QVC DEBUT: Talk about the democratization of fashion. QVC today will begin broadcasting live from Bryant Park during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The home shopping network will air original programming for both its on-air and online platforms, including a “runway” show featuring Marc Bouwer, Chloe Dao, Bradley Bayou, Sara Campbell and Emmett McCarthy, who will unveil their QVC designs for fall 2008. The average price of an outfit sold on QVC is in the $150 range. “Our fashion business has been growing for years and our stable of designers is getting stronger and stronger,” said Michael George, president and chief executive officer of QVC. “We felt we were ready [for fashion week].” QVC also felt that an association with fashion week during this “tough retail market will energize our customer. It’s an exciting opportunity for our customers to help them get out of the doldrums. Our customers love high fashion. They can’t necessarily afford it, but they like to see it. Apparel and accessories and beauty are about 35 percent of our volume.”
George said QVC’s fashion week programming will satisfy viewers on both fronts by providing trends, blogs from runway shows and commentators “to talk about what’s going on in the tents.”
And QVC hopes to expand its fashion offering further. The network is planning to introduce a collection from veteran stylist Lori Goldstein in 2009. She’ll be “introduced” to viewers during the fashion week broadcast. “She’ll talk about fashion week and will reference her new brand, but won’t give any details.” said Jeff Charney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer. — Sharon Edelson
REASSIGNMENT: Jack Kliger was to become chairman of Hachette Filipacchi Media, but instead has decided to stay on at the company as a senior adviser to new chief executive Alain Lemarchand until the end of the year and then leave the company. Kliger sent a memo to staffers last week explaining his new plans. What’s with the about face? A spokeswoman said Kliger was still mulling his future plans when the transition was revealed by the company in June. Lemarchand took over as ceo on Sept. 1, Kliger will leave the company after nine years at the helm. — S.D.S.