CAROLINA’S LUNCH LADIES: Carolina Herrera welcomed 12 noticeably appreciative Saks Fifth Avenue shoppers to a private lunch and fashion show Tuesday at Saks’ New York flagship. They caught more than a glimpse of the designer’s creations in the Fifth Avenue windows, en route to the intimate third-floor gathering near her in-store shop. A few took home souvenirs in the form of a blue tweed coat and a glittery black gown. “We had a wonderful group of women — a lawyer, a judge, a banker, a nurse and all these businesswomen. It was amusing to see how many different jobs they have but the one thing everyone had in common was fashion,” Herrera said. “All women love fashion — it always works out that way.”

Erdem Moralioglu will be the next designer to get up close and personal with Saks shoppers at a March 30 trunk show. Such gatherings give shoppers a glimpse of the next collection as well as new spring merchandise, said Joe Boitano, who also enjoys taking in the designer-floor scenery. “We’ve been gone for so long in Europe that it’s nice to see all the spring clothes in the store.”

This story first appeared in the March 24, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

STAFF BUDGET ITEM: If Marty Staff’s priority as American Apparel Inc.’s new chief business development officer is, as chief executive officer Dov Charney put it, “to get some gelt into those stores,” Staff will be taking some home with him as well. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, the company said Staff will earn a minimum base salary of $600,000 a year through the initial three-year term of the contract. Increases can be granted at the discretion of the compensation committee of the company’s board and he’ll be eligible for restricted stock awards that vest approximately a year after they’re granted.

SWIMMING WITH THE…: Jonathan Boos has an unusual way of trying to raise money. The designer and owner of Würkin Stiffs, a Sarasota, Fla.-based men’s accessories firm, is appearing in season two of the ABC reality series “Shark Tank.” Boos, whose claim to fame is the creation of magnetic collar stays, appeared before business tycoons including Daymond John of FUBU, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, real estate executive Barbara Corcoran and others to try to lure them to invest in his company. “My biggest challenge has been working capital,” Boos said. “So I decided to turn to ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ for their expertise and the capital investment necessary for expansion.” The show premiered Friday. Boos will appear in a second episode, scheduled to air on April 22.

TIGHT FIT: Rumor has it that Wrangler’s Blue Bell men’s line is about to get a makeover, courtesy of Los Angeles-based sculptor David Buckingham. The jeans brand is said to have hooked up with Buckingham for the line’s fall collection, which will hit stores in July.

’SWELLEGANT: Avenue magazine celebrated its first issue under new editor in chief Peter Davis last week with a party at Jimmy, the rooftop lounge in the James Hotel. Cover stars Chris Benz and Mickey Sumner — daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler — were on hand, along with Michael Bastian, Ally Hilfiger and Hannah Bronfman. A slew of uptown and downtown girls who made the issue’s best-dressed list, such as Jenna Lyons, Julie Macklowe, Mary Alice Stephenson, Eugenia Gonzalez and Genevieve Jones air-kissed through the crowd. Benz talked up his recent collaborations with Alejandro Ingelmo in shoes and Patricia Underwood in hats and said he was focused on building his department store business at Saks Fifth Avenue. “Chris and Mickey personify the new direction of the magazine, which is cool, chic and, most of all, fun,” said Davis of his youthful first cover for Avenue, which is distributed to high-income zip codes in Manhattan.

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