Byline: Lisa Lockwood

BOTBOL’S EXPANDED ROLE: As expected, Michel Botbol has been named vice president, creative director, global fashion communications at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., effective immediately.
Botbol will maintain the title of creative director for Ralph Lauren womenswear and advertising, and will assume added responsibility of global fashion communications for men’s and womenswear. He will continue to report to Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer of Polo, and Buffy Birrittella, executive vice president, women’s design and advertising. On matters related to fashion communications, Botbol will report to David Lauren, senior vice president of marketing, advertising and corporate communications.
In addition, Alixe Boyer, senior director of women’s publicity and marketing, has left the company and couldn’t be reached for comment. A successor hasn’t been named yet.

ARMANI TAKES AD: It’s been 10 years since editor-in-chief Paige Rense has devoted an entire issue of Architectural Digest to New York. The April issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday, features a cover story on Giorgio Armani’s New York apartment, written by Holly Brubach. But featuring Armani on the cover had no connection to the fact that Armani pulled his ads out of AD’s sister publication Vogue. “The apartment was exclusive to us and there are no Armani ads in the issue,” said an AD spokesman. AD also pays tribute to designers who reside and work in New York including Sills/Huniford, Mario Buatta, Victoria Hagan, Thad Hayes and Bray/Schaible, among others.

ITALIAN SECRETS: Hearst Magazines and the Italian Trade Commission have teamed up to produce Italia — Life in I Style, a custom magazine that celebrates Italian style, fashion, culture, design and cuisine. One million outserts will accompany the May 2000 subscriber copies of Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful and Town & Country. An additional 25,000 copies will be distributed by Hearst at fashion events and conferences.
The premise of the outsert “is to encourage Italian product,” said Michael Clinton, executive vice president, group publisher and chief marketing officer of Hearst Magazines. It was written by Italian journalists, based in Italy, and was edited in the U.S. Stories range from trendy restaurants to top ceramic tile manufacturers, to features on luxury fashion, furnishings, getaways and yachts.
The 120-page issue contains 55 ad pages from companies such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, Prada, Zegna, La Perla and Malo. To support the initiative, Hearst and the ITC will co-host the Italian Film Festival in Guild Hall in East Hampton this summer, where, beginning in July, every Tuesday night for eight weeks they will show an Italian film. In addition, there will be an Italian style room at the Celebrity Showhouse in Los Angeles in April, and a big fashion show tied in with the automotive show at the Armory this fall.

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