KARAN AND ARNELL SPLIT: It’s official. After nine years, Donna Karan and Peter Arnell are splitting, confirming a report in WWD Thursday. Arnell will continue to handle the designer’s advertising through the summer, but then it will be transferred in-house. Trey Laird, Karan’s creative services director, will oversee it.
“Because of the growth of the business and the amount of advertising that’s needed, we needed a creative services department in-house,” said Donna Karan, who said it would bring about a “significant” cost savings. Karan spent $14 million on direct media last year.
“There were a lot of things Peter wanted to do with the [ beauty ] company, but with a limited amount of funds, it was frustrating for him,” said Karan.
“I’ve made an extraordinary contribution to the business because I was given an extraordinary opportunity by Donna,”said Arnell. As Karan’s marketing guru, Arnell was responsible for developing Karan’s first in-store shops, catalogs and logo, as well as campaigns for all her divisions. He also created the marketing and branding for DKNY.
FIRST PEEK: Those pashas at Conde Nast are heading West and will be spending lots of S.I. Newhouse’s hard-earned money. Graydon Carter is trying to seize Swifty Lazar’s mantle and will host a huge Oscar-night bash at Morton’s. It was supposed to be the first big party at the new Morton’s, which has opened across the street from the old one, but, alas, Anna Wintour is beating Carter to the punch: She’s giving her own dinner there Feb. 22 after a Vogue-Anne Klein-Neiman Marcus cocktail party. Meanwhile, Tina Brown is planning her own L.A. party a week before Carter’s at the Bel-Air Hotel, to celebrate The New Yorker’s movie issue. Two hundred movers and shakers are expected and Carter is said to be unamused.
DILLER’S ALL-STARS: It was media-mogul gridlock at Diane Von Furstenberg’s impromptu birthday party for Barry Diller Wednesday night. Amid the usual society folk, there was an Eisner, a Katzenberg, a Geffen, a Wenner, an Edgar Bronfman, a Barbara Walters, a Tina Brown, a Harry Evans, a Herb Allen, a Lally Weymouth, a Howard Stringer, a Sandy Gallin, even a Richard Snyder of Paramount Publishing. The hot, totally unsubstantiated rumor: If Barry does indeed lose Paramount, he and Bronfman might team up to go after Time-Warner.