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OUI, MAMIE: Is Gérard Darel setting sail for the U.S.? The Parisian fashion brand has signed American actress Mamie Gummer as its new face, replacing iconic French singer and actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, who has represented the label since 2003. New York-based Gummer, the 24-year-old daughter of Meryl Streep and artist Don Gummer, will strike a chord with the brand’s Hollywood fans, who include Eva Longoria and Jessica Alba. Currently appearing in the Roundabout Theater’s production of “Les Liaison Dangereuses” on Broadway, Gummer has two films due out this year while her first Darel campaign, shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in New York, breaks for fall.
WHEN IN ROME: Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki is such a fan of Cento Vino and i Trulli that restaurateur Nicola Marzovilla keeps the kitchen open for the pro baseball player’s postgame dinners when he’s in New York. But apparently sometimes he opts for i Trulli on 27th Street instead of Cento Vino downtown to get some extra shut-eye. Marzovilla tried coaxing Suzuki into swinging by the SoHo spot Monday night, but to no avail. “He told me that would mean 12 minutes [of lost sleep],” Marzovilla said.
Another loyal patron, Petra Nemcova, paid no mind to the hour, however opting for an intimate birthday dinner last week at the SoHo haunt, and Marzovilla also provided the vino and Lambrusco for her second celebration Tuesday night at Santos Party House on Lafayette Street. Jason Lewis also planned to celebrate his birthday Wednesday at Cento Vino, but work called him out to Los Angeles. But he and a girlfriend rang in his new year Sunday with Marzovilla Sunday night.
RAMDANE LAUNCHES RT FEMME: Parisian fashion fixture Ramdane Touhami has folded a capsule women’s wear collection into his Resistance RT fashion line, popular in Japan, for spring. The pieces, featuring ra-ra-style, layered tartan capes and mannish jackets, will be presented today during the brand’s fifth anniversary bash at Paris’ Galerie Kamel Menour.
BIG IN JAPAN: Japanese apparel company Flandre and Italian knitwear company Lineapiù are joining forces to launch a new brand in Japan called Lolae Maglia-Lineapiù con Flandre, which will bow for the 2008-09 fall-winter season in Japanese department stores and specialty boutiques. The name of the brand takes its name from Lola, the daughter of Lineapiù chairman Giuliano Coppini. The companies plan to extend the line’s distribution to Europe and the U.S. market at some point in the future.
H&M TEES OFF: Charity begins at Hennes & Mauritz this month. The Stockholm-based retailer’s Divided by H&M store in Camden, North London, will carry a T-shirt that features an image of Camden’s vibrant high street, which will be sold to raise money for the homeless charity Centrepoint. The T-shirt is designed by Kate Yarberry, an American student based in London who won an H&M competition that asked visitors to its Camden store to design a T that depicted the area’s eclecticism.
IN STORE: Japanese accessories company Samantha Thavasa is expanding beyond handbags into the high-stakes world of Tokyo retailing. This October, Samantha Thavasa Japan Limited will open 8 Million, a specialty boutique stocking fashion and beauty goods as well as a new line of Samantha Thavasa handbags designed by Katie Hillier. Kashiwa Sato, famed for his Uniqlo stores, is designing the new store while Toshikazu Iwaya, the former designer of hip Tokyo label Dresscamp, will oversee the store’s private label fashion offering. The three-level unit, located in Ginza near Cartier and Celine, also will house a beauty salon. Kazuyuki Terada, chief executive officer of Samantha Thavasa Japan Limited, said he would like to emulate Paris’ Colette and create a place where “customers are truly able to enjoy shopping.”
TRAVEL CHIC: Since selling a majority stake in their business to Samsonite, Lambertson Truex designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex knew it was only a matter of time until adding a travel collection — after all, the accessories brand is centered around a luxe lifestyle. The duo has partnered with Samsonite on a travel accessories line, dubbed Lambertson Truex Luxury Travel, that will be available for purchase at Lambertson Truex and Samsonite Black Label stores starting in January. The line will retail from $395 to $25,000, and ranges from leather-trimmed tote bags to a large crocodile valise. “We designed this collection to remove the stress of traveling. Travel is about excitement and that begins with packing your luggage,” said Truex.
“You deserve to be both comfortable and stylish when you travel,” added Lambertson.
FOOT NOTE: From beauty to booties: Pierre Bouissou, former business unit director of the care product division of Parfums Christian Dior, has been appointed general manager of Berluti. Bouissou took up his new role at the LVMH-owned luxury men’s footwear brand earlier this month.
FORTYSOMETHING: France continues to mark the 40th anniversary of May 1968’s general strike and student uprising, but it wasn’t the only notable thing that happened that year. Champagne maker Laurent-Perrier recently feted the 40th anniversary of its rosé, inviting a cross-section of Paris society and assorted fashion folk to a lavish dinner at Apicius, including E2 designers Olivier and Michele Chatenet and Georgina Brandolini. But professor Christian Cabrol had the best dinner-table anniversary story: He was the first man in France to perform a heart transplant.