Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Style and Focus News Bites

** GEOX, the Italian designed "shoe that breaths" will be putting out a line of sneakers that will be available exclusively at Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Champs. The shoes will be in stores Feb. 15th.

** Due to an overwhelming demand, Alyssa Milano will be expanding her "TOUCH" line to include the NFL, NHL, NBA and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). "TOUCH" by Alyssa Milano includes: fashion tops, jeans, outerwear, team jerseys, t-shirts and much more.

** Charming Shoppes Inc. will close about 150 stores and reduce payrolls by an estimated 150 corporate and management positions. About two-thirds of the store closures will be in the firm's Fashion Bug chain. Charming Shoppes also operates the Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes chains (WWD).

** Shoe makers in Mexico are worried about upcoming foreign competition. Click Here to read the article from The LA Times business section.

** Fashion brand "bebe" has partned with fashion designer Tara Subkoff to create a limited-edition collection. The anticipated collection will feature twelve pieces named 'Tara Subkoff for Bebe'. Prices will range from $59 to $150 and is currently featured in bebe stores and bebe.com.

** Americans are returning to thrifty ways according to an article in The NY Times. Consumers who use to shop at high end retailers such as Coach, Tiffany and Williams-Sonoma are instead shopping at lower end stores such as Wal-mart, Target and T.J. Maxx. Click Here to read the entire article.

** According to The Detroit News, artist are try to restore the 1917 Detroit landmark the Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel. The hotel is being converted into The Fort Shelby Doubletree Guest Suites Detroit which is slated to open late this year with 204 rooms. The building also will include 63 upscale apartments that may become condominiums; a martini lounge; retail space that will include a national upscale restaurant; and 38,000 square feet of conference space. The residences are slated to open in spring 2009.

The original 10-story building opened in 1917 and was called the Hotel Fort Shelby, named after a British fort that once stood near the site. In 1927, a taller 21-story addition was added, designed by the famed architect Albert Kahn. The hotel's last tenant, a bar, left in 1998.

** Amazon to exit the DVD rental business by folding its 300,000 subscribers into competitor Lovefilm, in exchange for a third of the equity in the British venture capital-backed company. As part of the deal, Amazon will promote Lovefilm services on its sites for UK and German customers. Amazon has no DVD rental businesses outside the UK and Germany. The combined entity will control around 20pc of the UK DVD rental market, with Blockbuster Online its largest direct competitor (Telegraph).

** Actress, Julianna Moore is promoting a line of Valentines featuring children's artwork which will be benefiting the organization Save the Children. The cards, available for printing or emailing, can be found on the Save the Chldren Web site through Feb. 14th (People magazine).

** Actor, Don Cheadle to produce a TV series based on the hit 2004 film "Crash". Cheadle, who starred in the original film, has been named as an executive producer, along with original writer and director Paul Haggis. Starz will air 13 one-hour episodes that will premiere in August.

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