TRIUMPHANT RETURN?: John Kourakos apparently doesn’t burn bridges behind him. The veteran of Warnaco, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren returned to Warnaco as president of its Sportswear group, which includes Calvin Klein jeans and sportswear, earlier this year. Now, with Warnaco obviously in play and chances of its division presidents moving up to the ceo spot greatly diminished, he’s been reported to have been in discussions with Tommy Hilfiger about returning to the firm to fill the ceo vacancy created by Joel Horowitz’s decision to leave the firm once his successor is designated. Kourakos headed Hilfiger’s men’s wear operations until September 2001. Officials at Hilfiger had no comment on the reports and Kourakos couldn’t be reached for comment at press time.
FOUR SQUARE: David Rockefeller, Pete Peterson, Leonard Lauder and Ron Perelman all complied with the Four Seasons dress code on Tuesday, but Bono, who was lunching with Rupert and Elisabeth Murdoch, waltzed into the restaurant sans tie. “He’s the king,” said Julian Niccolini, the Four Seasons’ managing partner. “What could I say?”
Today at the Four Seasons, Mario Grauso, chief executive of Carolina Herrera, is presenting his wife, Anne, with a birthday lunch for 17 of her closest friends. Among the invitees are Carolina Herrera, Jennifer Creel, Gigi Mortimer, Helen Shifter, Nathalie Kaplan, Tory Burch, Alexis Waller, Kim Vernon and Felicia Taylor, but no boys. Even Mario is skipping lunch, but picking up the check.
THE GANG’S ALL HERE: At the premiere of “Gangs of New York” on Monday, director Martin Scorsese was eager to show his long-awaited epic about 19th-century New York. “You gotta start the film,” he complained to Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, who ushered Leonardo DiCaprio into the Ziegfeld Theatre 45 minutes late. The patient moviegoers inside included Natalie Portman, Bono, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, Naomi Campbell, Chlöe Sevigny, Marisa Berenson, David Bowie and Iman.
Nicole Kidman arrived wearing a vintage dress and Manolo Blahnik boots, and even admitted to doing her own updo for the event. Cameron Diaz mixed a vintage Pierre Cardin coat with a lavender fedora by Lola and Yves Saint Laurent boots. In the film, Diaz plays Jenny, a skillful corset-wearing pickpocket. “I cheated,” bragged Diaz, who said she “let it loose a lot” to get comfortable. “I can say I’ve done a period movie and I love corsets.”
As for city slicker Billy Joel, who came out to support Scorsese, has he been pickpocketed before?
“Yeah, sure,” he replied. “I’m from New York. Everybody has.”
MORNING GORY: It took 500 years of vodka history in the making, but the liquor industry has finally come up with a healthy alternative to the Bloody Mary. At Flaunt Magazine’s party for Robert Downey Jr. at the W Hotel in Union Square on Monday, Zygo Distillers launched its first product dubbed as Zygo, the Morning Vodka, which combines the alcohol’s traditional potato base with the more modern ingredients of an energy drink, such as taurine, d-ribose, guarana and yerba mate. And there’s a fashion angle, too. Zygo commissioned Heatherette designer Richie Rich to act as its spokesmodel and to design several T-shirts along the theme of encouraging early morning drinking, although the results were somewhat profane — specifically the Morning Stiffie, which features Zygo on the rocks, well-shaken.
STORK CLUB: Contemporary sportswear designer Cynthia Steffe just might want to think about entering the maternity market. Steffe and her husband Richard Roberts, are expecting their first child, a girl, in April.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: Kenzo Takada, who three years ago retired from the Paris-based house he founded, has launched a music compilation disc, distributed by Sony, titled Sensation Purple. Takada recently staged a comeback under the name Yume. It’s a lifestyle brand in association with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which owns the Kenzo brand. Takada’s first project was a line of clothes and homewear sold in French catalog La Redoute. But here’s the rub: Turns out LVMH’s Kenzo has just launched its own music compilation, too. Will the real Kenzo please report to the dance floor?
DRESSING THE KING: Pamela Clarke Keogh, whose recent sartorial analyses of Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — “Audrey Style” and “Jackie Style” — have helped illuminate the public’s understanding of their fashion influence, has now turned her sights toward a different sort of icon: Elvis Presley.
“I wanted to write about the style of a man,” Keogh said, adding that research for the book has taken a different direction than interviewing the close friends of Hepburn and Kennedy. “Now, I’m meeting a lot of guys.”