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ON THE ROAD: Tod’s chief executive officer Marco Giacometti is making the rounds this month, visiting company locations in Toronto and Chicago and Bergdorf Goodman in New York, all in the name of the “Italian Touch,” a coffee-table book featuring images of attractive Italian families, many wearing Tod’s footwear. “We’re getting back to the DNA of the brand,” Giacometti said amid the Champagne-sipping crowd at Tod’s on Oak Street in Chicago on Wednesday. Come next month, he’ll hit Miami and Los Angeles, where special guests are set to include Debra Messing and Cindy Crawford. During his North American travels, Giacometti has definitely noticed an uptick in foot traffic. “I see people around with shopping bags,” said Giacometti, who also checked out nearby Chanel, Hermès and Prada while in the Windy City. “One year ago, you did not see that,” he said. “It really was dead.” The ceo also paid a visit to Chicago’s new 90,000-square-foot Barneys New York. Did he do any damage? No, he said, explaining that just as Italian police are not supposed drink on the job, he does not shop while on duty.

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

GROWING IN SIN CITY: Versace has opened a second Las Vegas location in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, with a third Sin City location soon to follow. The newly renovated space covers a retail area of 2,500 square feet with a modern, streamlined aesthetic throughout. The look focuses on clean white details, with black granite floors, white leather panel walls and matte white ceilings. The boutique carries the Versace ready-to-wear collections for men and women, a full range of men’s and women’s accessories including bags, shoes, belts, eyewear, Versace Precious Items and the Versace Home collection. The brand will open a flagship early next year in CityCenter’s luxury retail outpost The Crystals.

“Las Vegas is a market with great potential for Versace,” said Michele Sodi, chief executive officer of Versace USA Inc. Until early this summer, the brand had two franchised locations in the Simon-owned mall: one, a Versace boutique, the other, a VJC Versace Jeans Couture shop. The Versace store closed in June, and the company took over the VJC store, which was converted to a Versace boutique while the larger new location was under construction. Now that the new boutique has made its debut, the older location will revert to VJC, before closing altogether in July.

RED AT SUNSET: The ocean vistas and palm trees at Richard and Liane Weintraub’s Malibu home provided the ideal backdrop for Van Cleef & Arpels’ unveiling of its California Rêverie collection, a fanciful ode to the state marking the 70th anniversary of the fine jewelry brand entering the U.S. “We had a vision of a cocktail party at the end of the 1960s or 1970s in Malibu,” said Van Cleef creative director Nicolas Bos, speaking of the design inspiration for the collection’s colorful long earrings and sautiors. “It is like that tonight.” The guests, including Rachel Zoe, Tanya Gill, Penny Lovell and Monique Lhuillier, seemed taken by the concept. Stanislas de Quercize, Van Cleef’s president and chief executive officer, was pleased by the response to the collection, which is priced from $50,000 to $1.5 million. “Look at the number of red dots,” he exclaimed.

MAIL-ORDER MANISH: India’s Manish Arora is next in line to play guest designer for French mail-order giant 3 Suisses. An embroidered jumpsuit and a printed satin dress figure among a capsule women’s clothing range by Arora to be released in the 3 Suisses paper catalogue and Web site at the end of the year. Two bags and a line of home objects will also figure in the lineup, including a wool rug with a tiger head motif, lacquered poufs and cushions.


IN THE MIX: Artist Marilyn Minter shouldn’t be judged harshly for confessing the most exciting discovery of her first trip to Los Angeles in three years is valet parking. On her last trip here, she was holed up in a hotel room, photographing the voluptuous Pamela Anderson for one of her provocative art projects. Minter’s latest work is a $48 canvas bag that she created in collaboration with specialty retailer Intermix and For Your Art, a Los Angeles-based arts promotion firm. With proceeds benefiting Bright Pink, a charity helping young women who are at risk for breast and ovarian cancer, the bag features the photograph of a woman’s gold-tipped tongue, taken from Minter’s eight-minute video, “Green Pink Caviar.” “We like to mix fashion with art,” said Intermix ceo Khajak Keledjian. Certainly, Wednesday’s party at the Andaz Hotel proved how well the two genres can mingle. Painter Rosson Crow squeezed through the crowd in the Andaz Hotel’s lobby between designers such as Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, Kimberly Ovitz, Henry Duarte and Magda Berliner. But Minter blamed geography for the reason she sported Marni from head to toe and not a stitch by the Los Angeles designers. “Marni is across the street from where I live in New York,” she said.

BLACK SAIL UNFURLS: Nautica’s Black Sail, the brand’s higher-priced capsule collection for men, is just about to hit stores here and internationally, and the brand already is planning its expansion through at least one licensing partner. Come holiday, Black Sail will have a full battery of tailored clothing created by licensee Smart Apparel. A representative at the company, a division of the Youngor Group, which also makes Nautica’s main label suits and sport coats, confirmed plans for the collection, which will include more elevated styles and fabrics.


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