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ESMEE’S TEMPTATION: Esmée Denters, the YouTube singing sensation now working with Justin Timberlake as her producer, will be the spokeswoman and model for the b.tempted bra brand at Wacoal America. Denters will appear in b.tempted’s fall and spring 2011 national ad campaigns in fashion magazines, as well as online collateral. She also will represent the brand in its breast cancer awareness campaign, Fight for the Cure, in October. Bob Vitale, executive vice president of marketing ad sales at Wacoal, said, “B.tempted is new with a strong company, and Esmée started on YouTube and was discovered by Justin Timberlake. We thought it was a great parallel. Winners of an online contest will win tickets to Esmée’s concerts, and she’ll be featured on our Facebook page, where she has close to 43,000 fans. She’ll also be tweeting about the brand.”
Combined visits on YouTube for Denters’ two hits, “Outta Here” and “Admit It,” exceed 5 million video plays. Her new single, “Love Dealer,” featuring Timberlake, launches this week.
This story first appeared in the April 29, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
ICING ON THE CAKE: When Karen Katz succeeds Burt Tansky as president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Inc. on Oct. 6, she’ll have not only a $1.05 million annual salary, an opportunity to make up to twice that amount each year in incentive plan income and a nonqualified stock option plan, but also a $50,000 commencement bonus. According to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, the new employment agreement has a four-year term but carries automatic one-year extensions unless employer or employee serves notice within three months of its anniversary. Meanwhile, in his new gig as nonexecutive chairman of Neiman’s, Tansky will attend up to four board meetings a year and receive $37,500 for each.
DRESS YOU UP: Gap, which is sponsoring the “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity” exhibit, will be dressing quite a number of celebrities at Monday night’s kick-off Costume Institute benefit. The chain and its executive vice president of global design, Patrick Robinson, collaborated with several young designers to create eveningwear for the occasion. M.I.A. and Zoë Kravitz are slated to come to the Met in Alexander Wang for Gap; Kirsten Dunst and Jamie Bochert will wear Rodarte for Gap; Kerry Washington and Riley Keough will sport Thakoon for Gap, and Sophie Theallet for Gap will be worn by Jessica Alba and Vera Farmiga. Gap is offering the eight dresses in a silent auction at gap.com/gownauction from May 4 to 31 with proceeds benefiting the Costume Institute. Two days after the party, Gap will start showcasing the dresses at its pop-up store at 680 Fifth Avenue. The shop will also offer special Gap T-shirts inspired by the themes in the Costume Institute exhibit.
PARTY MATES: Speaking of the Costume Institute benefit, speculation about designers and the celebrities they will bring to the party is heating up. Ralph Lauren and his wife, Ricky, will host Taylor Swift, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, while Kenneth Cole is bringing Emmy Rossum, Stanley Tucci and Matthew Morrison from “Glee.” Other designers have still to finalize their plans. Michael Kors will be bringing Brooke Shields, Diane Lane, Carolyn Murphy, Natasha Poly and Chanel Iman.
SNAP HAPPY: A crowd gathered in front of the Crillon hotel in Paris on Wednesday to sneak a peak and take snaps of Penélope Cruz on a balcony. Word has it the actress — sporting an off-the-shoulder number — was being photographed there by Mario Testino for a new Lancôme advertising campaign. No one from the brand could be reached for comment. Wednesday also happened to be Cruz’s 36th birthday.
CHIC SUPPORT: “Is that a boardwalk?” asked one guest of the makeshift catwalk running the length of The Pierre’s Grand Ballroom on Wednesday. “It’s a runway,” corrected his wife. A low fashion IQ is easy to forgive when one is literally too busy curing cancer to fixate on fashion, as was the case for most of the crowd at Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals’ annual Breast Service luncheon, which raised $650,000 for the hospitals. As for the runway, it served a purpose other than confusing guests: Reem Acra showed her spring 2010 collection after Cynthia Nixon, who was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, delivered her keynote speech. “This is where I received all of my truly wonderful treatment,” said Nixon, in a textured sheath from the fall Calvin Klein collection, adding she’s already in the midst of the “Sex and the City 2” publicity blitz. “I did a photo shoot yesterday and an interview this morning. It’s kind of like the publicity Olympics. You try to take your vitamins and eat sensibly and get some sleep. Because you have to be in top form.”
LAST DANCE: For many, prom night is not an occasion they would hurriedly return to, but that isn’t the case with an intrepid fashion crew. Rebecca Minkoff will host Prom Class of 2010 with help from JustJared’s Jared Eng, High Society’s Devorah Rose, Callie Thorne of “Rescue Me” and MTV’s RJ Berger, among others. St. John’s cheerleaders will perform, a prom king and queen will be crowned, and DJs Josh Madden and Claudine DeSola will spin long lost prom songs provided by a host of actors and musicians. Organized by FashionIndie.com and Joonbug.com, the May 8 fund-raiser at Espace will help bankroll independent fashion bloggers’ travel expenses for New York Fashion Week.
MATCH POINT: Calvin Klein’s choice of Fernando Verdasco to model in its latest underwear campaign is paying dividends. The Spanish tennis star won the Barcelona Open on Sunday, marking the fifth ATP World Tour title win of his career and his second of the season. And when Verdasco hoisted the massive trophy overhead, his underwear waistband became visible to the world, leaving no doubt about his brand allegiance.
D-DAY: Pop-star-cum-designer-cum-reality-TV-judge Dannii Minogue unveiled Project D by Dannii and Tabitha, a capsule collection of seven dresses and four scents, this week in London. Minogue founded the brand with designer Tabitha Somerset Webb. Their dresses will bow in Selfridges in June and roll out to Harvey Nichols and Harrods and some e-tail sites in July. “[The idea was to] cover all eventualities with seven dresses,” said Somerset Webb, adding the brand will grow to encompass other categories. The fall-winter dress collection, which includes a zebra print silk georgette dress and a sequined maxi, ranges in price from 210 pounds to 450 pounds, or $318 to $682 at current exchange. The brand’s fragrance line comprises a signature scent, plus three juices — Dawn, Day and Dusk — inspired by its main accords. Distribution plans and prices for the fragrances have yet to be confirmed.
EVA’S EMPIRE: Eva Longoria Parker celebrated her Eva by Eva Longoria perfume Tuesday night at her Hollywood restaurant Beso, where she was joined by friends Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher, Heidi Klum, Adrian Grenier and Mario Lopez. Inside, the actress made a Champagne toast as the cameras rolled for her upcoming VH1 reality show. “Making the perfume was a long process, like a year. I learned a lot about marketing, from the bottles to the box,” she said, adding an evening scent will be released next year by Falic Fashion Group, and that a clothing line is “still in its infancy stages.”