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Roberto Cavalli to spearhead H&M’s latest one-off line

BY CSA STAFF

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN —Some may call H&M a shopping mecca for fashionistas on a budget. And anyone who has shopped there knows that it’s impossible to try on just one item—which explains why most customers walk around with a bundle of clothes over their arms. Yet, when the company introduces guest designers, H&M transforms from a fashion-forward retailer to a mad house with lines out the door and customers in the ‘I-want-it-all’ shopping mode.

On Nov. 8, H&M will unveil yet another partnership with a luxury designer—Roberto Cavalli. The Roberto Cavalli at H&M Collection will launch in about 200 H&M stores worldwide. The Italian designer has produced a line for men and women unlike anything previously created. “We chose Roberto Cavalli because he is different from all the others [guest designers],” said Jennifer Uglialoro, spokeswoman for H&M.

Cavalli is know for sensual, glamorous style fit for celebrities, and while working with H&M he was able to embody the essence of his luxury line at mass level. “His style is perfect for this pre-Christmas collection, which is supposed to draw its inspiration from supposed to draw its inspiration from the New Year’s Eve Party of the glitzy young red carpet stars,” added Uglialoro.

The collection includes 25 women’s wear pieces, 20 men’s wear pieces, lingerie and accessories—all striving to create a dazzling effect for both day and night. For women, the focus is on animal prints and lurex (metallic yarns), making the garments perfect for anyone looking to mimic red carpet style. “I think that customers will be surprised to know that you can purchase high fashion evening wear at H&M prices,” said Uglialoro. On the other hand, the men’s collection features discreet colors like black, midnight blue, brown and white, showing that sexy comes in solids as well.

In general, Cavalli has a gift for fashioning his work in a way that enhances customers’ physical assets with colorful prints, embellishments and inimitable styles, moving away from the mainstream of everyday basics. The Roberto Cavalli collection represents an exuberant, successful lifestyle, stated Margareta van den Bosch, head of design for H&M. His other collections include Just Cavalli for a young audience, Class Cavalli and the Angels and Devils collection for boys and girls.

Bringing in designers to work on one-off exclusive collections for H&M is nothing new. The company has been graced by fashion visionaries like Karl Lagerfeld (2004), Stella McCartney (2005) and Viktor & Rolf (2006). “It is a great way of offering our customers something quality and high fashion at the best price,” said Uglialoro. By the looks of the success from past partnerships, it doesn’t appear that H&M will stop introducing new designers anytime soon.

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Report: Baugur in buyout talks with Saks

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Saks’ second-largest shareholder, the Icelandic Baugur Group, reportedly is in talks with the company over a potential buyout deal.

According to reports, Baugur his been discussing a possible acquistion with Saks executives, however, it is not yet known if anything will come from these talks.

The move may be part of Baugur’s attempt to enter the U.S. market, reports indicate. The company already owns British retailers House of Fraser and Karen Millen.

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Penneys hires former Best Buy marketing exec

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas Former Best Buy marketing executive, Ruby Anik, has joined JCPenney as senior vp and director of brand marketing, effective Nov. 26, the company announced today. In her new position, Anik will oversee the development and execution of the company’s brand marketing strategy.

As senior vp of marketing communications and business operations for Best Buy, Anik directed all marketing communications disciplines for the Best Buy enterprise including brand public relations, internal communications, and event marketing as well as advertising strategy, advertising spending, and creative development and execution throughout North America. She also led Best Buy’s in-house agency, Best Buy Advertising (BBA). Anik joined Best Buy in 2000 as vice president of media and assumed full advertising responsibilities in 2002.

Before joining Best Buy, Anik served as director of advertising and media for The Pillsbury Company, where she had strategic control over the media budget and responsibility for all media research, strategy, planning and execution for three years.

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