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Top trends for men’s out of Paris Fashion Week

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Paris, France (AHN) – It has often been said that clothes make the man. However, most men could surely use some help. With that thought in mind, following are the newest trends to emerge from the City of Lights that give men a stylish edge.

Several top designers unveiled their latest in men’s fashion at Fashion Week in Paris, including designs from Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Vorten, Adam Kimmel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior Homme, Givenchy, Hermes and John Galliano.

Collections for spring were unique in that the designs gave ultimate luxury an approachable edge. For example, the finest fabrics were morphed into baseball jackets, and suits and sport coats were shorter, with ties ever so slightly undone.

Traditional scarves in Louis Vuitton’s damier pattern were given an updated look with reds and blues, and some were as large as blankets.

For the fall, new looks include belted overcoats in cashmere and storm-proof wool, making them both functional yet “cool.”

Chunky cable knits, elegant camel cashmere and oversized turtlenecks for men were abundant on the Paris catwalk.

The quilted jacket for men got a stylish update with hoods and primary colors: think red, blue and green.

For men on the job, the tie was tossed aside in favor of a thin, knitted turtleneck under a tailored suit.

Suits that look “matchy” when paired with shirts and ties in the same hues were all the rage.

For evening, designers unveiled a more relaxed version of the stuffy tux, trading in stiff, starched white shirts, perfect bow ties and satin lapels for T-shirts and leather lapels.

For the casual look, designers returned to denim’s blue-collar roots with workwear inspired vests, jackets and pants.

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Mugabe a fashion icon?

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm


Supporters of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe wait for him to arrive for the official opening of the Zanu PF Congress in Bulawayo.

Harare – From Marxist revolutionary to Africa’s oldest leader to fashion icon. That’s how a group of young Zimbabwean designers see Robert Mugabe, whose signature they have splashed across a new clothing line.

Abroad, 88-year-old Mugabe is widely derided as an autocrat who is under US and European sanctions for a decade’s worth of violently failed elections.

Under his watch, the once prosperous nation’s economy has collapsed, leaving most of his people impoverished.

But for Justin Matenda, 28, a director of Yedu Nesu which is making the clothes, Mugabe “is a revolutionary, he is a cultural icon and we decided, why not honour him”.

Under the brand House of Gushungo – Mugabe’s clan name – the president’s signature is splayed in silver studs across caps, T-shirts coffee mugs and berets. Some items show his birth year, 1924, in Roman numerals.

It’s a high-priced upgrade from the tradition of emblazoning his image on cloth prints, given to women to wear as wraps or sewn into men’s shirts and caps.

Prices range from $10 to $30, in a nation where the World Bank says nearly three-fourths of the population lives in poverty, on less than three dollars a day for a family of five.

But Matenda has big dreams of taking on famous labels like Luis Vutton, Gucci and Paul Smith. He wants to take samples of the line to Paris Fashion Week.

“Even if we are not going to be able to take part in this event this year. We are going to take part in the next coming years,” Matenda said.

“I am proud to be associated with our president, with his ideologies and they make me who I am right now,” he said.

“This is not political, it is very much apolitical. This is just a fashion label, just like any other label you might think of.”

Human rights campaigner Blessing Vava said the clothing was a blatant campaign ploy by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, which is pressing for elections this year while trying to sidestep media and electoral reforms.

“This is part of the Zanu-PF election campaign to desperately sell their candidate ahead of elections,” Vava said.

“Zanu-PF is employing all tactics from music to clothing labels to campaign for its leader. But I don’t think the majority of Zimbabweans will buy the label,” he said.

Some of the clothing was spotted at Mugabe’s 88th birthday rally in the eastern city of Mutare, but the line hasn’t made a splash on the streets.

“I am yet to see the clothes, it is actually news to me,” said a street-corner cigarette vendor in Harare.

Matenda says the dearth of fashion labels with a local identity inspired him and his friends to launch Mugabe’s clothing line.

“Each and everyday we are putting on clothes and they have different inscriptions on them. Some Hugo Boss, some Paul Smith, some Giorgio Armani – but it’s quite unfortunate that most people can’t even associate themselves with these people,” he said.

Mugabe approved the use of his signature for the label although the designers did not meet him in person. Matenda said that Mugabe told them the signature was his but it belonged to the people.

The clothing line is the latest in a list of items designed to honour a man idolised by his supporters as a liberation hero and reviled by his foes for a dismal human rights record that includes the slaughter of an estimated 20 000 ethnic minorities in the 1980s.

In addition to generations of campaign cloth, state radio and television allocate generous airplay to musicians who sing praises for the man who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Matenda said they are planning to brand jackets, shoes, suits and watches with Mugabe’s signature, with goods manufactured both locally and in Asia.

“We have seen that we are holding to a brand that cuts above any other brand,” he said. “I rank it above all the labels one might think of, the Luis Vuittons, the Guccis and the Giorgio Armanis.”

Matenda said Mugabe would receive no royalties. – Sapa-AFP

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Rihanna eyeing fashion career?

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Singer Rihanna, who has worked with designer Giorgio Armani, is now eying a career in the world of fashion.
The 24-year-old recently designed a collection for Armani, and she said she has been playing around with style designs and even tries to give him some advice.
“We have a

pretty good relationship now since we have been working together on the campaigns and I’ve been designing a capsule line for his collection so he trusts my designs a little bit now so I get to play with him. It’s great,” quoted Rihanna as saying.

“I designed it with Giorgio. It was a collaboration and I helped him design it. I wanted something a little bit Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface… simple but sexy and a little gangster at the same time. I think it just showed that we work really well together,” she added.

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Rev7™ Removable Chewing Gum Premiers in Europe With Irish Forecourt Launch

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm

DUBLIN, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

- Following the approval of the European Food Safety Authority, Revolymer® announces Rev7™ gum distribution deal with Topaz fuel stations

Revolymer® Ltd the revolutionary British polymer company is delighted that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has fully approved its revolutionary Rev7™ gum for sale within the EU and has already secured its very first European distribution with Topaz, Ireland’s largest fuel and service station group.

The deal means that great tasting and environmentally friendly Rev7™gum will be available this summer in over 114 forecourt stores across the Republic of Ireland. With this major distribution partnership now secure, Revolymer is now actively seeking further retail partners and hopes to have its gum on-shelf in the UK by autumn of 2012.

As the world’s first commercially available environmentally friendly gum, Rev7™ is a real game changer in the competitive European gum market. Using patented polymer technology the gum can be removed readily from clothes using soap and water, and the streets.

In the Republic of Ireland chewing gum is the single largest component in the food litter category and the second largest component of overall litter after cigarettes. The numbers speak for themselves; in one month Dublin city council removed an estimated 180,000 pieces of embedded gum from Grafton Street, the city’s premier shopping thoroughfare, while across Ireland it is believed that up to 500 tonnes ends up dumped on the streets. Revolymer®’s technology can help solve a very costly and challenging problem and the consumer can help the environment without sacrificing quality.

In addition, to these environmental and convenience benefits, Rev7™ offers consumers a gum with and excellent taste and long lasting flavour. Currently available in peppermint and spearmint flavours and the company plans on expanding the portfolio in the coming year.

Roger Pettman, CEO of Revolymer® said:

“With Rev7™ already in over 4,000 stores in the US we are really excited that the range is approved for sale in Europe and we have signed a deal with Topaz to launch the product in Ireland. With over 114 forecourts stocking our gum, this is a significant deal that will put our product in front of thousands of consumers and we hope that soon Rev7™ will be on sale across Europe.”

Paul Candon, Marketing and Corporate Services Director of Topaz added:

“We are pleased and excited to have added such an innovative product as Rev7™ gum to our offering. We believe that the gum’s longer lasting chew, coupled with the host of environmental benefits, means it will rapidly become a favoured choice with our customers.”

To help grow their business in the UK, Revolymer® has also brought on board the services of leading FMCG distributor and brokerage partner, Worldwide Brands Ltd. Martin Wathes, MD of Worldwide Brands ltd commented on their appointment that:

“Worldwide Brands is extremely excited to be working with Rev7™ gum and see a huge potential for the brand. As someone who regularly chews gum, I was really impressed with the chew and flavour of Rev7™, particularly on long journeys. Furthermore, with its strong environmental credentials and the fact that chewing gum litter is costing the UK government alone over £150 million per year, I can see huge potential for it to become a major player in the European gum market.”

For more information on Revolymer® and Rev7™ please visit:

Notes to Editors:

  1. In testing Revolymer® found that its confectionery gum removes readily from a range of surfaces (including paved sidewalks, carpets, textiles, transport fabrics and clothing materials), and disintegrates into a fine powder within 6 months using mild agitation in water. See for more details.
  2. Revolymer® is a rapidly growing technology development company which has developed a unique portfolio of products and formulations for the FMCG industry. Using commercially available and inexpensive polymers, Revolymer® applies its innovative proprietary approach to formulate novel polymers to revolutionise consumer products. Current applications for the Company’s technology are in the Confectionery Chewing Gum, Medicated Chewing Gum, Household Products, Personal Care and Coatings Adhesives sectors of the FMCG industry

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New sponsor for Sahara Force India

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

London-based fashion brand Hackett has joined Sahara Force India as an official supplier for the Formula One team for the 2012 season.

“Part of Hackett’s association will involve supplying team members with travel kit to be worn while travelling to and from races,” a press release said.

The latest Hackett designs will be issued to staff this week in preparation for next week’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

“I’m delighted to welcome Hackett to the team and look forward to seeing our team members wearing their clothes this season. I have a great interest in fashion and believe the clothes we wear speak volumes about who we are and the values that are important to us,” Vijay Mallya, Team Principal of Sahara Force India, said.

Vicente Castellano, Managing Director of Hackett said, “Continuing with our motor racing tradition, it seemed a natural step to support our new and exciting business expansion into India by becoming a partner to the Sahara Force India Formula One team for 2012.”

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Critics Love Lanvin’s ‘Suh-weet’ Party Clothes, Horyn Pans Haider Ackermann

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am


Comme des Garçons

•   “Ms. Kawakubo is the only designer who thinks like an artist … Her latest collection seemed to turn couture, and the fashion world’s obsession with iconic shapes and structure, on its ear … Strikingly, these designs are extraordinarily simple … not to suggest that anyone can do them (you would need her patternmakers) but rather that anyone can understand them.” [NYT]

•  “[The show] was a telling reminder of why Comme des Garçons and its designer Rei Kawakubo have achieved such cult status. [Kawakubo's vision] is fashion at its most lovingly distilled … Call it fashion for the purists.” [Fashion Wire Daily]

•  “[T]his show was breathtaking in its boldness and vivacity and was cheered to the echo … Ms. Kawakubo was in a class of her own. The two elements, shape and color, were played to the max.” [IHT]

•   “Rei Kawakubo chose this particular moment to present a show that glorified the flat … If it had been a Dada performance in Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire in the second decade of the twentieth century, its genius would have been galvanic. As a fashion show in the second decade of the twenty-first century, its satire felt a little obvious. But its savage point was well taken.” []

•   “It was fabulous … Kawakubo did indeed focus on two often-challenging dimensions: those of major volume and color. She had her radical way with both, and everyone left smiling. Wow, indeed.” [WWD]

•  “They were stiff and they were bold — a minimalist yet equally flamboyant sensibility … all the elements you would usually associate with being loud and cluttered [were] somehow reduced to something simple, even when exaggerated and accentuated shapes came into the equation. But that’s Kawakubo’s speciality.” [Vogue UK]

See the Full Fall 2012 Comme des Garçons Collection.

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PFW dispatch: All the latest from the weekend shows

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

From Givenchy to Hermes, the big designer names hit the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week over the weekend.

stella-mccartneyStella McCartney’s A/W 2012 show. Photo: Getty Images

There were birds on heads at Jean Paul Gaultier while P-Diddy showed up on the front row at Kenzo. However, it was Stella McCartney who schmoozed the critics in Paris this morning, with her practical, polished and sporty styles.

To find out all the latest news from the French capital, take a look below to see our full weekend round-up.

  • p
    strongThe show:/strong Hermes/p
    strongThe down-low:/strong The silhouette was slouchy and relaxed, the fabrics were luxe, with plenty of leather, cashmere and suede, and the look was one of a very well kitted out traveller. Fringed cloaks, loose-fitting leather trousers and chunky knitwear was seen in between the exquisite tailoring, teamed with trilbies and long, leather boots. Colourful, floral printed fabrics looked like pieces you’d pick up on a tour around the world, but this was an incredibly chic, elegant take on the old-fashioned jet-setter. It’s Hermes, after all./p

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Business digest

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 5:34 am

Chamber employee attends summit

Diana Northcutt, retail development coordinator with the Longview Chamber of Commerce, attended a summit sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers this past week in Dallas.

The event is a source for the exchange of ideas for shopping centers.

The event featured Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, who discussed the retail landscape and outlook for the year; and restaurateur Phil Romano.

It also included information from special interest groups in finance/capital markets and developer-owned shopping centers.

Credit union adds service rep in Tyler

Mel Thompson has joined Telco Plus Credit Union as a financial services representative in Tyler.

Thompson has been in the banking industry for more than 17 years. She worked for 14½ years at Beacon Federal, where she was the assistant branch manger and branch manager.

Thompson graduated from Bossier Parish Community College and attended LSU Shreveport.

She is married to Ed Thompson, and they have three children and three grandchildren.

Acme employees earn service awards

Five employees for Acme Brick Co. were honored for their service to the company at an awards luncheon this past week.

Shane Gain of Longview earned a five-year pin, and Kenneth Morgan of Longview received a 25-year service pin. Earning 10-year service pins were Deborah Emmons, Kasi Newport and Breck Watson, all of Tyler.

Acme Brick executives Dennis Knautz, president and CEO, and Bill Lemond, senior vice president of sales, attended the event.

Acme Brick, the largest U.S.-owned brick company, is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.

Hands-on course for QuickBooks offered

The Kilgore College Small Business Development Center will offer two hands-on QuickBooks courses this spring at Kilgore College Longview Center.

QuickBooks Level 1 is set for 6 to 9 p.m. April 9 through 12. Level 2 will be held 6 to 9 p.m. April 23 through 26.

Both courses will be taught by Certified Public Accountant Lucy Carroll.

Tuition for each course is $159. Seating is limited to 30 students per course, and early registration is recommended.

To register, call (903) 757-5857 or (800) 338-7232.

2012 hospitality training dates set

The Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau has set the dates for the Real East Texas Friendly Hospitality Training Sessions sponsored by the Longview Economic Development Corp.

Sessions are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 24 and Oct. 12 at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

The training includes a tour of local attractions, including Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard and Winery and the S.E. Belcher Jr. Performance Center.

For information or registration, call the Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau at (903) 753-3281 or send an email to

Consignment event features kids clothes

The annual Repeats Are Neat Spring Sale will be March 13 through 15 at the Longview Fairgrounds Activity Building A.

The children’s consignment event features clothes from preemies to children’s size 18, as well as maternity clothes. It also will offer a selection of children’s toys, furniture and games.

Hours are 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

People can drop off their tagged items from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m March 12 and 9 a.m. to noon March 13.

For information, call owner Carie Barthelemessat (903) 235-7033 or visit

Weekly U.S. oil, gas rig count up eight

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. was up eight this past week to 1,989.

The Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,293 rigs were exploring for oil and 691 for natural gas. Five were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week Baker Hughes reported 1,707 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas and North Dakota each gained six; Oklahoma was up three; and California, New Mexico and Wyoming one each.

Colorado declined by four, and Louisiana three. Alaska, Arkansas and West Virginia were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Editor’s note: Deadline for submissions for the Longview News-Journal’s Sunday Business Digest is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Submissions may be faxed to (903) 757-3742; emailed to or mailed to: Mike Elswick, business editor, Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606. For questions, call (903) 237-7737.

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Shop A Garage Sale Like A Pro To Get More Bang For Your Buck

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 5:33 am

garage sale, yard sale, mother, daughter, shopping, bargain bin

Flickr / DashHouse

Most of my books cost a quarter. Half the furniture in my house cost less than $50. I’ve been drinking wine out of a 10 cent wine glass for the past three years.

And I owe it all to getting up at the crack of dawn to score good deals at garage sales.

While garage sales are a great way to make money, they’re also a great way to save money – if you do it right. Here are 10 things I’ve learned after years of garage sale hunting.

1. Make a map
Finding the garage sales ahead of time is the easiest way to maximize your early morning shopping hours. I start by looking in my newspaper and online for the weekend’s sales. Here are my favorite sites…

Yard Sale Search
Garage Sales Tracker
Garage Sale Hunter

Then I plot each address on a map in a circle around my house. Having a map saves me hours of driving around looking for random signs.

2. Find neighborhood sales
A neighborhood garage sale (also known as a community yard sale) is just what it sounds like: An entire neighborhood bands together and hosts a mega-sale. It’s like striking gold. Since the neighborhood handles the advertising and organizing, sellers are more likely to participate, and you can find either one big sale or tons of smaller sales in one compact area.

Many neighborhood garage sales will have posted ads in the newspaper, but I also keep an eye out for signs during the week. The neighborhood association usually posts a flyer or a banner in front of its neighborhood sign a few days ahead of time.

3. Have small bills and change ready
While most sellers are prepared with ones and fives to make change, some forget. And if you’re one of their first customers, they may not have enough change to sell you, say, a 25 cent book and make change for a $20. I set aside ones, fives, and even quarters throughout the week so I’ll have them ready for the weekend.

4. Get up early
It pays to show up right on time or even a few minutes early – and at most garage sales, that means an official 7 a.m. start, with the serious buyers milling about 15 to 20 minutes before that. If you’re looking for something specific and in short supply, like furniture, you can bet someone else is looking for the same thing, so the key is to beat them to it.

5. Scout the sale
If you have several garage sales on your list for the day, don’t feel like you need to stop at each one. You’ll save time if you drive by each sale and do a quick check of the inventory. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just keep going. Odds are you won’t miss anything, and you’ll have more time to spend at a better sale.

6. Take your time
If you do find a great garage sale, take your time. I have a bad habit of rushing, so I can hit all the garage sales on my list. But I’ve missed out on hidden deals that way. Last weekend, I decided to change that and spent almost half an hour at my neighbor’s garage sale. I bought vintage salt-and-pepper shakers for $25 that were in a box stashed under a table. I never would have found those racing down the driveway.

7. Know what it’s worth
Garage sellers love to say, “Make me an offer” for one reason – most people come back with an offer well above what the seller actually wanted. And before you know it, the seller made money and you lost yours.
According to MSN – which wrote about hosting garage sales – most items sell for 12 to 15 percent of their original value. That’s a fair price. So as a buyer, if I find an item that isn’t marked or the seller wants to haggle, I aim to pay at least 15 percent less than I think it cost new. That’s not an exact science, of course, but it’s a good rough estimate.

8. Combine items for better deals
I’ve found the best deals by grouping items together. For example, last week I saw a box of books marked at 25 cents each. I counted 26 books in the box, which would have been $6.50. Instead, I offered the seller $5 to take the whole box. I saved $1.50, and the seller didn’t have to fret about not selling every book by the end of the day – everyone wins. I usually go for boxed items, but I’ve seen people bring up handfuls of toys, clothes, or dishes and get a discount.

9. Don’t haggle (too much)
While haggling is just part of shopping at a garage sale, you’re not always going to win. People often place an emotional value on their belongings and aren’t willing to part with them for anything less than a ridiculous price.

My friend once put a (very) used brass coffee table on sale for $250, thinking she’d get at least $200. For three days people came by and offered her everything from $20 to $75, but she wasn’t budging. More than a few people stood there for a while haggling with her. But it didn’t matter, because she had placed an emotional value on that coffee table.

In my opinion, it’s a good idea to make one or two offers and then walk away. You could be missing out on a great deal at another garage sale by standing there arguing with an emotional seller.

10. Come back on the last day
People have garage sales for two reasons – to make money and clear out space in their house. The first day is all about making money. By the last day, they’re looking out at everything left and realizing they’ll have to cart it all to Goodwill or drag it back into the house. And that’s when the markers come out and the prices get slashed.

I once bought a bookshelf marked $30 for $5 because the sale was ending.

Since then, I always try to hit the last hour or two of garage sales – I’ve gotten stuff for half price and even free that way.

And if you end up buying so much stuff you have to throw your own garage sale – I’ve thrown a few in my day – check out 13 Tips for a Super Yard Sale to learn the best way to make the most money.

Now check out 12 things you should never buy full-price  

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