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NO MILAN, BUT MAYBE PARIS: After making front-row appearances at several New York Fashion Week shows, Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant have decided to skip the collections in Milan this season. It makes sense, since the deal for Brant to sell her stake in Interview magazine to her ex-husband, Peter Brant, is expected to close on Feb. 22, toward the end of Milan Fashion Week. “We are not attending the Milan shows this season because we are thoroughly engaged in doing our work for the transition involved in the sale of the company,” Sischy told WWD.

Looking back, Sischy estimates she’s spent a total of three years staying in either the Hotel Le Bristol in Paris or the Hotel Principe de Savoia in Milan, to view the men’s and women’s collections. She always stays in the same room, in both hotels, to make the trip more comfortable for her cat, Cassidy. “He’s part Milanese, part Parisian,” she added. “He’s speaking Italian right now!” So will Cassidy get to stay in his favorite Parisian hotel in a few weeks? At this point, Sischy and Brant have not decided if Paris is in their travel plans. However, she teased that “we do love it in the springtime.” — Amy Wicks

This story first appeared in the February 13, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

RUPERT’S NEW CULTURE: Media observers already are noticing the changes in a Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal — a British editor for the glossy magazine launch, talk of a sports section, a move to Midtown. Now word around the Journal newsroom is that a prototype is being developed for a culture section, possibly to run weekly. The project is in the very early development stages, and a spokesman for The Journal declined comment Tuesday.

Former House & Garden editor in chief Dominique Browning, who is said to be overseeing the prototype, confirmed she was consulting at The Journal but said she could not discuss further details. Sources said she was holding meetings internally to brainstorm for the section.

If given the green light, the culture section would be another move toward Murdoch’s stated goal of competing with The New York Times. As Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli told The Times on Monday: “In the news department here, we believe there is no reason that people should have to go to another news source beyond The Journal to find news of consequence to them in any sphere — politics, economics, even culture and the arts.”

The Journal’s arts criticism is currently overseen by the editorial page editor, and it is unclear how this would change if an culture-oriented section went ahead. — Irin Carmon

CARLA SPEAKS!: The French magazine l’Express is likely to sell out quicker than hot croissants in Paris today. That’s because it rushed its latest issue to newsstands one day early headlined by an exclusive interview with Carla Bruni — the first given to the press by the new first lady since her marriage to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The magazine’s editor in chief, Christophe Barbier, conducted the interview, but has kept a tight lid on its contents. — Miles Socha

BARACK’S BULLIES: Despite the Clinton campaign’s reputation for being an intensely loyal and disciplined operation, leaks are rampant, owing in part to long-standing internal divisions among senior staff, according to New Yorker Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza. It’s Obama’s campaign, he said in a panel Tuesday hosted by the magazine, that is “close-knit and, in some ways, Bush-like” in figuring out who reporters’ sources were.

When New Yorker editor and panel moderator David Remnick asked whether that vigilance was to “a frightening degree,” Lizza replied that he found it “a little worrying,” recalling a call he got from a friend on the campaign after publishing an Obama story: “They think I told you that.” Lizza said he assured the person it was obvious he wasn’t the source. “They will find out who it is,” Lizza said the person replied.

Fellow panelist Hendrik Hertzberg revisited his recent comment in the magazine expressing a preference for Obama. “I’ve been getting e-mails since I wrote the piece saying, ‘Well, you’re in love with the guy.'” He paused. “And I think there’s some truth to that.” When it comes to policy, Obama and Clinton show “very little difference. It’s not about the words, it’s about the music.”

Remnick alluded to a piece Lizza has in next week’s New Yorker about the Republican race, saying he was confused on a point. “It’ll be much better in the second draft,” Lizza replied, to laughter. The McCain campaign, he said, was so underfunded that it did not have its own pollster. “They would ask the press for the internals on their polling data,” he said. And even if McCain’s securing the nomination shifts the dynamic, said panelist, New Yorker staff writer and CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin, “the list of Republican problems is so long, I don’t think even Democrats can screw this up.” — I.C.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Diane von Furstenberg’s collaboration with artist François-Marie Banier and model Natalia Vodianova for her ad campaign is making its debut in select March magazine issues. Those wanting a peek into the creation of the images, which combine photography, painting and words, can do that from today on The designer’s official site will offer a link to an online art gallery, which presents images from the campaign, as well as information on the making of the project, including Banier’s artistic process, and biographies of the artist and Vodianova. In addition, there is a five-minute-long video clip documenting the project, which evokes the mood of the photos.

Von Furstenberg is likely to build on the concept of an online art gallery for future initiatives. “I loved the idea of telling the story in an online art gallery,” she said. “It shares the experience as an insider and preserves the integrity of the project….The film and the images reflect the story beautifully and show the emotion.” — Marc Karimzadeh

TWO TITANS: After three seasons providing the off-field looks for the AC Milan soccer club, Dolce & Gabbana is firming up its relationship with the Champions League-winning team. The Milan-based fashion house will become the premier, or, Gold sponsor of the team, which is owned by media magnate and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The designers declined to disclose the cost of the top sponsorship, but said it was worth the investment. “AC Milan is one of few companies worldwide that has a real sense of image and fashion,” said Domenico Dolce.

As part of the deal, the Dolce & Gabbana logo will appear prominently during and after AC Milan matches. “I have to admit that Domenico is much more of a soccer fan than I am,” said Stefano Gabbana. “However, when you go to a game and see an architect, a politician, a lawyer, a worker — young and old together — you realize how important soccer is culturally and thus it’s something that interests me and something I need to be involved in.”

To mark the sponsorship, the designers produced a calendar, shot by Mariano Vivanco and filled with AC Milan starters. Furthermore, the designers have extended their reach to the youngest generation of players. Starting this season, kids at the AC Milan Junior Camp will kick the ball around in uniforms sporting the D&G Junior logo. “We are two Milan companies and we both care very much about our Milan roots,” said Adriano Galliani, executive vice president and chief executive officer of AC Milan. “There are few things that work very well inside Italy and I believe Dolce & Gabbana and AC Milan are two of them.” — Courtney Colavita

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