BELLS ARE RINGING: In honor of World AIDS Day today, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, made its way to Wall Street on Tuesday, where amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole and ambassador Liza Minnelli, in custom Kenneth Cole, rang the opening bell. They were joined by Cheyenne Jackson and “Project Runway” designer Mondo Guerra, who recently disclosed his HIV-positive status and designed a special T-shirt for World AIDS Day. As part of the tribute to the organization and the annual day, the lights shining on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange will be dimmed between 6:15 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. tonight.
THREE ON ONE: Three continues to be the charm at Louis Vuitton. Word has it the French luxury powerhouse — which featured Christy Turlington, Karen Elson and Natalia Vodianova in its fall fashion campaign — has again tapped a trio of models for its forthcoming spring fashion advertising. According to sources, Kristen McMenamy — who closed Vuitton’s latest fashion show, her torso painted in zebra stripes — Freja Beha Erichsen and Raquel Zimmermann recently posed for photographer Steven Meisel.
A RECORD FOR THE DUCHESS’ JEWELS: Sotheby’s sale of pieces from the late Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry collection in London Tuesday night fetched 7,975,550 pounds, or $12.4 million at current exchange, more than double the original 3 million pound, or $4.7 million, estimate. The highlight of the auction was the Cartier onyx and diamond panther bracelet designed by Jeanne Toussaint in 1952, which sold for 4,521,250 pounds, or $7 million, its price driven up by two competing telephone bidders. A spokeswoman for Sotheby’s said the price fetched by the bracelet was a record for a piece of Cartier jewelry at auction and a record for any bracelet at auction. Another highlight of the sale, the ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and diamond flamingo clip mounted by Cartier in 1940, was acquired by Collection Cartier for 1,721,250 million pounds, or $2.7 million.
The 20 pieces were sold by a single owner, and returned to the market after originally being part of the 1987 auction of Wallis Simpson’s jewels in Geneva. Sotheby’s did not comment on who sold the pieces.
BUG JUICE: Add Juicy Couture to the list of stores that have been bitten by bedbugs. The company shut its 650 Fifth Avenue flagship on Tuesday after discovering bedbugs in several different locations in the retail space on Monday night. “The hope is to be open before the end of the week,” said a Juicy Couture spokesman. The company has hired Assured Environments to handle the problem, and employees are being compensated while the store is closed, he said. He couldn’t predict how much the closure would impact business.
The three other Juicy Couture Manhattan locations remain open and are unaffected, as is the Web site.
KNIGHT TIME: A flock of well-wishers took to the Top of the Standard in New York on Monday night to celebrate Frédéric Fekkai’s recent appointment as a Knight of France’s National Order of Merit. Tory Burch, André Balazs and Kyle MacLachlan joined hosts Jann Wenner, Matt Nye and Bob and Veronique Pittman to raise a glass to the knighthood. For his part, the man of the hour downplayed the appointment just slightly. “It’s great,” Fekkai said. “It’s always nice to have a little party with your friends, to gather round and sip tequila. It’s a great excuse.”
MOURET’S MOMENT: Hot off a strong spring collection and the return of his name after a five-year wrangle with former financial backers, Roland Mouret visited Boston Tuesday for a personal appearance at Louis.
“Debi [Greenberg] was the first person in the world to buy my collection, so coming here to work with her customers was really important to me,” Mouret said. In 2000, Louis owner Greenberg found Mouret sitting in the basement of a Parisian showroom, smoking among four mannequins garbed in silk taffeta. She gave him his first order — three pieces of each style, which she named as she filled out the order form. Afterward, she advised the mellow London-based designer to get a sales rep, pronto.
Advice heeded. Mouret’s business is growing. He’s taken over a six-story town house in London’s Mayfair to serve as offices, atelier and his first store, opening in February. Men’s wear, now in its first season, will have its own room in the store. Among the exclusive products he’ll test in the space are sunglasses, a new category.