VALLI OF THE DOWN JACKET: Buzz is mounting in Milan that Giambattista Valli could be headed to Moncler to replace Alessandra Facchinetti on the Gamme Rouge project. Neither Valli nor Moncler would comment.

STELLA’S BABY NEW YEAR: Stella McCartney has given birth to baby number three, a boy named Beckett Robert Lee Willis. The baby was born Tuesday morning in London, and a spokesman for the designer said mother and child are doing fine. McCartney also has every intention of going ahead with her fall show in Paris, which is scheduled for Feb. 28. McCartney and her husband, Alasdhair Willis, have two elder children, Miller Alasdhair James Willis, who was born in February 2005, and Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis, who was born in December 2006.

MULBERRY BRANCHES OUT: Mulberry is making its footwear debut, and has tapped designer Jonathan Kelsey to create a capsule collection of five styles for fall. Kelsey’s designs will debut on Feb. 14 during London Fashion Week, and sell exclusively at Mulberry stores starting in September. “Footwear has always been in our plan, and now is the right time,” said Lisa Montague, Mulberry’s chief operating officer. “We love Jonathan’s styles and he’s a good fit for the brand. All the models are based on his lasts — and adapted to Mulberry’s style, using the colors of the season,” she added. Kelsey has designed a riding boot, an ankle boot, a shoe-boot, a pump and a flat shoe. The collaboration is for two seasons, although Montague said she already has further plans in mind for the designer. Kelsey, who worked at Jimmy Choo before unveiling his eponymous brand last year, sells at stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges.

QUICK CHANGE: Republican pundits groaned when Chelsea Clinton trotted out Tuesday night to awkwardly embrace her mother Hillary during the post-primary acceptance speech. But style-conscious viewers may have taken note of the 27-year-old former first daughter’s Diane von Furstenberg dress. The Granite State isn’t known for its designer-clad residents but, like the candidates’ near-constant refrain, voters are ready for change.

A LITTLE MORE ROUGE: Valentino will always have Paris. And to remind him, Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë will present the retiring couturier with a medal from the city on Jan. 24, the day after his swan-song show during couture week. In 2006, the Roman couturier was decorated with Légion d’honneur, an award of merit from the French government

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

EARLY TO THE PARTY: With fashion week a month away, January isn’t the prime time for parties. But pop open a bottle of Moët and the in-crowd shows up — in droves. Four hundred people attended Louis Vuitton’s fete at the Guggenheim on Tuesday night to celebrate the final day of the Richard Prince exhibit. “What can I say? We start early,” mused Daniel Lalonde, president of Louis Vuitton North America, who was among the revelers including Jamee Gregory, Helen Schifter, and Anne and Mario Grauso. Guests meandered the galleries and preordered bags which Prince collaborated on with Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs. Also in attendance were seven bemused models cloaked in Prince-inspired nurse’s outfits from Vuitton’s spring runway, perched on a ramp in the museum — no doubt suffering from the building’s notorious vertigo effect.

MODEL SALE: French model and former designer Ines de la Fressange has lent her face to France’s traditional winter sales period, which kicked off Wednesday nationwide. “Paris should have a high profile in fashion and I wanted to help,” said de la Fressange, who also lends her talents to the shoe firm Roger Vivier. French retailers and the board of tourism have banded together to raise the profile of the sale period in Paris by attracting shoppers from beyond France’s borders with a high-wattage publicity campaign and special promotions.

PUTTING ON THE RITZ: Holiday festivities aren’t yet over for Dior, which will be seeing in the Old Russian New Year this weekend with a trunk show in Paris at the Ritz. The private event speaks to the spending power of Russian consumers. It will showcase Dior’s spring ready-to-wear collection and fine jewelry collections.

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