STAR APPEAL: At the DKNY show on Sunday, the photographers went wild for Hilary Duff, clad in a tailored red dress from the DKNY fall collection.

“It scares me a little,” Duff said of the frenzy, taking her seat in the DKNY front row. “I am always worried I might trip over and fall into someone.”

The actress and singer is designing a new line for DKNY Jeans called Femme for DKNY Jeans, but she had no plans to make a spin on the DKNY runway.

“I am only five-foot-two,” she said, admitting she was a “wreck” before she went down the runway at the Heart Truth Red Dress show on Friday. “I was so nervous, but then you walk off the runway and you think, ‘this was so much fun,’” she said.

Don’t expect to see Duff at any other shows this fashion week.

“My mom came to New York with me, so it’s a girl trip,” she said.


WHERE IS FRANCIS? Last season, Christian Francis Roth returned to the fashion week schedule with the Francis by Christian Francis Roth collection, but the designer is missing from this season’s schedule.

The reason?

His financial backer, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China garment manufacturer Gold Palace Corp., decided not to go forward with their support.

“We had a disagreement about where to develop samples, and another regarding overall operating capital, but I suspect it had mostly to  do with the state of the economy,” Roth explained. “Thankfully, I had the right product at the right price and my bookings and distribution were solid,” he added.

Roth still owns 100 percent of the company, and plans to continue his line, which was picked up for spring by Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Holt Renfrew, Macy’s and about 35 small specialty stores.

“I’ve been self-financing the line since my backers left, which has been challenging to say  the least, but now that spring is shipping, my receivables will allow me  to carefully move forward until I find the right investor,” Roth said.

He will start previewing the fall collection to select press and retailers on Feb.23, and hopes to do a presentation next month.

“It’s my plan to be back on the fashion week calendar in September for spring 2010, either with a show or presentation,” Roth said.


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