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ALVIN VALLEY ONLINE: Deciding to put brick-and-mortar retail plans on hold, Alvin Valley is introducing e-commerce this week to alvinvalley.com. For each item, the site offers descriptions of its inspiration, where to wear it, which body type it flatters and a sense of whether it’s running big or small. “I wanted to create an atmosphere of coming into my studio — extending that experience to women outside of New York,” Valley said, adding that his work on the Web site is “almost like editing my own magazine.” The site, for which Fabiola Beracasa and Olivia Chantecaille are modeling looks, also features “Valley Vibes,” a section in which the designer recommends “places I think are hot” such as restaurants and resorts.
NBA STORE SCORES: The NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan reported its best March ever with a 46 percent increase in sales, as the store began a celebration of its 10th anniversary. Thanks partly to increased interest in teams like the Boston Celtics, sales at the NBA Store are up more than 17 percent since the season began. Traffic rose 32 percent, and international visitors represent almost half that figure. For six months, begun in March, the store is marking its 10th year with promotions, including in-store appearances by players. The unit’s 10 millionth visitor will win an all-expense-paid trip to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game.
PUMA ON THE PULSE: Puma isn’t just rocking new poster boy Paolo Nutini for its spring Puma Runway collection: It’s also tapping fresh design talent. This summer the label will unveil three bag designs by London-based Central Saint Martins College students at Puma Concept stores. The items are the result of a competition during London Fashion Week in February. The contest was held for second-year master’s degree fashion students, and eight short-listed designs were shown as part of the institute’s master’s degree graduate runway show. Puma set the challenge of designing a bag for its iconic Usan shoe, inspired by this summer’s Beijing Olympics, and picked George Omerod for the prize. The bags will be sold in Puma Concept stores worldwide beginning in August, with proceeds going to the school. This is the second year of Puma’s involvement with Central Saint Martins, which last year hosted a competition for men’s wear students to design footwear. Puma also has sponsored the master’s degree graduate fashion show both years.