CIAO, JASON: Jason Weisenfeld is headed back to New York from Milan, but it won’t be as Versace’s worldwide communications and advertising director. He is stepping down from that job. Weisenfeld plans to work with Versace in a consulting capacity, helping to set up the brand’s in-house press office in the U.S. Sources in Italy said he might set up his own consulting public relations agency. “Jason’s impact and presence has been invaluable,” said Donatella Versace, creative director of the house. “He joined us during a time of great transition and his ability to work successfully in both the fashion and business communities has been of extraordinary value. He has been a source of great strength and leadership for me, my family and the entire Versace organization.” Previously, Weisenfeld was executive vice president, marketing and advertising, of the now-defunct Pegasus fashion group. Earlier, he was vice president of communications at Barneys New York and held posts at Bloomingdale’s and the Clinton White House.
KARL CULTURE: Karl Lagerfeld may be a teetotaler, but he still knows about fine champagne. In fact, he just wrapped up photographing a new global campaign for Dom Perignon, starring model Helena Christensen. “I love advertising. It’s part of our culture today,” said Lagerfeld, who landed in New York on Tuesday to shoot more campaigns: Chanel, Lagerfeld Gallery and Fendi. “I don’t take Easter holidays. I take photo holidays,” he quipped. The designer plans to take Chanel’s fall campaign to the street, shooting Daria Werbowy uptown and downtown — and no doubt causing a stir everywhere. Already, people have been shouting out in recognition, “That’s the guy from H&M!” — and Lagerfeld has been taking it in stride. “I think it’s very flattering,” he said.
FRENCH-GROWN CARATS: It was a bona fide love-fest at the Cartier mansion on Fifth Avenue Tuesday night. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who performed at the evening soirée, loved her Cartier jewels. “I think I’m being watched very closely,” she joked. And, in turn, Cartier adored Graham. “She’s a friend of the house,” said Stanislas de Quercize, the house’s U.S. president. He was host of the event in honor of Graham’s new record and the publication of “The Cartier Collection: Volume 1, Jewelry.” In addition, de Quercize pointed out, both Graham’s operatic songs and Cartier’s sparkling jewelry are about love. “She’s singing about love,” he said. “People come here buying jewelry to celebrate love, we’re all trying to express love in our own way.” Yes, for most people, a four-carat diamond will do.
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.