ALFANI RED TALES: Ne-Yo, the new Macy’s pitchman for the retailer’s contemporary Alfani Red collection, hit New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion on Tuesday to talk up the partnership. The brand’s new black-and-white ads featuring the R&B singer were unveiled at the press conference. The campaign was shot by Walter Chin in Prague, to accommodate Ne-Yo’s filming schedule on “Red Tails,” a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen. “I play a young fighter pilot named Smoky from Alabama,” said Ne-Yo. “The film is about the struggle of African-Americans to be accepted by the Air Force during World War II, even as we help protect America from the Germans.” The movie, which is produced by George Lucas and co-stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr., is Ne-Yo’s second big screen role, following 2007’s “Stomp the Yard.”

This story first appeared in the August 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

MIDTOWN MOVE: Jason Wu, who showed his fall collection at Exit Art on 10th Avenue in February, is going for a more classic — and central — venue this fashion week. On Sept. 11, Wu will present his spring show on the second floor of the St. Regis Hotel. For the first time, Wu also is working with Alex de Batek of Bureau Betak on the show’s production and decor — but don’t expect the White House to inspire the look for one of Michelle Obama’s favorite designers. “For our first collaboration, Alex and I wanted to stage the show in a New York institution that had a distinct personality,” Wu said. “We chose the St. Regis because its original historic decor has been so beautifully preserved and served as the perfect canvas for us to bring totally foreign elements into the space. The stark juxtaposition between the classic and ultramodern represents the brand’s DNA perfectly.”

GAP GETS JUMPING: Gap’s 1969 pop-up store on Los Angeles’ Robertson Boulevard was a hot spot — both literally and figuratively — on a balmy Thursday night when Halle Berry, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Molly Sims, Tiffani Thiessen and Gap creative director Patrick Robinson turned out to the packed space formerly home to Robert Clergerie. “This is where I’m from, so it’s home to me, and the store on Robertson is such a great fit for the city and the new denim launch,” Robinson said.

Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden endured the heat generated by the throngs while playing DJ for the evening before leaving to join his belle, Nicole Richie, and friends at Chateau Marmont, where Sienna Miller, Kirsten Dunst and Keanu Reeves also turned out for what happened to be a busy night at the celeb-friendly hotel. A private K-Swiss dinner with Simpson-Wentz, Topher Grace, Katie Cassidy and Jessica Stroup was also under way at the hotel, where guests used their appetizers to fend off paparazzi trying to snap photos over the hotel gate. In return for their trouble, each attendee made off with a pair of the relaunched classic sneaker — a popular item, as Dunst, while not a guest at the dinner, requested a pair of her own.

STERLING SIMS: Molly Sims’ next gig won’t be on NBC. The star is launching a costume jewelry collection with HSN in November called Grayce. The line is inspired by Art Deco design from the Twenties, “understated glamour” reminiscent of the Sixties and her love for travel and photography. Grayce includes earrings, cuffs and bracelets.

NICOLE’S NEWEST BABY: Speaking of Nicole Richie, she unveiled her first maternity line, Nicole for A Pea in the Pod, at the chain’s Beverly Drive boutique Thursday night, revealing it took just four months from conception to retail rollout. “I was really excited to do this line because I think the pregnant body is beautiful and I know how difficult it is to change your whole wardrobe just because you’re pregnant,” said Richie, who is expecting her second child this fall. “I wanted to make pieces that I felt didn’t look like classic maternitywear.” The 14-piece collection, ranging from $48 to $148 at retail for black jersey leggings, skirts and tank tops, silk tops and paisley tunics and maxidresses, filled a void for the Philadelphia-based maternity retailer. “This celebrity collaboration is a first, but we’ve been thinking about it for awhile with the pregnant celebrities getting so much attention,” said Rebecca Matthias, president and chief creative officer of A Pea in the Pod. “I think Nicole’s style is very California, so it’s a perfect summer and transitional launch, and different from our other offerings,” she said, adding the collection may continue based on initial sales. That would make Richie a busy woman: In addition to her House of Harlow 1960 costume jewelry line, she also is designing a clothing and shoe line launching next spring.


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