TWIST AND SHOUT: Everyone knows Karl Lagerfeld is a huge fan and close friend of Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss, both of whom star in Chanel ad campaigns. Which is why Lagerfeld is hopping mad and “appalled” at British tabloids and American gossip columnists for “maliciously” misquoting him about the physical gifts the two women possess. In the original interview with the French daily Liberation, Lagerfeld was quizzed about changing standards of beauty. But Lagerfeld charges that several English publications mistranslated and truncated a praiseful conversation “into one of derision and criticism. Words have been invented that I did not speak. Everybody knows that I hold Nicole in the highest regard both personally and professionally.” — Miles Socha
PROM CANCELLED: Fairchild Publications Inc. (parent of WWD) is pulling issues of YM Your Prom off of newsstands because of a misprint in an ad, which leads readers to a pornography Web site. Jacquelin Bridals, maker of Studio 17 prom dresses, ran six ad pages in the YM Your Prom issue. Four pages directed readers to the correct Web site — studio17.biz. Two did not. In a statement, Fairchild president and chief executive officer Mary Berner said, “As a publisher that reaches teens with this special prom issue, not to mention as a mother, we are taking swift action to take all the remaining issues off the newsstand to prevent teenagers from unwittingly being exposed to a Web site that contains pornographic material. We have contacted the advertiser who placed the ad and they are equally distressed by this copy error.” The issue went on sale at the end of December, though Fairchild was not alerted to the matter until Wednesday. — Sara James
MODEL MUDDLE: Did In Touch get duped into pumping a no-name model’s career at the expense of its relationship with one of the world’s biggest stars? A representative for Brad Pitt has been vigorously disputing a story in the current issue of In Touch linking Pitt to model April Florio. That story cited the claim of Florio’s agent, Mike Esterman, that she was the mystery woman who appeared with Pitt in two different photos. “I just spoke to her, and she was with him,” Esterman was quoted as saying.
But even as the story has been picked up by The New York Post and The New York Daily News, Esterman has been distancing himself from it, telling Pitt’s representative, Cindy Guagenti, that he was misquoted. “He told me he did not make that quote,” Guagenti said.
In Touch begs to differ. “We’ve got e-mails where he quite clearly says what he says,” insisted Martin Gould, the magazine’s West Coast news director. “Whether he’s being leaned on to say [he was misquoted], I don’t know.” Gould forwarded a copy of Esterman’s e-mail, originally sent to In Touch writer Maxine Page, to WWD as proof.
Asked about this, Esterman claimed Page misread his e-mail. The “him” in question, he said, was a photographer, not Pitt. A careful reading of the e-mail, however, does not appear to support Esterman’s explanation.
All of this raises the question of whether In Touch got the story wrong. Gould said he doesn’t think so, noting that Guagenti claimed Pitt was photographed with his assistant but refused to disclose the woman’s name. He also pointed out the extreme likeness between Florio and the mystery woman. “All of those together make me doubt there is anything wrong with the story,” he said. — Jeff Bercovici
PARTY ENVY: Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter may think he has a monopoly on Oscar-night revelry, but that doesn’t mean no one else can try. This year, Premiere is hoping to lure red-carpet dwellers to its own bash, to be held at the Hollywood Hills home of producer Ted Field. Invitations were mailed out this week. (Vanity Fair is a unit of Advance Publications Inc., parent of WWD.)
Mindful of that other party’s drawing power, Premiere editor in chief Peter Herbst is wisely not asking guests to choose: His party will start at 11 and run late into the night. “I see them as complementary,” he said. “I think people will go to the Vanity Fair party and then go to ours.”
That said, Herbst hinted, not surprisingly, that an invite to the Premiere event might be just a teensy bit more desirable. “Our guest list is more selective. There won’t be the sort of paparazzi swarm that there is at the Vanity Fair party.”
Not that he would know from experience. Said Herbst: “For some reason, Graydon has never invited me.” — J.B.
DAWN FOR THE COUNT: New York Post copy editor Dawn Eden didn’t alter an editorial about stem-cell research, as reported in Memo Pad on Feb. 4. Her insertions were in a Jan. 9 news story about cancer victims using in-vitro fertilization to become pregnant. And although the news story changes did play a role in her dismissal from the Post, the official reason given was blogging on company time.
Reporter Susan Edelman wrote in the Jan. 9 story, “She then had the embryos implanted, and two took.” Eden changed the copy to read, “One died. Two took.” Also in the piece, Edelman referred to the dangers pregnancy poses to cancer patients’ health, saying, “Experts have ethical qualms about this ‘Russian roulette’ path to parenthood.” Eden added, “which, when in-vitro fertilization is involved, routinely results in the destruction of embryos.”
“I inserted factual information,” Eden said on Wednesday. “It’s not my opinion. It’s scientifically verifiable fact.” Eden added, “My boss told me Susan Edelman went into my personal blog where she discovered my views, which she — or an editor — reported back to [Post editor in chief] Col Allan.” The blog entry that ultimately led to Eden’s dismissal was posted during normal business hours and had to do with a contest soliciting renderings of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger speaking at a Ku Klux Klan rally.
“My boss told me when I was hired that when I wasn’t working on a story, my time was my own and I was free to use the Internet,” said Eden. “The fact that [Allan] would personally fire a copy editor over one blog entry made on the job shows there is something more going on here.” Eden, who has had several job interviews since her termination and hopes to continue editing and writing, claimed that other employees at the Post frequently blog on company time without incident. — S.J.
PRISON LETTER: And the prize for most surreal editor’s letter in a women’s service publication goes to…Martha Stewart Living, for the March issue, in which editor in chief Margaret Roach discusses her visits to the magazine’s incarcerated namesake. Roach has alluded to Martha Stewart’s prison sentence in the magazine before, but never addressed it head-on until now. “We have a very passionate constituency and they have very, I would say, loving feelings toward her, so we knew they would appreciate open, direct communication,” Roach said in an interview.
Her letter describes doing a yoga pose called “wall dog” with Stewart in the visiting room of the Alderson Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, W. Va. “Nobody in the visitor center seemed surprised,” she wrote. It also recounts Stewart’s exploits, such as foraging for wild greens on the prison grounds and decorating the chapel for a memorial service.
Stewart will be out of prison and serving the home-confinement portion of her sentence by the time the April issue comes out. That issue will feature the first contribution by Stewart since last fall. Prohibited from working for her company from behind bars, Stewart wrote her homecoming column and posed for pictures before she left for Alderson. “She was very busy indeed,” said Roach. — J.B.
THE TWO JACOBS: Many people noticed there were fewer Vogue staffers at this season’s Marc by Marc Jacobs show on Tuesday. Several observers wondered aloud if the diminished turnout didn’t have something to do with Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour’s annoyance over the late start of the Marc Jacobs show the previous night. Not so, said a Vogue spokesman. (Like WWD, Vogue is part of Advance Publications Inc.) “Vogue’s attendance was a little lower [at Marc this season] thanks to the demands of a shoot being organized at the office,” he said. “It was not an act of retribution.” While Wintour and Vogue fashion market and accessories director Virginia Smith were too busy to attend, creative director Grace Coddington, fashion director Tonne Goodman and senior market editor Meredith Melling Burke were all at Marc, as were 11 Teen Vogue staffers, including editor in chief Amy Astley. — S.J.
DOCU MINI DRAMA: Moses Berkson’s new documentary about his grandmother, legendary fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert, almost wasn’t finished in time for Wednesday’s screening at the New York Public Library. Just days before the event, which was cohosted by Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter and Saks Fifth Avenue chairman Fred Wilson, narrator Bobby Short was still recording sound tracks. “We only had four months to put it together,” said Vanity Fair’s vice president and publisher, Louis Cona, a co-producer on the project. Berkson, meanwhile, had four years of filming to winnow into a 30-minute piece.
At the event, Vanity Fair special correspondent Amy Fine Collins — who, along with Carter, senior articles editor Aimée Bell and contributing editor Reinaldo Herrera, inherited the International Best Dressed list from Lambert before she died — said the 2005 list has already been submitted for Vanity Fair’s April issue. “It’s been like inheriting a child,” said Collins. “You have to feed it and care for it and protect it.” Perhaps someone should also feed some of those willowy listees? — S.J.
GREATEST HITS: Unlike brother site men.style.com’s ads, which Clear Channel and Viacom pulled from city billboards because of the slogan “There’s more online than news, sports and porn,” style.com’s billboards seem to have stayed up long enough to actually reach their intended audience. “On Tuesday, we had 4.7 million page views, the most we’ve ever had,” said CondéNet editorial director Jamie Pallot. (CondéNet, men.style.com and style.com are, like WWD, part of Advance Publications Inc.) Style.com has been seeing a steady increase in traffic from season to season, but the 50 percent spike in page views over this time last year is, according to Pallot, likely the result of staff covering more shows, as well as the recent ad campaign by Laird + Partners, which, despite an earlier report, the company is retaining. — S.J.
LE BOOK’S NEW LOOK: One would expect no less from the fashion industry’s equivalent of the Yellow Pages. This year’s Le Books — the New York, London and Paris directories for fashion and photography professionals — are adorned with patterns from the most recent collection of Hermès scarves. (Past covers were designed by Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix.) Complimentary copies are sent to various “trendsetters” in the industry. For non Le Book VIPs, limited editions are available for $190 at The Museum of Modern Art design store, MAC cosmetics outposts in the U.S., Colette in Paris, Magma in London, Beams in Tokyo and 10 Corso Comos in Milan. — S.J.