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Latest designer news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified


Greeting card maker pole dances in store

New York -- A New York greeting card designer said she has found success with her business model, which includes in-store pole dances.

Jill-Anne, owner of Jill-Anne's on the Lower East Side, said she has been performing in the store for the past two months and any customers who spend at least $50 on her hand-made greeting cards get a personal pole dance, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

"I always swore to myself I would always have fun at work. I have a wonderful time with my company, but I also need mini breaks and since I don't have a water cooler or the Starbucks around the corner, I have my pole," she said.

Susan Philipsz wins Turner Prize

London -- Susan Philipsz has been declared the winner of the Turner Prize for a sound installation featuring her singing three versions of a Scottish lament.

Fashion designer Miuccia Prada presented the 45-year-old Glasgow native with the $39,000 modern-art award at a ceremony Monday at London's Tate Britain. The BBC said this is the first time a sound installation had been nominated for the prize.

"Susan's presentation, both in Glasgow and in the way it transferred to the Tate, was quite extraordinary,"

the BBC quoted Penelope Curtis, chairman of judges, as saying of Philipsz's work. "The way she's managed to make you look at things differently by hearing things differently is really quite exceptional."

Fourth grader's backpack stirs controversy

Land O’Lakes, Fla. -- A Florida fourth grader's designer backpack is raising controversy due to the image of a scantily clad woman with a snake on the back.

Fred Ferrer of Land O'Lakes said his son, Quentin, was told by Richey Elementary School Principal Ken Miesner Friday that he could no longer bring the backpack to school after a complaint from a kindergarten parent, the St. Petersburg Times reported Wednesday.

Ferrer said he tried speaking to the principal and superintendent but they would not back off the ban. The father spoke at Tuesday's school board meeting, but members decided not to intervene in the case.

Actor Morgan Freeman's divorce finalized

Jackson, Miss. -- Morgan Freeman's divorce from costume designer Myrna Colley-Lee, his wife of 26 years, has been finalized, Mississippi court records show.

"There's no waiting period, there was no trial and they reached an amicable settlement," Freeman's lawyer, William R. Wright, told E! News. "He is just happy that they can both move on."

Freeman, 73, has starred in the films "The Dark Knight," "Million Dollar Baby" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."

Wright said the actor's divorce was finalized Wednesday. The terms were not made public, E! News said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Clinic gets von Furstenberg gowns

Cleveland -- Diane von Furstenberg, the designer famous for her wrap dress, has undertaken a stiff challenge, a new hospital gown for the Cleveland Clinic.

The design bears a strong resemblance to von Furstenberg's signature design, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. It wraps and has a bold print, which includes the Cleveland Clinic logo.

While von Furstenberg herself worked on the print, Jeanne Ryan, a longtime nurse and clinic liaison, worked with a designer and fabric technician on the details.

Designer axes sell for up to $500

Toronto -- A Canadian company is creating designer wood-chopping axes starting at $200 and selling for up to $500 at a New York outlet.

Graeme Cameron, 38, and Peter Buchanan-Smith, 38, the New York-based designer who paints, varnishes and stains the axes, said the tools are specially designed to cut through even the most difficult pieces of wood, the Toronto Star reported Friday.

"Anyone who thinks it is just art is very wrong," Cameron said. "These are very powerful axes."

The pair, who founded the company in May 2009, said their products, available only at Partners & Spade in New York, have been featured in design magazines, The New York Times and an upcoming design show in London.