TYING UP WHITE: Accessories veteran Kim White will join scarf maker Collection XIIX Tuesday as executive vice president of merchandising and design. White, who began her career at May Co., has also worked for Casual Corner and Federated Merchandising in various posts.
At Collection XIIX, which produces its own scarves and cold-weather accessories, as well as licensed lines for Ellen Tracy and Anne Klein, White will oversee the company’s growing design studio and assist in creating new markets. She will report to president Drew Pizzo.
STARCK FOSSILS: Designer Philippe Starck has licensed Fossil to create a line of fashion watches. Diarmuid Bland, senior vice president at Fossil, said Starck had come up with a prototype for a watch 10 years ago, but couldn’t find a manufacturer willing to make it.
Cobranded “Philippe Starck with Fossil,” the line consists of six stainless steel bracelet styles and eight rubber-strap digital watches featuring an integrated rectangular steel case.
Beyond the primary time displayed in large digits, each dial shows a secondary display with a second time zone, alarm, countdown timer and chronograph functions. These can be accessed by two ergonomically designed, integrated buttons on each side of the case.
The rubber strap styles will retail from $95 and hit stores in September, with the $145 stainless steel versions rolled out in late October. Distribution is expected to reach 400 U.S. doors, including department and specialty stores, and select watch and jewelry retailers.
TIMING A RAMPAGE: Junior sportswear firm Rampage has licensed Nippon Fashion House to produce a line of fashion watches. Retail prices will range from $45 for leather-strap styles to $60 for bangle watches with rhinestone bezels.
The collection will launch at retail in July and will be distributed to Rampage boutiques, department, specialty and duty-free stores. Other Rampage licenses include eyewear, handbags, jewelry, swimwear and knitwear.
GOTTARDI’S VISION: Charity was in focus last month when Prevent Blindness New York honored Claudio Gottardi, Safilo USA’s president and chief executive officer, with the Person of Vision award.
Some 200 industry executives came to the Sky Club at the MetLife Building in Manhattan to congratulate Gottardi and bid on a silent auction benefiting the cause. The group’s aim is to preserve sight in New York through advocacy and public education programs such as NYC Children’s Vision Coalition. The event raised over $85,000, with the silent auction netting $8,000, including $800 for a matching Kate Spade luggage set and $1,300 for a Gucci wheeling travel bag.
SAG HARBOR EYES: Kellwood Co. has licensed B. Robinson Optical to produce sunglasses, optical frames, reading glasses and optical accessories for its growing Sag Harbor division. As reported last July, the parent firm’s aim is to build the Sag Harbor label into a $2 billion lifestyle brand at retail within the next two years.
Prices were still being finalized, but similar to the clothing lines, Sag Harbor eyewear will be moderately priced and targeted to major department, specialty and optical stores nationwide this fall.
GOLD AGAIN: John Calnon has rejoined the World Gold Council as senior vice president for jewelry/Americas. Calnon will oversee the direction of the council’s jewelry programs in North America, Mexico and Brazil.
He worked for the council in the early Nineties, where he developed and implemented the organization’s U.S. jewelry programs. Prior to returning, he was vice president for jewelry at QVC for five years.
The London-based World Gold Council is an association of the world’s leading gold-mining companies.
TIME FOR KAISER: Steven Kaiser, through his Kaiser Time firm, is seeking to leverage his family’s history in the fine jewelry and watch industry.
The former president of Baume & Mercier and Benedom will use his company to provide a wide range of services for prospective fine watch and jewelry industry firms. Kaiser Time will offer services including sales and marketing management and consult on such things as product launches and negotiating strategic alliances.
Besides his wholesale experience, Kaiser is also chairman of the Jewelry Information Center and treasurer of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.
LOTS OF LEATHER: Stone Mountain, the manufacturer and distributor of leather handbags, has added belts, luggage, gloves and a capsule collection of outerwear. The expanded offering, which wholesales from $8.50 for wallets to $200 for leather jackets, is shipping to department store chains and specialty stores in August.
Filofax, the maker of those ubiquitous paper-laden agendas, has added luggage to its repertoire for fall. Called Fusion, the 21 styles are made of black ballistic nylon trimmed with soft leather. The line includes a backpack, courier bags, briefcases and a weekender with inside compartments and removable bags attached to the outside pockets with Velcro. Fusion, which will make its debut primarily in luggage specialty stores in July, wholesales from $100 to $215.
WRAPPING TOMMY: Belts are rounding out the existing accessories range for Tommy Hilfiger. Designed and manufactured in the Far East by Hillfiger’s handbag licensee, Dickson Licensing Ltd., the line will bow in major department and specialty stores beginning in August, with retail prices from $26 to $50.