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CHARITY CASE: The stars are coming out in droves to support cancer research. Following the news that Nicole Kidman had signed on for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure campaign in September, now comes word that Jennifer Connelly, Salma Hayek and Renée Zellweger will join Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, president of Louis Vuitton North America, at a news conference this morning to announce a major new initiative they are planning to raise money for cancer research. But what’s the connection between Louis Vuitton and these philanthropic-minded actresses? Connelly, Hayek and Zellweger are rumored to be coming up with their own designs for a Vuitton product that would benefit the new program.

This story first appeared in the May 2, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

WACKY SIMON: Leave it to potty-mouthed window dresser Simon Doonan to exult in female idiosyncrasies. That’s just what he does in his flaky new book, “Wacky Chicks,” subtitled “Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women.” He’s staging what he calls a “wack-off” at Barneys New York on Madison Avenue Tuesday night to launch the book, with hosts Natalie Portman, Barneys ceo Howard Socol and Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila, who is among the subjects in his book. “Not all wacky chicks end up as strippers or fortune tellers,” Doonan said. Proceeds from the sales of Lobell’s new lipstick, also called Wacky Chicks, will be donated to First Steps, a nationwide job training program for homeless and low-income women. “It’s this incredible dusty pink, and girl, when you smear it on, you rule,” Doonan said.

ADIDAS’ NEW GOLDEN GIRL: Belgian tennis player Justine Henin-Hardenne is Adidas’ new pin-up. Now that Anna Kournikova is competing in tennis’ lower ring for the first time in seven years and Martina Hingis is ranked 78th, Adidas is counting on Henin-Hardenne to rev up some interest in the brand. Kournikova and Hingis are also sponsored by Adidas. Ranked fourth on the women’s circuit, the 20-year-old Henin-Hardenne has signed a long-term deal to suit up in Adidas.

LULU’S SCENT: “I know this sounds odd, but I’m really kind of shocked at the response,” Brit designer Lulu Guinness mused about the American reaction to her debut fragrance, during a dinner at stylist Jessica Paster’s Hollywood Hills home last week, where starlets Shiva Rose McDermott and Sarah Wynter nibbled on Asian fare.

The seven-city tour, which kicked off April 14 at Bergdorf Goodman and ended 11 days later at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, netted total retail sales for her signature handbags and fragrance of $70,000. Guinness said a 1-oz. parfum, sold inside a signature Glamour Girl Pouch and priced at $200 retail was a star. Signing bottles, bags and even mug shots, she admitted, helped. “People seem to love autographs.”

CHRISTENING PETIT BATEAU: With her surrogate twins expected to be delivered next month, Joan Lunden picked up a few Les Bébés caps for them at the new Petit Bateau store in Greenwich, Conn. The 1,700-square-foot store bowed last month on tony Greenwich Avenue. With 130 boutiques worldwide including one in New York, Petit Bateau, a $230 million retail operation, aims to have 10 U.S. stores by 2005.

NO MAYDAY MADNESS: Is fashion simply out of fashion with the anti-capitalist crowd? London’s May Day demonstrators, who in the past have targeted luxury goods businesses, steered clear of Bond Street on Thursday. While De Beers LV, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Versace and Alexander McQueen boarded up their windows and closed shop for the day, most others remained open for business. “We closed last year as a precaution, but it’s fine outside, and there is no reason to shut down,” said Bally’s store manager. More than 4,000 police were on patrol across London. The total cost to London, in terms of lost business, is expected to be more than $30 million.