EXPANDING UNIVERSE: Sundance Channel is giving Bravo a run for its money as the de facto style network — no offense to The Style Network. During a breakfast Tuesday at 11 Madison Park in New York, Sundance introduced its forthcoming slate of fashion heavy programming for 2010-2011, with no fewer than eight design-oriented projects on the roster. Among them “Teman & Teran,” which follows Harvard-educated Teman and Teran Evans, 6-foot 3-inch identical-twin jewelry designers and architects; “Agent of Fashion,” a series on Los Angeles’ Brand Equity Showroom, produced by Magical Elves (“Project Runway,” “Top Chef”), and “All On The Line,” where each episode is devoted to an emerging fashion designer in crisis — which, clearly, could be a never-ending series.
While there was much in the way of new programming, on the return is a new installment of “Man Shops Globe” with Anthropologie’s Keith Johnson, and “The Day Before,” Sundance’s docu-series by “Signé Chanel” and “Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton” director Loïc Prigent, which chronicles the 36-hour frenzy leading up to a fashion show. Both Prigent and his producer, Fabien Constant, were in town to begin filming this season’s subjects, including four New York houses: Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott and Narciso Rodriguez. Asked how they decided whom to trail, Constant said it’s based purely on who he and Prigent find interesting. “There are many high-profile designers in New York who we feel are too much about marketing,” said Constant. He said they think von Furstenberg “is a character,” and Wang “the future,” while Scott is a longtime favorite who “is crazy, but crazy good.” Once New York is finished, Prigent and Constant are off to London, where they hope to film Burberry, followed by either Nina Ricci or Alexander McQueen in Paris, though none of the three has yet confirmed. — Jessica Iredale
BIKE LAWS: Belated proof the Dutch city bike was last summer’s must have for the fashionable commuter: a 2009 Club Monaco ad campaign featuring the chunky, $1,000 two-wheelers has sparked a trademark lawsuit. In a complaint filed Feb. 4 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Brooklyn bike firm A Black Bike Inc. claims the Polo Ralph Lauren-owned retail chain approached it in early 2009 to collaborate for the spring season. A Black Bike alleges Club Monaco used its bikes in a shoot but later backed out on a promotional partnership when A Black Bike wouldn’t provide courtesy models for store displays. Though the A Black Bike model was in print materials accompanied by its tag line, “The Ultimate Urban Accessory,” the company contends Club Monaco instead sourced and sold cycles from rival bike firm Gazelle. The bike company said Club Monaco added insult when a company executive told The New York Times Style Section he discovered the trend himself after spying a Gazelle on a summer trip to England. (A Black Bike said Club Monaco “fabricated” the story and the retailer ordered one of its retro bicycles after they appeared in an Elle Décor feature.) A Polo spokesman said Tuesday the company does not comment on pending litigation. Gazelle’s U.S. contact did not return a call seeking comment. A Black Bike is seeking any profits Gazelle and Club Monaco realized from the campaign and unspecified damages, among other prospective remedies. — Matthew Lynch
CHANGING POSITIONS: Two Versace public relations executives have found new homes. Five years after she joined Versace as worldwide communications and p.r. director, Isabelle Harvie-Watt resigned to join Tod’s Group to take on a similar role for the Tod’s brand, starting in May. Versace has not yet named a successor. At Versace, Harvie-Watt worked closely with Donatella Versace and former chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio.
Last August, Oscar Micucci, the global communications and marketing director at Tod’s Group and a cousin of Tod’s Group chief Diego Della Valle, died of a heart attack at 54.
Meanwhile, Lisa Hellman, Versace’s senior vice president of public relations and communications in the U.S. for the past four years, until last month when the company closed the department, is joining Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. as vice president of global public relations, effective March 8. Hellman will oversee the brand’s global public relations efforts and also work closely with Cole on his philanthropic initiatives including The Awearness Fund. She will report to Kristen Dykstra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer. — Alessandra Ilari and Marc Karimzadeh
A NEW PAD: Interview is the latest magazine to jump onto the Apple iPad bandwagon. Upon launch, Interview will make its 40th anniversary issue, featuring Kristen Stewart, available on the device, along with its December/January 2010 edition with Penélope Cruz and its February issue with Jay-Z. The March issue has also been reconfigured and redesigned for the iPad. The magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday evening with an event at Hudson Hotel’s Good Units. — Amy Wicks
FASHION NEWS FEAST: Following in the footsteps of news hubs like The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post, Style.com is getting into the aggregation game with the launch of Fashion Feed, offering fashion news, information and style-related stories culled from across the Internet and updated in real time. Fashion Feed is set to go live today.
Fashion Feed will operate as a microsite within Style.com, alongside the Web site’s tweet aggregator, Tweet Chic, which streams Twitter posts from the fashion set (designers, magazines, models, bloggers, publicists).
Using a program developed in collaboration with music-charting site WeAreHunted, the Feed will draw from more than 150 fashion-related Web sites to present news, beauty info and street-style photos as well as the top 10 stories at any one time ranked by “buzz factor” — measured by tweets, blog mentions, search rankings and other data. “Most of us have two or three sites that we check every day. The Fashion Feed compiles content from hundreds of sources,” said Dirk Standen, Style.com’s editor in chief.
Style.com is using this real-time ranking functionality to create Fashion Feed’s Top 40 lists, charting the most-talked-about designers, models, celebrities and brands. (In addition, the people/companies listed will have dedicated pages that highlight only those headlines relevant to them.) “The fashion world likes to keep score,” noted Standen, “and the Feed lets you see who’s getting the most buzz at any given moment.” In 2009, Style.com averaged 2.3 million unique visitors a month and 139 million monthly page views, according to data from the publisher. — Nick Axelrod