IDOL OPTIONS: Is John Idol, chief executive officer of Kasper ASL Ltd., hedging his bets? Although he has put together a group to buy Kasper ASL when it emerges from bankruptcy, he’s rumored to be interviewing for the ceo post at Tommy Hilfiger. “No comment,” said Idol.
This story first appeared in the May 7, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Sources indicate that should Kasper ASL land in another company’s hands, Idol is pursuing his options. According to sources, he has held conversations with Hilfiger, where Joel Horowitz has announced plans to step down as ceo, fueling rumors the entire company might be for sale. As reported, Jones and VF Corp. are said to be vying for Tommy, although a deal with either at this point is seen as a long shot.
In recent weeks, reports have swirled that Idol was under consideration to become chief of Michael Kors LLC, now under the ownership of investors Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou. As reported, Idol declined comment on that report and has said his immediate intentions remain to direct Kasper and its Anne Klein division through its bankruptcy proceedings. Kasper ASL has gotten the attention of other companies, including Kellwood Co. As reported, Kasper is still exploring its alternatives, including a sale of the company, and expects to make a decision by mid-June. A special committee of Kasper’s board hired Peter J. Solomon Co. as financial adviser.
BURGER QUEEN: Anna Wintour and Helmut Lang were clearly having fun Tuesday in the Condé Nast cafeteria. During the lunchtime crush, observers said they each carried their trays with hamburgers on them to their table. Wintour also had a Pellegrino water and a container of pineapples on the side. But while she moved her food around a lot, Wintour’s hamburger and bun were practically untouched at the end of the meal, said one source. “They were talking and laughing, and at certain points, she was throwing her head back with laughter,” said the source.
FOUR DONNAS: Donna Karan was back for the fourth year as title sponsor of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual cinematic tribute on Monday night, this year honoring outspoken actress Susan Sarandon. Mixed in with the accolades from Tim Curry, Gore Vidal, David Bowie and Sarandon’s husband Tim Robbins, were as many references to Sarandon’s habit of using her celebrity status as a bully pulpit as there were 1940’s references in Donna Karan’s spring collection. Speaking of, Karan dressed all the big ladies in attendance: Sarandon wore a black jersey gown; Iman wore a red and white picnic-print dress; Geena Davis came in a silk dress coat, navy and white wrap blouse and a beige circle skirt, and Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amurri, wore the only fall piece of the group, a short black satin dress. As for Sarandon, she kept the political humor to herself: Considering the backlash such celebs have faced lately, she told the Lincoln Center execs, “I am very happy that you didn’t cancel.”
VENUS ENVY: It’s heavenly work for Jerry Hall, who today will re-create Botticelli’s masterpiece, “The Birth of Venus,” in the window of Selfridges, the London department store. Hall is launching Evian Heaven, part of Selfridges’ Body Craze event, which kicked off Tuesday. She’ll be wearing a custom-made gown by Vivienne Westwood, and will step into a life-size shell above a glass tank filled with 1,000 liters of Evian water. The chill-out area, Evian Heaven, will be situated on the fourth floor of Selfridges throughout the month, offering a quiet sanctuary to customers attending the body-focused event.