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WATCH OUT, L.A.: IWC Schaffhausen opened a 450-square-foot store last month on Brighton Way in Beverly Hills, neighboring Cartier. The store is the Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned watch brand’s 24th globally and second in the U.S. after the first debuted at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas last year.
Designed by IWC’s in-house team, the Beverly Hills location’s color palette is dominated by gray, white, black and beige, and furniture was crafted in Switzerland with elements such as polished stainless steel and brushed aluminum that link to the watches. A picture of watchmaker Kurt Klaus adorns the rear wall next to a display of the six-watch IWC vintage collection marking the brand’s 140th anniversary. The exterior boasts a multilevel granite storefront. Watches range roughly from $3,000 to $100,000.
IWC declined to disclose first-year sales projections for the Beverly Hills store, but Benoit de Clerck, president of IWC North America, expects it to be among the top-performing IWC stores in the world.
“I firmly believe that the brand will continue to experience strong results, especially in Beverly Hills,” he said.
NECK AND NECK: Counting on a continued boom in accessories, European scarf brand JL is poised to unwrap its first ever spring-summer line. Part of 128-year-old German textile accessories company V. Fraas, JL is known for its modern, colorful take on scarves. But, bowing to demand, the brand is venturing into its first warm weather category for spring.
“More fashion looks put emphasis around the neck and we’ve been seeing scarves all over New York in the middle of summer,” said Ken Krieger, vice president of sales and marketing of V. Fraas. “Fashion consumers respond to what they see out there and we think this will play strongly in the accessories category.”
The offerings will start hitting stores early next year. “The feeling we’ve gotten is that it’s different from what stores are seeing from their domestic suppliers,” Krieger said. “Being a European brand, it has a European attitude.”
That translates into bold, bright colors, as well as softer and more tonal shades. Fabrics include silk, linen, cotton and blends. Although it’s primarily driven by oblong novelty shapes, there are also traditional square scarves and neckerchiefs. The collection will be priced at $30 to $60 at retail and is expected to be in between 200 and 300 doors nationwide. So far, the line will be available primarily in specialty stores, although Krieger said representatives from major retailers had also expressed interest in carrying it.
LITTLE BLACK….SHADES: Mark Badgley and James Mischka invited their uptown friends downtown on Thursday night to celebrate “Sunglasses and the Little Black Dress,” a collection they helped design in tribute to the LBD, bowing exclusively at the Ilori store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. “No other piece of clothing has achieved the iconic status of the little black dress, both defining and defying fashion,” said Michael Hansen, vice president and general manager at Ilori. “Half the fun of wearing one is choosing just the right accessories to make it your own.”
Retailing at $495 the Badgley Mischka frames come in yellow and gunmetal colors.