Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Style Extra

Big-name stores plan openings

By Joy Kraft jkraft@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Express unveils its new dual-gender stores showcasing men's and women's collections Sept. 12 at Northgate Mall, promising everything from denim to suits and active wear. By the end of the year, Express hopes to add 46 dual-gender stores.

        Guess? Inc. adds to its 184 retail stores when it opens the doors at Kenwood Towne Centre Aug. 22 on the Parisian concourse with its trendy casual apparel and accessories. Look for a lot of denim.

        Spiegel the Ultimate Outlet joins another popular outlet - Off 5th (Saks Fifth Avenue) - Sept. 5 at Forest Fair Mall on the lower level across from the food court. It will sell women's clothes, shoes and home items, featured in Spiegel's catalogs and on its Internet site, at 50 percent savings.

        Snooty Fox in Anderson Township, one of seven Snooty clothing consignment shops around town, moves Sept. 1 from Five Mile Road around the corner to 8120 Beechmont Ave. next to Blockbuster.

        Bring back the fruit: Those goofy Fruit of the Loom guys running around in grape and apple suits are back on the ad campaign trail after a hiatus of several years. The underwear-makers have put more than $15 million into an ad campaign with the theme “Good Days Start with Fruit of the Loom” that includes cable and network TV spots.

        Natural beauty: More than 250 easy-to-use recipes for body and bath are included in Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt and Co.; $20) by Janice Cox. The book is divided into sections, including cleansers and scrubs, toners, creams, facials, lip treatments, shower and bath and more using kitchen and garden ingredients from olive oil to strawberries and carrots. Treatments range from the practical salt/baking soda/Epsom salt soak for sore muscles to chocolate lip gloss made with cocoa butter, coconut oil, vitamin E oil and grated chocolate or chocolate chips.

        Disastrous dress: A neon fuchsia frock described as “having the sheen of a new convertible and the texture of plastic seat covers” was the winner of the “Worst Bridesmaid's Dress” contest at the “World's Largest Bachelorette Party,” a fashion event in New York thrown by DeKuyper's Pucker Schnapps.

        Robin Durr of St. Louis won a trip for herself and three friends to Puerto Rico. According to a DeKuyper-sponsored survey, 51 percent of bridesmaids donate their dresses to charity while 23 percent let them languish in the closet and 21 percent give them a run on Halloween. Sixty percent of bridesmaids don't like their dresses and won't wear them again.

        Ms. Durr, now 44, said she was happy her “day of embarrassment earned me four days in Puerto Rico.” The other finalists can be seen - and should be required viewing for anyone planning a wedding - at www.dekuyper.com.

        Jean shopping: Consumer Reports magazine tackled jean shopping with 24 jeans for women and men, priced $11 to $50. The staff considered factors such as shrinkage, variation of sizes within the same label and comfort on the skin. They found a vast difference in sizes in the same style and brand.

        The best all-round for women were Faded Glory Classic Fit, Lands' End Natural Fit, Levi's Red Tab 550 and St. John's Bay Classic Fit (J.C. Penney).

        The top-rated for men included Calvin Klein Easy Fit, L.L. Bean Double L. Natural and Ralph Lauren RL67 Loose Jean.

        Avon calling: The 116-year-old company is coming out with a catalog in Spanish - with products designed specifically for Latin skin tones. The Eres Tu (It's You) catalog goes beyond a straight translation to capitalize on the 15 percent growth in its Hispanic clients in the past five years.

        “The Hispanic market is so diverse; it goes from lily white to very dark to black,” says Sonia Russomanno, an Avon marketing director. “In addition to the new products, we brought in color palettes that do well in our Latin American markets that don't exist here.” Come late September, some 30 new products will be introduced by Avon representatives. (800)-367-2866.


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