CLAIRE INTENTIONS: Hearst Publications is denying rumors that it is having second thoughts about its U.S. launch of Marie Claire, the French fashion and beauty magazine. Reports were circulating this week that Hearst has not yet hired a sales staff for Marie Claire, even though the magazine’s debut had been scheduled for September. Other reports claimed that editor Bonnie Fuller had been axed.

But a Hearst spokeswoman said, “Nancy Le Winter [corporate marketing director] is overseeing sales for Marie Claire. And Bonnie is absolutely here.” The spokeswoman added that the magazine is slated to launch in “late fall.”

Fuller did not return a call for comment.

CONDE’S CAST: Ricky Vider, who worked briefly at Vanity Fair under Marina Schiano, has joined Allure, where she was freelancing, as fashion editor. “We decided to get married in public rather than sneaking around, living together,” said Allure editor Linda Wells.

Wells said she’s currently looking for a senior editor to replace Karen Marta, who is joining Vogue as associate editor. Marta will work on some Upfront columns, beauty and fashion features, book excerpts and celebrity profiles, according to an internal memo announcing the changes.

Elsewhere at Vogue, Katherine Betts has been promoted to fashion news director and will work with Marta on editing the magazine’s View section.

Candace Bushnell will also join the magazine as its new People Are Talking editor, leaving her job as columnist for the New York Observer.

ON HALLIDAY: It looks as if Estelle Halliday’s days at Christian Dior are numbered. Dior has decided to replace Halliday, France’s leading model, with Daniela Pestova, a 23-year-old Czech mannequin, in its fall campaign. And Pestova will appear in both the fashion and fragrance ads, uniting the two campaigns for the first time in years. French photographers Tien and Marc Hispard have already shot the ads with Pestova, who previously appeared in campaigns for Pepsi and Elnett, the L’Oreal hair spray.

DONNA’S DEE: Dee deVries Salomon has joined The Donna Karan Co. as media director, in charge of media placement. She had been fashion director on the advertising side at Town & Country. She will report to Trey Laird, creative director for the company’s in-house agency.

TIMES TO CHANGE: The Los Angeles Times has axed its View section, which was the paper’s daily lifestyle report, and replaced it with Life & Style. The new section started running last Monday. It will continue to cover fashion on Thursday, but the paper’s fashion editor, Mary Rourke, has left to return to graduate school.

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