BANANA REPUBLIC GOES GREEN: Preparing for Earth Day on April 22, Banana Republic will launch a 50-piece eco-friendly green collection for women and men that will hit stores on April 8. The collection, made of renewable or sustainable fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton, retails from $24 to $150, and will be a continuing concept. From April 22 to 27, Banana Republic will donate 1 percent of all in-store sales, to a maximum of $100,000, to Trust for Public Lands, a nonprofit national land conservation organization. Parent company Gap Inc. also is coordinating regional volunteer activities in San Francisco and New York where customers can volunteer alongside Banana Republic employees on April 27.
CLUB MONACO DIPS INTO SWIM: Club Monaco is adding a poolside presence to its stores for spring, with a capsule swimsuit, sunglasses and cover-up collection. For women, there are three swimsuit styles, all retailing for $89: a triangle palm print bikini, a black-and-white polkadot bandeau, and a solid black with a triangle top. When they hit all Club Monaco stores globally in May, sunglasses will start at $79 and pareos will go for $39.
TECHNO TOP: Lululemon Athletica has teamed with NuMetrex, a Textronics Inc. brand specializing in body-sensoring clothes, to create a “heartbeat tank” that monitors heart rate, calories burned and time spent exercising. The running top, made of a quick-drying nylon-Lycra blend, contains patented fabric sensors, and the shelf bra has a pocket for a compatible snap-in transmitter to convey data to a compatible watch or cardio machine. “This seamless garment is constructed for the athlete who is looking to monitor their heart rate without the traditional strap,” said Deanne Schweitzer, Lululemon Athletica product manager. Available in three colors (peacock blue, anise and black), the tank retails for $74 in Lululemon stores.
NET WORTH SOLUTIONS HIRE: Net Worth Solutions Inc., a New York-based mergers and acquisitions firm focusing on the fashion industry, has tapped Matt Kaden, a planning analyst at Jones Apparel Group’s wholesale denim group, to be associate director. Kaden worked for Kellwood Co.’s Sag Harbor group from 2003 to 2006 as a financial analyst and strategic replenishment manager. From 2000 to 2003, he served as an associate planner at Macy’s East Corp. in merchant organization, after beginning in Macy’s business development program. “His knowledge of the changing dynamics of the apparel industry will enhance our ability to identify and execute optimal deals on behalf of our clients,” said Jack Hendler, president of Net Worth Solutions.
HEIDI KLEIN REBOOTS: London-based swimwear retailer Heidi Klein has relaunched its Web site in an effort to be more e-commerce-friendly to shoppers on this side of the Atlantic. “Our old site was quite basic and didn’t appeal to the U.S. market — the U.S. has a more sophisticated buyer,” said co-owner Penny Klein. “The aim was to be more like a magazine format and replicate the experience in the store, with advice and tips to position ourselves as an authority on swimwear.” The site has a “Heidi Recommends” section updated bimonthly with new items, bestsellers and “whatever we think is right at the moment,” Klein said. Other features include several pop-up options, sizing descriptions and tips on fit. In addition to its three retail shops (one in New York and two in London) and a new online presence, Heidi Klein has started wholesaling its line, which ranges from $50 to $180, to about 50 doors.
GANT KEG PARTY: To celebrate Barneys New York Co-op picking up Gant, the retailer and GQ magazine threw a keg party with about 400 guests at Barneys Co-op’s 18th Street store in Manhattan on March 11. A giant sign made from 50 oxford button-downs that spelled out “Gant” hung above the entrance, and the preppy brand fittingly served Cape Codder drinks to guests, one of whom won a year’s supply of the oxford shirts.