Lundgren, who actually rang the bell, said it was Combs who came up with the idea to celebrate the week’s launch at the exchange.
“New York City is in business, all the retailers are here, all the designers are here. We’re moving forward in 2002 with great newness — that’s our primary message today,” Lundgren said.
Even as they tried to do business, traders stopped to ask for the artist-turned-designer’s autograph. Combs, creator of the Sean John line and usually clad in his baggy sport gear, conformed to the exchange’s dress code and wore a striking gray pinstriped suit by Versace, albeit accessorized with a plethora of diamonds and tinted glasses.
“We have to support New York,” said the soft-spoken Combs, whose men’s wear launched at Bloomingdale’s in ’99, and will, he added, do $200 million this year. A women’s collection is planned for spring 2003. “We were going to show [our collection] in Paris, but right now, with the economy, it’s extremely important to be in the U.S.”