STERN SURFACES: On Tuesday, AOL management hosted a conference call for all its freelancers. They were addressing the future of the company’s editorial sites in the wake of the Huffington Post acquisition. When it came time for the Q&A session, former New York Times Style writer Allen Salkin, who makes videos for AOL’s food site, Slashfood, spoke up. “I’d just like to say hi to Jared Stern,” he said, calling out the former New York Post Page Six columnist, who left the paper after being accused of trying to extort $250,000 from billionaire Ron Burkle as payment for favorable coverage. “The reason I said hello to Jared is because I hadn’t said hi to Jared in a few years,” Salkin explained.
WWD reached out to Stern to find out what he has been up to. “I’ve been at Luxist for a while, so I’m not sure if that’s real newsy,” he said, speaking from his second home in southern Maine (his other residence, in Oak Hill, N.Y., is for sale). “I am just today, though — well, hopefully today, maybe tomorrow — launching a new Web site for Urban Daddy. It’s called Driven, and it’s a new cars channel. It’s cars and style.” Recently he test-drove a Volvo s60 and a Mercedes G Wagon. Otherwise he’s been keeping himself busy with freelance work and what he called “country pursuits.” Country pursuits? “In Maine we have horses, so, you know, riding.” But, he added, “I am working most of the time.”
“Forgot to mention,” Stern wrote in an e-mail after the call, “I had a story about Steven Spielberg’s new yacht on Luxist that brought in 5.6 million hits yesterday and set a new traffic record for the site.”
— Zeke Turner
LYCRA ON THE JUMBOTRON: Invista Inc. has launched a new brand name, Lycra Style, and marketing campaign to give Lycra more exposure in the ready-to-wear market, targeting a younger demographic.
The campaign in the U.S. consists of a 30-second spot on the JumboTron in Times Square, 30-second spots in New York cabs, a trade ad, a promotion with Just Style and a microsite for the new brand on the lycra.com Web site.
Invista will introduce Lycra Style with a major apparel brand in a promotion in spring 2012, although several brands and retailers will be carrying it prior to the official bow. The company will launch the campaign in Europe in May and roll it out to several other countries later this year, said Libby Neuner, Invista’s global marketing director for rtw.
“We have been doing a lot of research and our findings tell us it is important that we develop a brand that really resonates with the ready-to-wear demographic and also separate ourselves from the traditional Lycra business of swimwear, activewear, legwear and intimate apparel,” Neuner said. “Our market research shows us we have a very high awareness with 35- to 49-year-olds, but as you get younger it gets diminished.”
Neuner said the Lycra Style brand will target an 18- to 35-year-old age group, with the core being 25 to 30 years old.
— Kristi Ellis