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A BIG ROCK: Rumors persist that Asprey is looking to kick-start its rejuvenation by appointing a bigwig creative director — and it could be in talks with none other than Karl Lagerfeld. Although the company insists it’s not recruiting in the design department, sources in Europe said the British luxury firm has approached Lagerfeld about joining the effort. The designer was spotted late last month at Asprey headquarters in London with company principals Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou and chief executive officer Gianluca Brozzetti. He, of course, would continue designing for Chanel and Fendi, where his contracts allow him to take on other projects, as seen by his new collaboration with Hennes & Mauritz. Lagerfeld could not be reached for comment, and the outcome of the talks could not be learned. But Asprey clearly is setting its sights high: Tom Ford spent time at Stroll’s estate in Mustique this winter, amid rumors that Stroll was attempting to lure the outgoing Gucci Group creative director to Asprey. And the dance reportedly goes on — Ford is said to be joining Stroll for a shooting jaunt in Canada this fall.

NO SCRIPT APPROVAL FOR NOW: Meanwhile, Tom Ford has yet to zero in on a script and has denied reports he’s in talks with Miramax. During a call Friday from his ranch in New Mexico, Ford said he’s still “reviewing” potential projects. In all truth, though, he admitted he’s actually trying not to do much of anything during the remaining weeks of his summer holiday. It’s a striking change for the once 24/7 designer. “I am opening an office in the old Geffen building on Sunset [Boulevard],” he said of his new West Hollywood digs, currently under renovation. “The plan is to move in the first week of September.

LEAVING LIZ?: Is Gail Cook, group president at Liz Claiborne for the Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman and Sigrid Olsen brands, leaving the company? A source close to Claiborne said an announcement could be imminent. Officials at the company did not return telephone calls seeking comment. “Claiborne has strong divisionals who can work on their own,” said the source.

This story first appeared in the August 23, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

BACK IN THE USA: Times Square isn’t typically a destination that calls for tennis whites, but that will change on Tuesday. Fallen Olympian Andy Roddick will be volleying there with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson for “Good Morning America.” The Times Square crowd could exceed the paltry one he played for in Athens, where he was knocked out of the competition Wednesday.