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Fashion forward

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Actress Tatum O’Neal has left the building, but Antonio Versace, a partial heir to his late uncle Gianni Versace’s vast fashion fortune, has moved into the Lower East Side’s Forward condo complex.

The luxury building, where O’Neal recently sold her two-bedroom for $1.72 million, was the former home of the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, and Karl Marx’s face is etched into the outside of the structure. But the skyrocketing prices in the building are pure capitalism. Versace is paying $9,000 a month for a 1,330-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit.

PARK PLACE: Four-bedroom co-op at 840 Park Ave. sells for $8.5 million.
The renovated home, which was listed by Town Residential’s Zeshaan Qadir, faces Seward Park and is on the top floor of 175 E. Broadway, with views that include the Empire State Building. The apartment includes an open, eat-in kitchen with Carrera marble, a tin ceiling and an L-shaped living/dining room with a gas fireplace.

Versace is in contract to sell his two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,540-square-foot condo at 44 Mercer St. The apartment is listed for $3.35 million. Douglas Elliman brokers Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes have the listing.

‘Shark’ Mark on move

Ever wondered what a billionaire mogul’s starter apartment looks like? Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, wants to sell his.

A source says the entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” star hasn’t lived there in 15 years, but he held onto his one-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op at 257 Central Park West. The 750-square-foot, sixth-floor apartment with high ceilings and oversized windows is now listed for $600,000. The doorman apartment has its own garage. Corcoran Group broker Chelsea Miller declined to comment.

That Knicks center Tyson Chandler and his wife, Kimberly, are renting a massive combined unit at the Lucida on East 85th Street . . . That real estate guru and “Shark Tank” panelist Barbara Corcoran bought a four-bedroom condo for $3.6 million at Stag Lodge in Park City, Utah. Corcoran purchased the unit in one day while shopping with her “Shark Tales” co-author Bruce Littlefield . . . That “Law & Order: SVU” filmed scenes for upcoming episodes at Mitchel Maidman’s 4,200-square-foot penthouse duplex at the Aurora building in Murray Hill.

Tune up

T ommy Tune is singing and dancing a happy tune these days. The legendary singer/dancer/choreographer/theater director just bought a penthouse co-op at 414 E. 52nd St. for $1.37 million — a tad less than its $1.39 million asking price.

Tune, whose career has spanned more than a half-century, purchased the one-bedroom, one-bathroom prewar unit in Southgate, an Emery Roth-designed prewar Art Deco building. The apartment features 13-foot ceilings (essential for the 6-foot-6 entertainer) and a 2,700-square-foot private wraparound terrace.

Listing brokers Audrey Ruden and Jennine Gourin of Douglas Elliman declined to comment.

Tune, a nine-time Tony Award winner, is now touring in “Tommy Tune Steps in Time,” a “Broadway biography” of his storied career. In 2009, Tune was named a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Hard rock downtown

Peter Morton, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, could be on a home-buying spree. In January, Morton paid $9.8 million for a mansion known as the “West Coast Graceland.” It’s a Beverly Hills house that Elvis Presley bought after he got married in 1967. Now Morton’s looking to buy a large downtown home in Manhattan.

One place Morton’s checked out is Kelly Ripa’s penthouse on Crosby Street, which the perky TV host shares with husband Mark Consuelos and their children. The $24.5 million, five-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom condo includes 12-plus-foot ceilings, a floating staircase and a “chef’s dream” kitchen with a six-burner Wolf stove, two Electrolux dishwashers (Ripa stars in Electrolux commercials) and three Sub-Zero refrigerators.

They’re old Monet

Eleanor Acquavella Dejoux of the Acquavella Galleries, which specializes in 19th- and 20th-century European art, and husband Morgan Dejoux have just purchased a four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom co-op at 840 Park Ave. for $8.85 million.

The prewar duplex maisonette includes Venetian-plaster foyer walls and limestone floors. The corner living room features a woodburning fireplace. A grand staircase leads to the bedrooms on the second floor. The sellers are developer David Winter and his wife, Elizabeth, who, as we previously reported, bought a $26 million residence at 778 Park Ave.

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Edible fashion stars on Tokyo runway

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Japan’s fifth Tokyo Sweets Collection has drawn hundreds of sweet-toothed spectators to its annual runway fashion show.

Nine of the country’s top patisseries were asked to produce an assortment of sweet fashion creations for models to wear on the ‘cakewalk’ in the banquet hall of the Shinagawa Prince hotel.

Most chefs chose to create edible head gear, but delicious goodies could also be seen covering shoes, bags and parts of the models’ dresses as well.

Patisserie chef Toshi Yoroizuka told Reuters the intent of the exhibition ‘is to create something that will inspire and look beautiful’.

Whilst taste and flavour remain a key component to ‘cakewalk’ success, the main challenge for the chefs is to create haute couture that is visually appealing.

‘Well, sweets are a kind of cuisine so of course the most important thing is taste, however, for the fashion show, well, for example it’s not about cooking the macaroon for the best flavour but rather making it beautiful, even perhaps cooking it to be a bit harder than usual, the intent is to create something that will inspire and look beautiful,’ Mr Yoroizuka said.

For chef Asterique Kouichi Izumi, fashion confectionary is a potential business prospect.

‘Well until now traditionally the head piece worn by brides has been made of fresh flowers, but in the last three years I have had four to five orders to make a headpiece that uses the same confectionary flowers,’ Mr Izumi told Reuters.

Much to the disappointment of hungry onlookers, the outfits on show at the Tokyo Sweets Collection were not available for sale to either wear or eat.

Fashion revival for AllSaints

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The company, which is famous for ranks of sewing machines in its shop windows, has seen annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation hit £7.5m, from a £9.1m loss 12 months earlier.

The return to profit comes despite sales in the 12 months to January 31 falling from £221m to £199m, with like-for-like sales consistently in negative territory over the past six months.
However, AllSaints’ new chief executive, William Kim, claimed the company has been deliberately trying to shrink sales to grow profit margins.

“It is true that like-for-likes have fallen but we drove those results. We had a huge business model that had way too much stock. We over-produced inventory. The result was that we were forced to mark down prices to shift stock, especially during key retail periods. It wasn’t sustainable.”

Mr Kim said that a year ago AllSaints was marking down up to 85pc of stock to “on sale”. But in the latest set of financial results, gross margins have jumped 12 percentage points, from 53pc to 65pc. There is also 40pc less inventory being produced by the company.

50 feet tall mobile phone masts can be erected anywhere under new assault on planning rules, councils warn 24 Feb 2013.

Monsoon accused of shameless supply squeeze 24 Feb 2013.

“Our aim is to convert more customers at full price, which will help increase growth. And we have seen that affect the bottom line immediately.”

AllSaints has been owned by Lion Capital since 2011. The private equity firm, which used to own fashion brands including Jimmy Choo, rescued the company when it was close to collapse and has now turned its attention to an international expansion programme.
It has 100 stores in nine countries across the UK, Netherlands and the US.

Next week, it is opening its first shop in Toronto, Canada, and plans a series of further store openings across North America and Asia.

“We are just on the brink,” said Mr Kim. “When we look ahead to 2013, the world is our oyster. The earnings potential is far in excess of double-digit growth.”

AllSaints is projecting around £17m of earnings for 2013, which will be used to fund further store roll-outs. The company is also investing heavily in non-apparel.

Best eCommerce Web Design Companies and Trends for 2013

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Top Design Companies (TDC) announces their best eCommerce website designers for February 2013. TDC evaluates eCommerce design companies through a thorough process which includes a five point review process. The process to find the best eCommerce website designers include site aesthetics, site architecture, originality, audience, and functionality. Each site analyzed is given a score which translates to a total score.

Clikzy Creative was named the best eCommerce website designer for month of February 2013. Clikzy Creative is a Washington, DC website design and marketing company. Clikzy is a boutique website design firm who have created some amazing websites. Even more impressive was their price per project in comparison to some of the other eCommerce website development companies TDC reviewed.

WebpageFX was named number two eCommerce Website Development Company for the month of February 2013. WebPageFX main focus is large scale eCommerce. They work with some of the largest online retailers in the country. They are a larger firm and while their core business is internet marketing, the TDC evaluators were very impressed with WebpageFX’s capability to handle large scale eCommerce development projects.

Billionaire Green Plans 10 New Topshop Stores in US

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British fashion mogul Sir Philip Green plans to open 10 more Topshop stores in the U.S. within 2.5 years, after launching its first Californian branch in Los Angeles last week.

“The Los Angeles reaction was much stronger than we thought. We were about 50 percent above our target,” Green told CNBC on Sunday, speaking from London Fashion Week.

Topshop, which is part of Green’s fashion conglomerate Arcadia Group, also has branches in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas, as well as a partnership with upscale fashion department store Nordstrom.

Despite weak retail numbers for January from the Commerce Department, Green said “shopping has not ended.”

“I think what has happened is the market is getting squeezed where the operators do not have the right merchandize or are not a necessity. Hopefully we have got something slightly different, slightly unique.”

Green added that speed-to-market is “more important than ever” for fashion retailers.

“Our speed-to-market has always been very powerful and it continues to be that way. I think that is probably our edge, being able to produce very quickly.”

Green refused to comment on reports he has bid for up-for-sale Dreams, whose beds he hopes to sell in his BHS department stores.

“Historically, private equity has bought retail businesses and done a reasonably good job with them. Now you read in the papers that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is back in fashion. We will see,” he said.

In December, Green sold a 25 percent stake in Topshop and Topman to LA-based private equity firm Leonard Green, in a deal that valued the high street chain at two billion pounds.

“Fast fashion continues to gain market share, particularly in Europe, and it looks like the U.S. better be prepared to compete with the new entrant,” said Stacey Widlitz, the president of SW Retail Advisors, after the sale.

Stocks in major U.S. retailers fell on Friday after Wal-Mart leaked an email in which an executive called its February sales a “total disaster”. Macy’s, Home Depot and Target traded lower on the news.

London Fashion Week kicks off in monochrome, metallics

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Monochrome dresses with bold bursts of colour and dashes of feathers and fur kicked off London Fashion Week on Friday as designers showcased elegant and minimalist creations for Autumn/Winter 2013.
Blacks, whites and greys formed the base palette for the collections that hit the runway on the London leg of the international fashion circuit, but outfits were spiced up with splashes of neon and exotic motifs.
PPQ, formed from fashion duo Amy Molyneaux and Percy Parker, showcased lime green outerwear and a hand-painted surrealist print before eveningwear of black velvet gowns with feathered cuffs swept down the catwalk.

“I was looking at doing a print that was a bit more freestyle this season, so I delved into surrealist shapes that weren’t so regimented,” Molyneaux told Reuters.

One of the big four catwalk fixtures alongside Paris, New York and Milan, London Fashion Week is best known as a cradle for cutting-edge talent and avant-garde trends.

Monochrome dominated other collections including that of British designer Zoe Jordan, who opened Fashion Week.

Jordan, an architect by training, said Italian cathedrals and the urban skyline of Hong Kong inspired the sharp silhouettes and metallic finishes of her designs.

“What we are trying to do is that nonchalant glamour, it’s a very London thing, you know, the girl who doesn’t try too hard,” Jordan told Reuters after the show.

LONDON TALENT
Jordan praised London Fashion Week for nurturing new talent.
The city’s art and design schools have been a treasure trove for fashion talent, producing designers such as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and a raft of others.

“London really stands out as a fashion week because they are trying to help support younger designers and find emerging talent. It’s not just about praising the big guys, they’re looking for the next big thing,” Jordan said.

London blends its up-and-coming names with veteran designers like Vivienne Westwood in a semi-annual burst of creativity to entice recession-weary consumers back into shops.

The direct value of the British fashion industry to the United Kingdom’s $2.5 trillion economy is 21 billion pounds ($32.60 billion), the British Fashion Council (BFC) said.

Jean-Pierre Braganza, a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins fashion school, looked east with his tribal collection, dominated by geometric panelling and eastern designs reminiscent of Chinese dragon shapes in navy and grey.

Burnt pumpkin offset fashion duo Fyodor Golan’s collection of black, ivory, adorned with baroque sketches or embellished with beads.

Skirts and dresses were subtly sexy keeping thighs and chests covered while showing off shoulders and the nape of the neck.

“For us it’s all about sexuality – exploring, showing it but not in a perverse way – just going for it,” Fyodor Podgorny, who shares the label with Golan Frydman, said of London Fashion Week.

ROARING TWENTIES
Contrasts of colour and texture also starred in London-based Turkish designer Bora Aksu’s collection, which drew inspiration from the opulence of the roaring Twenties.

Models floated down the runway in leather corsets, loose shift dresses with high lace collars and cropped jackets in dove greys and bright fuchsias.

“The whole idea of the Twenties is this contrast,” Aksu, who has dressed Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller told Reuters.

“There is this structure (to the clothes) but with it is such floatiness and dreaminess, like a fairytale kind of mood,” he said.

Sheer capes were layered over fitted leather dresses, knitted jumpers were paired with sheepskin jackets and crochet and lace details were fused onto silky separates.

“I just love the way that he used all my favourite materials in one outfit. It’s just so elegant and also really fun,” said British singer Kate Nash from the front row of Aksu’s show.

Looking ahead, the spotlight will shine on American designer Tom Ford, who will be showcasing his womenswear on the catwalk for the first time in London, having previously limited viewings to select fashion insiders and editors of glossy magazines.

Singer Rihanna will add a touch of A-list glamour on Saturday with the launch of her first clothing line with British high street retailer River Island, one of the 56 catwalk shows taking place over the five-day event.

JW Anderson returns with a second fashion line for Topshop Topshop has revealed a glimpse at its second fashion collection by JW Anderson The fashion community went mad for JW Anderson’s first collection for high street fashion favourite Topshop – his cute knits and paisley prints were a front row must-have at Spring/Summer fashion week last year, and now he’s all set for a second sell-out high street line. The new Spring/Summer fashion line is more of a pared-down affair than the Autumn/Winter high street fashion collection, with Jonathan explaining: “This collection was more about youth cultural groups. The girl has evolved. It’s about carrying over the idea of iconic pieces that can be worn over and over and re-working staple looks from the JW Anderson wardrobe.” Pieces include argyle print skirts and matching fringed knits and playful knits emblazoned with dodo birds or cars. Staples from last season are reworked in new textures, like a trench in black and beige patent. The JW Anderson collection lands in Topshop stores on 15 February 2013.

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JW Anderson returns with a second fashion line for Topshop

Topshop has revealed a glimpse at its second fashion collection by JW Anderson

The fashion community went mad for JW Anderson’s first collection for high street fashion favourite Topshop – his cute knits and paisley prints were a front row must-have at Spring/Summer fashion week last year, and now he’s all set for a second sell-out high street line.

The new Spring/Summer fashion line is more of a pared-down affair than the Autumn/Winter high street fashion collection, with Jonathan explaining: “This collection was more about youth cultural groups. The girl has evolved. It’s about carrying over the idea of iconic pieces that can be worn over and over and re-working staple looks from the JW Anderson wardrobe.”

Pieces include argyle print skirts and matching fringed knits and playful knits emblazoned with dodo birds or cars. Staples from last season are reworked in new textures, like a trench in black and beige patent.

The JW Anderson collection lands in Topshop stores on 15 February 2013.
Topshop has revealed a glimpse at its second fashion collection by JW Anderson

The fashion community went mad for JW Anderson’s first collection for high street fashion favourite Topshop – his cute knits and paisley prints were a front row must-have at Spring/Summer fashion week last year, and now he’s all set for a second sell-out high street line.

The new Spring/Summer fashion line is more of a pared-down affair than the Autumn/Winter high street fashion collection, with Jonathan explaining: “This collection was more about youth cultural groups. The girl has evolved. It’s about carrying over the idea of iconic pieces that can be worn over and over and re-working staple looks from the JW Anderson wardrobe.”

Pieces include argyle print skirts and matching fringed knits and playful knits emblazoned with dodo birds or cars. Staples from last season are reworked in new textures, like a trench in black and beige patent.

The JW Anderson collection lands in Topshop stores on 15 February 2013.