SCALING NEW HEIGHTS: Look who just bought a piece of the Eiffel Tower: Bernard Arnault. No, it isn’t a joke of the Brooklyn Bridge variety. The luxury titan has taken a 7 percent stake in the company that will operate the Parisian landmark starting at the end of the year and do so for one year. The contract to run the tower changes hands annually. An LVMH spokesman characterized the investment, believed to amount to $100,000, as symbolic. But the tower itself does serious business, attracting more than six million visitors a year and generating revenues of about 50 million euros, or $67 million.

FIRST HE’LL TAKE MANHATTAN: If you see a commotion on the streets of New York later this month, look for a slim man in a dark suit with white hair at its epicenter. Karl Lagerfeld is coming to town to shoot ad campaigns for Chanel, Fendi and Lagerfeld Gallery. The designer, whose own brand is now owned by Tommy Hilfiger, is also on the hunt for a Manhattan apartment. He’s angling for a place that will be a great backdrop for his collection of German Expressionist furniture. Not that he’s moving to America. “But I’m on the move all the time,” he quipped.

INDIAN INTENTIONS: Donatella Versace is visiting India for the first time in her life, but there’s more on the itinerary than just buying up reams of silk fabric and schmoozing with high society (which she already covered in the first day or so). Tonight the designer is making a special appearance on India’s answer to “Project Runway,” helping Indian fashion gurus Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla pick the “Lakme Fashion House” winner, whose prizes include an internship at Versace and a fast track entry to participate in Lakme India Fashion Week 2005. “We hope to nurture budding talent and give them a platform to make an impact in the high fashion industry,” said Versace.

A BEAUTIFUL LIFE: American Beauty spokeswoman Ashley Judd made her first public appearance for the Estée Lauder-owned cosmetics brand Thursday, drawing more than 250 fans to a Los Angeles area Kohl’s Department Store. Clad in a springlike yellow-and-gray Rebecca Taylor frock and ivory Jimmy Choo slingback sandals, Judd massaged her elbows with American Beauty’s Deep Dish Body Moisturizer before cutting a giant ribbon surrounding the Beauty Bank section inside the two-week old Kohl’s location in Alhambra, Calif. The brand, Judd said, “embodies the fresh spirit of American beauty and celebrates American style.”

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