FIT CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY: Students and professionals gathered at The Fashion Institute of Technology for an evening of celebration for Black History Month and a discussion of its title: “Being Black in the Fashion Industry 2001: A Dialogue on the Issues.”
Seven panelists took the stage, all black professionals in the industry, including Darryl Brown, chief executive officer and founder of A-Team Stylists; Bryon Barnes, creative director for Iman cosmetics and skin care; Diane Crawford, vice president and merchandise manager of boy’s wear for Faded Glory, a private label at Wal-Mart; Pinky Dukes, senior merchant for Ashley Stewart; Avery Lucas, owner of Avery Lucas Couture, a men’s wear line; Kianga Peterson, creator of Nataki Naiaka, an urban clothing line due out in spring 2002 and Gloria Hartley, a faculty member at FIT.
Moderator Leonard Davis, who is the vice president of SAGE Apparel, started the evening’s discussion by talking about the lack of black models on the runways during New York’s Fashion Week.
“Sure, the designers used a black model, but they all used the same one,” said Davis, referring to Alek Wek.
By the close of the evening, subjects such as how to get started in the industry and how to make an impact on the industry were all touched upon.
The program was sponsored by the The Fashion and Arts Xchange, an organization which helps to include African-American people in the fashion industry. Honored for her “outstanding contributions to black fashion history,” was Audrey Smaltz, a former model and now founder and ceo of Ground Crew, a company which provides service to manage the shows backstage during Fashion Week.

MARY MCFADDEN’S NEW HIRE: Patricia Jefferies has been named sales director at Mary McFadden. Self-employed for three years prior to joining the company, Jefferies worked with several clients in sales, public relations and event planning. Prior to that she was director of sales at Gemy USA. She has also worked as a director of communications at Charles Jourdan USA. and director of public relations for the St. Regis Hotel.
“I have known of Mary McFadden for years and always been intrigued by her designs,” Jefferies said.

MICHELLE’S MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE: Bridal retailer Michelle Roth is launching a new mother-of-the-bride line.
The new collection called Miri for Michelle Roth launches next month. It features gowns and suits in colors ranging from dark reds and browns to yellow and blue. Fabrics and details include mink, sequins, Swarvorski crystals and pearls, lace, burnout velvet, silk wool mikado and chiffons.
Miri formerly worked out of her showroom making custom-made gowns.

LONDON FOG’S NEW LOOKS: London Fog has launched new lines as the company seeks to broaden its product offerings and expand beyond its signature raincoats and trenches. The new initiatives, which bow at retail for fall, are called the Signature Collection for men and the Travel Collection for men and women.
The Travel Collection fuses functional fabrics with minimalist silhouettes. The men’s collection features Field Cloth and Teflon-coated Micro Suede, while the women’s pieces introduce London Fog’s waterproof-breathable-stretch ComfortZone fabric.
The four-piece Signature collection, which uses active wear details, combines London Fog designs with Gore-Tex and Thinsulate. London Fog’s fall 2001 lines focus on minimum design and maximum details. Integrating innovative craftsmanship with waterproof-breathability and water-resistant fabrications, the brand redefines functional, fashionable outerwear.

BIJOUX’S NEW LAUNCH: David Bijoux is launching a new selection of embellished suits and sweater sets for fall retailing called Avione. The line had been test marketed for two seasons in about 10 stores nationwide.
The plus-sized line wholesales from $98-$148 and is projected to exceed $1 million in its first season of wide distribution, according to Yael Nazmiyal, principal.

NEW COAT TALES: Lorovi, a moderate-priced coat resource, is introducing a new line of bridge-priced coats called Dale Dressin, named for Lorovi’s new vice president and partner with principal John Caruana.
The 25-item line, which uses baby alpaca, Loro Piana wool and real and fake fur trim, will wholesale for between $150 and $500.
Formerly a designer at Korliss Fashions and Paul Levy, Dressin is also charged with revamping the moderate-priced John Caruana line and is considering producing a suit collection for fall 2002.

INTERNET SEMINAR: The Fashion Center Business Improvement District and the Fashion Institute of Technology are co-sponsoring a program called “The Internet and Your Business.”
Intended for small- to-medium-sized businesses, the program is an 18-week series of classes dedicated to helping professionals learn the best way to use the Internet to their benefit. Beginning on March 5 and ending on June 27, the cost is $250 per person and includes the 18 classes, textbooks and course materials, and 10 hours of individual Internet consultation upon completion of at least 75 percent of the classes.

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