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MARY’S TIME: Gucci creative director Frida Giannini has designed a limited edition watch to benefit Mary J Blige’s Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now with the heightened bling factor the singer is known to love. The Gucci for FFAWN Twirl watch has a sleek black PVD bracelet decorated with the signature double-G motif and a monochrome dial, and its rotating case has black diamonds. The $1,895 watch turns on itself to switch from a bracelet to a timepiece and is engraved with the words “Gucci for FFAWN.”

Blige, a longtime Gucci enthusiast, hooked up with the company to benefit FFAWN, an organization she founded with marketing pioneer Steve Stoute to help women with difficult backgrounds build their confidence and self-esteem. On Sept. 16, Gucci will donate a percentage of the day’s sales of the limited edition Twirl at its Fifth Avenue flagship to FFAWN, as well as sales of the watch in other Gucci stores and select department and specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada. “Mary J inspires all of us with the songs, and now through her commitment to the empowerment of disadvantaged young women,” Giannini said.

This story first appeared in the August 26, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

MARCH TO TOKYO: Tamara Taichman, the designer behind the Paris-based accessories line Tila March, is opening a flagship at the end of this month in Tokyo’s chic Aoyama district, home of labels including Stella McCartney, Prada and the new Dries Van Noten store. “It is like a quiet island in a very busy area,” Taichman said. The Tila March shop, the first stand-alone store for the company, will feature limited edition pieces such as a series of python and suede shoulder bags, as well as the launch of Taichman’s first scarf collection. Despite the grim economy, Taichman is intent on continuing her expansion: In addition to plans to open two more stores in Tokyo, Taichman is hoping to open a Paris store for the middle of next year.

TENT DEFECTION: After seasons of showing his collection to a large audience at the Bryant Park tents, Zac Posen is taking a more intimate approach this New York Fashion Week. Posen is saying goodbye to the tents, and to his late time slot, and instead will stage his spring runway show at The Altman Building on Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. “For this collection, an intimacy between model, clothing and audience could only be achieved in a smaller space,” said the designer. “I really enjoyed the experience of a more intimate show after pre-fall 2009, followed by our successful resort 2010, which was held at my downtown atelier.” Posen’s show will seat about 400 guests, but he may not wave goodbye to IMG Fashion’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week forever. According to the company, Posen “has had a long and wonderful relationship with IMG and will certainly work with them in the future.”

MULBERRY’S SHOE-IN: It’s not usually considered polite to plunk shoes on the table, but guests made an exception at a lunch hosted by Mulberry’s creative director, Emma Hill, at Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor restaurant Tuesday. The label’s shiny red high-heeled Bow pumps and shearling-lined Ena buckled boots formed centerpieces on guests’ tables at the lunch, held to mark the launch of the label’s fall footwear collection at the Knightsbridge store, which carries the line exclusively outside of Mulberry’s stand-alone boutiques. Hill picked out the Ena boots as one of her favorites. “I’ve named them after my goddaughter, but she’s only 9, so I’ll have to wait until she grows into them,” she said.

As for the designer herself, she was sporting blue suede, fringed ankle boots from the label’s forthcoming spring collection, but declined to give any further clues as to her inspiration for the season. Hill said she’ll show the collection at Soho House in New York on Sept. 15 and Claridge’s in London on Sept. 20. “We’re going a bit posh this season,” she said with a laugh, referring to the tony venue. After the London presentation, Mulberry will host at party in Claridge’s ballroom, with British band Friendly Fires playing live and Mike Pickering DJing.


FORE PLAY: Wives and girlfriends of British soccer players — also known as WAGS — are so legendary for their shopping habits that there’s a whole television show based around them. Stateside, it seems professional golfers and their wives aren’t far behind — at least not this week.

The Barclays golf tournament, which is taking place for the first time at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., from Aug. 25 to 30, has a few style perks this year for players and their wives. On Tuesday, Bobbi Brown hosted makeovers at her Montclair, N.J., studio. Today, David Yurman will offer a private tour of his TriBeCa studio and a private shopping event at his Madison Avenue store, while Diane von Furstenberg is hosting a special shopping event at her flagship, and Brian Reyes will have a few of the wives over to his studio for some cocktails and fashion styling tips. On Thursday, Vera Wang will host a lunch for the group at the Mercer Kitchen. The designers will help golfers and their wives dress better, but will they in turn get some tips on lowering their handicaps?

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