THE YOHJI FACTOR: Just how much the fashion community admires Yohji Yamamoto became clear on Monday night at a party thrown by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Le Book. Fashion types such as Jeff Mahshie, Jill Stuart, John Bartlett, Stan Herman and Simon Alcantara tried to outbid each other for one of 15 signed Yamamoto lithographs in a silent auction in aid of the CFDA Fashion Targets Breast Cancer initiative. Others roaming the Puck Building’s party space included Betsey Johnson, Carlos Miele, Thakoon Panichgul, Richie Rich, David and Sybil Yurman, Yeohlee Teng, Maria Cornejo and Rafe Totengco. Midway through the evening, the betting was still going strong. “I haven’t placed a bet yet; I will wait until the end to get a bargain,” said CFDA executive director Steven Kolb. In the end, Joseph Abboud and Cole Haan’s Gordon Thompson were among those to walk home with one of the drawings. The event, which also kicked off Le Book’s new Connections trade show, raised $23,100 for FTBC.

AIR BAG: When Chloe Dao won “Project Runway” this past spring, the Houston native couldn’t have anticipated how much she’d have to travel as a result. “It’s insane; it hasn’t stopped,” said Dao, who this summer has plans for a trip to New York, two visits to Las Vegas and a stop in Atlanta.

And so, form follows function with Dao’s latest design, a carry-on bag for travel. Two versions of “The Chloe Bag” are available. One, a turquoise-and-brown leather bowling style embossed with the words “carry on,” sells for $595. A canvas version sells for $95. Both will be sold at bravotv.com next month.

BRIGHT BUYS: The fifth-year anniversary party for mega-club Light in Las Vegas brought a little extra celebrity wattage to the retail scene there over the weekend. Jessica Alba, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Rodriguez, Kristen Bell and Mekhi Phifer all found their way to DKNY, which is open until midnight and on sale. “All the girls bought DKNY cozies and the boys bought clothes for themselves and their girlfriends,” a spokesperson said. But even in Vegas the Hollywood cream rises to the top. DiCaprio was the only shopper for whom the store shut its doors to the public.

This story first appeared in the June 28, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

FUTBOL FEVER: Soccer fans celebrate the annual World Cup in different ways, but Colombian accessories designer Nancy Gonzalez took a luxury spin on the tournament, with a keepsake crocodile soccer ball being sold exclusively at Harrods in London. Each of the balls is made from the bellies of eight crocodiles and comes in traditional black and white or in chocolate and tan, finished with a silver plaque. “The timing was perfect,” said Santiago Gonzalez, Nancy’s son and president of the firm, who was rooting for Team USA. The 20 limited-edition balls, which sell for $2,740 each, hit Harrods this month and David Beckham already has one. No word on whether he practiced his “Bend It Like Beckham” kicks with it, though.

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