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MOROCCAN PASSION: Yves Saint Laurent is going back to its founder’s Moroccan sanctuary. For the luxury brand’s spring 2011 campaign, Stefano Pilati had model Arizona Muse pose in the gardens of Bled Roknine, a Thirties-style villa in Marrakech, for photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Muse, who replaces Daria Werbowy as the face of the brand, poses in the dress she wore to close the YSL ready-to-wear show during Paris Fashion Week in October.
The campaign will run concurrently with an exhibition of Saint Laurent’s Moroccan-inspired designs at the Jardin Majorelle, due to end mid-March. The late designer bought the garden and adjoining villa, also located in Marrakech, with his partner, Pierre Bergé, in 1980. Bergé last month published “Yves Saint Laurent, une passion marocaine,” an illustrated book detailing his life with Saint Laurent in Morocco.
— Joelle Diderich
MAKING BARNEYS’ LIST: Barneys New York is said to be zeroing in on Taylor Tomasi Hill as the luxury retailer’s next fashion director. Sources said Hill, the style and accessories director at Marie Claire, has made the short list of new chief executive officer Mark Lee. As WWD previously reported, Vogue’s Virginia Smith and Sarah Rutson from Lane Crawford were eyed for the position but decided to stay where they were. Before Marie Claire, Hill was accessories director at Teen Vogue. A Barneys spokesman could not be reached for comment.
— Amy Wicks
OFF THE WALL: Speaking of Pierre Bergé: How many degrees of separation are there between him and the late Michael Jackson? None. A collection of long-hidden, unpublished photographs of the pop superstar by French photographer Arno Bani will be auctioned off at Pierre Bergé & Associés in Paris on Dec. 30. Bani’s photos were originally intended to be used for Jackson’s 2001 “Invincible” album. The starting bid for each airbrushed, sci-fi-like image will be set at 1,000 euros, or $1,310 at current exchange.
— Miles Socha
OBSERVER STATUS: Another day, another departure at the New York Observer. After just seven months as general manager of digital, sources tell WWD that Harleen Kahlon is about to walk. She’s just the latest in a string of staffers that have headed for the exits as of late. “It’s literally a revolving door over there,” noted one source, who added that Kahlon’s departure stems from a number of disagreements she’s had about the direction of the digital business with president Christopher Barnes. This summer, it was reported that editor Kyle Pope was also at odds with Barnes. Kahlon’s exit comes in the midst of a redesign of the Web site and launch of new verticals. Kahlon declined to comment.