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HOT TYPE: It’s not quite the war over Gucci, but French luxury titans Bernard Arnault and François-Henri Pinault seem to be at odds over Arnault’s plan to buy French financial daily Les Echos from Britain’s Pearson. PPR chairman and chief executive officer Pinault is among some 100 businesspeople who signed a petition published in Les Echos Friday expressing their attachment to its editorial independence. Former PPR chief Serge Weinberg‘s name also appears on the list, as does that of Patricia Barbizet from PPR’s parent holding company, Artemis, which owns French financial weekly Le Point. The petition came in the wake of news that Arnault’s LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton had entered exclusive negotiations to buy Les Echos. Arnault currently owns the French financial newspaper La Tribune. — Miles Socha
GROWING A BRAND: Tom Ford keeps building his team. Cori Galpern has been appointed worldwide director of advertising and marketing for Tom Ford International, effective today. Galpern will report to Tom Mendenhall, chief operating officer on operations; Ford, president and ceo, and Lisa Schiek, worldwide director of communications for creative and strategy. Galpern will be responsible for strategy and execution of all advertising and marketing initiatives. — Courtney Colavita
DOWN ON THE FARM: Annie Leibovitz took a hot and steamy approach for Bottega Veneta’s fall ad campaign. The ads were shot in Hillsborough, N.J., at Duke Farms, the 2,700-acre estate of the late Doris Duke — a first for this location. “Annie’s pictures are always strong and unexpected because she draws her ideas from who and what she is photographing,” said creative director Tomas Maier. “There’s an emotional intelligence in her work, an openness to the individual, that makes her impossible to categorize, and for that reason, she’s exactly right for Bottega Veneta.” The ads — which feature models Anja Rubik, Inguna Butane, Kim Noorda and Noah Mills — will break in September issues of fashion titles worldwide. — Luisa Zargani
WORK IN PROGRESS: Condé Nast Publications Inc. is making progress with its female-focused Web sites the company is developing under its Magnet division, which includes the operation and technology departments of 27 of its magazine Web sites. In the fall, WWD reported executives were considering a health entity reflecting content from Self, Glamour, Allure and Jane that would include a Web site covering diet and nutrition, sex and relationships and beauty and health for females. The project has evolved to separate sites being overseen by Magnet’s Susan Kaplow. In March, the first one launched: Elasticwaist.com. The site is written by online diarists Sarah McColl, Brooke Parkhurst, Anne Fitzgerald and a Wisconsin-based woman who goes by the screen name Wheetabix.
The site includes entries on weight and body image, commentary on celebrity weight loss and food obsessions, video content on cooking and entertaining and links to other weighty blogs. Elasticwaist.com’s irreverent tone is far from the edited voice of most Condé Nast titles. For example, the authors’ assessment of the benefits of fiber: “Without it, all of that protein just sits in your gut and turns into a lead sludge that can make any trip to the ladies’ room require two magazines and maybe a book for backup.”
Up next, according to sources familiar with the project, is a sex and relationship site said to play off of Glamour. One working title has been bounced around — Thedailybedpost.com. Condé Nast executives could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. — Stephanie D. Smith
MOONLIGHTING: Guest editors are usually of the celebrity variety — Bono at Vanity Fair and Sarah Jessica Parker at O The Oprah Magazine are a few of the most recent ones. But novelist and magazine writer Bill Powers wants to change that. Why not look outside the celebrity pool to find a candidate, he asks? Recent National Magazine Award-winner City magazine answered his wish by asking Powers to guest edit its September issue (he also guest edited the October/November 2006 issue of BlackBook magazine.) The move marks the first time the magazine has hired a guest editor. So far, Powers has Zac Posen sitting down with Bob Colacello; Andy Spade interviewing artist Jules de Balincourt, and, in a bit of nepotism, his wife, designer Cynthia Rowley, profiling painter Delia Brown. GQ correspondent Glenn O’Brien will pen a story on the “happy mealing of high fashion,” that will address how designers such as Marc Jacobs are marketing clothes to children. The City issue hasn’t even closed yet, but Powers already has another guest editor’s gig lined up: next time for a national gay magazine, which he declined to name. — Amy Wicks
OUT OF THE CLOSET: Journalist Erika Kawalek said she’ll kick off her upcoming book “with a complete inventory of my closet, from underwear to World War II-era black taffeta cocktail dresses.” No, it’s not another entry in the annals of published introspection. “Ragpicker: The Secret History of a Wardrobe,” expected be published by Riverhead in 2009, is a creative approach to fashion history: it will track the origins of eight items of clothing she owns — including a Sixties Warhol-inspired paper “Souper” dress, produced by Campbell’s Soup, that Kawalek bought on eBay. “I was really interested in the sources of fashion,” said Kawalek, who is the editor in chief of Isaac Mizrahi’s semiannual magazine, Isaac’s Style Book. “For me, it didn’t begin with what’s on the runway or the slides on Style.com.…There’s a whole beautiful world of people who are working behind the scenes, keeping old clothes for future generations and inspiring a lot of designers, fabric designers and theater and film costumers.” In tracing what she calls “the entire ecosystem of fashion,” she plans to visit fast-fashion factories in China and couture salons in Paris.
As for the Mizrahi magazine, which has seen a rather muted reception since launching in August, Kawalek said two issues have been produced as planned, and a third is in the pipeline. — Irin Carmon