JANE CHARADE: Jane fashion director Kusum Lynn came face-to-face with her imposter on Wednesday night. And it turns out not only is she a he, but the guy has a long history of impersonating Condé Nast employees.

For months, publicists in the fashion, music and film industries have been contacting Lynn to let her know that someone was using her name and credentials in an attempt to get into events. In May, Gawker.com posted an e-mail from one of Lynn’s fellow Jane editors, warning people about the deception, though that doesn’t seem to have served as much of a deterrent.

“I have received many e-mails about requests for tickets to concerts at Madison Square Garden and to movie premieres,” Lynn said. “The most random was a Bronx Zoo event. Talk about free time.”

While attending the 85th anniversary party for Gucci on Wednesday, the real Kusum finally encountered the fake. “I said my name at the door and the girl with the clipboard informed me that the man to my right was claiming to be me,” Lynn said. “Condé Nast security had told me that they thought it might be a man, so that’s why I wasn’t so surprised when I saw him….I said, ‘Oh, you’re the one who’s been running around all over town enjoying yourself at countless events using my name to gain entrance.’ I then informed him that Condé Nast security was on his trail.”

And they apparently have been for quite some time. The same man, it seems, keeps impersonating someone from Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive‘s office. “Even in the past week, somebody masquerading as Cindi’s assistant called to RSVP for the Gucci event,” said a Glamour spokeswoman. “There’s been a pattern of incidents like this, where someone claiming to be from Cindi’s office calls to go to fashion-related events, fashion shows and screenings. Several p.r. people called Cindi’s office to check it out this week because she had already RSVP’d.”

The poser has also evidently been operating under the name and title Janice Simpson, special events manager of Condé Nast. No such person exists.

This story first appeared in the July 14, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

So what did the faux Kusum-Leive-assistant-Janice Simpson do when confronted by Lynn?

“He just stood there staring at me and didn’t say a word while I looked for my Treo to try and take a photo of him,” she said. Before Lynn was able to snap a picture, the man left with two women he had brought as his dates.

But at least Lynn now knows what he looks like.

“He is a small, well-dressed Middle Eastern or Indian man,” she said. “A few of the waiters at the [Gucci] event recognized him. They said he always gets very drunk and proclaims to have been the director of the movie ‘Crash.'”

Which means publicists and bouncers should also be on the lookout for a short, dark man claiming to be Paul Haggis.
Sara James

PAPER CHASE: New York Daily News gossips George Rush and Joanna Molloy were at the Ritz-Carlton in Pasadena for a junket this week, only they weren’t the ones asking the questions. Rush and Molloy were in town to talk to television critics about the new Bravo series they star in, “Tabloid Wars,” which premieres on July 24. The series also features former News editor in chief Michael Cooke, along with Tony Sclafani, Tracy Connor, Hud Morgan, Jonathan Lemire, Kerry Burke and Gregory Gittrich. Filmed during the summer of 2005, it follows the staff as they chase stories ranging from racial murders to Robert De Niro‘s thieving nanny to the Gotti boys. For a show filled with closed-caption telephone conversations, one-on-one interviews and somewhat predictable editing tricks — staffers’ faces are freeze-framed, black-and-white newspaper style, each time a segment breaks — “Wars” is strangely compelling. But as the on-screen clock counts down to each day’s deadline to build suspense, one wonders how the reporters made time for the camera crews. And maybe also why they didn’t get hair, makeup and wardrobe like the casts of Bravo’s other reality shows.
Marcy Medina

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus