WEST CHESTER, Penn. -- Weather reports have been predicting yet another major winter storm for Pennsylvania, but at the QVC Network, the show must go on.
On this day, Tova Borgnine is scheduled to appear on an hour-long program featuring her color cosmetics and two fragrances. The day before, she focused on her hair care products, and the following day, she will sell her cactus-derived skin care line.
In the studio, from where almost all of the TV-shopping segments are broadcast, robotic cameras transmit images of the host, guest and merchandise. Computers alert the producer to the number of products sold and the number remaining.
Dozens of telephone operators are at work right in the studio itself, giving the host and guest the feeling of a live audience. In all, several thousand phone lines connect callers to QVC outposts in San Antonio and Chesapeake, Va., as well as to headquarters in this town outside Philadelphia.
Backstage, all of the day's merchandise is lined up on tables. A sign with the time of the product's scheduled appearance accompanies it. With each passing hour, staffers backstage move the item closer to the set.
None of the dialog will be scripted. Each product has its own blue index card, typed with a few lines of information for the host. The brevity of these cards, though, can be deceptive.
Emerging in her pink and black luncheon suit, Borgnine looks quite dressed up, particularly when standing next to most QVC staffers, who have chosen jeans and sweatshirts for a casual Friday.
Borgnine compares selling on TV to "having a 5,000-mile cosmetics counter." Indeed, Borgnine has managed to establish a rapport with the QVC viewer that Darlene Daggett, QVC's vice president of merchandising, says has enabled her to sell fragrance without the customer smelling it.
Before her noon show begins, a handful of Tova's makeup sets have already been sold. The sets are available in four color stories -- cactus pink, coral sands, sunset red and sunset red dark -- and are priced at $99. The TV screen advises that viewers can buy the sets in "three easy payments" of $33."This is Valentine's Day for yourself," she says, encouraging women to treat themselves.
Meanwhile, three models on the set are putting on the makeup, assisted by a makeup artist. Extolling the quality of her brushes, Borgnine says, "You may have looked at models and actresses and said, 'how do they do that?' A large part of it is the tools."
QVC keeps a product on the air for an average of six minutes. If it sells out or if it's not moving at all, the producer moves on to the next item. But if it's on QVC for the first time, the network gives it the full six minutes as a test.
With calls starting to pick up for the full makeup sets, Borgnine and Harfenist move on to her eye collections: Color-coordinated sets of mascara, liner, four eyeshadows and a brush that are priced at $39.50 with a retail value of $55.
Borgnine gives an application tip and takes a phone call. From there, the duo introduces a lip gift set and then more makeup.
In the final 15 minutes of the show, they turn to Borgnine's two fragrances, Tova and Body, Mind & Spirit. QVC begins with several thousand units of each. The 3.3-oz. eau de parfum of Body, Mind & Spirit, given a special introductory price of $35.87, sells out.
In the Green Room, one of Borgnine's business associates watching the program utters, "She is good today. I mean really. She is dead-on."
The final tally for Borgnine's three hour-long shows for the week: $761,415.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)