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CUTTING BACK: Staffers at Rodale Inc. are wondering if more departures are to come after three well-liked top executives left the company. Last month, Steve Kalin, executive vice president/chief operating officer, and executive vice president Ben Roter exited the company. On Friday, senior vice president, consumer marketing Joyce Shrier left Rodale. Meanwhile, several staffers in circulation last week were told their positions were being relocated to New York from Pennsylvania.
A Rodale spokeswoman said there’s little to fear. “This is not a cost-cutting exercise, as we are actively hiring in many other areas and departments in the company, such as online, direct response, sales and finance.” Kalin, who worked for Rodale for six years, left at the end of December when his contract expired. Lester Rackoff was promoted from senior vice president/chief financial officer to executive vice president/chief financial officer, assuming the financial responsibilities Kalin oversaw. Roter is assuming an advisory role with the firm. Shrier left after spending 20 years at Rodale and is expected to be replaced. — Stephanie D. Smith
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: The spring campaign for Carolina Herrera is the designer’s favorite to date — although she admits that’s usually the case until the next one comes along. “Fashion changes and you have to forget the last one and move forward. This is very new and reflects the collection so well,” said Carolina Herrera. And while the designs are always changing, she has kept the face of the brand consistent with her daughter, Carolina Herrera Jr. This is the third season the younger Herrera has been shot by photographer Mario Sorrenti. She told WWD the current campaign is also her favorite. “I barely had any makeup, we shot it really fast and when I saw the pictures I liked all of them, plus I think one really gets a sense of spring,” she said, adding she loves working with Sorrenti because he doesn’t ask her to pose like a model. “The day Mario doesn’t shoot the campaign, I quit.”
This story first appeared in the January 28, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer has continued to feature her daughter in the campaigns because she represents the customer. “She is sophisticated and modern looking but also a mother of two, married and lives in Spain; she does so much.” Sorrenti came up with the idea to feature a backdrop of bright colors in the new images, to reflect a collection that was inspired by the watercolors of Jeremiah Goodman. “The line this season incorporated beautiful floral prints, which inspired me to want to incorporate flowers into the imagery of the campaign,” said Sorrenti. “Flowers are such a classical symbol of beauty and elegance.” The campaign will run in the March issues of Town & Country, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and Elle. — Amy Wicks
PAIGE’S CURSE: When House & Garden relaunched over a decade ago, Architectural Digest editor in chief Paige Rense famously was quoted saying, “I killed it once, I’ll kill it again.” Last December, she got her wish, but apparently Rense hasn’t put away her daggers. At a recent dinner for the AD 100 at the Lotos Club, Rense told assembled designers and decorators that House & Garden’s demise was “richly deserved,” according to several people there. A spokeswoman for Rense didn’t return repeated calls. — Irin Carmon
WINNING DESIGN: Simply Vera, Vera Wang’s line for Kohl’s, may have been intended for the masses but it won favor with the elite jury for Travel + Leisure’s annual Design Awards, which this year included Richard Lambertson of Lambertson Truex, designer Yeohlee Teng and Nike design head John Hoke. The awards recognize superior design across the travel experience, including best retail space (Van Cleef & Arpels’ Paris store, designed by Patrick Jouin), best luggage (perhaps, predictably, it’s by Louis Vuitton — specifically the monogram waterproof Keepall) and for best watch, the Tank Louis Cartier Dual Time Zone, which has two faces split in one space. The iPhone, ever intending to be all things to all people, won for best travel gadget, and Amanda Burden is being crowned a “design champion.” Winners will accept their prizes Feb. 12. — I.C.
A GRAND DISGUISE: Amid all the hand-wringing about whether the Academy Award telecast and its accompanying fanfare will go on, Food & Wine is placid. Its annual party at Spago is only tangentially tied to the awards, but the foodie gathering likes to see itself as a kickoff party for the frenzy. This year, the invitation is a nod to current events: packaged with a Popsicle stick, a slit and instructions, it doubles as a picket sign. (The magazine takes no stand, instructing, “Your Message Here,” above blank space.)
Publisher Christina Grdovic said guests will be served nominee-themed drinks, among them There Will Be Bloody Mary, Sweeney Martini, Charlie Wilson on the Rocks, the Virgin Juno and Atonemint. What about the nominee for best animated feature that delighted the food world? “Maybe we should have ‘Ratatouille’ playing on flat screens,” mused Grdovic. — I.C.