A PUFF PIECE: Sean “Diddy” Combs’ style is often capped off by a pair of sunglasses, so it was only a matter of time before his Sean John women’s and men’s sportswear label signed an agreement to produce the signature accessory.
Diddy announced last week that Marchon Eyewear Inc. will hold the worldwide license to manufacture and distribute sunglasses and ophthalmic eyewear for the Sean John label and the Sean by Sean Combs women’s label.
The collection will debut in the Sean John flagship, specialty stores, department stores and sunglasses and optical retailers in the U.S. for spring 2007. Prices will range from $90 to $300.
Marchon also holds licenses for eyewear by Calvin Klein, Coach, Fendi and Michael Kors.
YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: Verdura’s annual catalogue held a surprise for those who received it last week. Interspersed throughout were insights on the company from the fine jeweler’s most famous clients and fans.
“I feel naked as a jaybird until I splash on some perfume and put on a piece of Verdura,” wrote New York socialite Carolyne Roehm.
There are also quotes from Princess Michael of Kent, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Mario Buatta, Elaine Wynn, Danielle Steel and Joan Rivers.
On another note, the 66-year-old company that famously dressed heiress Doris Duke is lending some of its Sixties-inspired pieces to the film “Bernard and Doris,” based on the life of Duke and being filmed in New York starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes. Duke’s Verdura collection was sold at auction for $300,000 in June 2004.
ALL THAT GLITTERS: Kenzie is aiming to give women the time and their jewels, too.
The young contemporary brand is launching an assortment of watches under a license with New York-based Accutime Watch Corp. that feature intricate metalwork, antique plating and an array of colorful semiprecious stones. The timepieces will begin rolling out to Kenzie’s freestanding stores, boutiques and better department and specialty stores for spring, with average retail prices below $50.
Kenzie, a Vancouver subsidiary of Westcoast Contempo Fashions, has in the last year also signed licenses for jewelry, shoes, eyewear, belts, bags and cold-weather accessories. It is planning in the next year on opening additional stores in the U.S. and China to complement its current locations in Seattle and Santa Monica, Calif.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Original Penguin also is getting into the watch business.The 50-year-old women’s and men’s apparel brand undergoing a revival with its “geek chic” styling is expanding into the fashion watch category under a license with Seiko Instruments USA.
The watches have a Sixties feel with wooden dial treatments, digital faces encased in fake gold cases and straps of textured metal striations reminiscent of a vintage Hamilton style. Retail prices range from $95 to $400.
The collection will be celebrated at the company’s New York flagship at 1077 Sixth Avenue tonight and will be available at better department stores and specialty boutiques next spring.
ROSY OUTLOOK: Rosy Blue Group, the 117-year-old, Antwerp, Belgium-based fine jewelry and diamond company, is undergoing management changes. Effective this January, Dipu Mehta will assume the role of president and chief operating officer for the Rosy Blue Group and Rosy Blue Fine Inc. divisions of the company.
Mehta has been with the Rosy Blue Group division, which designs, manufactures and distributes private label jewelry, for seven years. He will take on the same responsibilities at Rosy Blue Fine, which launched and oversees the Vera Wang Fine Jewelry and ROSIBLU collections. Unmesh Desai will continue to handle the company’s third division, which deals with loose diamonds.
“I thought that with Rosy Blue Group and Rosy Blue Fine catering to jewelry distribution, there was a lot of synergy that could happen between the two,” said Mehta. “We are going to continue with what we have done in the past, but put a lot more effort into growing Rosy Blue Fine.”
At Rosy Blue Fine, Mehta will replace Koichi Takahashi, who has been with the division since 2003 and is leaving the company when his contract expires.
The Rosy Blue Group generated about $1.5 billion in sales last year.
AT HOME ON THE RANGE: Dallas jewelry designer Dian Malouf’s new coffee-table book, “Seldom Heard,” could hardly be farther removed from fashion.
Written and photographed by Malouf, the book chronicles the anachronistic lifestyles and histories of ranchers living in near isolation in the brush country of South Texas.
“These are the last of the holdouts,” she said. “Things have changed down here less than anywhere else in the country. They do things like their daddy or granddaddy did.”
Over the past 20 years, Malouf interviewed 25 ranchers at their homes and ventured on a four-day roundup to swim cattle across the mouth of the Colorado River — “the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”
Malouf, whose designs are sold by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, is certain the ranchers agreed to meet with her only because she was a local girl, reared in the heart of the brush country in Hebbronville, Tex.
“They live in the middle of nowhere and they don’t trust anybody,” she said. “It was an impossible task, and I’m always drawn to impossible tasks.”
Published by Beyond Words in Hillsboro, Ore., “Seldom Heard” debuts Nov. 10 with a party at Dallas’ Beretta boutique.