The symbols and words stamped in sterling silver rings, pendants, bangles and ID bracelets by Vass-Ludacer recall the hallmarks on the back of flatware. It's no coincidence. It's what motivated jewelry designer Hal Ludacer, who finds inspiration among the odd and mundane in flea markets and thrift stores. He paired up with knitwear queen Joan Vass two years ago to create an accessory line for her ready-to-wear collection. The chunky, solid jewelry, however, has proved worthy on its own. "It's become really popular with men and women, especially in New York," notes Roman Alonso, spokesman for Barneys New York stores. "People are actually collecting it." Items imprinted with positive words such as "Freedom" or "Help Others" are selling well, he adds. "They're wearing five or six rings at once and stating their own messages."
Sea the Future
Italian style cognoscente Giorgio Armani is concerned with more than next season's sartorial doctrine. Marine wildlife also float through his mind. Hence his reasons for creating a T-shirt with the Emporio Armani label for OceanAid, a U.K.- and U.S.-based charity set up to reduce problems of pollution and other threats in the deep blue. While supplies for the month of August last, all profits from the $25 tee will go to the organization. The crisp, white top features a cartoonish whale in blue with the EA logo on its tail.
Good News for Haute Gents
It took almost five years, but New York can no longer claim the only U.S. address for an Ermenegildo Zegna boutique. The 3,000-square-foot-store in South Coast Plaza's Jewel Court offers a complete experience for discriminating menswear shoppers. After all, Zegna (as it's affectionately known) is one of the few European fashion houses left that sees clothes through--from fabric weave to retail sale. A fourth generation of Ermenegildo Zegna's family runs the company, based since 1910 in Trivero, Italy. This isn't, however, the line's debut here: Bullock's and Neiman Marcus are among the more than 130 stores that carry the label worldwide. Gentlemen will find suits for career, evening and off-time starting at $1,000. In-house tailors will make sure it fits, or take measurements for a suit made-to-measure, which start at $1,200. They'll even go to your home or office. Signature tuxedos, personal furnishings, fragrance and accessories are also available. "We're trying to satisfy the needs of every aspect of a man's lifestyle," says Paul Lechlinski, vice president of the U.S. subsidiary of Zegna.