KAHN’S NEW GIG?: Gene Kahn, the former chief executive of the former May Department Stores Co., may soon be back in the saddle. Two sources said he’s about to resurface in retailing after over two years on the sidelines. One of the sources said there’s a good chance he’s bound for Claire’s Stores, which was recently bought by private equity firm Apollo Management for $3.1 billion. Private equity firms are in the market for executives for their retail assets. Kahn, a star merchant for both R.H. Macy and May Co., became ceo and president of May Co. in 1998 and added the chairman title in 2001. However, the business struggled through most of his leadership. He left in January 2005, and not long after Federated Department Stores Inc. swooped up the company.
WEDDING BELLS: Vanessa Seward is tying the knot with her French beau, pop musician Bertrand Burgalat. The Azzaro designer said the ceremony was planned for this fall. Burgalat proposed after a pledge that he would ask for Seward’s hand if he sold 200,000 copies of a song he wrote for hot French singer Christophe Willem. “It went platinum,” said Seward.
NO IMPACT: Nothing’s more au courant than being environmentally conscious these days — just ask the Council of Fashion Designers of America. It will unveil its partnership with The CarbonNeutral Company for the upcoming 2007 CFDA Fashion Awards next month. That means the carbon dioxide created by the event and the transportation modes of guests will be offset with special programs to lower carbon dioxide emissions around the world.
“The CFDA is committed to doing everything we can as an organization to enact measures to minimize our impact on the environment, as well as educate its constituents, and the community at large,” said CFDA executive director Steven Kolb in a statement.
Joe Boxer founder Nicholas Graham‘s new company Wonderbrand helped put the partnership together. “We’ve had so much support from the fashion industry for the idea of taking action on climate change,” added Sue Welland, The CarbonNeutral Company founder. “Fashion can inspire new ways of thinking and buying.” No word, though, on whether the menu will also be organic.
This story first appeared in the May 22, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
GREEN SCENE: Eva Green is to be the face of a new Christian Dior fragrance, due out this fall, according to industry sources. The brunette actress, who starred in films such as “Casino Royale” and “Kingdom of Heaven,” will be introduced during a gala dinner at the Opera Garnier on May 30 given by the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned beauty brand. Dior executives could not be reached for comment.
BOOKING ROCKWELL: It looks as though sorority-girl-turned-Harvard-Law student Elle Woods may have left David Rockwell slightly inspired. Having received high marks for the sets he designed for the Broadway rendition of “Legally Blonde,” the architect is taking a studious approach to Adour, the restaurant that will open at the St. Regis Hotel this fall. The 100-seat space is said to be reminiscent of a library reading room. But with Alain Ducasse manning the kitchen, you can bet the palette won’t be bubble gum pink.