SUMMER SCHOOL: Ready-to-wear designers are continuing their march on the couture. Loulou de la Falaise, who just launched a signature collection and Paris boutique last month, is readying her next collection for July 7-10, when buyers and press will be in town for winter couture. A spokesman said a full runway show is not planned, but looks will be presented on models. De la Falaise will join such couture-crashers as Yohji Yamamoto, Azzedine Alaïa and Rick Owens who, as reported, is expected to present his debut collection for fur house Revillon in July.

This story first appeared in the March 28, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

PHAT CASH: Hip-hop king and Phat Farm founder Russell Simmons is consistently looking into new business endeavors, but this time he’s looking to help the financially challenged. In a partnership with Visa, Simmons is offering a Visa debit card to anyone who cannot open a bank account. “There are more than 70 million Americans who do not have bank accounts for one reason or another,” he said on Wednesday during his opening night address at Fairchild’s second annual Teens & Tweens Summit in Los Angeles. “This card allows these people to buy their kids books and other important things and it’s not attached to a bank account. They are only allowed to spend what they have. It helps these people out and is going to make me a lot of money.”

Meanwhile, model Tyra Banks showed up at the Summit on Wednesday with her mother, Carolyn London, to support Simmons, a long-time friend. But as it turns out, that wasn’t the only reason she dropped by. Although she said she is just in the beginning stages, Banks is doing some research in hopes of launching her own line of clothing. “I’m known for cheap chic, so that’s what I hope to do. Sort of a Mary-Kate and Ashley idea, but more my style.” London is working as chief operating officer of Banks’ company, Bankable Inc.

DOGGIE GLOSSY: There’s a new fashion accessory in town and it’s one up from a dog, it’s a magazine about dogs, for dog lovers. Confused? Dogs Quarterly, otherwise known as DQ, has been dubbed the canine version of Vogue, and is due to launch at the end of this month. Published by All Fours Ltd., the first issue features “one of the most fashionable six-legged couples,” Jodie Kidd and her Jack Russell, Inca, a feature on Crufts 100th anniversary, “hound about town” — fashionable dogwear, and a regular column by Mutt, (the editors’ dog and inspiration for DQ). “DQ will do for dogs what Tyler Brulé did for wallpaper,” said Toby Rose, editor of the quarterly magazine. “The four-legged family member has become a fixture on fashion shoots, billboards and the big screen. Until now, they’ve never been credited and have always been sidelined, I wanted to put them in the middle of it all for a change and make them the focus.”

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