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HARDY BAG: French shoe wizard Pierre Hardy has stepped into bags for fall. “I wanted to design a simple line of bags that could work for different moods, from fun to sporty to a chic weekend look,” said the designer, who is also the creative brains behind Balenciaga’s shoes and Hermès’ jewelry and shoe lines. Hardy’s signature bags are made from napa leather in monochrome, leopard print or metallic versions piped in velvet or patent leather. “It’s the line that draws the bag, in a way,” explains Hardy, who kept all hardware inside and tucked a golden mirror in an inside pocket.

SHOP KEEPING: Offering about as much furniture and design objects as clothes, the new L’Eclaireur shop on the Rue Boissy d’Anglas is hardly a typical fashion store. But then, owner Armand Hadida, who operates four other L’Eclaireurs in Paris, has hardly ever been straightforward. (One of his stores has no windows.) “What was most important was to create a place of pleasure,” he said of the 4,500-square-foot space in what formerly was a Thierry Mugler shop. It stocks brands such as Dries Van Noten and Ken Scott alongside Fornasetti plates and a selection of vintage furniture, mostly from the Seventies. There are no mannequins in the windows, and Hadida calls the decoration “Zen,” with granite floors, colorfully painted walls and a mezzanine with a rough-hewn cast-iron banister. Within a couple of months, the store also will boast a restaurant and a cocktail bar. “No one needs just another boutique,” said Hadida. “That would be the equivalent of more pollution.”

MOVIN’ ON UP: Apparently, real estate is the new black. Peter Som has designed interiors for 485 Fifth Avenue, Armani Casa is dressing homes at 20 Pine Street and a handful of socials showed up Thursday night to hear Seal perform at the future site of the Avery luxury development on the Upper West Side. Kelly Bensimon, Zoe Saldana and Kim Heirston were among those who trekked to the shores of the Hudson River to check out plans for the Avery, which is to be completed next year. Guests milled about in a tent designed to simulate the building’s future lobby and nibbled on tuna tacos and baby lamb chops. After Mark Ronson finished spinning the turntables, Seal belted out his hits for nearly an hour.

This story first appeared in the March 8, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Meanwhile, way, way downtown at 20 Pine Street in TriBeCa, Liev Schrieber, Lauren duPont, Jennifer Creel and Amanda Hearst were grooving to the sounds of John Legend. Real estate tycoons Michael Shvo and Leviev Boymelgreen threw the party to show off the new Armani Casa-clad digs and benefit the New York Academy of Art. Because charity’s always en vogue.

REEBOK’S MUSIC MAKERS: Hip-hop and reggeaton artists Nelly, Lupe Fiasco, Mike Jones and Daddy Yankee will make their debuts tonight as the new faces of Reebok at Marquee in Manhattan. These artists, along with Lil’ Wayne, have signed deals with the company and will appear in Reebok ads, and are also introducing co-branded footwear and, in some cases, apparel lines. Nelly’s signature line, called Derrty One, inspired by his music label Derrty Entertainment, features footwear, accessories and apparel, while Daddy Yankee’s co-branded footwear, accessories and apparel collection is called simply Daddy Yankee. Jones, Fiasco and Wayne, meanwhile, will wear Reebok looks in their videos and are developing co-branded footwear collections. Now a division of Adidas, Reebok has been active in the music arena in recent years, and has signed deals with other musicians and producers including Pharrell Williams, 50 Cent and Jay-Z. At the Thursday event, called Rbk: Now Playing, the artists will unveil their signature collections and also perform for the invite-only crowd.

BETSEY’S NEW ADDITION: Perennial fashion wild child Betsey Johnson has become a grandmother. Lulu Johnson gave birth early Tuesday to Layla Johnson Margulies, who weighed in at six pounds, five ounces.

SEXY MAGNOLIAS?: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley is set to write a new HBO comedy series based on the charmed lives of women in Atlanta’s wealthy Buckhead section — think “Sex and the City” meets “Steel Magnolias.” The series is the idea of two Atlantans, writer Lisa Senters and choreographer Tenessa Singleton. “It’s not like ‘Desperate Housewives,’ because these women are anything but desperate,” said Senters, who described the characters as “strong, dominant females with perfect manners, dress and etiquette. They’re lucky enough not to have to work, and they live in a social world of charity events.” Henley, winner of the Pulitzer for “Crimes of the Heart,” is set to write the script for the show, to be produced by Gary Randall, who also was the producer of the Lifetime network’s “Any Day Now,” starring Annie Potts. Randall said shooting could start as soon as the fall.

“Buckhead is amazing — the caliber of homes, residential areas and green lawns. Nothing in Beverly Hills compares to it,” Randall said. “We met with lots of people, from socialites to hairdressers to interior designers, to learn about Buckhead social life.”

An HBO spokeswoman declined comment.

TOD’S ON THE LAM: Tonight, Tod’s will host a dinner at Jeff Klein‘s Tower Bar to celebrate Derek Lam and the new spring women’s collection he designed for the house. On Thursday, interior designer Kelly Wearstler will open the doors of her Beverly Hills home for her first fashion party, an afternoon tea to preview Lam’s designs, hosted by Tod’s and Vogue, where the inevitable West Coast clotheshorses — Jamie Tisch, Crystal Lourd, Colleen Bell, Jacqui Getty, Gigi Grazer, Jessica Alba and Amber Valletta, are expected to make appearances — dripping in luxury leather, of course.

KNIGHTLEY NEWS: So why was Keira Knightley wearing a vintage Bulgari necklace at the Oscars when she’s still the face of Asprey? Although a spokeswoman for Knightley did not return phone calls Tuesday, Asprey is playing it cool. “It’s not a big deal,” said a company spokeswoman in London. “She’s still the face of the Asprey ad campaign, but she isn’t under contract to wear Asprey jewels. And she’s not an ambassador for the brand. She sometimes does wear Asprey, but she wore Cartier to the BAFTAs.” A Bulgari spokeswoman declined to comment. Meanwhile, in other news, sources say principals at A&G Group, parent of Asprey and Garrard, are still in advanced negotiations with potential investors. The Asprey spokeswoman declined further comment. As reported, the company is working with Citigroup and Deloitte in its efforts to find a new investor.

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