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Cucinelli's Fashion Feast... Piece by Piece... Hilfiger Taps Milla Jovovich...

If Brunello Cucinelli is hosting a party, you can count on having heartfelt speeches and hearty Italian food.

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GET THEM EARLY: How to rebuild a brand in the Internet era? Go online. Stealing a page from “Project Runway,” Keds is seeking up-and-coming designers from all walks of life to create custom shoes. So far, aspiring designers including a chef, a tattoo artist, a musician and a graphic designer have been tapped to be a part of “Keds Collective,” a Web site where people can transform a plain pair of white Keds into a one-of-a-kind design. “This is a key part of our strategy in rebuilding our brand,” said Kristin Kohler Burrows, president of Keds, adding online marketing is already part of its overall mix, but it will be a larger percentage moving forward. Any visitor to the site can purchase the custom shoes, which means the new “designers” can actually make money off their own creations. “Customization is the way everything is going,” said Evan Vogel, co-founder of Night Agency, the firm behind the design of the site. “It’s also creating a new revenue stream for Keds.”

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