GRAY JOINS THE FRAY: Macy Gray, the eclectic R&B singer, will launch her first fashion collection at WWD Magic later this month, joining fellow singers such as Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Beyoncé Knowles, Lil’ Kim, Mandy Moore and Missy Elliott in the fashion game. While Gray’s collection is called Ghetto Line By Macy Gray, there’s nothing ghetto about it. The collection, which hits stores this fall, includes key pieces such as two-piece pant- and skirt suits, dresses, trousers, blouses, denim jeans and suits, knitwear, scarves, coats, sweatsuits and a three-piece tuxedo, all made with high-end silks, tweeds, wools and cottons. Wholesale prices range from $20 to $30 for T-shirts up to $250 to $350 for suits. “The ghetto has a rep for being about poverty and danger, but it is a beautiful place. It influences everything in life like fashion, literature, music, art, even the way we speak,” Gray said.
THE BOY SHOW: With the first show for his men’s and women’s line, B-Rude, coming up on Sunday night, George O’Dowd, aka Boy George, is eager to prove that he isn’t just another celebrity in the fashion game. “It will be slightly humorous,” he says of the show. “But I’m quite keen on being taken seriously. We’ve been careful to not get too much publicity until we were ripe to manufacture because that’s where you can go really wrong.” The pop singer-cum-designer is working on the collection with Mike Nicholls, who created the costumes for Taboo. Nicholls also worked with Thierry Mugler back in the day and legendary corsetmaker Mr. Pearl.
So far, it seems to be working. Buyers from American RAG Japan previewed the collection and are planning an in-store boutique for the line. And Patricia Field’s House of Venus store has carried B-Rude since December. And, like many British designers such as Luella Bartley, Matthew Williamson and now Zowie Broach of Boudicca, George is quite pleased to have chosen New York over London as his show’s backdrop. “Doing new things is a lot easier in New York,” he says. “And you don’t have that kind of London cynicism.”
In a slightly yucky homage to his temporarily adopted home, George is using the cockroach as a recurring motif in the line. “You know there’s that old joke that after a nuclear holocaust, the only thing left will be cockroaches and Cher,” he laughs.
DONNKENNY’S DEAL TIME: Donnkenny Inc. might be ready to move out of its financial holding pattern. The financially strapped firm, which has been exploring strategic options including a sale of the company, almost inked a deal Thursday afternoon, according to a source. For several months, the company has said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was not meeting the financial covenants under its credit agreement with CIT Group/Commercial Services. All of the firm’s cash and liquidity requirements are met through the $65 million line of credit. Absent support from CIT, Donnkenny would not have enough working capital to function as an ongoing concern. The company produces the licensed Nicole Miller New York line of better-priced sportswear and ready-to-wear as well as fashions under other brands, including Pierre Cardin.