BOOK DRIVE: Putting books in the window of a fashion boutique is nothing new in Paris’ Saint Germain district, given its glorious literary roots. Still, some eyebrows were raised this week at the sight of copies of “Front Row,” the unauthorized and often unflattering biography of Anna Wintour, displayed at Emporio Armani. But an Armani spokesman said Wednesday that there’s no mystery or hidden message: A visual merchandiser just “thought it was a book about fashion.” Meanwhile, across the river, an Emporio Armani unit is making waves for another reason: It is slated to go dark at the end of July. The spokesman said the location at 25 Place Vendome is being shuttered because the area is not the fashion destination it once was. “This was a clear business decision as traffic flows have changed across that neighborhood over the last few years,” he said. There are no immediate plans to open a replacement unit; however, the spokesman did not rule out a second Paris Emporio location in the future.
SELL IT LIKE BECKHAM: The morning after making his New York soccer debut, David Beckham kicked off his new men’s footwear and apparel line at the Adidas flagship in SoHo on Wednesday amid a throng of paparazzi. Beckham, sporting a shaggy hairdo, was introduced by pounding drums and an enormous paper dragon, keeping in step with his Asian-inspired collection, called Predator. The soccer icon, who is well-known for his style off the field, wore the new Dragon Predator Pulse boots Tuesday night when his England National team defeated Colombia in a friendly game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The game also marked Beckham’s first time playing in the U.S., and some loyal fans wonder if he’ll move here permanently. “One day, maybe that will happen,” said Beckham Wednesday. “You know, I’ll come to New York and finish my career here.”
Beckham’s performance and lifestyle products include sneakers, boots, hooded jackets, jerseys and pants. They were developed in conjunction with Adidas. Each piece has an embroidered Asian-inspired dragon design. When asked if his new youth footwear would help kids “bend it like Beckham,” the Adidas-sponsored athlete said with a laugh: “With practice, yes.”
SHARP DRESSED MEN: Though most eyes at Monday night’s CFDA Fashion Awards will undoubtedly be focused on the young starlet and socialite red-carpet parade, a few male presenters will make their bids for the paparazzi’s lens. The CFDA said Wednesday that Anderson Cooper will present to Diane von Furstenberg the Lifetime Achievement Award, Liev Schreiber will dole out the Menswear Designer of the Year Award and David Bowie will bestow the award for Fashion Influence on Kate Moss. Will Schreiber sport duds by one of the three nominees — Ralph Lauren, John Bartlett and John Varvatos? Will Bowie pledge allegiance in Tommy Hilfiger? Will Cooper broadcast his designer preferences? Yet more questions to be answered come Monday.