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TOP FLOP: Gisele Bündchen popped into Paris on Thursday to unveil her latest flip-flop line, Ipanema, in collaboration with Brazil’s largest shoe company, Grendene. The summer collection was inspired by ocean and sea life. “Nature is very close to my heart, and it is important for me that people who buy my flip-flops are made aware of the environment,” said Bündchen, packed into a violet Hervé Léger bandage dress. To wit: The collection, which is the model’s eighth with Grendene, will see a portion of proceeds go to a project that reintroduces turtle hatchlings into the sea. Bündchen, although not directly responsible for the design of the flip-flops, said she does bring ideas to the creative team. “I am very inspired by nature and like to use that for my ideas, but actually designing them — no way. I would be a disaster,” she chirped. Grendene sold some 165 million pairs of shoes last year.
RUSSO IN AT HAAN: Philip Russo is said to be joining Cole Haan soon as design director. Russo would fill a senior creative spot at the brand that has been vacant since Gordon Thompson left as creative director and executive vice president in 2008. Russo was most recently global creative director of footwear at fellow Nike-owned company Converse, and has had stints designing Converse by John Varvatos and Converse One Star, as well as footwear at Fila and Puma. In January, former Liz Claiborne executive Dave McTague was named chief executive officer at the accessories brand. Cole Haan declined to comment on Russo.
MISSING LINK: Where in the world are Bryan Bradley and Marco Cattoretti? The Tuleh designer and his business partner must be keeping quite a low profile these days, because few of their acquaintances and retailers know of their whereabouts or their plans for the future. As reported, Tuleh was no longer meeting the demands of creditors, and its backer, Trilea Holdings Inc., has been investigating several options. It now appears the Tuleh operations have been put on hold for the moment. While several stores received spring deliveries, the company is said to have let go of its entire staff, and moved out of the Chrystie Street offices. Bradley, meanwhile, is rumored to be exploring new opportunities in New York or Paris. It is unclear, however, whether they will have anything to do with Tuleh. One industry source heard that Trilea started a search for a new creative director at Tuleh. Bradley, Cattoretti and Mark Friedman, managing partners of Trilea Holdings’ advisory firm, Trilea Partners, couldn’t be reached for comment.