2009 April 9

Kidding Around

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Amy Astley and Liya Kebede Amy Astley and Liya Kebede
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(NEW YORK) J.Crew is a brand of many muses, but Liya Kebede is currently occupying the top spot. The model, designer and philanthropist was on hand at the brand's Collection boutique on Madison Avenue last night to toast her collection of children's clothing, LemLem, which debuted last week at the retailer. "I buy a lot of CrewCuts," declared one tireless shopper, doggedly perusing the wares even as the cocktail party picked up speed. "I like this stuff, but my only complaint is that there is nothing for my little boys!" 

But in fact, there was. "The scarves are unisex," Kebede piped up after embracing her pal Jenna Lyons, J.Crew's creative director. "I have boys, too. I promise to do more next season!" And the Lemlem collection, which formally launched in 2007, is already selling speedily, confirmed a sales associate: "It's flying out of here." Kebede expects to expand the collection next season, including a few adult-sized pieces to the mix.  

The supermodel is literally ubiquitous in J.Crew land, as she is the exclusive face of the brand's current catalog. "It was the fourth day, and we had done about 10 shots," Lyons recalled of the shoot held at Milk Studios. "Liya had a migrane but she kept working, and now we have this great catalog! The timing was perfect, because so many women have been interested in our clothes due to Michelle Obama."

And the interest extends to the fashion community. "I've got the Liya special," Amy Astley told Lyons, brandishing the catalog. "She's going to be selling me a cardigan, big time!"

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