TERROR ALERT: What do the ladies of the First Family do after a good deed, such as their surprise appearance at potential terror target Citigroup Center on Monday? They go shopping. Jenna and Barbara Bush were spotted buying a good bit of fall merchandise from designer Rebecca Taylor’s Mott Street store on Tuesday morning, and even First Lady Laura Bush joined in on the fun, stopping by to approve their purchases — including pants, camisols, cardigans, a fake-fur jacket and sparkly ribbon belts perfect for the campaign trail.
INTERNAL AFFAIRS: Everyone on Seventh Avenue knows the value of a hard-working intern, and Donna Karan got a chance to show hers off on Tuesday when the 80 students working at the company this summer were invited to appear during a segment on “The Early Show” on CBS. But one intern was caught in a tough situation when she was asked on-air how many yards of fabric does it take to make a pair of pants. Considering the intern had focused her studies on visual merchandising, her managers were impressed when she hazarded a fairly accurate guess of “two.”
FLAME GAME: Giambattista Valli, creative director at Emanuel Ungaro, is training for the Olympic Games. No, he’s not competing in the javelin event or any other. Rather, he’s been asked by the Olympic committee to take part in the torch relay on Aug. 12, meaning he will have to run about 500 meters. Vacationing this week in Positano, Italy, Valli is said to be building up his cardiovascular endurance — and contemplating what to wear. After all, the committee told him the torch will be passed to him by none other than Naomi Campbell. His wardrobe suggestion for her: Azzedine Alaïa.
MAGLI’S MAN?: Sources in Milan say Bruno Magli has tapped Martino Scabbia Guerrini as its new general manager and chief executive officer, effective next month. Guerrini was previously general manager at Fay, a brand that’s part of Diego Della Valle’s Tod’s group. Guerrini will report to Luca Ramella, president of the Italian accessories company. Magli is owned by the Bulgari-backed Opera fund. Magli executives could not be reached for comment.
BLONDE AMBITIONS: Alex and Brittany Smith, who shot to fame as the John Frieda “Sheer Blonde” twins, have given up modeling to pursue their ambitions as rock stars full time. The duo, known as Alex & Brit, are currently working with producer Dallas Austin in Atlanta as they seek a record deal for a release next year. While the 18-year-olds have had some practice, singing the line “Are you ready?” in Frieda’s TV spots, they’re looking to go professional under the name “MICA,” according to a rep.
FINDER’S PHI: As the first deliveries of Susan Dell’s new label Phi make their way to Colette in Paris and Restir in Tokyo this week, the designer wanted to make certain shoppers will have a resource to learn more about the collection as they discover it in stores. So the company retooled its Web site, phicollection.com, to incorporate a streaming video of Phi’s debut runway show, which company executives said is a teaser of things to come on the site, as the collection hits Neiman Marcus later this month and with the opening of a freestanding store at 71 Greene Street on Sept. 7. Julia Hansen, president of Phi, noted the video is programmed to run the natural size of a computer screen, as that “sets the mood of the collection with movement and music.”