SIMONS TO SANDER?: Speculation in Europe is mounting that Belgian designer Raf Simons is heading to Jil Sander to head its women’s and men’s wear design. Sources close to the company said the Belgian designer, known for his innovative men’s wear and experimental proportions, is close to a deal with Prada, which owns Jil Sander. “There’s about a 99 percent chance,” said a person close to the company, who added an announcement could come as early as today. A Prada spokesman declined to comment, and Simons, who has designed some women’s wear in the past, couldn’t be reached. A team has been designing Jil Sander since the namesake designer left her label last year. Prada chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli told WWD earlier this month that he didn’t rule out the possibility of hiring a new designer for the label. When asked what he thought of Simons, he joked: “Who’s that?”

This story first appeared in the May 26, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

DAVIS HAS GOOD JEANS: Brandon Davis, beau of Mischa Barton and grandson of the late Marvin Davis, the Colorado oil tycoon and Hollywood movie mogul, will serve as the U.S. promotional spokesman for Italian-based denim company Replay. In addition to being the official American face of Replay, Davis also will have a special-edition line of Replay jeans named after him. The “Brandon” jeans, still in the design stage, will retail between $300 and $500, and a portion of sales will go to the Race to Erase MS charity to raise money to cure multiple sclerosis. Davis will formally be introduced as the official spokesman at Cipriani Downtown on June 6 at an invite-only “Spaghetti at Midnight” dinner.

TISKET A TASKET: If there’s anyplace anyone would need a Coach picnic basket replete with a logo-print thermos and plates and leather napkin rings with a signature metal turnlock, it’s in the Hamptons. So, residents and weekend visitors alike will surely be satisfied that Coach is opening a flagship on the town’s Main Street on Friday. The 2,000-square foot boutique will offer the entire handbag, shoe, accessory and apparel collections as well as seasonal and store exclusives — the first of which is a limited-edition preppy leather bracelet in variations of bright colors with contrast stitching. But considering the community and the brand, high-priced accessories with exotic skins and other luxuries will be offered, as well. “Coach’s East Hampton flagship location will represent the best of Coach,” said president and executive creative director Reed Krakoff.

JACK OF ALL TRADES: He may have dedicated a book to American women, but Bryan Adams also has got a penchant for Paris. “J’adore Paris,” quipped the singer-turned-photographer, who signed copies of his book, “American Women,” at a fete held on Tuesday at the Calvin Klein store on Paris’ Avenue Montaigne. Adams was also effusive about his love of French restaurants and was whisked away to neighboring eatery Market for some wining and dining. But when it comes to photography, Brittany Murphy is the apple of Adams’ eye. “On fire, that woman,” he said.

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