BUNNY HOP: Jacob & Co.’s Jacob Arabo has cemented his entrée into the exclusive Playboy mansion.
After Playboy magazine founder and editor in chief Hugh Hefner took a liking to the jewelry designer’s oversize diamond watches, he asked him to collaborate with the brand to create a watch collection, which bowed last week on the wrists of Hef’s trio of girlfriends as a late Christmas gift.
The watches, which combine Arabo’s Five Time Zone silhouette, and the Playboy Rabbit head and black-and-white diamonds on the watch face, retail from $6,000 to $100,000 at Jacob & Co.’s New York flagship and Playboy’s boutique at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, which opened last May.
“My new designs pay homage to the iconic Playboy spirit,” said Arabo in a statement.
Playboy’s fashion and luxury licensing business is valued at $600 million, and continues to grow, according to Adrianna Chinnici, vice president of licensing at Playboy Enterprises Inc. The firm offers handbags, belts, shoes, hair accessories, sunglasses, evening gowns, fine and costume jewelry and cosmetics that sell at stores like Henri Bendel in New York, Collette in Paris and Selfridges in London.
“In the U.S., [the fashion licensing business] is just starting to grow,” said Chinnici. “But the sky is the limit.”
EPIC PROPORTIONS: Fine jewelry sales online continue to set records. Last month, one shopper purchased a pair of 8.34-carat yellow and white diamond earrings for $94,000 on Amazon.com, which only began selling fine jewelry last April.
“We know that the customer is interested in jewelry and buying it online,” said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Amazon.com Jewelry. “They can shop a much wider assortment of product and for better pricing than in a store. If you are interested in a wonderful piece of fine jewelry, being able to save [a few] thousand dollars is great.”
The site also is offering a platinum and diamond ring for $55,000; a pair of gold, diamond and black Tahitian pearl earrings at $72,000, and a diamond tennis necklace for $93,262.
LONDON CALLING: Georgina Goodman is taking it all in. For her spring and summer collections, the London-based accessories designer is moving the production of her handbags from a factory in Italy to the basement of her store in London’s Mayfair district. The move is part of her ambition to offer more of a custom-made experience for the consumer without the elite price.
The bags, constructed out of stiff leather that is hand-painted and molded into a crescent and accessorized with braided wristlet handles and a one-of-a-kind zipper pull, retail for $180 to $625 at stores such as Divine Girls in San Francisco and Olive in Portland, Ore.
ADDING A NOTCH: Linea Pelle Inc., the Los Angeles-based line known for its vintage-looking leather belts, is launching handbags for fall, in an effort to build up the 20-year-old brand.
The firm’s creative director, Andrew Cotton, who has held various accessory design positions at Gap Inc., will oversee the line. The bags, which will retail from $400 to $700 and debut at the Fashion Coterie in New York, will adhere to Linea Pelle’s aesthetic, with the use of lots of color and hardware, all with a distressed feel. A line of men’s bags also will be introduced under the LP Linea Pelle Collection label.
Nicolaas DeBruin recently photographed the outdoor advertising campaign for fall.
BIG ON THE SMALL SCREEN: Love and Pride, a fine jewelry firm dedicated to designing looks geared toward the lesbian and gay consumer, is launching a collection of rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets for Showtime Networks’ TV shows “The L Word” and “Queer as Folk.”
The collection, which is inspired by the style of the characters on both shows, will be available for ordering today on loveandpride.com to coincide with the Jan. 8 third season premiere of “The L Word.” They will be offered for sale beginning next Sunday.
The collection is being produced under a licensing agreement between Love and Pride and Showtime, and will also include joint advertising and promotional tie-ins.