Fashion Scoops: Barneys Search... Don't Sweat It...

It appears Harold D. Reiter, chairman and chief executive officer of Herbert Mines Assoc., has landed the search for the successor to Howard Socol...

FRINGE BENEFITS: "I was looking for sense of originality and innovation," said Donatella Versace, who had arrived in London's Covent Garden Thursday afternoon to select the finalists for Fashion Fringe, the annual competition that aims to discover and support young U.K.-based design talent. Versace is honorary chairwoman of the selection committee. The panel's members also included Roland Mouret, Colin McDowell and Natalie Massenet, who selected four labels to go through to the next round of the competition — Go by a Secret Path by designer Eunjeong, LF Markey, Sarah Easom and William Tempest. All four labels will show their collections at London Fashion Week in September, when one winner will be awarded a $201,340 stipend and will receive public relations advice and business mentoring from the organization. "I think in the U.K. there is a sense of risk-taking in young designers," said Versace. "Their eccentricity and fearlessness in trying new things is something to be celebrated and encouraged."

NICOLE'S BRITISH NOD: Nicole Farhi rounded up a host of friends and family at her restaurant, Nicole's on London's Bond Street, on Wednesday night to celebrate being made an honorary Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or CBE. Farhi had received her award at the British government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport earlier that day.

Guests including Farhi's husband, the playwright Sir David Hare, designer Betty Jackson and the director Richard Eyre all gathered to raise a glass of Champagne to the French designer. Farhi, wearing a black, pinstripe jacket and red and black print trousers of her own design, had the award — a small red and gold metal brooch — pinned to her lapel with pride. "I think it's cute, why not wear it?" said Farhi.

Though despite being given a nod by the British honors system, Farhi admitted that she remains French at heart. "It's too late to swap," she said with a laugh.

LADIES' NIGHT: Knowing that women can never get enough shoes, Roger Vivier creative director Inès de la Fressange is flying in from Paris to host a shopping night and cocktail party followed by a private dinner at Roger Vivier's Madison Avenue store on Tuesday night. A percentage of sales from the evening will benefit The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Clown Care Program. Anne Grauso, Jamee Gregory and Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos are among the women scheduled to attend.
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