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NO GAGA?: Executives at Coty Inc. denied a report circulating online that the company has signed a fragrance deal with Lady Gaga. “I know nothing of this project,” said Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for the firm’s Coty Beauty division. “It is a totally false rumor.” Gaga’s involvement in beauty includes acting as a spokeswoman for the MAC AIDS Fund. She collaborated with the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned MAC Cosmetics brand to create a signature Viva Glam lipstick in a “bubble-gummy” pink shade, which hit stores in February. Despite Coty’s denial, speculation continues to percolate.
Coty has pioneered the celebrity fragrance craze of the past several years. Through its prestige and beauty divisions, the firm has produced and markets fragrances from some 16 celebrities — Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé Knowles, Sarah Jessica Parker, David and Victoria Beckham and Halle Berry, to name a few — plus a host of fashion designers and brands, including Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Vera Wang.
MR PORTER’S NEW HIRE: Mr Porter, the global men’s wear e-commerce site that will go live in January, has hired Toby Bateman as buying director. WWD has learned that Bateman will lead a multimillion-pound buy, and will begin work in the fall, reporting to Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of Net-a-porter. Bateman is currently buying manager at Selfridges and has 15 years’ experience in the men’s business. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the helm of this phenomenal new business as it launches,” Bateman said. Mr Porter is the sibling of Net-a-porter.com, and is aimed at the style-conscious man.
“Mr Porter is defined by the senior team that will launch it in 2011,” Massenet said. “From the outset, we knew that Toby was a perfect fit for this role. He has a very clear vision of how men shop and what they will expect from Mr Porter.” Bateman joins buyer Katja Delaloye, who was previously at Brunschwig & Cie and Hofstetter Sports.
SELFRIDGES SAYS SORRY: Selfridges has apologized for a window display in its Manchester, England, store featuring a black Alexander McQueen minidress dangling on a hanger from under the shade of an oversize desk lamp. The company issued a statement in response to complaints that the image was inappropriate. McQueen took his own life in February by hanging himself in the wardrobe of his London home. “Presenting a fashion item from the new Alexander McQueen collection hanging was never intended to be linked to the designer’s untimely death or how he died,” the statement said. “Nearly all the new season items from our new window scheme, The Desirables, showcased in both our London and Manchester stores, are hung artistically on their own to present them as even more extraordinary. However, we do acknowledge that, in retrospect, presenting the dress in our Manchester Exchange Square store in this way was a mistake, and would like to apologize if this particular window has upset anyone. The dress has been removed and replaced by another designer’s garment.”
TOD’S P.R. SHIFTS GEARS: Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton, who joined Tod’s SpA Group in October, has left her post as senior vice president of communications and public relations for Tod’s and Roger Vivier to pursue other opportunities. Stephanie Hamada, who was promoted to senior vice president of global VIP relations for all Tod’s brands upon Gunlocke Fenton’s appointment, will maintain her global VIP role and take on communications and p.r. for Tod’s. Roger Vivier is expected to name a new communications and p.r. executive within the next few weeks.
LILLY PULITZER GOES PAPERLESS: Paperless invitations are all the rage when it comes to party planning, and Cocodot.com, the go-to for online invites with an A-list clientele that includes Brooke Shields and Gwyneth Paltrow, is releasing its first designer collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer today. The collaboration’s offerings keep in step with the signature colorful prints that have become the Lilly Pulitzer aesthetic. The only gripe that the preppy set of Pulitzer devotees might have is that the collection should’ve come out earlier in the season. Price are 99 cents per card, $19 per event or $49 for an unlimited year membership.
BEACH GLITTER: It was party time for Elie Tahari at his East Hampton flagship on Saturday. The celebration marked the second year of the “Sparkle in the Sun” jewelry collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “We wanted to give these designers the opportunity to show their product, gain a new clientele and attract a new customer base that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to,” Tahari said.
The list of designers comprises both up-and-coming and established talent: Ben Amun, Patricia von Musulin, Janis Savitt, Nak Armstrong, Jill Platner, Irene Neuwirth, Gemma Redux, Ruby Kobo and House of Waris.
The collaboration extends until Labor Day weekend, with three rotations of three designers. All proceeds from sales go directly back to the designer. Retail prices range from $48 for a Lucite Patricia von Musulin ring to $48,000 for a ring made of multicolored rough-, square- and rose-cut diamonds from Armstrong, whose collection is available exclusively at the boutique. “It is great that Elie Tahari is helping his fellow CFDA members,” said CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg. “We are a family of designers and that is what families do.”
DIANA’S DRESSES: A collection of 10 dresses worn by Princess Diana will go on display at the Bath Fashion Museum in England from July 17 to Jan. 9. The show includes dresses worn during royal tours of Canada and New Zealand in the early Eighties, evening dresses by British couturier Catherine Walker and little black cocktail dresses from the mid-Nineties by designers such as Gianni Versace. One of the dresses on display was designed for Diana by historic costumier John Bright of Cosprop. The pale pink silk dress was inspired by an 1880s design with intricate lace inserts. Diana wore the delicate garment for a formal “Klondike” costume party in Ford Edmonton, Alberta, during the royal visit to Canada in 1983. The dresses, on loan from private collectors, trace Diana’s evolution from a shy young royal to a woman in the media spotlight.
LANDMARK STORE LIVES: La Samaritaine, the landmark department store owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has cleared a key hurdle toward reopening after Paris authorities approved its plans for a complex combining stores, offices, housing and a hotel. “The conditions are now in place to anticipate the opening of the new Samaritaine, eagerly anticipated by Parisians, in 2013,” the retailer said. The Art Deco-style building, located between the Seine River and the Rue de Rivoli, shuttered abruptly in June 2005 because it did not meet city fire safety standards. The reborn site will be designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese agency SANAA.