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West Watch: Margiela Heads West… Oakley’s Design Team… Nick Verreos Goes To Prom…

Maison Martin Margiela plans to open a store in the Beverly Hills area in July, a spokeswoman said.

MARGIELA HEADS WEST: Maison Martin Margiela plans to open a store in the Beverly Hills area in July, a spokeswoman said. The retailer has yet to disclose the address and size of the location, which will be its second in the U.S. The first Stateside unit was opened on Greenwich Street in lower Manhattan in December 2005. — E.V.

OAKLEY’S DESIGN TEAM: Oakley Inc. is preparing to launch a high-end line in collaboration with its sponsored athletes next year. The first to jump on board is Gretchen Bleiler, 25, a snowboarder who won a silver medal at the 2006 Olympics. With Bleiler’s input, Oakley plans to supplement its snowboarding apparel line with higher-priced technical outerwear, including jackets and pants for snowboarding, as well as casual T-shirts, hoodies and possibly jeans, said Jennifer Bradley, women’s program manager at the Foothill Ranch, Calif., company. Bowing in fall 2008, the new collection follows the closing of Oakley Icon, the better-priced women’s sportswear label that was available for only two seasons last year. The new line is intended to boost Oakley’s women’s business, which constitutes less than half of total sales. “It also makes something fashionable for our athletes,” Bradley said. — Khanh T.L. Tran

NICK VERREOS GOES TO PROM: Girls who dream of wearing a designer dress to the prom can now snap one up for less than $120 from Windsor’s special collection designed by “Project Runway” alumnus Nick Verreos. Following his 2005 stint competing on the hit reality TV show and dressing Californian Meagan Tandy in last month’s Miss USA competition, the Los Angeles designer created nine frocks, including a little black dress with skinny straps crisscrossing the front and a Grecian-style gown in a Champagne tint, for the Vernon, Calif., junior retailer, which operates 35 shops in 11 states. To stay within the $79.50 to $119.50 retail price range, Verreos had to make some adjustments — such as substituting polyester for silk and manufacturing in China — that he wouldn’t have done with his own label, Nikolaki, which he runs with partner David Paul. Still, Verreos wanted to give something back to his young “Project Runway” fans who have bombarded him with e-mails inquiring if he’d design their prom dresses. “To me, this is the market,” Verreos said. — K.T.L.T.

This story first appeared in the April 4, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

FAIRFAX GOES TABLOID: Mike Sportes, former owner of now-defunct New York vintage boutique Filth Mart, has taken over the lease of vintage jeans and T-shirts store Lo-Fi on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, transforming the 1,200-square-foot space into yet another vintage concept, the rock ‘n’ roll-inspired Tabloid. The store picks up where Lo-Fi left off, carrying vintage concert Ts from classic rockers such as Yes and Mott the Hoople for around $125, along with stage-ready vintage leather jackets. Rare pieces, such as a mint-condition Sex Pistols T-shirt from a 1978 Atlanta show, for example, are priced as high as $2,000. “We have a very defined point of view,” said Maggie Fox, co-owner of the store and Sportes’ girlfriend. “If you’re not in a band, we can make you look like you are.” Fox owned Filth Mart with actress and former girlfriend Drea de Matteo before closing it in 2004. — E.V.

BLUE HOLDINGS APPOINTMENT: Blue Holdings Inc., a Commerce, Calif., producer of jeans labels including Antik Denim, Taverniti So and Yanuk, named Scott Drake chief operating officer and president of sales, new positions. Drake, 57, was previously president of Los Angeles’ Visual Concept Image, which manufactured clothing for Banana Republic, Lucky Jeans, St. John and other brands. Prior to that, he was president of Blue Pen Inc., also based in Los Angeles, where he oversaw sales, marketing and production of jeans labels such as Blue Cult, Sacred Blue and Blue 2 and a private label business for Limited Corp.’s Express division. — K.T.L.T.