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Interactive Fashion

VIDEO GAMES HAVE LONG BEEN the purview of the male world, but look out, electronics!  Michael Kors, and  Heidi Krum are about to enter the video mecca with a new and exciting game based on fashion and aimed directly at 18-to-25 year old women.  The designers figure they can successfully tap into the $20 billion U.S. video game industry and simultaneously awaken the power of the female consumer to a whole new market experience. Games based on Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” featuring Kors, Krum, and Tim Gunn are scheduled for release this year.

A number of Fashion Week videos are in the conceptual stage and are expected to come on stream in the near future.  505 Games Company has already experienced a high level of success with its new video aimed at 8-to-12 year old girls.  Called “Fashion Week: Junior Stylist” the interactive game enables girls to play the role of fashion designer and make clothing and accessories.

Brooks Brothers Eyes the Girls

THE CLASSY NEW YORK-HEADQUARTERED retailer, Brooks Brothers, says it will launch a new line of clothing and accessories aimed at girls. Yes, girls!  This is the first time the company has gone any place near that market in its 192 year history.  “This is probably the most requested product category we have,” declared Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks’ CEO.  The new collection will cover the entire lifestyle needs of a young girl, from playwear to school wear and special occasion clothing and accessories.  Most will sell for $200 or less.

The store says girls aren’t altogether new customers at Brooks. They’ve been coming in for some time to buy boyswear products, like T’s and button-down shirts.  But now, the new line will focus directly on girls and what they need and want for themselves.  As one store executive said, “It helps Brooks Brothers become a true lifestyle brand.”


Cadmium Alarm

A PRIVATE INVESTIGATION by the Associated Press into the use of Cadmium in consumer products is expected to spark a new debate, not unlike one last year that resulted in more restrictive use of lead in consumer products.  It seems cadmium is being used extensively in a number of products, including children’s jewelry, and that is a major problem, since heavy metals such as cadmium and lead can cause brain damage in children.

In a speech to the Toy Conference in Hong Kong last week, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum warned manufacturers in China not to substitute cadmium for lead in children’s products. China has said that it is looking into the allegations.

— In response to the new product alarm, Claire’s Stores says it is halting sales of charm bracelets identified as possibly containing dangerous levels of cadmium.  And Wal-Mart Stores says it will pull from its shelves all products suspected of containing harmful levels of the heavy metal.

New Fashion Role

SARAH JESSICA PARKER JUST NEVER stays still.  Now the former superstar of TV’s “Sex and the City” is about to take an active design role in Halston Heritage, a newly launched secondary collection that features updated Halston archival pieces at modest price points.  It is understood that she may even take on the title of creative director.

As the fictional Carrie Bradshaw in her TV series, Parker wore just about every major designer’s clothing and accessories. As a result, the TV show and subsequent movie have turned Parker into a fashion icon.  That Parker has long flirted with the fashion world is part of her personal mystique.

Parker has tried entering the fashion world directly in the past, but with little success. Among other things, she created the Bitten line for Steve & Barry’s mass retail chain, but

it stirred up little attention.  The chain itself liquidated in 2008.  Still, Parker has remained upbeat about the opportunities available to her in fashion.

“I’ve always loved beautiful clothes,” she says. “And I love the idea that fashion doesn’t have to be a luxury.”


Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

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