Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is launching a line of clothing and home furnishings for J.C. Penney called American Living, marking the first time the company has created a brand for another retailer. But don't you fret — Ralph Lauren isn't, like, seriously giving himself to the down-market masses just like that.
It looks like That '70s Show's Danny Masterson isn't busy enough being a D.J., radio host, producer, and restaurateur — now he's looking to add boutique owner to his résumé. Teaming up with Ilaria Urbinati, former buyer for chic L.A. boutiques Milk and Satine, Masterson plans to open a shop called Confederacy, a high-end "mini–Fred Segal" in East Hollywood.
• Ass-electrocutionist Anne Slowey responds! The Elle editor commented on yesterday's post about her quest to flatten her posterior and boldly admits to merely imagining a phone call to her psychic. Or perhaps we misread? Whatever, the woman still electrocuted her tush. [Cut]
Cupid must have aimed his arrow directly at Barneys' publicity-loving rear — and we're shamelessly hot for it, which is why, hot on the heels of our warehouse-sale live blog, we're writing about the damn place again. Racked reports the chain is opening a store in the scary retail megaplex that is the meatpacking district.
We've got some tasty new details on the new Soho Topshop, where we've confirmed construction is well under way (they finally signed the lease on Friday). The gargantuan store will be as similar to the London flagship as possible and will include the "sweet shop" candy section (beware, Dylan Lauren). Merch will include designer collections, the new Unique line, and, ahem, more from the Kate Moss collection.
• Nordstrom is having trouble securing a site for a Manhattan flagship; it had its sights set on the old Drake Hotel on 56th and Park, but the building's developer has hit a snag with financiers. [WWD]
Let's take a break from the beauty of Fashion Week for some cold, hard numbers, shall we? LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Polo Ralph Lauren's are in, and they're up — despite the recession. Take that! LVMH's revenues rose 8 percent in 2007 to a shiny $22.59 billion, while Polo's revenues were up 11 percent to $1.27 billion (we know, it's almost paltry in comparison).
Good morning! Are you ready for the first official day of Fashion Week? Let's start with the weather forecast: We're due for rain — no, wait, it's positively biblical out already, so put those open-toed satin pumps back on the shoe rack. Don't bother straightening your hair. And make sure you've found your big umbrella (it's by your air conditioner) with the extra-wide span to reduce sog and maximize chic. Yes, it's a nuisance, but it's a handy weapon for any bitch who tries to edge in on your seat. Just be sure to keep it close at your side and not sticking out on the runway, for the models are fragile … and the only ones who can fit into the clothes we need to see over the next seven days.
• Princely girlfriend Kate Middleton quit her job at fashion chain Jigsaw, sparking rumors of an imminent engagement! [British Vogue]
• Daria Werbowy is doing a line of makeup for Lancôme that benefits a Brazilian children’s charity. Hot and philanthropic? Sigh. [Fashionista]
• Surprise, surprise: This holiday shopping season is gonna suck for retailers. [NYT]
• More than a week after the Deutsch Bank blaze killed two firefighters, three FDNY honchos have been reassigned for failing to regularly inspect the building or come up with a plan to fight a fire there. [NYT]
The new shoe department at Saks opened this morning, and, much as we'd love to gush about it, we can't. Don't get us wrong: It's nice. It's very nice, and it's a major upgrade from the well-to-do-suburban-mom- attempting-to-be-fashionable selection the store formerly offered. But we're shoe addicts, and we were expecting more. The floor was buzzing with camera crews, waiters were serving breakfast munchies, and salespeople were announcing every two seconds how proud they were of the new space. They had the patent-leather Miu Miu spectators for sale, and the two-tone Pradas with the curved heel. They even had our knee-high Chloé boots, with the gold zipper going up the calf. But what they also had was way too many logos for our taste: Gucci, Chanel, and Dior; sneakers, loafers, and ballet flats.
Isn't the Upper West Side — especially the upper reaches of the eighties and into the nineties (and well into the hundreds) — supposed to be for lefty intellectual sorts following familiar routines in their sprawling, rent-controlled prewars? Not anymore, it increasingly seems. The owners of Liberty House, a neighborhood fixture on Broadway and 92nd, posted a sign two days ago announcing it will close its doors after 39 years in business, leaving area residents wondering where they'll find antiwar posters, jewelry handmade by local artisans, and Frida Kahlo tchotchkes.
Oh, thank God. Turns out our little conversation with the Little Britain people didn't end yesterday afternoon, as we feared it would. Not at all. They still like us, they assured us last night. They really still like us! And now they're offering us cake (and using fun Britishisms):
From: info@ campaignforlittlebritain.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:26:25 PM
You know we love you.
You'd definitely have a point if all the business on the block hadn't signed individual letters of support, if we hadn't collected over 1,000 signatures in person in the stores, if we hadn't received over 90 letters of thanks from community groups we've supported over the last year, if a fine, upstanding pillar of the community hadn't spoken in support at the Community Board 2 meeting. But they all did.
We have no idea why people would line up outside a grocery store — in the rain! — to buy a fancy shopping bag. (Which, mind you, back in our day used to be something you got for free, in your choice of paper or plastic.) But people did, inexplicably. And, just so you know, this is what the things look like.
Related:Welcome to Whole Foods Market Bowery [WholeFoodsMarket.com]
FreshDirect, the (largely) beloved grocery-delivery service, turns five today. It's hard to believe it's been along that long — doesn't time fly when you're noshing on home-delivered organic vegetables? To mark the milestone, the company suspended deliveries for the day, so that its employees could have a picnic. (Yikes. What about the rain?) We know more than one person distraught that they wouldn't be able to get their order today, but, surprisingly, when we started asking around the office we discovered that seemingly as many people who don't much care for Freshy D as those who can't do without it. After the jump, four New Yorkers reflections on five years of FreshDirect — two who love it, one who doesn't like it, and one who hates it.
Idly flipping though Flickr photos of New York this afternoon, we happened across this one in Zlatko Unger's photostream, and it made us smile. It's a mashup of icons: B&H Photo, clearly, as if shot by Andreas Gursky.
• It's down to the wire — the deadline for the legislature to approve Bloomberg's congestion-pricing plan is today — and the still-unbowed mayor is pulling out all stops: Yesterday, he campaigned for it in three churches, fer chrissakes. [NYT]
The decidedly quirky children's store Peanutbutter & Jane, a nook near the corner of Hudson and Jane Streets for 26 years, closed its doors this weekend, the victim — like many other longtime West Village retailers — of wildly increasing rents. There was no formal celebration, but if you stopped by the shop Saturday afternoon — the last day of the month, and of the lease — there was plenty of misty-eyed reminiscence from nostalgic customers and grandmotherly clerks. “We’ve had customers coming in here for generations,” manager Timmie Reilly said. For the first time in decades, walls were visible in the typically hypercluttered shoebox of a store. Gone was the ruffle of tutus that previously hung from the ceiling, and only two pairs of ruby slippers remained. Moving men hauled off a shelf, and the now-antique light fixtures were sold to a dealer.
So the iPhone went on sale Friday afternoon; America rejoiced, God smiled, and people who'd been waiting on line for three days could finally go take a shower. (We must say our favorite touch is the line of what seem to be Apple employees at left, applauding the dude for, you know, shopping.) Funny thing: After all the hysteria and lines and waiting and so forth, our friend walked into an AT&T store Saturday afternoon, bought an iPhone, and left in about a half-hour.
UPDATE: Aforementioned friend IMs: "Errata! I was in and out of Apple Store in 5 minutes." Apparently reporting over drinks late on Saturday night doesn't always yield complete accuracy. Who knew?
Earlier:Daily Intel's we're-giving-Steve-Jobs-exactly- what-he-wants iPhone coverage.