GABRIELLA FORTE SAID IN TALKS FOR CEO SLOT AT IBEAUTY.COM

Byline: Kerry Diamond

NEW YORK — Gabriella Forte could be headed back to a corner office, this time at a beauty Web site.
The high-powered executive, who once ran Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani, is said to be talking to Ibeauty.com about taking the post of chief executive officer. The multibrand e-tailer specializes in cosmetics, fragrances and skin care.
Calls to Forte were not returned. However, when a WWD reporter called Ibeauty.com’s headquarters here and asked for Forte, the receptionist said she was not available and took a message for her.
Marvin Traub, Ibeauty.com board member and former Bloomingdale’s chairman, would not comment.
If the reports are true, this would be quite a coup for Ibeauty.com.
None of the beauty sites have snagged an executive of Forte’s stature, nor have any of them lured such high profile talent from the fashion world.
Such an appointment could signal a shift in Ibeauty.com’s strategy away from beauty-only. Many of its competing Web sites have changed their strategies lately, as it has become obvious that selling niche beauty brands isn’t enough to compete or even stay alive.
Gloss.com changed its strategy dramatically. The multibrand site was bought by Estee Lauder Cos. last week and will be the e-tail site for all the Lauder brands starting in 2001. Beautyjungle.com has launched a business-to-business division, and Eve.com announced it will add a jewelry category this summer.
Ibeauty has had somewhat of a checkered history.
It launched in 1995 as a gray market site called Fragrancecounter.com, but has since cleaned up its act and now features a range of authorized brands.