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FIVE AND DIME: “There might be less of it, but money can still be beautiful,” Karl Lagerfeld said Wednesday morning at the Monnaie de Paris after minting the first coin he’s designed, marking the 125th anniversary of Gabrielle Chanel’s birth. Two gold and two silver coins make up the limited edition collection, each featuring Chanel’s portrait on one side and a giant number five on the other, representing their face value of five euros, or $6.30, a reference to the house’s classic scent. Lagerfeld, who posed for photos with the coin held like a gold patch in front of his eye, admitted he’s not a money person. “I like money to be spent, not kept,” he said. Just 99 of the most valuable piece, a gold coin weighing five ounces, will be produced, with a price tag of 5,900 euros, or $7,450. All are already spoken for, according to Christophe Beaux, the French mint’s chief executive officer. “We’re oversubscribed,” he said, adding some buyers will be more privileged than others, likely referring to Chanel, which is said to have placed a sizable order. The total collection of 11,099 coins goes on sale on Dec. 1.
This story first appeared in the November 20, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
PRADA LINKS IN: As a company that made its name with chic leather goods, it’s no surprise Prada is accessorizing its latest cell phone. The Milan-based label launched the Prada Link — a braceletlike leather and metal timepiece that alerts Prada phone users to calls and SMS messages — with a soiree at its Bond Street store in London Tuesday night. The Prada Link, which connects wirelessly to the phone using Bluetooth, is produced with the South Korean company LG Electronics Inc., which also manufactures the Prada phone, whose latest model features an ultraslim slide-out keyboard. The label also gave its animated film, “Fallen Shadows,” a London debut during the party. The film, created with director James Lima, depicts a Prada-clad character and her shadow running through virtual city streets and surreal landscapes.
EILEEN FISHER HONORS WOMEN: Eileen Fisher has chosen the recipients of its fifth annual Business Grant Program for Women Entrepreneurs: Loyale, a New York–based apparel brand that uses organic and sustainable fabrics, as well as factories with fair labor practices; The Goat Patrol, a Durham, N.C.–based start up that provides an environmentally friendly alternative to removing unwanted vegetation with the use of cross-bred Boer goats for targeted grazing; Simplyneutral, a Minneapolis-based company that makes nontoxic cleaning products; Strong Healthcare, a health care provider in Richardson, Tex., which provides affordable health care to low-income children, and Twisted Limb Paper, a Bloomington, Ind.-based firm that creates handmade 100 percent recycled paper for invitations, thank-you notes, stationery for school and nonprofit fund-raising. All women-owned businesses that combine the principles of social consciousness and sustainability, each firm will each receive a $10,000 grant, expertise from Eileen Fisher’s internal departments, and be recognized in New York City early next year. More than 125 business women applied. “With the credit market tightening and small businesses finding it increasingly difficult to secure financing, it is important to support woman entrepreneurs more than ever,” said Amy Hall, director of social consciousness at Eileen Fisher. “We’ve heard past recipients tell us the check arrived just as their business was moving to the next level and the grant has been a bridge to their future success.”
DYNAMIC DUO: Dsquared2 designers Dan and Dean Caten brought double the love to Hollywood last week when W magazine threw them a party at the Chateau Marmont. “I was like, ‘I heart you guys,’ and they’re like, ‘We heart you,’” said Sophia Bush, who met the duo earlier this year. “We kind of fell in love with each other.” Lindsay Lohan added, “They’re great guys, and they’re, like, really loving and sweet and very warm.” The twins, clad in matching skinny ties, blazers and jeans, hope the rest of America begins to feel the same way. “We seem to be quite known in Europe. They don’t really get us here yet,” said Dan, who added that they plan to open stores in New York and Los Angeles. While some of the crowd, which included lovey-dovey couple Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, Christina Aguilera, Mischa Barton and Zoe Saldana donned Dsquared2 duds, Lohan lamented that she “didn’t get dresses in time.”
Saldana, who chose a tuxedo-inspired pantsuit from the line, raved about the fit. “There’s space for booty!” she said.
ICE AGE: “It’s not raining for once, which is nice,” said Paul Smith, who turned out on Tuesday night — with his grandchildren — for Tiffany & Co.’s annual party to open the winter ice rink at London’s Somerset House. And while the late fall sky may have been clear, it was chilly outside, and guests including Marie Helvin, Jade Parfitt, Pippa Middleton, Isabella Calthorpe, Melissa Odabash and Tanya Bryer sipped mulled wine and Champagne in the cobblestone courtyard, where the temporary rink was set up. Emma Watson flipped the switch on the Christmas tree, which this year is decorated with Tiffany blue skating boots. “I’m not going on the ice,” said Helvin with a laugh, perhaps not wanting to risk a fall in her immaculate Edward Sexton camel suit.