SIZE SMALL: Swedish fast-fashion behemoth Hennes & Mauritz AB will launch a collection of children’s clothing in October to benefit its All for Children initiative with UNICEF. The clothes for girls and boys will be available in 160 stores worldwide, with 25 percent of the sales prices going directly to UNICEF projects to promote children’s rights to education and protection in vulnerable communities. Launched in November 2009, the project is being extended from southern India to Bangladesh this year. H&M noted that the initiative affected some of the poorest parts of the world, where many of its clothes are manufactured. “We believe that children who learn how to read and write are better equipped to make informed choices about their future,” it said.
AROUND THE CLOCK: Yves Saint Laurent plans to phase out its Edition 24 label, WWD has learned. The 2011 edition of the annual and seasonless collection — unveiled to the trade last January and arriving in stores this month — will be the last, a YSL spokesman confirmed. Introduced in 2007, and conceived as mix-and-match wardrobe essentials a fashionable woman might need for an overnight trip, Edition 24 was also a way to entice younger customers with sharply priced items. The spokesman said the company would maintain the breadth of the product the Edition line represented, but absorb it into the main collection, starting in earnest with the spring-summer 2012 collection to be shown in October.
SOLD IN SEOUL: J.Mendel president Susan Sokol got more than she bargained for when visiting South Korea late last month. In Seoul to broaden the label’s international business and get a better handle on Asia’s retail scene, Sokol was surprised by the takeaway — a $1 million trunk show at Boon the Shop. With almost 90 styles to choose from, most shoppers were in search of fur pieces especially sable or fox. A few didn’t blink at the $100,000 retail price for a sable coat. Gilles Mendel’s road show motors on to The Fashion Palace in Tallinn, Estonia, in September where fur is once again expected to be the calling card with shoppers.
A SWISS ACCOUNT: Roberto Cavalli will be among the highlights of the second edition of the Charles Vögele Fashion Days Zurich event, to be held in the Swiss financial hub Nov. 9 to 12. The designer, known for his animal prints, will showcase his Just Cavalli spring-summer 2012 collection, organizers said, besides picking a young talent for an internship at his Florence atelier. Meanwhile, the star-studded charity event Fashion Rocks, juxtaposing runway fashions from the world’s top designers and music acts, is also part of the event.
The Zurich Fashion Days, showcasing international and local brands and catering to the general public, vows to help position the Swiss high-end market on the fashion industry map since its opening edition last year.
JAILHOUSE FROCKS: Designers usually look for the most glamorous locations to present their couture collections. Marseille-born designer Sakina M’sa, 39, chose the most unusual: A women’s prison in Fleury-Merogis, south of Paris. Some 30 female prisoners paraded looks to a Martin Solveig sound track in front of 90 fellow inmates. Known for her ethnic-tinged and glamorous designs, M’sa got the Saint Etienne Grand Prix de la Biennale in 2001 and the Fondation de France prize in 2002. Celebrities including Eva Mendes and Ludivine Seigner have worn her designs. The designer will present her next couture collection in Paris in July, but she is still looking for a location.
MATERIAL WORD: Roland Mouret has been named president of the jury for the 2011 PV Awards, honoring the most exceptional fabrics at the Première Vision textile fair. The winners are to be announced on Sept. 22.
WINDY CITY WINNERS: Fashion Group International of Chicago recognized jewelry designer Alexis Bittar, fast growing beauty retailer Ulta, Bloomingdale’s, Lalique, Chicago magazine and Tim Long, costume curator of the Chicago History Museum, at its Night of Stars event at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago last week. Local design team Shane Gabier and Chris Peters of Creatures of the Wind also received the group’s 2011 Rising Star award and were introduced and lauded by Chicago retailer Ikram Goldman, who said the pair’s work was so strong that she broke her personal rule of not carrying local designers at her 10-year-old Gold Coast shop called Ikram. “I couldn’t resist,” she said.
OVER IN BRITAIN: The British luxury sector is poised to grow 57 percent by 2015 to 9.4 billion pounds, or $15.2 billion, according to a new study by Walpole and Ledbury Research U.K. The study, issued this week and based on interviews with senior luxury executives and Lebury’s own forecasting models, said foreign tourists are a key driver of sales, accounting for more than 25 percent of luxury goods purchases in the U.K. The report also revealed that “luxury shame” has fallen away. “Not only are customers buying less discreetly, but the industry is now less reliant on selling via private parties and trunk shows compared to last year,” it said. The report said that in 2011 the British luxury market will grow to 6.5 billion pounds, or $10.5 billion.