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Findings: Accessories Council Honorees…. DKNY to Introduce Smoothies…

The Accessories Council has revealed the honorees of the 15th annual 2009 ACE Awards Gala, which takes place Nov. 2 at Cipriani.

DKNY’s Smoothies.

ACES HIGH: The Accessories Council has revealed the honorees of the 15th annual 2009 ACE Awards Gala, which takes place Nov. 2 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier will be given Designer of the Year; In Style’s Hal Rubenstein will receive the Marylou Luther Journalism Award; Burberry will be named Brand of the Year; Nine West’s Fred Allard will be given Influencer of the Year; V Magazine will receive Magazine of the Year; Zappos will be given Retailer of the Year; Gilt Group will get the award for Retail Innovation, and Tom’s Shoes’ Blake Mycoskie will receive the Humanitarian Award. The ACE Awards fete brands and people who have had a positive impact on the accessories industry.

This story first appeared in the September 21, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Though times have been tough economically, we are dedicated to honoring these companies and individuals who have pushed through barriers and lead the way in promoting our industry throughout the years,” said Accessories Council president Karen Giberson.

SAY EYE: French fashion chain Zadig & Voltaire is branching out into eyewear.

Best known for its luxury streetwear look, Zadig is teaming up with Lunettes Grasset Associés to launch an eyewear collection, set to reach optical stores in the second half of 2010. It will comprise men’s and women’s frames, including sunglasses and prescription eyewear. Lunettes Grasset Associés already manufactures eyewear under license for Levi’s, Eden Park, DDP and agnès b.

Zadig also carries watches, jewelry and leather goods collections.

SMOOTH OPERATOR: DKNY is introducing Smoothies, colorful shapewear that’s not meant to be a secret. Smoothies features 70-plus denier yarn combinations and comes in seven matte finish colors, such as orange, blue and red. DKNY Smoothies provide smooth control for all body types and offers three silhouettes in the form of a bike short, high bike short and capri style. The line retails for $15 and begins shipping to Nordstrom and Macy’s in January.

FILM FUN: Stuart Weitzman’s interests apparently know no bounds. In his latest foray outside of fashion, the competitive ping ponger is sponsoring a short film contest for students based on their interpretation of one of his favorite phrases.

Registration started last week at filmcontest.stuartweitzman.com. Once registered, all participants will receive an instructional e-mail on Oct. 1 with Weitzman’s secret phrase for them to create an interpretation on film. All entries must be submitted by Oct. 19. Weitzman will offer a $1,500 cash prize for the grand prize winner and $500 for three runner-up prize winners.

“Filmmaking is very similar to fashion in that it takes creativity, patience and talent to get successful results,” Weitzman said. “I am really looking forward to seeing what these film students deliver.”

SHOES FOR A CAUSE: Ugg is enlisting some heavy fashion hitters for its seventh annual Art & Sole auction, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Australian accessories firm asked designers such as Manolo Blahnik, Carlos Falchi and Rebecca Minkoff to design a one-of-a-kind Ugg boot to be auctioned online at uggaustralia.com from Dec. 1 to 14. In years past, participants have ranged from athletes to actors to musicians, all in support of the hospital.

RED EYES: EyeBobs Eyewear unveiled a partnership with The Heart Truth campaign. The Minneapolis-based eyewear firm created a special pair of heart-themed frames to benefit a nonprofit charity dedicated to promoting the issue of women and heart health. The new design was created in honor of Kim Craft, a former EyeBobs employee who died of a heart attack at 43.

“Partnering with The Heart Truth will not only help us raise money and awareness for the number one killer of women, but also ensure that no one else experiences the same degree of loss,” said Julie Allinson, founder and president of EyeBobs.

The Kimtastic frames, which retail for $65 to 75, boast EyeBobs’ signature bold color scheme of red on the front with little hearts on the temples. EyeBobs is donating a percentage of sales proceeds — up to $10,000 — to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and other nonprofit organizations with similar missions. Bowing this fall, the Kimtastic frames will be available for fall at optical centers, high-end department stores and fine clothing boutiques nationwide, and at eyebobs.com.

CRIMZON ROSE MERGER: Erica Lyons Jewelry has merged with Crimzon Rose International, a Rhode Island-based supplier of fashion jewelry.

“It makes perfect sense,” said Susan Lyons, founder and president of Miami-based Erica Lyons. “We’ve been very successful, but for us to grow and better serve our clients, we needed a partner with complimentary strengths and an international organization. Crimzon Rose is the perfect fit.”

Crimzon Rose has about 150 full-time employees in Rhode Island and another 100 in five locations in China. In addition, it has affiliate offices in India and the Philippines, as well as distribution centers on the East and West coasts of the U.S. As president and creative director of Erica Lyons, Lyons will now be able to devote full-time to product design and driving business for her clients. Crimzon Rose will assume all financial and administrative responsibilities including sourcing, quality control, delivery and information technology.

“With this new team, we’re confident that customers will see Erica Lyons continue to be the leader in jewelry that anticipates trends, but now the product will be on the store floor faster and more cost efficiently,” said Felix Porcaro, chief executive officer at Crimzon Rose. “The key players of the Erica Lyons team will continue to do what they’ve always done, but will now have the full strength of our organization behind them.”