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A NEW SECOND: There’s a new name to add to the list of young designers who have introduced a secondary line: Rad Hourani. The move, he explained, wasn’t dictated so much by the economy as by his desire to expand his own wardrobe beyond statement pieces. “I wanted something I could wear everywhere, anytime,” said the Paris-based Canadian Hourani, best known for his experimental cuts and hard-edged rocker-Goth vibe. The approach should come as no surprise to those familiar with the former stylist — Hourani launched his main collection three years ago “for myself and my friends,” he remarked. “This is exactly the same thing.”

But there’s no denying that the timing happens to work in the designer’s favor. Wholesale prices for the diffusion line range from $100 to $300, while the core collection goes from $500 to $5,000. Though the two labels share a similar m.o. — a dark, urban palette and angular, unisex designs — Rad by Rad Hourani, available in stores and on his Web site come November, has a much lighter hand: languid T-shirts and draped jackets cut in organic cottons. “It’s still sleek and chic, but in a more casual way,” said Hourani, who still has plans to show his main line on Sept. 14 during New York Fashion Week.

This story first appeared in the July 30, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


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FINAL CUT: Passersby who come across a manifestation of stylish people invading the intersection of 39th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in New York this afternoon should note it’s all in the name of a good cause. At 5:30 p.m. today, the final scene of a public service announcement for Fashion’s Night Out is being filmed at the location, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America is hoping to drum up as many industry people as possible, from designers and buyers to sample room specialists, sourcing executives, merchandisers, public relations assistants and fashion interns. It will be worth it to not be fashionably late — the first 200 on the set will take home a Fashion’s Night Out T-shirt. The scene will end a days’ worth of filming designers, celebrities and models who will help illustrate the importance of the industry to New York. The commercials will run on television, taxis and online in the run-up to the citywide shopping event on Sept.10, which is organized by Vogue, NYC & Company, the CFDA and the City of New York to get people back into stores and shop.

DECISION ON WISE: Ali Wise, the Dolce & Gabbana publicist who was arrested earlier this month on charges of hacking a woman’s voice mail account, is no longer an employee of the Italian fashion house. Dolce & Gabbana confirmed on Wednesday that Wise isn’t working at the company, but didn’t elaborate. Wise was arrested July 8 on one count each of computer trespass and eavesdropping, both felonies, for allegedly hacking into interior designer Nina Freudenberger’s voice mail. Wise was arraigned that day in New York Criminal Court, where a judge issued a temporary order of protection and released her under her own recognizance. She is due back in court Oct. 19.

ELLEN TRACY’S STATUS: Is Ellen Tracy exiting the bridge business? Rumors have been circulating in the market that there are plans for Ellen Tracy to depart the bridge floor and become a better-price line. Brand Matter LLC has sold the operational part of the Ellen Tracy business to RVC Enterprises and licensed RVC for use of the brand for women’s sportswear in both the better and bridge categories.

“Nothing has been decided yet. Things are still very much up in the air,” said Mark Mendelson, president of Ellen Tracy. He noted that Brand Matter has a board meeting scheduled today to discuss the line’s direction.

Although it’s had its ups and downs over the years, Ellen Tracy has been a mainstay in the bridge departments. The collection has made significant strides in the last year under Mendelson, competing with such vendors as Lafayette 148, Eileen Fisher, Elie Tahari, Tory Burch and Magaschoni. Should Ellen Tracy exit that department, there would be a void on the bridge selling floor at stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. Officials at these stores were unavailable to comment on Ellen Tracy’s status.


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