TIMES BYPASSES MILAN: Don’t look for The New York Times’ Cathy Horyn, Ginia Bellafonte or Guy Trebay in Milan next week. None of the daily paper’s fashion reporters will be reviewing the Milan men’s shows because of what Trip Gabriel, editor, fashion news, says in a statement is a “growing sense that what is on the runways there is divorced from what shows up in stores, in most cases, and is less influential on overall men’s wear trends currently.” The Times will, however, be sending its team to view the men’s shows in Paris and its reporters are also expected to attend the couture shows there next month, though a Times spokesman would not reveal details on who among them would be attending.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

`SPERMINATOR’ UNPLUGGED: Millionaire playboy Steve Bing’s admission Wednesday that he indeed sired Elizabeth Hurley’s baby boy Damian, born in April this year, has proven fortuitous for Vanity Fair, which just happens to be running a piece on l’affaire Bing/Hurley in its forthcoming August issue hitting stands July 3. The juicy expose, penned by Vicky Ward, surveys Bing’s past record as a commitment-phobic sperm donor and his evolution into media pinata. In the wake of the Hurley drama, an unsympathetic British press dubbed him “Bing Laden” while in other media circles he was nicknamed “the Sperminator.” But Ward’s biggest triumph was in convincing Leonard Lauder to go on the record about the scandal’s impact on Hurley’s image as the face of Estee Lauder. Noting that Lauder employees were fond of calling Hurley “Sleaz-E,” Ward quotes Lauder saying, “I am the only one who makes decisions about what model we hire….What everyone else [in the organization] thinks is of no consequence whatsoever. Let everyone talk.” Lauder admitted to Ward that “no one loves the idea of the Estee Lauder model being on Page Six of the New York Post,” but added that “I am in no way judgmental about her private life…I do not subscribe to the notion that everyone is as clean and as pure as the driven snow.”

RED-HANDED: Just two weeks after Alex Kuczynski penned a front-page story for the New York Times’ Sunday Styles section called “The Curse of the In Style Wedding,” Bonnie Fuller, editor in chief of Us, decided to run a sidebar for her cover story on the break up of Jennifer Lopez and husband Cris Judd titled (what do you know?) “The In Style Wedding Curse?” Using the appearances of Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore and Courtney Thorne Smith to indicate that posing on the cover of In Style dressed in white seems to hold a direct correlation to marital failure, the sidebar was basically Kuczynski’s piece reduced to 80 words, without ever mentioning that the “scoop” was straight out of the Times. When read the caption over the phone, Kuczynski seemed somewhat surprised. “Oh you’re kidding, they didn’t use the same headline?” she said, then just sighed. “Well, I guess, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Fuller’s spokesman, on the other hand, seemed thrilled to learn his boss uses the Times for information. When told of the similarities between the two articles, he said, “The last thing that ran in WWD suggested that we knocked the format off a supermarket tabloid. I think the Times is a little better.”

BRIT WONDERKIDS: We all knew designers had alter-egos, but superhero ones? Sources say Brit pack designers John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo will morph into superheroes for the September fashion issue of The Face magazine. The caped crusaders will be shot separately by Vincent Peters, and will appear on four different covers of the magazine. McCartney will play Wonder Woman, McQueen will be the Sixties comic book hero the Silver Surfer, Philo will take on the role of Catwoman and Galliano will star as — who else? — Superman.

GQ SHUFFLE: Executive director of marketing and promotion Daria Fabian will be leaving GQ to take the position of associate publisher at Gourmet, joining that magazine’s newly installed publisher Giulio Capua. “It was a very difficult decision,” Fabian said, making sure to give an exit shout-out to self-described “Yoda of the publishing world” Ron Galotti. “He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever worked with.” Meanwhile, GQ promotion design director Paul Devine is also leaving the magazine in order to “focus on his painting,” according to a Conde Nast spokeswoman.

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