THINK MINK: Janet Jackson has wrapped up another gig. The singer will join the ranks of Diana Ross, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli and, more recently, Elle Macpherson and Elizabeth Hurley, as the newest face in the Blackglama advertising campaign, “What Becomes a Legend Most?”

Jackson was photographed by Rocco Laspata of Laspata DeCaro, at the Milk Studios in New York. The campaign, which begins in September, will span print, online and outdoor outlets. The ads will appear in Vanity Fair, W, Vogue, T Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as WWD and, in addition to the international editions of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. Blackglama will also mount a Times Square billboard at Broadway and 45th Street in September. The company has increased its marketing spend 40 percent from a year ago, but wouldn’t disclose dollar figures. Blackglama has also expanded its product line, introducing leather bags, eyewear, fragrance and fur accessories, in an effort to make it a less seasonal, more year-round brand.

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A behind-the-scenes video documenting the making of the campaign will appear on the Blackglama and Jackson Web sites. Jackson flew to New York for the shoot after performing on the finale of “American Idol,” where her performance shot up to number one on iTunes (which she pointed out via Twitter after the fashion shoot).

So did she get to keep the mink?

“Yes, Janet did get to keep the coat,” confirmed a Blackglama spokesman, a perk for the legends of the past, who all got to keep the coats they were photographed in.

— Lisa Lockwood

SHOW TIME: It’s been nearly three days since FriendFinder Networks Inc. promised to make an offer for Playboy Enterprises Inc. Anyone who’s passed the time checking and rechecking the mailbox for details won’t have to wait much longer. The Penthouse magazine parent said Wednesday it will give its bid the full reveal shortly after noon today. FriendFinder chief executive officer Marc Bell wouldn’t divulge details of his firm’s plan when he spoke to WWD on Monday, but did say he thought that founder Hugh Hefner’s current offer to take Playboy private at $5.50 a share undervalued the company.

Hefner, for his part, has spent the week digging his slippered heels into the carpet ahead of the counter. His favored forum has been Twitter, where’s he’s both explained his own intentions and critiqued FriendFinder’s. “Penthouse is just looking for publicity,” the 84-year-old wrote in one post. “They’re not in the picture.” In another entry he offered: “My interest in taking Playboy private is prompting some crazy rumors. Playboy isn’t in play. I’m buying, not selling.” By Wednesday afternoon, though, Hefner’s feed was back to dispatches his fellow octogenarians could perhaps better relate to: “I’m going for my annual dental checkup today. Our weekly gin game has been switched from Wednesday to Thursday this week.”

— Matthew Lynch


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