NOT QUITE THE BLASS WORD: While Bill Blass’ will remains in probate, according to sources familiar with the late designer’s estate, word has gotten around to a few of his friends that they have been included among the beneficiaries. Steve Kaufmann, whose family operated the Kaufmann’s retail dynasty in Pittsburgh; John Richardson, the art dealer who helped Blass buy his Picassos, and Missy Bancroft, who introduced him to a lot of the society dames in the Fifties, are each said to be in line to inherit a bit of Blass’ fortune.
DESIGNING SCHON: With under three weeks before the Milan collections, Mila Schön has confirmed Marc Hellmuth as creative director of the Italian house, although an official announcement is expected later this month. His first collection for Mila Schön will bow on Sept. 26 during the Milan spring shows. Hellmuth, who has had stints at Extè, Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler and lives in Paris, fills the position vacated by Greg Myler, Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi. Those three designers left the house last spring to tackle the role of designers at the newly relaunched Byblos.
TEEN SCENE: Fifteen years after founding his couture house, Christian Lacroix is finally going virtual. Next Sunday, he will begin selling a special anniversary T-shirt on his Web site christian-lacroix.com. Sporting a crystal-studded “15” askew on a multicolored background, the limited-edition style sells for about $120.
RETAIL RIVALRIES, PART 2: Following their recent competition to host the biggest casting calls for new designers, Saks Fifth Avenue and Henri Bendel are now attempting to outdo one another in show biz.
Saks hosted Jennifer Lopez and crew in July to film several scenes of “Maid in Manhattan,” her upcoming rags-to-riches film. (She’s a chambermaid who meets a Prince Charming, played by Ralph Fiennes). But on Friday night, Brittany Murphy and the crew of “Molly Gunn” took over Bendel’s to film scenes for the riches-to-rags story of a young socialite who is left penniless and is forced to get a job —working at the store.
COLETTE CRAZY: Sure it’s less than 8,000 square feet. But Colette, the uber-cool Paris fashion emporium, just got the guidebook treatment. “Colette A to Z,” published by Tokyo’s Editions de Paris, targets Japanese tourists with 110 pages of quirky information about the five-year-old store on the Rue Saint Honoré. For instance, it reveals the most inexpensive and expensive items in the store: a 50-cent rubber-band bracelet and a $42,700 limited-edition Ikepod watch. It also lists nearby hotels for “Coletteuses,” or Japanese traveling to Paris expressly to load up on fashionable gear at the shop.