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Sergio Rossi: Though Sergio Rossi remains the house’s creative director, for his debut collection as design director, Edmundo Castillo offered elegant wedges, boots and pumps in interesting materials such as patent leather and giraffe-printed pony skin. Among the looks which had red-carpet potential were knee-high lace boots prettified with black satin bows.

Valextra: At the luxury handbag and travel goods company Valextra streamlined, revamped classics reign. Bags came in rich colors like forest green and mustard yellow, and included a smattering in rich crocodile, taking the house’s minimal shapes luxe. An in-store shop is set to open at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York in March — a first in the U.S. — where the company plans to unveil its new collection of equally sophisticated shoes.

Furla: This season Giovanna Furlanetto enthusiastically unveiled the house’s first signature bag. Offered in romantic colors like dark teal and purple, the collection as a whole took a less kitschy, more ladylike, classic tone. And it was a step in the right direction.

Hogan: The newest Hogan lineup will thrill comfort-loving, fashion-savvy women everywhere. Boots were lined with shearling and offered in flat and heeled versions, while the range of handbags included understated styles in leather with gold hardware and a more lavish over-the-shoulder bag outfitted with fur and grommets.

Salvatore Ferragamo: With a new design team installed at Salvatore Ferragamo, the house’s accessories collection was one of the firm’s strongest in recent memory. Among the best handbags was one in brown lizard with a dark wood chainlink handle. Meanwhile, shoes offered something for everyone. A red patent Mary Jane came with a demure bow on its pointed toe, while black platform sandals inspired by those in the house archive oozed sex appeal.

This story first appeared in the February 28, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.