ARMANI’S BLACK BOX: Get ready to do your zapping in front of a sleek Armani Samsung TV. Giorgio Armani, who continues to flex his technological muscle after the success of the Armani Samsung mobile phone, will unveil the flat-screen LCD TV on April 16 at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Also, on a home note, Armani just purchased a house for himself in La Punt, Switzerland, a tony ski town close to Saint Moritz.
JAPAN FAN: “I think I was supposed to be Japanese,” said Gwen Stefani with a giggle at an event Monday for her new fragrance collection, Harajuku Lovers, with Coty Prestige. “The first time I was there, with No Doubt in 1995, I felt like I was meant to be there.” The scents, due in September, aren’t the only thing Stefani’s gestating at the moment — her second child with husband Gavin Rossdale is due “during New York Fashion Week in September,” she said. “I’d like to do a [runway] show but I’ll probably be on the delivery table instead.”
And while Stefani is teaming with her band, No Doubt, on a new release, she does admit that “it’s not going very well.” “When I’m pregnant, I feel like I just need to sleep and eat,” she said with a laugh. “I’m useless. I go in and watch the guys play the guitars.”
VENICE SUPREME: Harry’s Bar, the storied bar and restaurant in Venice, has found a humorous way to woo American tourists given the anemic dollar. Starting this past weekend, owner Arrigo Cipriani pasted the following sign outside the legendary watering hole: “Harry’s Bar of Venice in an effort to make the American victims of subprime loans happier has decided to give them a special 20 percent discount on all the items of the menu during the short term of their recovery.”
“Americans have always been our best clients and this is an ironic way to show them we understand the current dollar situation,” said the 75-year-old Cipriani, son of Harry’s Bar founder Giuseppe Cipriani.
According to locals, Americans represent 35 percent of total foreign visitors flocking to Venice, a number that has plummeted in the past few seasons due to the weak dollar.
POOH GETS POSH: Winnie the Pooh is getting a makeover thanks to celebrity designer Kidada Jones, who’s styling the honey-loving bear for a new capsule clothing collection produced by Walt Disney Co. and Mighty Fine. Hitting retailers including H. Lorenzo, Fred Segal Fun and Intuition later this month with retail prices ranging between $50 and $70, the four pieces include leggings printed all over with graphically blacked-out images of Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger, as well as a long tank top screen-printed with a picture of Pooh floating in an umbrella. Disney is tapping into its stable of artists to spruce up Pooh. It’s also relying again on Jones, following her previous success in transforming Alice in Wonderland, Tinkerbell and a crew of classic cartoon characters into hipster icons. “He’s like the Buddha of Disney,” Jones said of Pooh. “He’s in a class of his own.” Jones and her younger sister, actress Rashida Jones, are also in their own league of multitaskers. In addition to painting a miniature picture of an Air Jordan-shod Pooh clinging to a blue balloon floating across the sky, Jones is working with Mouawad on a line of fine jewelry based on Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and “It’s a Small World.” Meanwhile, the designer said Rashida is collaborating with fashion brand Steven Alan on an eco-friendly T-shirt line called Laloo.
SUIT YOURSELF: Karl Lagerfeld didn’t just breeze through New York recently. He was a whirlwind, shooting fall campaigns for Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld brands — and even fitting in some power shopping. And following the “when in Rome” logic, he shopped local, loading up on the latest looks from Tom Ford. “It’s a little like my Caracenis from 30 years ago,” he said. “It’s fun to see the young around me dressed that way now — and me again.”
ROOM SERVICE: Paris-based designer Jonathan Riss aims to bring a slice of Versailles to New York City. Riss, who counts Kate Hudson, Kylie Minogue and Charlotte Gainsbourg among fans of his high-end label Jay Ahr, will fete the opening of his first Stateside location on April 15. The 1,500-square-foot townhouse apartment, situated at 801 Madison Avenue, has been decorated with lavish moldings, panels and marble objects inspired by the Palace of Versailles. “I wanted it to look like a Parisian apartment. There’s no fitting room, just a bed draped in clothes and shoes littered around the place,” said Riss, who will also showcase his nascent fine jewelry line, featuring sculpted wing motifs.