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TALENT SCOUTS: Those who haven’t gotten their fix of “American Idol” simply had to head to the DKNY flagship on Madison Avenue Monday night. DKNY hosted Working Playground’s annual Voices of Promise Benefit, which raises funds for arts education in New York City’s public schools. Talented youngsters, ranging in age from seven to 18, sang, rapped and read poetry and were introduced by such celebrities as Rosie Perez, Q-Tip, Russell Simmons, Annabella Sciorra, Fisher Stevens, Julianna Margulies, George Wolfe and Ric Burns. When Gabriel Byrne showed up unexpectedly, Perez called out, “Everybody say ‘happy birthday’ to Gabriel,” who was celebrating his 53rd that night. Byrne was in no rush, though — he lingered at the store with the other celebs until 10:30 p.m., an hour and a half after the event was over.
IN THE BAG: The first collection hasn’t even hit stores yet, and LeSportsac has already extended its collaboration with rock star Gwen Stefani to a second season. To that end, Timothy Schifter, chief executive and co-owner of the New York-based handbag company, hung out at Stefani’s home in historic Griffith Park in Los Angeles Monday, working out designs and details for a spring 2004 “Gwen Stefani — L.A.M.B. for LeSportsac” collection. The line will have some of the elements of the inaugural pieces, but the rest is still hush-hush. It all will preview at the August accessories shows, with a launch party slated in New York just before fashion week there. As for Stefani’s much-anticipated L.A.M.B. apparel line, which will coordinate with the LeSportsac bags, retailers will likely get a first look in time for spring buys, too.
NO DEAL FOR PILOT: Talks between The Children’s Place specialty chain and Ken Pilot, former J. Crew ceo and former president of Gap brand, concluded last week and it looks like there’s no deal. Pilot was being considered for a high post to help put the sparkle back into the chain’s merchandising, but according to a source, “it’s not going to happen. They couldn’t agree on the terms of the contract.”
Pilot was trying to turn around J. Crew when ex-Gap ceo Mickey Drexler took his place earlier this year. The Children’s Place is another turnaround project, and Pilot was being considered for a top merchant position, filling a big vacancy and reporting to Ezra Dabah, chairman and ceo of the 650-unit chain.
MOMS AWAY: Cindy Crawford, her mother, Jenny Maluf, and grandmother, Dorothy Walker, celebrated Mother’s Day by hosting the Colleague Helpers in Philanthropic Services’ fifth annual Mother’s Day luncheon with a Dolce & Gabbana fall fashion show in Beverly Hills on Friday. “It’s not about me,” quipped Crawford, revealing the reason her mother and grandmother flew in from Illinois for the weekend. “It’s to hang out with my kids,” she said, referring to Presley, 3 1/2, and Kaia, 1 1/2. Crawford’s grandmother boasts 70 descendants, with two more on the way. Crawford said she is not among the expecting.
Maluf shared with the audience her secret to motherhood. “It’s tempting to be the good guy — the friend,” she told 375 attendees. “But kids need you to be the parent the most.”
It was a good week for Dolce & Gabbana. In addition to a certificate extending to C.H.I.P.S. guests a 25 percent discount on spring merchandise at the Rodeo Drive store through May 17, a separate in-store fall trunk show ended Saturday and pulled in more than $500,000, according to the company.