CHANGES BREWING AT DKI? Is Pino Brusone, chief executive officer of Donna Karan International, ready to pack it in? Rumors have been circulating that Brusone is unhappy in his role at DKI, and the company has turned to insider, Fred Wilson, ceo of LVMH Fashion Group Americas, to assess the situation. According to sources, Wilson plans to spend more time up at DKI and report back to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton honchos Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, and Yves Carcelle, president of LVMH’s fashion and leather goods business, about what the problems are there and what needs to be done.
Neither Wilson nor LVMH officials could be reached for comment. Brusone was in Milan and unavailable at press time for comment. Brusone has been in the post since May, 2001.
HYMN TO HIM: Nicolas Ghesquière did it. Viktor & Rolf is doing it. And now Antwerp-based designer Vèronique Branquinho is also doing it: launching a men’s wear collection. “I’ve already picked most of the fabrics,” Branquinho said. “The idea is to build a wardrobe of cool, classic clothes.” Branquinho does not intend to show the collection on the runway, but in a showroom presentation in Paris next January. So what will Vèronique’s man look like? “I don’t like guys in clothes that scream fashion,” she said. “They won’t be electro-club wear.”
N.Y.’S LONG BRUSH: Who says New York hairdressers get fewer celebrity clients? Oscar Blandi flew out to L.A. to do Jennifer Garner’s hair for the Emmys — and he’s been making regular bicoastal visits to work on the tresses of Jennifer Connelly and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
HEAD TO HEAD: The calendar for Paris fashion week Oct. 3 to 11 is still in flux — and has hit its first major snag. Loewe, part of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is slated to show opposite Guy Laroche on Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. Normally, the Chambre Syndicale, which organizes the shows, never doubles up on shows for its members. A spokesman for Laroche said he’s regretful, but claimed that the house was “forced” to show off-calendar in that time slot for a variety of technical reasons. Ultimately, however, deciding which show to attend might not be so difficult. Seeking to accentuate its handbags rather than clothing in “a more intimate setting,” Loewe slashed its invitation list to 300 from the usual 700-plus and imposed a maximum of two editors per publication.
FAST FURNITURE: Zara, having conquered the world with its fast fashions, is now gearing up to launch a home collection. A spokeswoman for the Spanish chain confirmed that launching home decor stores is a “project” to be launched within the next year, but details are forthcoming. Even the name has yet to be decided.
WORKING IT OUT: Karl Lagerfeld is no stranger to overtime, designing Chanel, Fendi and Lagerfeld Gallery, in addition to his photography work and sundry publishing projects. That’s why he’s applauding last week’s news that the French government will loosen the rules around France’s 35-hour work week. “They should ask the workers what they want,” he said. “They should be free in every different and personal case to do overtime as much and as many hours as they want. They like also to make a little more money.” The French government plans to allow workers to now claim 180 hours of paid overtime a year, up from the previous 130 hours, as reported. Lagerfeld warned that working restrictions in France make it difficult to produce haute couture. “Things ‘tres francais’ can be killed by these kinds of laws,” he warns.
SKETCHY BUSINESS: Fashion show invitations are child’s play. At least that’s the case for Sonia Rykiel, whose six-year-old granddaughter, Salome, created the image to entice editors and retailers to her show in Paris Oct. 7. And it’s a racy drawing, too, showing a buxom woman in a skimpy red outfit. Creative director Nathalie Rykiel said her daughter showed her grandmother the drawing and she fell in love with it. Could this foretell that Salome will one day join the family business? “You never know,” her mother said.
FRENCH GRAFFITI: Holly Golightly it’s not. But editors and clients who witnessed the Givenchy couture show last July were enamored with the T-shirt that designer Julien Macdonald wore to take his bow, with the house name spelled out in graffiti and pink spray paint. To wit: a limited-edition series of the T-shirt goes on sale in December for about $140, and a handbag in the same spirit for about $190.