PLAY TIME: Teen queen Hilary Duff will team up with Mattel to introduce a range of Barbie dolls called Fashion Fever, a girls’ apparel and accessories line, and a Barbie fragrance. “She’s the new Barbie ambassador,” said Stacey Gomoljak, director of public relations for Mattel. Duff will be joined by her older sister, Haylie, in one of two national TV spots that will air in the next few weeks. Additional TV, print and outdoor ads will roll out later this fall. Fashion Fever dolls will feature the legendary Barbie with her “friends” Drew, Kayla and Teresa — all of them wearing trendy, contemporary fashions. A new clothing line for girls will be sold exclusively at Federated Stores this fall, including T-shirts, tops and denim. And a Barbie fragrance was launched in August in partnership with Puig Beauty and Fashion Group.

GOOD EXERCISE: Neiman Marcus Stores’ chief executive officer Karen Katz made $162,541 pretax by exercising some of her stock options on Wednesday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Katz, who is also president of the flagship division of Neiman Marcus Stores Group Inc., exercised 5,000 options at a strike price of $24.50 for a total of $122,500, and then sold those class A common shares at slightly more than $57 for a total of $285,041. Following the transaction, Katz still owned 10,000 options with a $24.50 strike price.

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.