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NEW GIRL AT TOPSHOP?: As if the celebrity clothing arena weren’t crowded enough, rumors in London are afoot that Brit model Agyness Deyn is set to design a line for Topshop. A spokeswoman for the store said, “Nothing is happening yet,” regarding a possible collaboration. However, the model-of-the-moment schmoozed Philip Green, the high street chain’s owner, at the “Golden Age of Couture” gala at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum last month, and an industry source said a collaboration was in the very early stages. And the gamine model does have more design credentials than most mannequins: Her colorful ensembles have been as much a feature of street-style blogs during the fashion weeks as her appearances on the runways. And, with her designer roommate Henry Holland on tap, Deyn would at least be able to bounce a few sartorial ideas around over the morning’s fried breakfast.
SCENT OF CUSTO: Word is circulating in Spain that Custo Barcelona has signed a deal with Barcelona-based Idesa Parfums to develop and distribute a line of fragrances. The first scent is expected to launch globally in fall 2008. The Spanish sportswear brand, with 12 company-owned stores in the U.S., is run by the Dalmau brothers, Custo (who handles design) and David (who helms production). They could not be reached for comment.
ART & COMMERCE: As the owner of Gucci Group, François Pinault’s influence in the world of fashion is seldom questioned. But the French mogul is also the most influential man in the world of art, according to ArtReview, which appointed Pinault to the top of its list of the 100 most influential people in art for the second year in a row. Pinault, who owns Christie’s auction house and runs a museum in Venice to showcase his collection of modern and contemporary art, is in august company, followed in the number two and three spots by U.S. gallery owner Larry Gagosian and Britain’s Nicholas Serota, who overseas the operations of four Tate museums in the U.K. Pinault’s French archrival, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault, another major collector, was named to the 40th slot on ArtReview’s list.
SAVING THEIR SKIN: Though his deep tan might suggest otherwise, Marc Jacobs is passionate about the crusade against skin cancer. The designer and his business partner, Robert Duffy, were honored at the NYU Cancer Institute Gala at the Mandarin Oriental New York on Wednesday night. For the past two years, the duo has raised money for melanoma research with a line of T-shirts featuring the likes of Eva Mendes and Winona Ryder in deshabille. “I’d like to thank everybody who got naked regardless of what their agents, lawyers and managers might have thought,” said Duffy to a crowd of doctors.
ST. JOHN THINKS PINK: Celebrating its partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to aid in the fight against breast cancer, St. John hosted its biggest launch event for its St. John Collection for a Cause Thursday night at the brand’s Fifth Avenue boutique. “We don’t do a lot of charity events, but this really is special to us because breast cancer touches so many of our customers,” said St. John’s new chief executive officer, Glenn McMahon. Marie Gray, Kelly Gray, Jeanine Pirro, president and ceo of Rolex USA Allen Brill, Bronson Van Wyck and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s wife, Veronica Kelly, all braved a rainstorm to attend the cocktail party. “I’m excited so many loyal and supportive people came out in the rain,” said Kelly Gray. St. John will donate 10 percent of the retail sales price from each of the eight pieces in the collection — inspired by the symbolic pink ribbon with light pink paired with black — up to $75,000, to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The collection launched Oct. 6 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and will sell through April exclusively at St. John boutiques. St. John is hosting similar events in its other boutiques, including Chicago; Beverly Hills; South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Bal Harbour, Fla.
NIKEID DEMOCRATIZED: When NikeTown opened Thursday morning, regular folk had their first chance to enjoy an experience that was until now reserved for athletes, entertainers and influencers: meeting with a design consultant in a NikeiD studio to customize Nike product. The 1,200-square-foot area of the Manhattan flagship’s fifth floor replaces the exclusive studio on Elizabeth Street, where celebs from Jerry Seinfeld to Gisele Bündchen have customized shoes, which sell at about 25 percent higher premiums than traditional retail offerings. Men’s pro sport apparel also can be personalized, and women’s apparel will be added for spring. But only the proletariat who already booked 45-minute appointments will experience it in store this month — sessions are booked through the end of the month.
CONNAUGHT REOPENS: Having been shuttered for nearly nine months for restoration, London’s Connaught hotel will reopen on Dec. 14. Posh interior design company Sills Huniford, whose clients have included Vera Wang, Anna Wintour and Richard and Lauren duPont, have redecorated the lobby and reception area as well as a new glass-enclosed terrace and bar, formerly the Red Room. Guy Oliver of Savile Row firm Oliver Laws has transformed the guest rooms and suites of the original building. By January 2009, a new wing of the original building will be completed with 33 new guest rooms and suites — all the more convenient for weary Mayfair shoppers after hitting the nearby Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga boutiques.