LAIRD’S DEBUT: Gap is getting ready to unveil its new fall TV and print ad campaign, the first under Trey Laird, president and executive creative director of Laird & Partners, a New York ad agency. While Gap is mum on details, it did confirm that Peter Lindbergh directed the 30-second TV spots that debut Aug. 15, and Mikael Janssen shot the print ads. Among the celebrities who have reportedly been shot for the campaign are Whoopi Goldberg, Sissy Spacek and Christian Slater. Laird knows Lindbergh well, having hired him to photograph many Donna Karan and DKNY ad campaigns over the years, where he worked before spinning off his own agency. Laird worked with Janssen at Karan too.
SEVENTEEN MINUS SEVEN: The woes at Primedia seem to be taking a major toll on Annemarie Iverson, editor in chief of Seventeen. Between a falling stock price, the ouster of John Loughlin, president of consumer magazines, and the never-say-die rumor that Seventeen may be sold, staffers are quitting in droves. Just weeks after a WWD report about four big defections at the magazine, three more staffers have left as well. Deputy editor Marisa Fox has left for Allure, where she joined as a features editor; fashion market editor Julia Heckler was let go and associate editor (fashion) Megan Tully has left. Tully will be replaced by Nicole Fasolino, currently a fashion assistant at YM, and Heckler will be succeeded by Katie Meyer, who joins from Allure, where she assisted fashion market director Sasha Charnin Morrison. A replacement for Fox has not been named yet.
FORTUNE 500: Yes, there’s still heaps of money in lipsticks, handbags and frocks in France. Challenges, a bi-monthly business magazine, has just come out with its popular annual ranking of family fortunes — and luxury and retail titans still dominate the top 10.
Liliane Bettencourt, daughter of the founder of L’Oréal and a principal shareholder, remains number one with a fortune estimated at $17.2 billion, followed by Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, at $13.6 billion, in second place. François Pinault, who controls Gucci Group and the Pinault Printemps Redoute retail conglomerate, slipped one spot and ranked fourth this year at $8.8 billion. The Hermès family moved up from eighth spot to sixth with its fortune of $4.8 billion, while the Wertheimer family came in 12th, up two spots, with a fortune estimated at $2 billion.
LOOKING FOR LOVE: Marie Claire and “Good Morning America” have wedding bells on their mind. Hopping on the voyeuristic reality train, the two properties have teamed up to follow a woman for a year through the trials and tribulations of looking for “Mr. Right.” After running entry forms in Marie Claire, five finalists appeared Monday on GMA, and viewers were invited to vote for the woman they’d like to see get hitched within 12 months. The winner will be announced Monday on GMA and then the husband search begins. GMA will air segments throughout the year tracking her dating experiences, while Marie Claire will run two features about her quest in March and June 2003. The year-long series is entitled “Get Married In a Year.”
REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Allen Cohen has returned to Nicole Miller as director of communications. He succeeds Umindi Francis, director of p.r., who left the firm. Cohen worked for Nicole Miller as director of p.r. from 1993 to 1995. Prior to rejoining Miller, Cohen was director of public relations at Nautica, before which he held a similar post at Anne Klein.
Elsewhere, Lee Sippola has joined Company Agenda as director of production. He will oversee all casting as well as event and fashion show production. Most recently, Sippola was talent director at Kevin Krier & Associates for three years.?
WEEKEND READING: London’s Sunday Times is upgrading its Style magazine supplement in a bid to become “the thinking-woman’s guide to the latest trends,” according to editor Tiffanie Darke. The newspaper plans to increase Style’s page count, shift from matte to glossy paper and bring new contributors on board. Rita Konig, a daughter of decorator Nina Campbell and a writer for British Vogue, will have her own column on “domestic bliss,” and Style’s fashion director, Claudia Navone, will begin working with world-class photographers. The Times is bolstering the new project with a $3 million marketing campaign, and the new-and-improved product will bow on Sept. 8, prior to the London Collections.
MODEL DOWN UNDER: After starring (as a plastic surgery addict) alongside Shalom Harlow in the 2001 Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie “Head Over Heels,” Aussie beauty Sarah O’Hare, 21, is back in the modeling biz. Having just signed with New York Model Management, O’Hare, who is married to New York Post publisher Lachlan Murdoch, returns to fashion with a September cover in Australian Marie Claire, shot by lensman Troy Word. She’ll also appear this September along with Nicole Kidman on the cover of Pink Ribbon, an Australian specialty magazine which gives its proceeds to breast cancer research.