- BLACKS AND FASHION: Industry veteran Bethann Hardison will be moderating an open discussion Friday called "The Lack of the Black Image in Fashion Today." The event, which takes place at the Bryant Park Hotel Screening Room, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hardison will lead a discussion on why black fashion models have become basically invisible on the runway in the last decade. "It's to raise consciousness and to take responsibility," said Hardison, who previously ran a modeling agency. Among those expected to participate in the forum are Tracy Reese, Patrick Robinson, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Diane von Furstenberg, André Leon Talley, Constance White, Iman, Liya Kebede, Naomi Campbell and Veronica Webb, in addition to photographers and stylists.

- GREEN THUMB: Aiming to be a model corporate citizen, PPR is establishing a department dedicated to social and environmental responsibility. Laurent Claquin has been named its senior vice president and director, reporting to François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of PPR. Claquin is currently PPR's senior vice president of communication and will continue in that role until his successor has been named. PPR is already active on many fronts, aiming to reduce its environmental impact and improve diversity among its 78,000 employees. For example, PPR recently partnered with a French agency that promotes jobs and training for disabled people and hired 241 employees over the past two years, surpassing its objective of 160. Separately, PPR said Charlotte Judet, formerly head of communications at French securities regulator AMF, joined as head of its press department, reporting to Claquin.

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