one blazer; 3 cities

by Teresa Downer

LA artist, Teresa Downer
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

By Teresa Downer

LA artist, Teresa Downer
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

by Teresa Downer

LA artist, Teresa Downer
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Flax Pen to Paper

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: Flax Pen to Paper
Sender: Flax Pen to Paper
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 17:26:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: June Newsletter from Flax Pen to Paper

June Newsletter 

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads

 and Congratulations to all the Grads! 


We’ve added a new feature to our emails

Every month we will be listing select pens at 30% off 

See the bottom of the newsletter for more information





















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New and Noteworthy
Flax Pen to Paper

parker matte black sonnet

The Sonnet is the quintessential Parker pen. Combining timeless, contemporary style, perfectly balanced pen sizes, diverse modes and high quality finishes, the Sonnet writes beautifully and feels comfortable. The matte black Sonnet features a full-length lacquering with a matte black finish that adds a modern dimension to the elegant and timeless shape. A bright gold trim completes the presentation accompanied by the emblematic arrow clip. 


Select from fountain pen with a gold-plated nib $105, rollerball $85 or ballpoint $70


The culmination of the history of the pencil is the “Perfect Pencil” from Graf von Faber-Castell. The Perfect Pencil with a platinum plated pencil extender and built-in sharpener is the perfect gift!  Together with the replaceable non-smudging eraser under the pencil’s cap, everything is always quickly accessible within the smallest space – for writing, correcting and sharpening. The pencil is crafted in top-quality cedarwood and ribbed for greater writing control.  Available in your choice of brown or black wood at $250. 


Moleskine Academic and 2012 Planners have arrived! 


Moleskine 18 month academic planners provide planning from July 2011 to December 2012. The 18 month planners are popular with the academic community and those looking for an economical and quality planner.  Ideal for educators, students and professionals. Moleskine planners and notebooks possess stylish minimalism and quality. Available in a variety of sizes and colors. 


Also available are academic calendars by Quo Vadis and Exacompta. 



The price in grey indicates the regular price.  The red price is the sale price at 30% off and does not include tax.


Omas Wild Paragon Fountain Pen (F) $1195  $836.50 

Mont Blanc Etoile Rollerball $905 $633.50

Omas Olive Wood Fountain Pen (F)  $895   $626.50

Omas Wild Celluloid Ballpoint  $575  $402.50

Montegrappa Extra Bamboo Rollerball  $690  $483 

Waterman Edson Ballpoint  $600       $420

Faber Castell Anello Gold Rollerball   $525  $367.50

Montegrappa Privilege Small Rollerball   $450   $315

Parker Duofold Black/Platinum Ftn Pen (M) $440  $308

Montegrappa Privilege Ballpoint  $425  $297.50

Porsche P3150 Rollerball  $375  $262.50

Faber Castell Guilloche Black Ftn Pen (B) $350  $245

Omas Cruise Arte Red Ballpoint  $295 $206.50

Omas Cruise Arte Caramel Ballpoint  $295  $206.50

Delta Passion Ivory Rollerball  $275  $192.50

Delta Passion Pink Rollerball   $275  $192.50

Delta Passion Red Rollerball    $275  $192.50

Visconti Opera Blue Water Ballpoint  $265  $185.50

Visconti Opera Red Fire Ballpoint   $265  $185.50

Waterman Carene Black/Silver Rollerball  $215  $150.50

Sailor Sapporo Mini Black Silver Ftn Pen (B)  $195  $136.50

Sailor Sapporo Mini Black Silver Ftn Pen (M)  $195  $136.50

Pelikan M200 Fountain Pen Blue (F)   $110  $77

Lamy Twin Pen $48  $34

Pilot Axiom Blue Ballpoint  $20  $14

Pilot Axiom Red Ballpoint   $20  $14

Pilot Axiom White Ballpoint $20  $14


(F) Fine nib, (M) Medium nib, (B) Broad nib  


Flax Pen to Paper

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sophisticated wedges

(no she didn’t) oh, yes. 

yes, she most certainly did.

pour la victoirie wedge sandalas:

luxury goods news: Prada IPO

June 16 (Bloomberg) — Prada SpA cut the maximum amount it may raise in an initial public offering as Samsonite International SA slumped in its Hong Kong trading debut and Hong Kong stocks slid amid concern China's economy may cool.

The Milan-based luxury goods retailer narrowed its IPO price guidance, bringing the maximum it would raise to $2.3 billion, down from $2.6 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter. It also raised the low end, said the people, who declined to be identified.

Prada's scale-back followed an as much as 11 percent drop in shares of Samsonite, the world's largest branded- luggage maker, from the initial public offering price of HK$14.50. The suitcase maker raised $1.25 billion in the sale last week, less than initially planned.

“The timing of Samsonite's listing isn't that great,” said Masahiko Ejiri, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co., which oversees $41 billion. “The global economy might be weaker than expected, so people are just very cautious about buying into equities. It might be the same for Prada.”

Individual investors in Hong Kong have placed orders for only about 50 percent of the 42.4 million Prada shares allocated to them, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Debut Declines

Samsonite is the fourth Hong Kong IPO exceeding $1 billion this year to begin trading. All have dropped from their initial sale price. The luggage maker fell 7.7 percent to HK$13.38 at the 4 p.m. close in Hong Kong, compared with a 1.8 percent drop on the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

The declines by new listings will weigh on Prada as its tries to price its offering, said Philippe Espinasse, former co-head of Asian equity capital markets at Nomura International Hong Kong Ltd. until 2008. Prada's final offering price is expected to be determined by tomorrow, according to the prospectus.

“There's going to be quite a lot of pressure on Prada,” said Espinasse, the author of IPO: A Global Guide. “The fact that retail investors haven't gone for it is going to be an issue.”

Individual investor demand for Prada shares may also suffer because Hong Kong and Italy have not signed a double taxation agreement. Hong Kong investors will be subject to a capital gains tax of 12.5 percent, and a 27 percent tax on dividends, according to its IPO prospectus. The dividend tax will be withheld by Prada, the company said in the prospectus.

Tax Clarity

“It has not been easy for the investing community to get enough clarity around that situation,” said Mark Konyn, chief executive officer of RCM Asia Pacific Ltd., which helps oversee about $150 billion globally.

Prada is now likely to sell its shares between HK$39.50 and HK$42.25 each. That compares with a range of $HK36.50 to HK$48 earlier, according to the IPO prospectus.

Among 30 companies that have gone public in the Chinese city this year, 22, or 73 percent, have fallen from their offer price, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Prada is scheduled to debut on June 24.

Like Prada, Samsonite narrowed the price range marketed to investors on June 9 to HK$14.50 to HK$15.50 from an initial HK$13.50 to HK$17.50. The IPO, announced in February, raised $250 million less than the maximum originally planned, the Hang Seng Index had its worst monthly slump in a year.

China Growth

Prada and Samsonite both have highlighted expansion plans in China to investors in Hong Kong.

Samsonite, the 101-year-old luggage maker said May 24 its sales in China rose 50 percent last year. The company aims to expand its Chinese market share to 35 percent in five years from 12.5 percent now. Prada on June 12, said it will open as many as 12 stores in China and another 25 across Asia in the next three years out of 80 globally.

“Where markets are at the moment, it's a pretty tough place,” Parker said today after a listing ceremony at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. “I feel this is a pretty good way to open, actually. I'm not at all displeased.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and RBS managed Samsonite's share sale.

Coach Inc., the largest U.S. handbag maker, plans to list shares in Hong Kong in the form of depositary receipts before the end of the year to “raise awareness of the Coach brand among investors and consumers in the China market,” CEO Lew Frankfort said in a statement last month. The company's stock already trades in its hometown of New York.

L'Occitane, the first French company to hold a Hong Kong initial share sale, gained 25 percent from its IPO price of HK$15.08 in May 2010 to HK$18.90 today.

Mainland China, which doesn't include Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, will remain the fastest-growing market for high- end goods in 2011 as sales rise 25 percent to 11.5 billion euros ($16.5 billion), Bain & Co. said May 3. The country may become the world's third-largest luxury market in five years, the consulting company predicted.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Fenner in Melbourne at ; Fox Hu in Hong Kong at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Longid at ; Robin Ajello at

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retail news: JC Penney

June 15 (Bloomberg) — Ron Johnson, who helped turn Apple Inc. into a retail star with flashy big-city stores, now faces the challenge of conjuring up similar buzz around 109-year-old retailer J.C. Penney Co.

Johnson will take over as chief executive officer on Nov. 1, replacing Myron Ullman in the midst of a sales turnaround. The third-biggest U.S. department-store chain aims to hold onto growth amid the slowing economic recovery and surging costs for materials such as cotton.

“It's our job to rethink everything,” Johnson, 52, said in a telephone interview yesterday after the announcement. “Retailing's always been about creativity, it's about creating exciting new ways for people to shop, new products for people to purchase, new ways to do things.”

Johnson can make Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney stand out, especially in an industry where many consumers can't tell the difference between competitors, by improving customer service and adding exclusive brands, said New York retail consultant Robin Lewis.

“It's injecting rocket fuel into Mike Ullman's growth strategies of turning J.C. Penney into a more exciting brand,” said Lewis, also chief executive officer of the Robin Report. “It's placing a huge expectation on him.”

Investors put their faith in Johnson yesterday by pushing the stock up the most since 2000. While he may not open Genius Bars next to dressing rooms to move merchandise, his track record may foreshadow success: Apple's sales per square foot last year were almost 30 times those of J.C. Penney and two- thirds higher than luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co.

Central Casting

“He's kind of the CEO from central casting,” said Howard Gross, head of the retail and fashion practice at executive search firm Boyden. “He really does understand how to differentiate one business from another.”

Johnson led Target Corp.'s foray into home design before joining CEO Steve Jobs at Cupertino, California-based Apple in 2000. At Target, Johnson added cachet to the Midwestern discount chain by focusing on originality — bringing in architect Michael Graves to create a home collection and adding brands such as Calphalon. Designers like Isaac Mizrahi followed, luring fashion- and budget-conscious shoppers and helping the merchant stand apart from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

At Apple, he and Jobs placed stores in heavily trafficked, premium-rent areas like New York's Fifth Avenue or Regent Street in London. They loaded the stores with employees to help demonstrate the products to customers and organized splashy product launches that had hundreds lining up for a taste of Apple.

Apple's Success

At J.C. Penney, which sells thousands of items, Johnson says he plans to help the chain stay on the right path, just run faster. In taking over the retailer, he'll oversee more than 1,100 stores, more than triple the amount Apple has.

Among his supporters is J.C. Penney's largest investor, William Ackman, who called Johnson's hire “a credit to the company.” He joined J.C. Penney's board this year after his firm, Pershing Square Capital Management LP, disclosed a 16.5 percent stake in October and pushed the chain to improve performance.

J.C. Penney fell $1.25, or 3.5 percent, to $34.12 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares jumped 17 percent yesterday.

Sales Performance

Sales had dropped for three straight years before gaining 1.2 percent to $17.8 billion in 2010. Under Ullman, the chain had sped up cost-cutting to improve profitability, looking to shield itself from the faltering U.S. economy.

Ullman, 64, took over at J.C. Penney in 2004, in the midst of a sales revival. He opened stores outside of malls, added Sephora make-up boutiques to stores and introduced designer brands by Liz Claiborne, Mango and Jones New York. He and J.C. Penney approached Johnson several years ago about a succession plan, said Ullman, who will become executive chairman.

“I felt from the beginning that he was one of the one or two people who could really transform this company from the level we envisioned, and he just wasn't ready at that time,” Ullman said.

Now that he is, he's receiving a grant of 1.66 million restricted shares valued at $50 million, based on J.C. Penney's closing price June 13. The award is intended to help compensate for intended equity awards from Apple. He also invested $50 million of his own money to buy warrants that can't be sold for six years.

Still, Johnson faces a different environment. Increasing unemployment and gas prices have forced some customers to curb shopping trips. That means J.C. Penney has to offer something extra to distinguish itself from competitors, said Boyden's Gross.

“This is no slam dunk,” Gross said. “You can take the best and the brightest, and it's not going to be an easy job.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Lauren Coleman-Lochner in New York at ; Adam Satariano in San Francisco at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at ; Tom Giles at

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Google’s Chromebook

June 16 (Bloomberg) — It isn't often you come across a computer that makes you wish it ran Microsoft Windows. The new Chromebook Series 5 laptop manages that impressive feat.

The Chromebook, born of a partnership between Samsung Electronics Co. and Google Inc., is the first commercially available computer to run Google's Chrome Operating System. The idea is that you use “the cloud” — that is, the Internet — to replace many of the functions traditionally handled by the computer hardware.

It's a seductive notion, sort of like canceling your cable TV subscription and relying on the Net for all your video entertainment. But much like cable-cutting, it proves to be more attractive in theory than in fact.

The Series 5, which went on sale this week from Inc. and Best Buy Co. at $500 for a 3G-enabled model and $430 with Wi-Fi only, is less than an inch thick and weighs 3.3 pounds. It has a 12.1-inch screen, two USB ports and a card reader. The keyboard is comfortable, and there's a track pad for navigation that is generously sized but that had problems registering some clicks accurately.

Outside of the operating system, software doesn't reside on the computer itself; instead, you use online alternatives like Gmail and Google Docs to create your word-processing, spreadsheet and other documents. And you don't store those documents locally on a hard drive; they live in the cloud too, where they're accessible to you through any Web-connected computer anywhere.

Under the Hood

Under the hood, not that it matters all that much, are an Intel Corp. microprocessor, two gigabytes of memory and 16 gigabytes of solid-state storage, which is less than you'll find on many smart phones.

Anyone who's ever suffered through the wait for a Windows computer to boot up — which is to say, everyone who's ever used a Windows computer — will be grateful for the Series 5 experience.

Thanks to the lightweight nature of the operating system and the solid-state storage, I clocked the time from startup to login screen at a mere eight seconds. And battery life is good enough that you're more likely to just close the lid rather than turn the computer off, in which case you're back in business in three seconds.

Samsung claims the battery will last 8 1/2 hours in normal use; I got more than six hours in my torture test, which included cranking up the screen brightness and streaming a continuous series of “Simpsons” episodes.

Ease of Use

As for ease of use, if you know how to work a Web browser, you know how to work Chrome. All functions — even accessing files, playing games or watching movies — run through the browser. You can acquire new apps customized for the operating system, including the New York Times and “Angry Birds,” from the online Chrome Web Store. And upgrades to the operating system can come in the form of incremental, over-the-air improvements.

But the Series 5's speed and ease of use were offset by a series of problems I encountered that should fairly be laid at Google's feet rather than Samsung's.

I ran into the first one within moments of pulling the computer out of the box. Even though it had embedded 3G service from Verizon Wireless, it required a Wi-Fi connection to activate, and it wouldn't log on to Bloomberg's Wi-Fi network.

It isn't like there's anything exotic about our setup; I've used it for legions of tablets, e-readers and even phones running Google's own Android operating system. But it turns out that Google didn't include support for the authentication standard we use — a strange oversight in a device that, without an Internet signal, might be more accurately labeled a Chromebrick.

3G Service

I finally activated the Chromebook by pulling out a spare wireless phone, calling the carrier to activate its mobile- hotspot function and using it to connect. Once I got over that hurdle, I was able to use the built-in Verizon service when I was in the office or otherwise didn't have a usable Wi-Fi signal.

The price of the 3G model includes 100 megabytes of data per month; beyond that, Verizon offers prepaid month-to-month data plans starting at $20, and a $9.99 unlimited day pass.

An even bigger problem is the lack of an offline mode for Google Docs, Gmail and Google Calendar. So if you're on an airplane or someplace where you can't get an Internet signal, you can for now forget about being able to do anything productive. (Google says it expects to introduce offline functionality sometime this summer.)

At least you can lean back and watch a movie — as long as you've remembered to download it first to an SD card or USB thumb drive.

Cloud Print

As for printing: It's complicated. In most cases, you'll first have to enroll the printer you want to use with Google's Cloud Print service, then send it your document via the Internet. Hooking the Series 5 directly to the printer with a USB cable won't work. It's all enough to make you yearn for the simple pleasures of installing a Windows printer driver.

You might put up with the hassles if the Series 5 were really, really cheap. It isn't: For the same cost, you can have a choice of highly capable Windows machines. (PC maker Acer Inc. is coming out with a couple of slightly lower-priced Chromebooks, but I haven't tested them yet.)

Someday, when the Internet is even more ubiquitous than it is now and connectivity is as available as oxygen, the Chromebook may make sense. For now, though, it dwells in a netherworld, neither as convenient as a tablet nor as potent as a PC.

(Rich Jaroslovsky is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Rich Jaroslovsky in San Francisco at .

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at .

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