SIMPLY CHANGED: It looks like Vera Wang‘s exclusive Kohl’s line has undergone a name transformation. While initially slated to be launched as Very Vera by Vera Wang, save-the-date calls for a launch event next month made late on Friday referred to the line as Simply Vera. A Vera Wang spokeswoman confirmed the name change to Simply Vera/Vera Wang. “This was chosen as the collection has the ease, nonchalance and whimsy that is quite simply…Vera!” she said.
Of course, it also could be the result of pending trademark litigation. As reported in February, VEW and VWK Licensing were seeking a declaratory judgment that the Vera Wang brands set to be sold exclusively at Kohl’s do not infringe on another trademark. The licensing companies had asked the court to declare that the Very Vera and Simply Vera marks did not infringe on the “Vera” trademark owned by Atlanta-based The Vera Co. That case is pending. The unveiling of the exclusive Kohl’s line is expected to take place on May 10 at the Altman Building in New York.
STELLA GETS HER BLUES BACK: Stella McCartney is into the power of two. Word has it the London-based designer, who already collaborates with Adidas, LeSportsac and Target Australia, also is teaming up with Paris-based premium denim label Notify Jeans to create a cobranded jeans collection for summer 2008. Both parties were mum on details. Maurice Ohayon, the brains behind Notify, also acts as creative director for the K Karl Lagerfeld denim line.
CALVIN COMPLIMENTS: The Calvin Klein party machine continued through Monday night, when the fashion house hosted a kickoff event for Safe Horizon’s 12th annual Champion Awards luncheon on May 10. The cocktail at the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship was complete with throbbing music and a fall trunk show preview. Cohosted by Francisco Costa, Claire Danes, Stephanie March and Malaak Compton-Rock, the party brought in a slew of models including Julia Stegner in Calvin Klein Collection outfits. Danes herself looked resplendent in a skintight gray dress from Costa’s fall runway show. “I love the detail in the back,” she said, pointing to her constructed neckline, which, according to the designer, elongates the appearance of the neck. “It’s a little help,” Danes quipped.
CHERRY ON THE CROISETTE: Will vintage be the new black on the red carpet at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival? Could be, if Norah Jones’ wardrobe in Wong Kar Wai’s opening movie, “My Blueberry Nights,” is anything to go by. In the film, Jones dons a Louis Vuitton cherry-print dress from the house’s spring 2005 collection.
SPACE ISSUE: Courrèges, known for its Space Age creations and go-go boots, is having a commercial comeback thanks to French catalogue giant La Redoute. The firm’s U.S. Web site recently unveiled an exclusive line of affordable red and white sportswear for spring, including a cropped piqué jacket and vinyl tote. The items also are featured in La Redoute’s European paper catalogue version, with prices ranging from about $50 to $150. A follow-up line for fall is already in the pipeline.
HIGH-END CAREER SHIFT: Having been a model, magazine editor, book author and sundry other occupations, Kelly Killoren Bensimon is trying her hand at an entirely new job: luxury real estate “curator.” Retained by the people behind the M at Beekman, Bensimon is assembling a battery of high-end offerings and deals, including at-home services by the staff at the Kenneth Salon, personalized L’Artisan Parfumeur “home fragrance service,” VIP access to pet toothbrushing and invitations to events and trunk shows at Anne Klein. “It’s for people who are working, who want to be a part of something, but just don’t have the key,” said Bensimon, who compared this job with her curating of objects when she founded Elle Accessories.
DREAM WEAVER: Earlier this month, through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Miami-based designer Indashio helped three terminally ill girls fulfill their dreams of being runway models by having them close his show in Miami. Kimora Lee Simmons added a little razzle-dazzle to the occasion, sending one of her Baby Phat diamond pendant necklaces to each of the girls. Indashio surprised them with $500 gift certificates to the Aventura Mall and, truth be told, he “never hated shopping more. They’re teenagers — they couldn’t make up their minds.” Indashio also saw a dream realized by showing at Casa Casuarina, the former Versace homestead. When he held his first show across the street from there, he spent a fair amount of time photographing and coveting the Miami Beach manse, he said.
ROTH BUTTONS UP: Henry Roth, a bridal house run by the brother-and-sister team of Henry and Michael Roth, is reportedly shutting down its wholesale business. The pair told the 10 employees who work in its Eighth Avenue Manhattan office that the company is winding down its wholesale operations, according to one staffer who requested anonymity. The owner of a bridal specialty store, who also asked not to be named, said she, too, heard the label would no longer be offered to retailers. Reached by phone, Henry Roth declined comment.
NUMBER ELEVEN’S NEW LIFE: Number Eleven Cadogan Gardens, the London town house hotel that, over the years, has achieved cult status among the international fashion crowd and rich Americans, is getting a facelift. The Chelsea hotel famous for its faded grandeur, rickety elevator and solicitous staff (there’s even a friendly ghost named Winnie, a former head housekeeper) has just been purchased by Paul Davies. A luxury property developer and a major sponsor at the Royal College of Art, Davies has vowed to preserve the hotel’s charm — and not isolate the old clientele. He also plans to add a private members’ bar, library, guest lounge and restaurant, and offer clients personal butlers and access to a fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms and Aston Martins. “I want to make it a showcase for the lifestyle brand we have created — a home away from home for all those people who want the best in quality, interior design, service and style,” he said.