OUT WEST: Lyn Devon showed her appeal as a rising fashion star during a trunk show in San Francisco at the Sacramento Street boutique Philanthropy, where $30,000 in orders were placed for her spring and summer lines of breezy shifts, sun dresses, separates and coats. “Day dresses are our biggest business — and outerwear,” said Karen Jeffords, president of Devon’s New York-based fashion house started in 2005 and now selling online at Neiman Marcus and 15 specialty stores. At Philanthropy, all profits from designer fashion sales go to local charities. The Devon trunk show culminated three months at the boutique of raising $33,552 for the De Marillac Academy, a fourth to eighth grade parochial school in San Francisco’s high-crime and poor Tenderloin district. “This is significant. We’re talking tuition for about four or five students,” said Susan Atherton, involved as a De Marillac booster, trying on a Devon sleeveless shirtdress with a full skirt in an eye-catching red butterfly print. About one third of Philanthropy’s donations to the academy come from boutique sales, with the rest by a donation from store owner Jessica Moment and her husband, Jason Moment, a venture capitalist. In total, since Philanthropy opened in September 2008, $325,000 has been donated to charities.
NYGARD’S FAME GAME: Peter Nygard, the colorful and controversial Canadian founder and chairman of Nygard International, was inducted on March 24 into the Manitoba Manufacturers Hall of Fame. The award celebrates visionaries who have shown leadership in developing their companies and achieved success in their industries. Nygård International was founded in 1967 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Its headquarters are now in Toronto. Nygard International in 2008 closed its last sewing factory in Winnipeg, however, a company spokeswoman said that Nygard has shipping and distribution facilities in Manitoba in addition to stores and administrative offices. “Manitoba has done an outstanding job in manufacturing over the years and we are proud to have been a part of that,” Nygard said when he accepted the award. The company does more than $1 billion in sales and is the largest producer of women’s apparel in Canada.
SURF’S UP: Paris-based Japanese designer Kenzo Takada is lending his signature flower prints to French surfwear brand Longboard. Takada designed a capsule collection for men, women and children, including shorts, shirts, swimwear and accessories in an array of summery patterns, including wavelike swirls inspired by Japanese draftsman and painter Hokusai. Prices start from 2.50 euros, or $3.50 at current exchange, for a beach bag to 21.95 euros, or $31, for a shirt. The collection will be available in France and Portugal from April 16 to 30 in stores like Carrefour and Casino.
ROCK ON: With rock royalty lineage, Alexandra and Theodora Richards and Sean Lennon will be fronting Paris-based brand Eleven Paris’ fall campaign to be shot by Danish photographer Sune Czajkowski. Known for rock-inspired T-shirts and leather jackets, Eleven Paris has previously tapped Elizabeth Jagger and Zoe Kravitz for advertising campaigns. The contemporary brand is also slated to open a slew of new stores in France, while Asos.com remains the label’s e-retailer.
NEW LOOK: Emilio Pucci has given its online boutique a makeover. The digital flagship has upgraded its visualization features and been optimized for the iPad while iPhone and Android versions are slated to debut over the next few weeks. The limited edition men’s capsule collection, which was presented at the end of February in Milan and consists of button-down shirts, bathing suits and accessories, will be available exclusively on the newly revamped emiliopucci.com.
NEXT UP: “I have the book and now I’m working on the fragrance,” said designer Carmen Marc Valvo, who Wednesday alighted at Neiman Marcus on San Francisco’s Union Square for a public appearance and to autograph his recently published, “Dressed to Perfection: The Art of Dress for Your Red Carpet Moments,” penned with writer Holly Haber, former WWD reporter in Dallas. Among Valvo’s tips after 20 years of dressing women for special occasions: wedding party attire doesn’t have to match. Likewise, guests should wear what they want because it’s impossible to upstage the bride, who in turn doesn’t have to wear white or ivory. “It’s a day of celebration. If you look the best, you’ll feel the best,” said Valvo, who as a colon cancer survivor is donating book proceeds to the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. As an aside, Valvo said Houston is second to New York as his top-selling market, followed by Tysons Corner in suburban Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Texas. “Texas ladies love to dress,” Valvo said.