MCQUEEN ON TARGET’S RADAR?: It looks like Alexander McQueen could be the latest designer name — and one of the most prestigious — to link up with Target’s Go International program, which showcases capsule collections by guest designers. According to industry sources, the British designer is in talks to work on a collection for the Minneapolis-based retailer. A spokeswoman for McQueen declined comment Wednesday.
If the designer does ink a deal with Target, he would join an ever-growing lineup of marquee names who have produced collections for the brand, including Luella Bartley, Alice Temperley, Proenza Schouler and Richard Chai. In addition, Anya Hindmarch and Sigerson Morrison both have collections in the pipeline for the retailer.
While McQueen launched a denim-based diffusion line, called McQ Alexander McQueen, in fall 2006, he’s not yet notched up a collaboration with a mass retailer during his career. As well as his ready-to-wear collection, McQueen designs a footwear collection for Puma and a capsule luggage collection for Samsonite’s Black Label.
TOPSHOP’S NEW SIGNING?: While the British press may be buzzing that singer Leona Lewis is to design a collection for Topshop, response from the retailer — and the singer’s rep — is more muted. London’s Sun tabloid newspaper reported Wednesday that Topshop’s owner Sir Philip Green wants to tap into Lewis’ star power — her debut album, “Spirit,” hit the top of the U.S. Billboard charts in April — and launch a collection with the British singer.
However, a spokeswoman for Topshop described the story as “unsubstantiated,” and a spokesman for Lewis dismissed the reports as “just speculation.”
PARTY TIME: Paolo Nutini got the Olympics off to a rocking reggae start Tuesday night, playing a special show for Puma at CJW, a jazz and wine bar in central Beijing. Nutini moseyed on stage in Levi’s jeans, a Puma T-shirt and a brown jacket with a row of Chinese buttons down the front — outfit equal parts Sergeant Pepper and Qing Dynasty. The Chinese crowd bopped along to the Scottish singer’s folksy tunes, including “New Shoes,” which Puma is currently using in its TV ads. Everyone cheered when members of the Jamaican Olympic team — the evening’s guests of honor — joined Nutini on stage for a rousing rendition of Bob Marley’s “One Love.” “I’ve been here a few days,” Nutini quipped pre-show. “So far I’ve found it’s a busy place!”
A BIG BOAT: Tired of the same old cookie-cutter yachting vacation from last season? Alberta Ferretti is providing the adventurous the chance to cruise aboard her 150-foot icebreaker, Prometej. The ship’s Romanian name (meaning Prometheus) is evidence of the Eastern European boat’s origins dating back nearly half a century. With room for up to 12 guests, the vessel was redesigned by Ferretti herself and executed by Italian shipbuilders in order to meet her high standards. The cost of a week in the designer’s new home-away-from-home: at current exchange, a mere $140,000.
BARGAIN HUNTER: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may be receiving up to $15 million for the most expensive celebrity infant photos ever with newborn twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, but Jolie only forked over $78 for her nightie by Eileen West. While Jolie, who says she is breast-feeding, will most likely make good use of the Victorian-inspired gown while nursing, the megabucks from the photos, which were bought jointly by People and Hello magazines, will go to a foundation created by Brangelina. Designer Eileen West joked, “What fun. I was so surprised to see my La Stella gown on Jolie. It’s a really pretty cotton garment with supersoft heirloom crisscross lace insets, tucks and a floral-vine burnout treatment. It’s a nice full-length gown for maternity and breast-feeding, and it was perfect for first baby photos.”
PEDAL POWER: James Perse fans can now cycle away from either of his two Bleecker Street stores on a custom-made beach cruiser. The matte black, brand-free bike is much like the one the designer tools around on near his Malibu, Calif., home. By chance, the $1,800 bike was placed in each store’s window Wednesday morning just as the paint was drying on Bleecker Street’s new bike lane. A few have already been sold in Perse’s Malibu store, as well as his new East Hampton, N.Y., boutique, said regional director Barry Oberman. “With the way gas prices are these days, they certainly are a little more reasonable than driving,” he said.
WEEKEND SHIFT: Those contemplating a few luxurious days off in Tuscany between Milan and Paris fashion weeks this fall might need to reconsider. A temporary version of the French calendar just came out and has London wunderkind Gareth Pugh making his Paris runway debut on Saturday, Sept. 27. What’s more, Nina Ricci has moved up its show by a full week and is slated to show on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. According to Ricci, designer Olivier Theyskens requested an evening slot and that was the only one available.
PINK AND BLACK: Danish high-end eco-conscious label Noir is to open its first freestanding store, in Dubai this December. “We decided to go international with the first one,” said Noir’s designer and chief executive officer Peter Ingwersen after his show at Copenhagen Fashion Week Wednesday. While retail is booming in Dubai, Ingwersen acknowledged competition is fierce. “It’s brand heaven there,” he said. “And we’re only three years old, we’re not a Saint Laurent or a Gucci. I pray we’ll succeed.” His spring collection for Noir moved away from the label’s traditional black and white with looks including a deep pink-colored cocktail dress and a pistachio green-colored draped top, while the younger diffusion line, Bllack Noir’s bling collection, included a sparkling white satin jacket and pants.
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