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News in brief

News in brief for the week ending October 27, 2007 from Drapers magazine:

Charlestown shopping centre opens its doors
Dunnes Stores has opened a 75,000sq ft store in the new Charlestown shopping centre in the Republic of Ireland. The mall, which was opened this week by a pair of Victoria and David Beckham lookalikes, has 170,000sq ft of retail space. Other retailers to open in the centre, at Finglas near Dublin, include Heatons and Jack & Jones.

My-wardrobe’s design contest kicks off
Online retailer My-wardrobe.com has launched a competition to give fashion graduates the chance to sell their ranges on the website. The Designer Incubator contest will shortlist three designers, who will each receive £1,000 to produce an eight-piece range, from which a winner will be chosen. Drapers editor Lauretta Roberts is on the judging panel, which includes designers Nargess Gharani and Vanya Strok. Entrants must upload designs to www.thedesignerincubator.com by November 14.

Cruise founder takes consulting role at Sand
Jim Gibson, founder of designer independent Cruise, is finalising a deal with Scandinavian brand Sand to oversee its development in Europe. He will act as a consultant for the brand’s Copenhagen head office, working on its retail operations. His remit will not include Sand’s UK operations, which are handled by agency Gorland.

Margin confirms dates for next exhibition
London streetwear and directional fashion show Margin will hold its next edition on February 10-12 2008. The show, which features a mix of men’s and women’s clothing, footwear and accessories labels, will take place at the Vinyl Factory Galleryin Foubert’s Place, London W1.

Weekend footfall hit by Rugby World Cup
Footfall at non-food stores fell 5.4% last weekend compared with the same time the previous year, according to research group SPSL. Retail traffic was down by 7.2% on Saturday. The dip was blamed on the Rugby World Cup final.

Paul & Joe Sister makes its retail debut
Paul & Joe unveiled its first Paul & Joe Sister store last week. The 1,200sq ft shop on London’s King’s Road will sell the womenswear sub-brand. Paul & Joe has three womenswear stores, in Ledbury Road, Brompton Road and Sloane Street in west London, plus a menswear shop in Floral Street in London’s Covent Garden. The brand’s property agent is Orme Associates.

B Brands takes control of Lambretta footwear
Footwear brand house B Brands has signed a four-year European licensing deal for Lambretta footwear. Men’s styles will be launched for autumn 08, with the business aiming to introduce women’s footwear for spring 09. Retailer River Island had exclusively stocked Lambretta footwear, which until now had been developed in-house. This agreement will now end as B Brands looks to grow wholesale distribution.

Reiss opens more accessories stores
Upmarket retailer Reiss is to open two more standalone accessories stores in London, after the launch of the first in Hampstead, west London, earlier this month. Two 1,000sq ft stores, in Market Place in central London and Islington in north London will open by Christmas. Four more shops, in Liverpool, Leeds and London’s Canary Wharf and Covent Garden, will open in the New Year. The stores are designed by consultancy Universal Design Studio.

Sonia Rykiel is latest London robbery victim
Designer womenswear retailer Sonia Rykiel’s store on Brook Street in Mayfair, London, is the latest victim of a spate of up to 30 ram-raid robberies from designer boutiques in the capital. Two scooters, each with a driver and passenger, were spotted making off towards Cavendish Square at 12.24am on Wednesday. Anyone who has information on any of the robberies can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Timberland to trial smaller-format store
Casualwear brand Timberland is planning to launch a small-format store called Footwear Plus on London’s King’s Road. It is thought to be part of an international trial. Timberland has about 20 full-size stores in the UK, seven factory outlets and a Timberland Boot Company shop on Carnaby Street in London, which sells its more premium product.

Register now for Drapers Fashion Summit
Asos.com chief executive Nick Robertson, Hobbs managing director Nick Samuel and Mary Portas from TV show Mary Queen of Shops are among the speakers at next month’s Drapers Fashion Summit. The event, which takes place alongside the Drapers Awards on November 20-21, will be held at The Cumberland Hotel in London. To register, visit www.drapersonline.com/summit.

Mikey poised for international launch in Spain
Jewellery retailer Mikey will make its international debut next month by opening its first concessions in Spain. It has teamed up with Spanish department store El Corte Inglés to open seven concessions, averaging about 750sq ft, in sites including Seville, Valencia, Madrid and Marbella. The openings will start from early November. Retail prices in Spain will range from €10 to €450 (£7 to £313).

Hardy Amies embarks on Asian ventures
Tailoring brand Hardy Amies this week announced it had signed licensing deals with 10 Japanese companies for the next three years, earning it at least £850,000 a year. It has also signed a joint venture with Australian retailer Aussino to establish Hardy Amies in China, with the UK firm investing £500,000. The first of four Chinese stores is expected to open next year.

TK Maxx anchors Corby’s Willow Place mall
Discount chain TK Maxx has opened a 42,000sq ft store in Corby, Northamptonshire, anchoring Land Securities’ new Willow Place retail scheme. Other retailers that have taken units at the £40 million development include Jane Norman and River Island. All three are new to Corby.

Arabella Miller debuts with organic T-shirts
Kidswear brand Arabella Miller has launched this month with an organic T-shirt range certified by the Soil Association. The 19-piece line is priced at £6.50 per item and the label will show at Premier Kids in January. The range is currently sold via the online store at www.arabellamiller.com, but owner Alison Rothwell aims to have 50 wholesale accounts for autumn 08.

New recruit joins Berkeley Search & Selection
Recruitment firm Berkeley Search & Selection has hired Orlando Martins as managing consultant to head the executive search division. He will work with chief executive Paul Meechan on all executive search assignments and will be responsible for the in-house research team based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Martins joins from Quantica Executive Search, where he was senior consultant responsible for retail.

Double Oxford Street opening for Uniqlo
Japanese casualwear retailer Uniqlo will open two stores in one day on London’s Oxford Street next month. The 25,000sq ft store at 311 Oxford Street, formerly Waterstones, will be its European flagship, and will feature a revamped logo and storefit. Uniqlo made its UK debut in 2001.

Eley Kishimoto to take on Cacharel design role
Husband and wife design duo Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto are to take over as artistic directors at French designer label Cacharel. They will replace Suzanna Clements and Inacio Ribeiro, who have held the joint positions for the past seven years, and will produce their first collection for autumn 08.

Joules Clothing takes its kidswear to US
Joules Clothing has launched its kidswear range in the US wholesale market. It exhibited at the Children’s Club show in New York earlier this month, picking up several accounts among boutiques in upmarket areas such as Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The brand will also attend the January 08 edition of Children’s Club to show its autumn collection. In the UK, Joules’ kidswear will be stocked by retailers including Harrods and Jarrolds for spring 08.

Transactional website opens at Ethika
Ethical fashion label Ethika has launched its first transactional website, ethika.co.uk. The site currently carries about 10 styles, including tops, skirts and dresses. The company, which also has a store in Norwich, will donate 25% of its profits from each garment to charities aiming to empower women and help orphans and earthquake victims in Pakistan.

High School Musical stars sign with Ecko
Marc Ecko has signed the stars of film High School Musical to front its relaunched Red by Marc Ecko clothing and footwear campaign. The fashion firm has secured a global endorsement deal with two of the film’s stars, Vanessa Hudgens (pictured) and Ashley Tisdale, as part of the one-year worldwide contract. The campaign, which includes TV, billboard and print ads, kicks off this autumn.

London buying seminars for independents
Retail training company Management One is to hold three seminars in London, titled The Art and Science of Buying, for owners and buyers from independent fashion retailers. The sessions will focus on measuring success, particularly on how much to buy and when to display product. The seminars will take place on October 30 and November 16 and 29. For more information, visit www.globalfashionmanagement.com/retail.htm.

Marc Newson rocks out with Gio Goi T-shirt
Designer Marc Newson collaborated with streetwear brand Gio Goi on a one-off T-shirt design for fashion and music show Fashion Rocks. The T-shirts were worn by models and hair and make-up teams backstage at the event at London’s Royal Albert Hall last week. The brand has no plans to offer the T-shirt for wholesale.

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