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LATIN BEAT FOR LORD & TAYLOR

NEW YORK — A fiesta at Lord & Taylor, the store for American style?
The Fifth Avenue flagship, picking up on the Latin beat, will display 12 colonial doors discovered by L&T’s senior vice president of fashion merchandising, Lavelle Olexa, in the old town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They’ll be the backdrop for a Latin promotion in the store April 8-20, spotlighting such designers as Oscar de la Renta, Carmen Marc Valvo and Roland Nivelais.
“American style is cross-cultural,” said Olexa. “I don’t think it’s simply defined by American sportswear. It is important to look at all the mixes that make fashion interesting.”
L&T has long billed itself as the “signature of American style,” but officials consider the upcoming event to be the first time the store is spotlighting designers that live and work in the U.S., but are influenced by Latin culture.
Mexican mariachis, a bossa nova band from Brazil, modeling and a book-signing with chef Douglas Rodriguez of Yuca-Patria-Chicama-Pipa will be part of the fiesta, all geared to celebrate the Latin style in New York, and executives hope to lure bigger crowds to the store. The doors will be sold and the proceeds donated to El Museo del Barrio.
“They are all hand-carved, each is very individual and quite special,” Olexa said. “It’s really important, now more than ever, to have interesting marketing ideas to entice the customer.” This season, “from a fashion trend standpoint, we see plenty of Latin-inspired fashion.” Bring on the ruffles.

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