FACE CHANGE: Move over, Stella Tennant. British redhead Karen Elson will be the new face for Chanel for the fall-winter 1997-1998 season. Eric Pfrunder, Chanel’s advertising director, said Friday that Elson will be featured in the company’s ready-to-wear ads. “We change models very often. No one model has a monopoly on Chanel campaigns,” Pfrunder explained, adding, “Stella is a girl we like.” Tennant has been the face of Chanel for the last fall and spring campaigns.
STRIKE WHILE THE NAME IS HOT: With the Gucci name in the spotlight, why shouldn’t Guccio Gucci seize the moment? A grandson of company founder Aldo Gucci and a former top executive in the company, Guccio is coming to New York this week to introduce his new venture, Esperienza by Guccio Gucci, as well as a collection of scarves, ties and men’s hosiery that is already being produced under license to GEM Group.
Gucci hopes to license his moniker “for a variety of products,” said a spokeswoman for the venture. Other deals being negotiated include footwear, eyewear, leather goods and men’s wear, and the group plans to open a New York store within the next year.
ROCK STARS: What do you do if you’re a rock star in town and you want to kill some time? Go to a fashion show. At least, that’s the attitude Tracy Chapman and REM frontman Michael Stipe had Friday. Chapman was at Donna Karan’s show with Herb Ritts, while Stipe went to the Diesel show with some members of the band Spacehog.
“I’m hanging out with Herb,” said Chapman. “But I like the clothes, I guess.”
Stipe, who’s been known to wear men’s underwear on his head in his hometown of Athens, Ga., said only that he came to Diesel “to look at the clothes.”

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