Today’s Fashion Headlines: MICA Revealed, Valextra New York Opens, Weather Effect On Holiday Sales

Fountain of 30

November 18, 2014 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News

Intel and Opening Ceremony MICA

Intel and Opening Ceremony MICA Revealed

Last December Intel approached Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to collaborate on a wearable tech accessory. Yesterday details of the accessory were revealed via a panel discussion with Leon, Lim, Ayse Ildeniz, Vice President and General Manager for Business Development and Strategy of Intel’s New Devices Group, Barneys New York Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura, and Lucky’s Eva Chen, who moderated the event at Dia in New York.

MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), is a luxury women’s jewelry bracelet that will retail for $495 at various Barneys New York locations and online, and in Opening Ceremony stores and online beginning early next month. It features 18-karat gold coating and a curved sapphire glass touch-screen display on the back of the cuff. There are two styles, one in black water snake with pearls from China and lapis from Madagascar; the other in white water snake with tiger’s eye from South Africa and obsidian from Russia.

Valextra Opens First U.S. Store

Luxury leather goods brand, Valextra continues its recent streak of major changes with its first U.S. boutique, opening this week at 833 Madison Avenue in New York City. The move comes on the heels of the appointment of CEO Alessandra Bettari, and just over a month since the departure of design director Alvaro Gonzalez. After Gonzalez left it was announced the in-house team will design the collections.

Bettari tapped architect Marco Costanzi to design the 1,291-square-foot space, which is next to Akris, Chloé and fellow Italian import Prada. The store marks the beginning of a new retail concept for the brand. The design is less minimal and has more Italian opulence. “The store concept includes materials that are typical of the Milanese architecture,” explained Bettari. “We use brass, which is very prevalent in the Milanese architecture of the 1920s, as well as our own leather. This design has some regality, as well as warmth.”

Cold Weather May Effect Holiday Spending

Freezing cold temperatures blew through the Northeast and Midwest last weekend, snow fell across the Southern Plains and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit the Gulf Coast. The weather is adding yet another complication to upcoming holiday sales in a season when consumers are still skittish about the economy.

“I’m sure it will have an effect on sales,” said Frank Badillo, chief economist at Kantar Retail. “If this were going right into Black Friday and that big shopping weekend, it would have a negative effect,” Badillo said. “In past years, people have sometimes held off on their spending because they were waiting for Black Friday sales.”  Some observers predict higher-income consumers might boost their holiday spending this season, higher food costs are eating into any savings middle- and lower-income shoppers are getting from lower gas prices. As a result, experts conclude that any increases in holiday spending will be smaller than what retailers hope.

– Carol Calacci

Source and Photos: WWD

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