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Bleecker Street's
KARL by Karl Lagerfeld Shop
Will Finally Stock Actual Merchandise


A couple of months ago, The Shophound and several other blogs were breathlessly informed that Net-A-Porter would be launching Karl Lagerfeld's new diffusion line KARL with a pop-up shop on Bleecker Street, but they were less clear about the fact that the store would be "virtual" in the sense that it was really a kind of showroom where you could see the collection before ordering it from the website. This proved kind of disappointing to customers who flocked to the store hoping to try things on and buy something and take it home that day, like you do in a real store. A few days later when merchandise to bu arrived, it sold out almost immediately, leaving the iPad-filled shop to its previous "virtual" state.

Racked tells us that starting tomorrow, March 1st at 11 AM, the Bleecker Street space will finally reopen with enough merchandise to keep it going until August of this year with no frustrating fake-outs. Moreover, shoppers who show up tomorrow between 5 PM and 8 PM will get free champagne, and the first 25 who arrive between those hours will receive a free, limited edition tote bag. It's a real live store now, folks. It's almost like when Pinnocchio finally turned into a real boy!

Karl by Karl Lagerfeld Returns to Bleecker Street Tomorrow (RACKED)
KARL by Karl Lagerfeld 375 Bleecker Street between Perry & Charles Streets, West Village
Diffusion Frenzy: KARL by Karl Lagerfeld To Debut In A Downtown Pop-Up Tomorrow (1.24.2012)


Here Are Some New Lookbook Shots Of UNIQLO's UU uniqlo undercover

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  • Undercover-uniqlo-uu-spring-summer-2012-lookbook-13-570x387

The upcoming UU Uniqlo Undercover collaboration with designer Jun Takahashi will hit stores in a couple of weeks, and in The Shophound's slavish tracking of every move the company makes, we discovered that the Japanese chain has revamped the line's web page to include more advertising images and product shots that will give us a better idea of what to expect from the line. This is Uniqlo's big, new, ongoing designer collaboration, so you should expect to see a bigger promotional push starting any day now. The page can be a bit tricky to navigate with a lot of enlarging and double clicking, but it gives us a closer look at the product and provides prices which run from $9.90 to $99.90. It looks like we'll be getting a healthy dose of quirky, casual sportswear with clever details like subtly designed utility pockets for a modern, practical touch. Click the thumbnails above for a better look at some of the new images, and then mark your calendar for Thursday, March 16th when the collection will appear in all three of Uniqlo's New York stores.

UU Uniqlo Undercover (Official Site)
UU uniqlo undercover To Hit Stores On March 16


The Latest Markdowns From
Barneys Warehouse Sale


The Shophound was about to run down to Chelsea to see if the the Barneys Warehouse Sale had added any additional reductions, but the folks at Racked have relieved us of that tedious duty by publishing today's new markdowns. Now is when it's really worth it to start shopping.

The list notes additional 40% markdowns on Women's Shoes, Sportswear, Designer and Chelsea Passage among other things as well as Men's Sportswear, Outerwear, Denim and Ties along with at least 25% off most other categories. This is when the markdowns go really deep, so have at it, Bargain Hunters! Additional markdowns will probably happen before the weekend with final reductions on Saturday or Sunday, the last day.

UPDATE: Here's a new photo that will be easier to read. One unusual change we noticed is that men's "Designer" collections have been separated out for a lesser discount. When we stopped by this mostly consisted of a ton of Thom Browne shirts with blue star stamped price tags that are currently only 25% off the marked price... for now.

The Barneys Warehouse Sale Takes More Markdowns (RACKED)

Barneys Adds A Week To The Warehouse Sale


A Scathing Look
At The Oscar Swag Circuit


We have long since given up any hope that the bountiful Fashion Week swag we used to know would make any sort of comeback, but Gawker's Hamilton Nolan has discovered that any bit of free stuff left has been sequestered in Beverly Hills Gifting Suites for celebrities during Oscar Week.

Nolan toured a few swag suites and came up with a withering look at the dubious tradition of giving free stuff away to greedy famous people.

The types of people who willingly go to Beverly Hills gift lounges are ugly in a way that only beautiful plastic people can be. As hard as I tried to pick up on the special little details, it proved impossible for my brain to avoid dumping everyone there into neat, stereotypical categories. They just fit so well.

Nolan proceeds to eviscerate not just the B and below-list folks who show up to haul away bags of free goods they probably don't even want and definitely don't need, but the many sub-premium brands who fill their multiple gift totes. Eventually, he aims his wrath at the entire City of Beverly Hills , and why not? They can take it.

By the end, you won't want to touch a swag bag with a ten foot pole, but don't worry. That feeling will wear off the next time someone hands you a tote full of stuff.

I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust (Gawker)


Judy Greer Was The Best Dressed Person At The Oscars
...That Nobody's Talking About


She wasn't a nominee (though she should have been for her moving performance in "the Descendants"). She wasn't a presenter. She's not the kind of girl-of-the-moment that the press can't resist running to, but when we caught a glimpse of Judy Greer on the E! Red Carpet broadcast, we knew we found our favorite look of the night (look for #54 on Style.com's roundup). Her sleek, graphic black Monique Lhuillier tank column had no flounces, peplums or train. It wasn't a fishtail hemmed evocation of old Hollywood or a precious piece of Parisian Haute Couture, but to The Shophound, Greer looked chic and, most importantly, modern with just enough glitter for Hollywood. With its wide swaths of metallic beading up and down the front and back, her dress was certainly glamorous enough for the Oscars, but what we loved about it was that the actress looked natural and even comfortable without having to schlepp around and arrange an ungainly train or squeeze herself into one of the hundreds of strapless bustiers that dotted the red carpet. We thought we had seen it on Lhuillier's runway a couple of weeks ago, but though it share sthe themes of the collection, it wasn't in the show, and fits as if it was custom made for Greer. Lhuillier is actually one of the few designers who didn't send us a press release during the show detailing who they dressed for the Oscars, so we don't know for sure.

This about as much Oscar dress talk as we can stand at this point, but while the merits and faults of Rooney Mara's white Givenchy, Emma Stone's big red bow, J.Lo's did-she-or-didn't she nip-slip and Angelina Jolie's hilarious right leg are endlessly discussed, we wanted to give Judy Greer, her stylists and Monique Lhuillier some credit for their pitch perfect taste in this instance that we are betting will get overlooked as folks focus on flashier, fussier fare. Also, who doesn't love a sexy redhead?


Stefano Pilati Exiting YSL
Is Hedi Slimane Returning?


Another day, another high profile designer gets canned.
Stefano Pilati, who has been rumored to be on his last collection at Yves Saint Laurent for several seasons now, has been confirmed by WWD to be officially leaving the the legendary Parisian label after next week's Fall 2012 Prêt-à-Porter collection. The ever-active rumor mill, currently operating in the incubator that is the Fashion Week circuit, is focused on Hedi Slimane, who was the YSL menswear designer until Tom Ford arrived, and was later tapped by rival Christian Dior to launch the Dior Homme label. Slimane has reportedly been seen in Paris over the past few days which, of course, means he must be there for a job —but which one? Slimane's name has been tossed about for a return to Dior to take over the couturier position (the one that other designers hardly seem to be clamoring for), so it's hard to know what, if any his plans would be He has a history with both houses. Though he has been focusing on his photography work in recent years since leaving Dior, he has also indicated that he will return to fashion when he's damn good and ready.

As for Pilati who took over designing YSL after the Tom Ford's departure from Gucci Group, he has been widely credited with helping the brand return to profitability, though his collections have been unevenly received by the press. With a more architectural, reductive vision, he has alternately been praised for bringing a modern eye to the house, but also criticized for not including the kind of color and exuberance in his collections that the Yves Saint Laurent name has become known for. Slimane, who was originally hired by the designer himself for YSL's men's line, remains, according to WWD, a favorite of the label's old guard including former Saint Laurent chief Pierre Bergé.

If the house has any courtesy, they will wait until after Pilati takes his final bow to announce his successor, giving the rumor mill plenty of time to churn. As for his next move, he would probably do well to start his own label, though if he's really up for a challenge, the folks at Ungaro have a house that is all but dormant and desperate for a steady hand with a commercial track record. Just a thought...

Stefano Pilati Out at YSL, Is Hedi Slimane in Wings? (WWD)


Haider Ackermann, Balenciaga, TOD's, Catherine Malandrino, Moschino, McQ, Raf Simons, Loro Piana, Burberry, Issa, Emilio Pucci, Missoni

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Happy clicking!

Zac Posen, Catherine Malandrino, Myne, Belle by Sigerson Morrison, Love Moschino, Via Spiga, Tucker/Cynthia Rowley, Seychelles, Via Spiga, Molton Brown, Giambattista Valli, Camilla Skovgaard, Trina Turk, Riller & Fount, L'Agence, Dries Van Noten & Alexander Wang Sunglasses, MiH, Thread Social, Robert Rodriguez, Rebecca Minkoff, What Goes Around Comes Around —join HERE
McQ, Theory, American Heritage Brands, Raf Simons, Titan Luggage, Moschino, Hook & Albert Socks & Laces, Thomas Pink, NSF, Corneliani, A.Testoni, Sorel, Calvin Klein Underwear, Valentino, Fine Finishes —join HERE
D.L. & Co., American Leather, Sferra, Karlsson Clocks by Present Time, Angela Adams Rugs, Art Addiction, Momeni, Emma at Home, Atticus Home, Crosley, R & Y Augousti, Yves Delorme Bedding, Calypso Home, Pearl River Modern, Geometric Style, Laura Kirar, Feizy Rugs, Pippa & Julie Easter Dresses, Trumpette Socks & Apparel, Pearhead & Cunhill for Kids, Vilebrequin Boy's Swimwear, Calico Critters, Joah Love, Dr. Seuss, Tiny Love, Zoobies —join HERE
TOD's, Loro Piana, Cinzia Rocca, Tibi, Kosta Boda/Orrefors, Knomo, Hogan, KidKraft, 7 for All Mankind, Pink Tartan, Arnold Zimberg, Elizabeth and James, Nova Decor, Cia.Maritima, Kassatex, Sebago, Badgley Mischka, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Via Spiga, Technomarine, elinda Maria, Cesare Paciotti, Jack Rogers, Ann Gish, Phillip Stein, Cole Haan, Jean Dubost Laguiole —join HERE
Balenciaga, Genetic Denim, TOD's, Isabel Lu, Diesel, Chan Luu, Three Dots, SEE by Chloé, Hogan, Cris, John Varvatos, Prada, Vileberquin, Betsey Johnson, Mexlan, Geren Ford, Burberry —join HERE
A&R Cashmere, Charles Jourdan, Coach, Jessica Howard, Sabatier, BCBG Max Azria, Genetic Denim, Hilary Radley, Safavieh, Kenenth Jay Lane, Oggi, Tom Ford, VIVIENNE Vivienne Tam, Invicta, Miss Sixty, Berghoff International —join HERE
Waterworks, Matt Camron Rugs, Charleston Forge, Bric's, Amanda Erin, Allan Reyes, Frederick P. Victoria & Son, Fringe Studio, Belle Meade, Thro, nuLOOM, D.L.&Co., Josef Albers, Eccolo, Funktion, Simon Paul Scott, Cuisinart, Kalalou, Peacock Alley —join HERE
Issa London, Mario Badescu, William Rast, AG Denim, Adriano Goldschmeid, Pippa, Raiance Pearl, Enzo Angiolini, Swiss Legend, American Apparel, NuFACE, Amrita Singh, Jigsaw London, Vince Camuto, Oscar de la Renta Sunglasses, Jemma Kidd, Sachin & Babi, English Laundry, Isabel Lu, New Balance —join HERE
Haider Ackermann, Vivienne Westwood, Gryson, McQ, Ann Demeulemeester, William Rast, Bass, General Assembly, Blue Marlin, True Religion Shoes, STEVEN by Steve Madden, Pangea Organics, Tuleste Market Jewelry, Cosabella Shapewear, Bettye Muller, Onna Ehrlich Handbags, Garnier Thiebaut, Kinderloom, Rogue Shoes, Comune, Rotenier, Bird by Juicy Couture, Juicy Couture, WHIT, Lafayette 148 New York, Catherine Malandrino, Creep by Hiroshi Awai, Riviera Club, Oliver Rayn, Block Bags, Kata Sunglasses, Isabella Fiore, Foley + Corinna, Emilio Pucci —join HERE
Hanro, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni —join HERE
BetaBrand, Inside Line, Kammok —join HERE
Safavieh, Capsul Wallet, Robert Fontanelli, Help Remedies, Modemica, nuLOOM, Ozone Socks, Ecolution, Fruitsuper Design, Recycled Glassware, MONO Case, Scenic Labs —join HERE


Jil Sander Officially Returns
To Jil Sander

There will no longer have to be any distinctions between the designer Jil Sander and the fashion company called Jil Sander, because the designer and the label have been reunited. Again.

After rumors ran rampant yesterday that Sander would be replacing the departing Raf Simons as the designer of the label she founded in 1968, the company has confirmed today that the newest Sander designed Jil Sander collection would be the Men's Spring 2013 line to be shown this June in Milan. The designer has stated, "I am very happy and excited to be back. It feels like coming home after a brief journey. The fashion world needs original voices and genuine signatures. I will do my best to, once again, join the choir."

Jil Sander Confirms Return of Founder (WWD)


Barneys Adds A Week
To The Warehouse Sale


In case you were planning on hitting the Barneys Warehouse Sale early this Sunday to grab those last-day-price-slash bargains, you may want to cool your heels a bit since our friends at RACKED have announced that the sale has been extended for another week until March 4th.

We have to chuckle a bit at this, because when Barneys decided last Fall to shorten the sale by a week, they wound up extending it for several days anyway since they lost the precious last weekend to Hurricane Irene. Now, they have basically returned the sale to its original two week schedule, as if the sale itself has taken on its own persona and resisted any attempts to be downsized by more recent arrivals to Barney's management.

Anyway... the extension is probably why, when we stopped by the sale yesterday for our periodic price check, expecting an additional round of markdowns, we saw that the discount list (pictured above —click for a larger view) had remained unchanged since Monday. right now, there is about 25% off women's shoes and sportswear, and men's sportswear, trousers and outerwear. Also, the men's same has been reconfigured to make better use of space and get some (but not all) of those sweaters off the hangers. As always, beware of people using the racks as an impromptu changing room.

We agree with Racked that the racks seemed surprisingly robust for a sale supposedly extending into its final days, so we wouldn't be surprised if some of the leftovers from the West Coast sale are being added to the stock for one more week of blowout.

As always, we will keep you apprised of further reductions, so stay tuned...

Barneys Warehouse Sale Extended To Sunday, March 4th (Racked)


Underappreciated In Milan Edition


There's no Critical Shopper today in the Thursday Styles, but instead, the Times has sent Eric Wilson to moonlight as the "Global Shopper" while he covers the Fall 2012 collections in Milan. He finds himself at Excelsior, an ambitious, new multi-brand store in Milan that seems to have rubbed Italian traditionalists the wrong way.

It's not surprising that a flashy $40 million 40,000 square foot store would cause a stir in any city, but while New Yorkers, for example would typically be waiting for a new retail extravaganza with bated breath, the Milanese, even cab drivers, apparently don't take too kindly to such ostentation.

“We don’t need it,” the driver said. In fact, he sounded a little offended that a store like Excelsior, with its facade of flashy video displays and nightclub lighting, exists in a city where shopping is supposed to be sacrosanct.

No fun.
As Wilson lists the labels carried in the store, we wonder if the abundance of American-based sportswear labels may be part of the local resistance. Helmut Lang, Theory, Rag & Bone, Alice & Olivia, Gryphon, Altuzarra, Wrangler, Levi’s, Lee, RRL Ralph Lauren and Proenza Schouler are all mentioned as being featured prominently. Maybe its a local pride thing.

The most exciting feature, to us, sounds to be the extensive food department, but if the Milanese aren't able to appreciate Excelsior, the by all means pack the place up and sent it over here. New Yorkers would be all over that place.

Global Shopper: Fiddling With a Milanese Recipe By Eric Wilson (NYTimes)
Excelsior Milano Galleria del Corso, 4, Milan, Italy