Retailers in London capitalized on the economic summit there this week. Liberty of London set up a shop inside the summit press center. Shop supervisor Nicolette Michels noted that most of the shop's customers were men who bought ties. "I think they've had to do interviews and they want something bright or eccentric for the cameras." Marks & Spencer, a large chain store, offered an exclusive after-hours shopping spree. Raisa Gorbachev, known as a shop-till-you-drop woman, was avoiding temptation. Instead of cruising the designer boutiques, she made politically correct rounds of hospitals.
* PINK SLIPPED: The recession's casualty list grows. This week, New York designers Michael Leva, Jamie Herzlinger and Ronaldus Shamask announced that their businesses were closing and that they would not be shipping their fall collections. Herzlinger says she plans to pursue interior design, Shamask says he has his eyes on furniture design and Leva says he hopes to design fashion for other companies.
* BACK TO BASICS: Absolut vodka has gone back to using the work of fashion designers for its fall advertising campaign. The list is a bi-coastal split--five designers from California and five from New York. Holly Sharp, Kevan Hall, Robin Piccone and Maggie Barry and Stephen Walker for Van Buren will represent Los Angeles; Celia Tejada from San Francisco rounds out the West Coast contingent. In the East Coast corner are New York designers Todd Oldham, Josie Natori, Jeanette Castenberg, Michael Leva and Randolph Duke.