WOOLRICH WITH HISTORY: For the 180th anniversary of the Woolrich brand, Italy’s WP Lavori in Corso, which produces the upscale Woolrich John Rich & Bros. contemporary label under license, has created a limited edition capsule collection. In stores this fall, the 17 items for men and women include a parka, field jacket, T-shirt, vest, blazer, bag and car blanket, all inspired by the rich archives of the Pennsylvania-based brand. “Our head of design found this untouched roll, wrapped in brown paper with a handwritten note: ‘Fabric Made 1800 to 1900. Keep. J.W. Rich.’ It’s moments like these when you realize the real history we are dealing with,” said Andrea Cane, creative director of the line. Only 180 pieces of each style will be produced, with retail prices ranging from $98 to $995.

This story first appeared in the February 5, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

NO SHOW: Tuleh, which traditionally unveiled its new collection on the Sunday of fashion week, is conspicuously missing from the fashion calendar this season — that’s because there won’t be a show. “We are not showing at fashion week this season, but we are looking for an alternative in presenting the collection,” a company spokeswoman said. The reason for the decision could not be learned, and designer Bryan Bradley and Tuleh president Marco Cattoretti could not be reached for comment. The move comes amid rumors swirling around the label. They range from rumblings of discord between Bradley and Cattoretti and the label’s backers, private equity firm Trilea Partners and industry veteran David Shelsky, to speculation about the label’s future. Shelsky, who was named Tuleh’s chief executive officer at the time of the investment in 2008, is on a leave from the company.

OLIVIER FUTURE: Olivier Theyskens, who will be at Barneys New York next Thursday for the launch of his “The Other Side of the Picture” book with Assouline, will not be teaming up with Christopher Burch to stage his return to fashion. There had been much speculation in recent weeks that the Belgian designer was in talks with Burch to launch a new retail concept, but any chance of a deal appear to have ended. According to sources, the talks ended late last month. “We are no longer in discussions with Olivier,” a spokeswoman for Burch’s J. Christopher Capital LLC confirmed. Not all is lost for Theyskens fans, though. He is said to be in talks with several different parties, so it could only be a matter of time before the designer returns to designing clothes.

DOUBLE THE FUN: On Feb. 16, Narciso Rodriguez will be celebrating more than just his fall lineup. Following his Bryant Park show, the designer will throw an after party in the Standard Hotel’s 18th Floor space, with music by the Misshapes. And the bash will come just a day after the opening of his online eBay boutique, featuring his accessible exclusive Narciso Rodriguez for eBay Collection (prices range from $65 to $350).

BAG PARADE: Having shuttered her fashion business in the summer, Veronique Branquinho is back on the calendar for Paris Fashion Week and will parade her latest designs as artistic director of Delvaux, the Belgian leather goods house. Putting the spotlight on the accessories, the models will be outfitted in white clothing by an undisclosed Belgian designer. Branquinho shuttered her fashion label last year.

WEB WORLD: Giorgio Armani has created a new digital home for his family of brands. Armani.com went live on Thursday, linking all the vast number of Armani Web initiatives with one comprehensive site. The homepage features large-format graphics and videos from runway shows and ad campaigns that serve as a background to the links for all seven brands, including Armani Collezioni, Armani Exchange and Armani Casa. In the top right-hand corner are quick links to the company’s pages on social networks Facebook and Twitter, as well as their video stream on YouTube. The menu bar on the bottom of the page expands with links to product categories, a store locator and online shop, in Italian, English and Japanese.

MING’S CITY ON THE BAY: Charlotte Russe is opening a creative hub in San Francisco in the spring as part of its strategy to reposition the brand. Opening offices in San Francisco will allow the firm to have a presence in one of the major creative talent markets in the U.S., the company said. Design, merchandising, production, visual, store design, planning and allocation, marketing and e-commerce are among the functions that will be relocated to San Francisco. The company will continue to have a significant presence in San Diego and those offices will continue to support the operations of Charlotte Russe. “Maintaining a presence in both San Francisco and San Diego will help us build our organization and reposition our brand later this year for the benefit of our customers,” said Jenny Ming, chief executive officer. Charlotte Russe was purchased by Advent International in October for $380 million. Advent hired Ming as an operating partner in 2008 and installed her as ceo after completing the deal.


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