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LOWE AND BEHOLD: Press kits and catalogues are suddenly becoming as buzzy as advertising campaigns, boasting famous faces and photographers. Louis Vuitton has booked London “It” girl and model Daisy Lowe to appear in a press kit being shot this weekend in Miami for a new beach line comprising ready-to-wear, shoes, bags and accessories. The merch is slated to arrive in Vuitton stores in April; the kit in editors’ in-boxes in January. Meanwhile, Christian Dior put hot French actress Nora Arnezeder before the lens of Peter Lindbergh in support of its latest handbag, The New Lock, staging the shoot on Avenue Montaigne, mythic address of its headquarters and Paris flagship. In addition to the catalogue, a series of mini films on the making of the catalogue is slated to go on Dior’s Web site later this month.
— Miles Socha
This story first appeared in the November 6, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
GEORGIE GIRL: Georgia May Jagger is the face of Versace’s ad campaign for spring. The Brigitte Bardot-look-alike and daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall just finished posing for Mario Testino in a London studio. “She’s smart, beautiful, full of energy and has a strong personality…and with that natural high star quality, I adore her,” said Donatella Versace. “She’s perfect for this collection — a real Versace girl.”
— Alessandra Ilari
FAST HIRE: The New York Observer on Thursday named former Condé Nast Portfolio deputy editor Kyle Pope editor in chief. The paper revealed the appointment on its Web site. Pope will take over for Tom McGeveran, who will move on at the end of the year after nearly a decade at the Observer to start a new business venture. Pope comes to the paper after working at the The Wall Street Journal as a staff reporter and editor, where he edited the “Heard on the Street” column and was a part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of 9/11. Pope also contributed to the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times before joining Condé Nast Portfolio. His first issue of the Observer will be Dec. 9.
— Stephanie D. Smith
JOINING THE TWITTER ARMY: Stefano Gabbana has found a new pastime — Twitter. Over the past week, his tweets have intensified so his fans can keep track of what he’s up to, both personally and professionally. And by the looks of things, he’s knee-deep in the next Dolce & Gabbana campaign, shot once again by Steven Klein. “I spoke to Steven…next week in NY,” wrote the designer on the eve of Halloween. The day before he posted a note to “call Steven Klein for a.c” (advertising campaign). And on Tuesday, Gabbana mused about how much he “loves Madonna.” The latter comment may be sheer coincidence, but adds fuel to speculation the pop star may appear in Dolce & Gabbana’s spring ad campaign, which some say might be for its men’s wear rather than women’s wear. The shoot with Klein is slated to take place over this weekend in New York, according to sources.
— Chiara Hughes
CONDE IN COURT: Condé Nast Publications appears to have escaped a long-standing patent infringement case unscathed after a judge sided with the publisher in a pre-trial opinion. The unusual case, which still could have far-reaching implications in the Web publishing business, has pit Condé Nast and Vogue against a one-time vendor, Active8media LLC, a business that turns catalogues and magazines into interactive Web pages.
In 2004, Vogue hired the company to create and host interactive versions of ads that appeared in the magazine’s September issue. Hosted on the now-defunct shopseptembervogue.com, the site allowed consumers to scroll through ads that popped up with information about the advertised products and linked to brand Web sites — a service for which Activ8media held a number of patents. When Vogue engaged a competitor to create interactive Web ads and host the site the following year, Active8media sued Condé Nast for infringement.
In the four years since, servers have followed the case for its potential impact on Web publishing. (It also embroiled a number of Vogue employees, including then-publisher Tom Florio, who was deposed.) At issue: how the court would define the limits of Active8media’s patents. A broad reading, according to Condé Nast’s attorneys, Kramer, Levin Naftalis & Frankel, could give the company claim to many interactive advertisements on the Web, for instance, banner or pop-up ads that linked to other Web sites.
“They were seeking to push the limits of their patents,” said Condé’s chief trial counsel, Randy Lipsitz. “It stood to be a gold mine for them.”
But in a decision handed down last Friday, Judge Kenneth Karas of the Southern District Court of New York ruled in favor of Condé Nast, concluding the publisher did not infringe on Active8media’s patents. The narrow reading of Active8media’s patents should lead to a dismissal, according to Lipsitz. But the judge has yet to consider other claims in the case, including charges against Condé Nast for trademark and trade secret infringement.
— Brenner Thomas
FORD, NOT IN TOTAL CONTROL: When Lehman Brothers collapsed last year and financing dried up for Tom Ford’s directorial debut, “A Single Man,” the former Gucci designer didn’t think twice about funding it himself. “I wasn’t the least bit nervous about it,” Ford insisted. “I was nervous the first day because I knew I had to say ‘Cut!’ and I had never done that in front of anyone.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly for its annual Holiday Movie Preview issue, Ford said directing is the closest thing to being God that we have in this world. But his power does have limits: Ford was less than pleased that foreign distributors can create their own posters for the film.
“Our franchised stores cannot even send out an invitation that does not come through my central office,” he explained. “If they’re going to have a party, the waiters have to look a certain way. If they violate this, they don’t get to buy the collection next season. But I might go to a country and see these scary posters and have no idea where the hell they came from.” For all his confidence, even Ford realized that having final approval on his posters could be a ways off. “It’s not like I’ve made 20 movies and they’ve all been great,” Ford told EW. “This is my first film. The next one might be an absolute disaster.”
— Amy Wicks
STILL IN BUSINESS: A few of BusinessWeek’s top staffers will stay with the magazine once its sale to Bloomberg is complete. According to a memo sent to employees Thursday morning, BusinessWeek worldwide publisher Jessica Sibley will continue on as publisher, overseeing print and digital ad sales. Executive editor Ellen Pollock and managing editor Ciro Scotti will also stay on board in their same roles. In addition, executive editor John Byrne, who also oversees businessweek.com, will remain. The memo was first reported on The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
Questions about Byrne’s future with the magazine had stirred since an Oct. 16 wedding announcement in the Times of his marriage to Katherine Rodler, which said Byrne plans to relocate to San Francisco. However, Byrne said through a spokeswoman that he had no plans to move out West. So far, BusinessWeek editor in chief Stephen Adler and president Keith Fox have said they would not stay with the magazine once Bloomberg takes over. The scheduled close date for the sale is Dec. 1. By then, Bloomberg is expected to appoint a new editor in chief. But current BusinessWeek staffers are likely to know their own fate before they know who will be the next editor: offer letters are expected to be distributed in mid-November, and staffers outside of New York and Austin, Tex., are expected to move into Bloomberg offices by Dec. 4.