GLAMOUR AT CARNEGIE HALL: Amid designer gowns and coiffed hairdos, Glamour honored female pioneers, saviours, comedians and inspirational figures at its 2009 Women of the Year awards at Carnegie Hall Monday night. Honorees included Rihanna, Serena Williams, Maria Shriver, Stella McCartney, Amy Poehler, Susan Rice, Marissa Mayer, the women of Iran’s One Million Signature Campaign, and Euna Lee and Laura Ling, the two journalists imprisoned in North Korea for more than three months and freed with the help of former president Bill Clinton, among others.
Poehler gave arguably the most poignant advice of the evening to attendees, who included members of Girls Inc. and the Girl Scouts: “Girls, if boys say something that isn’t funny, you don’t have to laugh.”
This story first appeared in the November 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rihanna accepted her award with humility, thanking her friends, family and Jay-Z, among others. Dr. Jane Aronson, who was honored for her work helping orphans globally through her Worldwide Orphans Foundation, was joined onstage by more than a dozen children she has helped place with families. But she still thanked Glamour for helping her find her glamorous side. “I mean, Dior?” she exclaimed, referring to her black formal suit she wore for the event.
First Lady Michelle Obama also received an honorary award, and accepted via a pre-taped video. Clinton appeared at the event to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Maya Angelou, who received a standing ovation and left about every attendee speechless. “I want her to be my grandmother,” said Estelle, who opened the ceremony with a high-spirited performance.
After the ceremony, honorees shuffled to a dinner at South Gate, where Estelle sat with Jason Wu and “Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe sat with Zoë Kravitz, Gayle King and Kenneth Cole. Iman chatted with McCartney, Kerry Washington, Alek Wek and Bethann Hardison during dinner, and admitted her pink Jason Wu feathered dress was her second choice for the evening and had to be altered. “The dress I had as my first choice was already on Rihanna and photographed in the magazine,” said Iman. “And I had to have them add material because it was too short.”
That’s something McCartney probably wished she had done before donning a short purple dress that exposed more of her assets than she expected when accepting her award from presenters Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison and Barbara Starkey. “Oh, gawd, how embarrassing,” she said at dinner. “I’m a mother of three for chrissakes!”
— Stephanie D. Smith
SCREEN SAVER: Delphine Arnault will join the executive board of French private broadcaster M6-Metropole Television, replacing her father, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, who is stepping down due to other business commitments. Her mandate will run until 2012. Arnault, 34, is deputy managing director of Christian Dior Couture and a member of the board of directors of LVMH. M6 stated her arrival will bring in new expertise and will mark “a first step towards a greater feminization of the board.” — Elena Berton
AOL CUTS: AOL laid off 100 employees on Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman. Earlier this year, before chief executive officer Tim Armstrong joined the company in April, AOL eliminated approximately 700 jobs, or about 10 percent of the company. Meanwhile, the firm is in the process of working on a broader restructuring that will be revealed in the coming weeks. Sources said the job cuts this time around were unrelated to the restructuring but following an announcement, more layoffs likely will be announced. During a conference call with investors last week, parent Time Warner reported the AOL spin-off will be completed by yearend. — Amy Wicks
STEWART’S NEW DEAL: In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reported founder Martha Stewart has agreed to a new contract, set to expire March 31, 2012. As part of the agreement, Stewart is entitled to $2 million a year, in addition to an annual bonus as determined by the compensation committee, with a target equal to $1 million and a maximum of 150 percent of that amount. Upon signing the contract, Stewart was paid $3 million. — A.W.