WHO’S WHO: The Paramount Theater at Madison Square Garden looks like it’s going to be the place to be tonight. Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Helmut Lang, Miuccia Prada, Hussein Chalayan, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Nicolas Ghesquiere, John Galliano, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole have all RSVP’d they’ll be at the Vogue VH1 Fashion Awards.
Celebrities including Uma Thurman, Chloe Sevigny, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Mark Wahlberg, Elizabeth Hurley, Ben Stiller, Cindy Crawford and Jennifer Lopez also plan to attend.
Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray, Kid Rock and Destiny’s Child are slated to perform at the show, which is hosted by Gisele Bundchen — who’s also nominated for Model of the Year — and Cuba Gooding Jr.
The event will be telecast live on VH1 tonight at 9.
And while the winners are hush hush, even Vogue isn’t taking any chances. Its November cover, released to WWD, features four of the Model of the Year nominees — excluding Gisele, who’s the host — with the coverline, “Who’s the Model of the Year?” Carmen Kass, Angela Lindvall, Frankie Rayder and Maggie Rizer were photographed in a group shot.
CLOONEY FIGHTS BACK: Elle magazine came under fire this week for its November coverline proclaiming, “Don’t Date George Clooney.” Clooney wrote a letter to Elle on Wednesday, taking issue with an article by Deanna Kizis in the November issue about the pitfalls of dating celebrities. The actor, who was pictured beneath the headline “Gods and Monsters” on the story inside, wrote that the cover was “misleading” and that “my own parents called to ask if it was true.”
Editor in chief Roberta Meyers issued a statement saying “If there has been any misunderstanding, we apologize. We consider him to be one of Hollywood’s most attractive men.” She also appeared on Entertainment Tonight and E! News Daily Wednesday, saying “We were poking fun at ourselves. How many of us really have a chance to date George Clooney?” A spokesman for Elle called Clooney’s letter “misguided.” He added that Clooney’s fame “makes him a commodity. People simply use his name to represent Hollywood.”
WHAT’S COOKING: Does Hachette Filippachi Medias have its eye on French Marie Claire? Paris sources indicate the group’s president, Gerald de Roquemaurel, is maneuvering to snap up the 17 percent of the magazine owned by Donatienne de Montmort, who is said to be eager to sell. A spokeswoman from HFM declined to comment, while a spokesman at Marie Claire said no deal was in the offing. HFM operates Elle, which is a weekly in France. The monthly Marie Claire is one of its main competitors. Before Roquemaurel is able to buy, however, Montmort’s sisters, Evelyne Prouvost and Maire Laure Prouvost, who together control 34 percent and hold preemptive voting rights, must agree to the sale. French cosmetics giant L’Oreal owns the remaining 49 percent of the magazine.
ROUNDABOUT: French fashion magazines are playing musical chairs. Markus Von Ackermann, formerly fashion director at French Vogue, has left the magazine. He has been replaced by Emmanuelle Alt, who joins Vogue from Paris’s twice-yearly fashion book Mixte, where she served as fashion director. Mixte has yet to name her successor. Vogue has also brought in Maire-Amelie Sauve as fashion editor. Sauve last worked at Numero, where Jonathan Wingfield has been promoted from assistant editor to editor in chief. He succeeds Stephen Todd, who left the magazine to launch the U.S. edition of Jalouse. l
NEW CHIP FOR ARNELL: Pringle of Scotland, the knitwear line known for its argyles, has named Peter Arnell’s AG Consulting in New York as its new advertising agency. Pringle, a 200-year-old brand, was sold last March by Dawson International PLC to Kenneth Fang, a Chinese textile magnate, for $8.8 million. It has hired a new design team and is dramatically repositioning its product range, said Pringle chief executive officer Kim Winser during a visit to New York. While Pringle’s spring line will be all knitwear, the company plans to launch a total collection next fall, she said.
The first ad campaign will break this spring. While a budget hasn’t been firmed up yet, Winser estimated Pringle will spend about $500,000 on media placement. Winser said she interviewed four ad agencies and chose AG because its approach was different. She said they not only caught the history of the brand, “but were able to make it contemporary and capture the glamour of it.”
TACTEL’S TACK: DuPont will launch its first North American consumer marketing campaign in February for Tactel nylon. It’s built around the theme, “Tactel. All You Can Imagine.” Tactel will spend $1 million on the North American effort, which is part of a multimillion-dollar global consumer advertising initiative.
Initially, the ads will focus on Tactel in intimate apparel, but they will be expanded to include legwear, activewear and ready-to-wear. The campaign was created by Doner Advertising in Cleveland and will run in such magazines as InStyle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire and W.
SURFACING: Surface magazine will present its third annual American avant-garde exhibition and issue Wednesday at the Milk Studios in New York.
The annual issue features the work of 40 never-before-published photographers showcasing the work of American designers. It will be accompanied by the show, which will tour New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and feature oversized 8-by-8-foot reproductions of the issue’s most striking images. The Avant Guardian project is supported by Levi’s Vintage Clothing.
HOLLYWOOD ON MADISON: Vanity Fair, which is coming out with a book entitled “Vanity Fair’s Hollywood” [Viking Studio] Monday, featuring photographs from 1913 to the present, has made a deal with the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District to feature blowups of the photos in more than 90 Madison Avenue store windows, including Cartier, Barneys New York, Polo, Valentino and Tod’s. Among the photos are Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Jack Nicholson, Katharine Hepburn, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt. Stores were allowed to choose their favorite photos from the book, which sells for $60.
FASHION TALK: Steven Cojacaru, West Coast style editor of People, is getting more exposure. Every Thursday, he’ll appear on NBC’s “Today” show in its newly expanded third hour. He’ll report on the week’s fashion events. Cojacaru pens People’s Stylewatch section and his own column, “Behind the Seams.”
FUSE TO DEBUT: Imagine Media’s Business Division, publisher of Business 2.0, has named its new business/lifestyle publication: fuse. The magazine will be bundled with the Dec. 12, Feb. 6 and April 3 issues of Business 2.0, and the first stand-alone fuse will appear in June. It will be followed by August, October and December 2001 editions. The stand-alone issues will carry a paid circulation of 125,000.
A photo-driven business magazine, fuse will explore the convergence of work, life and style and will chronicle new approaches to careers, management, image, architecture, travel and fashion.
Lisa Gabor, a former InStyle senior editor, is editor in chief. Gabor had been developing this new magazine concept for Time Inc., InStyle’s parent, but the media company took a pass on it.
PARTY GLOW: No time to do your makeup before the big night? To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Time Out New York is offering its party guests a free MAC makeover and will set up a photo booth for those who want to capture the moment. The party takes place tonight at the Hammerstein Ballroom at 311 West 34th Street. Just show up with an invitation and a clean face.
YM SCHOLAR: Annemarie Iverson, YM’s editor in chief, will present the YM Magazine Scholarship at the 17th Annual Night of Stars gala awards ceremony Wednesday at Cipriani. The $5,000 YM scholarship will be awarded to Erin Leigh Edwards, an FIT student in fashion design. Night of Stars 2000 is presented by Fashion Group International.