STEP UP: Luxury hosiery maker Wolford unveiled an updated interior design concept for its boutiques last summer and has already remodeled 21 locations, including sites in Zurich, Cologne, Milan and Moscow.
Now it has opened its first store in the U.S. with the more modern, sleek look. Wolford’s new Los Angeles boutique at 9511 Brighton Way, steps from Rodeo Drive, bowed last month, replacing its store in nearby Century City.
The 1,000-square-foot space will kick off the firm’s redesign in the U.S. Wolford plans to redo its Short Hills, N.J., store in May, followed by its South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa, Calif. Its two New York boutiques will get a face-lift this summer.
LANE CHANGE: New Yorkers yearning for some Hollywood glamour will get their chance beginning this weekend. Jewelry designer Neil Lane is coming to De Beers LV’s Fifth Avenue flagship with more than 50 pieces from his Hollywood Collection made exclusively for the retailer. It is the first time the collection, which was launched in December, has appeared in New York.
Among the megawatt sparklers Lane will showcase from May 13 to 16 is a $2 million necklace with cascading strands of diamonds and three large yellow diamonds at the neck. The collection includes chandelier earrings, dome-shape rings and bangles.
NAME GAME: When it came to showing the boss her first logo-free jewelry collection, called Louisette, Louis Vuitton creative consultant Camille Miceli, who helped design the line, was a bit anxious.
“[LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman] Bernard Arnault really liked it and that was very surprising,” said Miceli, who was in New York last week to premiere the floral-inspired, nine-piece collection in which rose-hued sapphires peek through gold petals atop rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and barrettes.
“I love flowers and they are very appropriate for Louis Vuitton,” added Miceli. “I wanted something frivolous and coquettish.”
The collection will retail from $2,200 to $40,000 starting at the end of June at Louis Vuitton boutiques.
THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!: First it was Hello Kitty, then Tinkerbell. Now it’s Tweety Bird that’s getting the diamond, sapphire and gold treatment. D’Annunzio Group International has partnered with Warner Bros. to create a collection of fine jewelry based on the Looney Tunes character and his animated pals. The collection of pendants, earrings and charms will debut at the JCK jewelry trade show in Las Vegas next month and is expected to retail from $750 to $50,000.
“[This venture] is part of our overall strategy to be in the high-end luxury sector,” said Karen McTier, executive vice president of domestic licensing and worldwide marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Tweety is always a character that’s been recognized as smart and unassuming. We think it’s something that female consumers will embrace.”
In other Warner Bros. news, jewelry company Nomination has signed to design a collection of stainless steel jewelry for women and men inspired by DC Comics’ Superman and Batman characters. That collection hits stores this month, in anticipation of the release of “Superman Returns” on June 30.
NEW LINK: Etienne Aigner is getting into the jewelry licensing business. The accessories company, which began retailing its own jewelry a year ago, has signed an agreement to create a collection for young contemporary brand XOXO. The collection will bow at wholesale this month and is to sell in department stores beginning this fall.
“XOXO is very different from Aigner, which is more about fashion-oriented, tailored looks,” said Barbara Raleigh, Etienne Aigner’s vice president of jewelry design. “XOXO is really about trend and what’s happening with new colors and materials. It’s meant to be fun and very eclectic, while still having the good quality that Aigner is known for.”
The initial collection comprises 166 pieces, broken into two groupings called Camouflage and Ladylike. Camouflage mixes elements inspired by military dressing, while Ladylike features feminine elements like cameos, lockets and pearls. Retail prices are expected to range from $12 to $85.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Swarovski took over the rink at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t for ice skating.
The crystal firm transformed the space into a springtime dinner and dance club for the unveiling of its new fall-winter Poetic Night accessories collection. Some 350 revelers, including Nadja Swarovski, host Angie Harmon, and Lorraine Bracco and Esteban Cortazar, escaped an evening downpour to see the firm’s new looks on runway models.
Harmon was radiant in a J. Mendel black cocktail dress, Christian Louboutin sandals with crystal-encrusted heels and a Swarovski clutch, flower necklace, earrings and a flower brooch that she affixed to her hair.
“I think what I’m wearing shows the versatility of Swarovski,” Harmon said. “They do edgy and modern pieces and then pieces that are very delicate and classic.”
DJ Coleman spun the tunes for the evening, which gave way to a live performance by bossa nova band Miho Hatori.