GILAN’S NEW FLAGSHIP: Turkish fine jeweler Gilan has signed a lease for its first U.S. flagship at 743 Fifth Avenue in New York. The 1,950-square-foot boutique will be sandwiched between Louis Vuitton’s flagship at the corner of 57th Street and Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s store. The Phillips Group, which also worked on the Vuitton flagship, will supervise construction of the space, which will be designed by architect Sinan Kafader, who has worked on numerous Four Seasons Hotels. Gilan is expecting a spring 2005 opening. The 20-year-old brand has occupied an appointment-only salon in the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue since September 2003.

JACOB & CO. JOINS DDM: Antwerp-based diamond company DD Manufacturing has acquired a stake in Jacob & Co., the fine jewelry firm best known for catering to a celebrity and hip-hop clientele, for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives DDM a direct channel to the retail market, and the two firms plan to introduce a branded diamond cut in 2005. This winter, Jacob & Co. will open a flagship boutique on New York’s 57th Street and Latin singer Thalia will appear in the brand’s debut advertising campaign, which begins running in fashion magazines in December.

LI & FUNG BUYS RALSEY: Sourcing powerhouse Li & Fung Ltd. acquired private label manufacturer Ralsey Group Ltd., confirming a report in WWD on Friday that the two were in talks. Ralsey will continue to operate independently with owners Michael and Jamie Delaney retaining their current roles as chief executive officer and executive vice president of design, respectively. “Ralsey Group will add strength to our U.S. design and merchandising group, which we are looking to grow significantly over the next three years,” said Tom Haugen, executive director of Li & Fung, in a statement.

DAK’S POLY BUMP: Citing increases in cost of raw materials, DAK Fibers raised the price of its polyester staple fibers by 3 cents a pound, beginning with Nov. 15 shipments. Base prices for such fibers range from 64 to 70 cents. “DAK Fibers understands the stress that the entire industry is facing, but it must offset these ingredient increases in order to remain a quality supplier in this market,” said the firm in a statement.

This story first appeared in the October 27, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

SPEEDO SWIM DEAL: Speedo has extended its partnership with USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport, through 2012. Under the terms of the deal, Speedo will continue to supply the deck uniforms for all U.S. national teams, including the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams. Swimming saw a surge in popularity during the Summer Games, driven in part by new swimsuit technologies, such as Speedo’s Fastkin II. As the sponsor for the governing body, Speedo also has the exclusive retail sales rights at all USA Swimming national events.