A SALE, IN THEORY: Stretch sportswear line Theory, which has grown into a department store staple since being founded by Andrew Rosen and Elie Tahari in 1997, is expected to be sold today to Link International, the brand’s licensee in Japan, as well as several other parties, WWD has learned. Speculation about a potential sale had made the rounds in the market, though the company had declined to comment. A source close to the situation said at least one of the parties is publicly traded, which is why the company has been so tight-lipped about the negotiations. An announcement is expected to be released today.
SHOPPING IN ITALY: It looks like LVMH has gone to Italy to fill its latest designer vacancy. Sources said the French group has zeroed in on Antonio Marras as artistic director for Kenzo. Neither Marras nor Kenzo officials could be reached for comment, but sources said an announcement is expected shortly. Marras designs and shows a collection under his own name in Milan. He also has designed the Trend Les Copains line.
GIORGIO OF BEVERLY HILLS: May-December marriages are such a common sight these days that one couldn’t really fault 90210’s vice mayor, Mark Egerman, when, in front of a group of fashion fans, city dignitaries and the international press on Monday afternoon, he introduced Roberta Armani, the designer’s much younger niece there to serve as his translator, as the designer’s wife. The crowd knew better, as the buzz indicated, and so the unveiling of the brass plaque to be embedded into the sidewalk as the first of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style went on. Giorgio Armani is being feted in grand form this evening with a gala fashion show and dozens of A-listers — from Sophia Loren to Michelle Pfeiffer — joining 500 guests in a two-block, tented stretch of Rodeo Drive, which has been closed to traffic since Saturday night. Monday’s induction ceremony at the corner of Via Rodeo, across from the giant nude torso sculpture by Robert Graham that also will serve in mini form as the statuette, also declared today as Giorgio Armani Day in Beverly Hills. But it was a restaurant outside of the famous area code where Armani and 30 of his pals dined Monday night, at Ashton Kutcher’s side project, Dolce.
MAKING AN IMPRESSION: Trust John Galliano to make a museum souvenir chic. Word has it in Paris that the Christian Dior couturier has designed a scarf to mark the upcoming Paul Gauguin exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, sponsored by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The exhibition, expected to travel to Boston’s Museum of Fine Art next February, bows Oct. 3, with the fashion pack invited to a private viewing Oct. 7 during Paris fashion week.
NOT A PRETTY PICTURE: Harper’s Bazaar’s decision to put Madonna on September’s cover might have reeked of commercialism, but perhaps the magazine just wanted to save itself a ton of trouble by using one of Gap’s spiffy shots. Apparently, the aging Material Girl needs ever more work done on her image in post-production. “You don’t put Madonna in front of a camera and expect she’s going to look great. She has a lot of work to do,” said Pascal Dangin, the digital retoucher who’s fashion photography’s man-behind-the-curtain, at Tokion’s “Creativity Now” conference on Sunday. Dangin sat on a panel along with Jeremy Scott, Camilla Nickerson, Inez van Lamsweede and Vinoodh Matadin discussing “making the fashion image,” which soon dissolved into trashing celebrity covers. “You can put 20 of them on the floor and they will all look bad [without retouching],” Dangin continued. “You don’t want to put these people on the cover raw. They don’t look so good.”
MY WEATHER WITH ANDRE: “Good Morning America” viewers, do not adjust your television sets if Wednesday you spot André Leon Talley predicting sunny skies for fashion week. He and the show’s regular weatherman, Tony Perkins, are trading places for the day as part of GMA’s annual “Job Swap” stunt. The partners this year are other Times Square employers, so, while Talley crosses the street to study meteorological charts, Perkins will presumably spend the day RSVPing to the Vogue editor at large’s show invitations. Isaac Mizrahi also is slated to drop by that morning to shill for Target, so expect Talley’s talents to be on display in front of more than just a map later in the hour.
FRENCH CONNECTION: Louis Vuitton is about to welcome a new communications director. Mimma Viglezio, presently in the same capacity at Bulgari, is expected to join the French luxury brand shortly, according to a Paris source. She will succeed Paul-Gerard Pasols, a longtime Vuitton collaborator, who is expected to stay on and help the brand celebrate its 150th birthday next year.
OPEN SEASON: What is it about watching tennis that inspires nonathletes to don whites and pick up a racket to play…badly? “I tried to play with him and I was terrible. Ask him why we’re here,” said Edie Falco, pointing to actor boyfriend Stanley Tucci, who was busy gobbling chili at the pre-party for the U.S. Open Women’s Final on Saturday night. “I played tennis when I was a kid,” Tucci said, “and when I grew up, men still wore whites. Today, I like whoever wears white. And they should bring back long pants for the men.” While Falco was there to take a break from “Sopranos” filming, Tucci was resting up before beginning production next month on “Terminal,” next summer’s Steven Spielberg project that stars Tom Hanks as a man trapped inside a New York airport without the valid papers to enter the country. “It’s not heaven or hell that’s traumatic,” Tucci said. “It’s limbo.