rowley, Betsey Johnson, Robert Lee Morris, Phillip Lim, Bing Bang‘s Anna Sheffield, Duckie Brown’s Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, Subversive’s Justin Giunta and Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright.
BROOKS EXIT: A creative director at Brooks Brothers, Vittorio Roberto, left the company earlier this month, according to a source. The source also said Brooks Bros. may seek the services of A/R Media, which has worked for Salvatore Ferragamo. Roberto previously was with Estée Lauder. “We do not comment on employee matters,” said a Brooks Bros. spokesman. Regarding the possibility of hiring A/R Media, the spokesman replied: “We work with several agencies on a variety of projects.”
LILLY PAD: Lilly Pulitzer and Bloomingdale’s brought a little slice of Broadway to the retailer’s 59th Street flagship Thursday evening. The two companies, in partnership with the producers of “Legally Blonde, the Musical,” threw a cocktail party featuring two of the show’s stars, Laura Bell Bundy and Christian Borle (both appropriately clad in Pulitzer apparel). The duo sang “Take It Like a Man,” from the new show’s finale, in the retailer’s New View department, and signed autographs as shoppers perused the first shipment of Pulitzer’s summer collection. Among the most popular offerings: a $298 little black dress produced especially for Bloomingdale’s — a version of Pulitzer’s existing cotton eyelet Billie sundress.
WALL STREET SHUFFLE: Time is of the essence in the financial district, but it never hurts to tell it in style. In celebration of the opening of its Wall Street store on June 21, Hermès will introduce a limited edition of 10 Cape Cod 1928 watches in rose gold with a havane crocodile strap. The watch costs $25,000. “Our watch business continues to grow very nicely. It’s moving into a higher scale, more sophisticated movements and also in terms of higher value,” said Robert Chavez, president and chief executive officer of Hermès USA. “Wall Street is one of those great opportunities. The financial district is almost like a city unto itself. We’re going to have the opportunities for clients who don’t typically go uptown.” Chavez said the firm was looking to open additional stores in the U.S. A store in Bergen County, N.J., will open in November and he is looking at Denver; Scottsdale, Ariz., and San Diego. The new watch surely will strike a chord with Wall Streeters — each comes with a crocodile humidor, perfect for storing those post-deal stogies.
BOWLING ALONG: Although Katie Couric‘s name can no longer be uttered without talk of ratings drama and network rivalries, she put all that aside Wednesday night to do a little bowling in support of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. Carmen Marc Valvo, musician Chris Botti and Whoopi Goldberg were among the celebs that joined Couric, who cofounded the alliance, at the new bowling and entertainment complex 300 New York at Chelsea Piers.
Couric, who wore a suit with a red T-shirt, quipped, “[Valvo] would be mortified if [her ensemble] had anything to do with him.” Valvo later said he had dressed Couric on several occasions and added that he was a colon cancer survivor. Heatherette’s Richie Rich was happy to come out and support Couric, noting that his father died of the disease. At $1,000 a strike, $150,000 was raised for the cause.