TV Show Airs for Fashion Curious

Stefani Greenfield has teamed up with Plum TV to host "The Insiders' Ultimate Closet."

NEW YORK — Scoop founder Stefani Greenfield has landed a Plum assignment.

The retailer is hosting “Inside the Ultimate Closet,” a 30-minute program about fashion that made its debut July 30 on Plum TV, the 24-hour cable television network targeting well-heeled resort areas like the Hamptons, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. While mentions of trendy, branded items get their share of air time and different trends are shown on different people, the show’s spotlight is on the people involved with fashion. The aim is to pique viewers’ fashion curiosity and develop an ongoing interest.

“I hope that people who are interested in fashion find mentors. People who are not interested in fashion become interested, and people just like it,” Greenfield said. “It’s about the people behind all these fabulous creations.”

There is also an interactive shopping component for viewers to buy the trends that are mentioned and occasionally shown by visiting Ultimatecloset.com. At the end of the program, a ticker reads “All it takes is a quick click and you’ll be styling,” and points viewers to the Web site. “The whole concept is, ‘See it, want it, buy it, wear it,'” Greenfield said. “I know I sound like an infomercial. But the show is about being interested [in fashion].”

A good portion of the items offered on the Web site are also available at Scoop, the nine-unit specialty store operation based here.

The show aims to have a softer sell by having people who often dictate the trends talk about fashion. They offer their picks of the season, but not in a Home Shopping-inspired way, Greenfield said. Instead of offering a see-the-item, buy-the-item format, “Inside the Ultimate Closet” will also address sources of inspiration such as music, theater, art and street life. The show was inspired in part by another program, “Inside the Actors’ Studio,” in which James Lipton hosts informal chats with film insiders about their careers and personal philosophies.

Plum founders Tom Scott and Carry Woods were interested in doing a show about fashion, so Greenfield and producer Susan Cappa developed “Ultimate Closet.”

Greenfield kicked things off by chatting with her former employer Donna Karan at the designer’s airy beach house. Another former colleague and friend of Karan’s, Lynn Kohlman, surprised Greenfield with a cameo.

This story first appeared in the August 9, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Greenfield got into fashion by answering phones at Karan’s offices, even though she said she didn’t know what the designer did, Greenfield said. But she was a quick study and worked her way up to national sales manager at Donna Karan before she departed after nearly six years to join Esprit as vice president of design and merchandising for its signature line and its Susie Tompkins label. She left Esprit in July 1995. In October 1995, Greenfield and Uzi Ben Abraham, then owner of three stores on lower Broadway, agreed to turn her idea for Scoop into a business. The first store opened in April 1996.

“Ultimate Closet” started on a personal note, but Greenfeld insisted she is “not looking to be a TV personality.”

Bergdorf Goodman’s senior vice president of the fashion office, Robert Burke; In Style’s fashion director Hal Rubenstein, and Candy Pratts Price, executive fashion director of Style.com, talked shop for the second program, which aired Saturday. Combined, the first two episodes are expected to air 200 times in the next month. Plum will decide whether to go forward with more episodes, depending on the response, Greenfield said.

Viewers have been responding with online purchases. Last week’s bestsellers included a $175 Lolita Jaca fringe dress, a $195 Juicy long eyelet voile skirt, $28 Scoop velvet flip-flops, $165 Citizens of Humanity stretch twill jeans and a $75 Melissa Odabash straw cowboy hat.

But it is too hard to quantify how the show will boost Scoop’s sales. “Anything that gets people more excited about fashion helps to get people more excited about Scoop. This is not a show about Scoop, but I guess we pioneered the ‘Ultimate Closet,'” Greenfield said.