Winning Scholars Feted... Calvin Klein's Turn... Going Global...

Fashion types fete the new Liz Claiborne Fashion Scholarship and its first winner, Gohar Rajabzadeh.

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ESCADA’S NEXT DIMENSION: Escada’s presence on Fifth Avenue is likely to shrink or disappear altogether. The retailer’s landlord, Jeff Sutton, has reportedly bought out Escada’s lease, which would give him the right to downsize the flagship or relocate it around the corner to East 55th Street. Sutton declined to comment. Sources said he could replace Escada with a single tenant or break the space into two stores. Tenants likely to replace Escada would undoubtedly come from the realm of jewelry or fashion. Escada in 2001 moved to the 17,000-square-foot space at 715 Fifth Avenue after 10 years in a smaller location on East 57th Street. Escada USA, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August after parent company Escada AG began insolvency proceedings in Munich, can no longer afford the rent. While it could not be learned what Escada is paying, Fifth Avenue commands the highest worldwide rent per square foot — $1,700 for ground floor space — according to a 2009 report by Cushman & Wakefield. Sutton, whose Wharton Properties has a history of buying out the leases of distressed tenants to maximize his investment, used a similar tack with Hugo Boss at 717 Fifth Avenue, paving the way for Giorgio Armani’s massive 40,000-square-foot multibrand flagship.


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