Jeremy Piven under the tents with Selma Blair

Less than two weeks after Link-Theory Holdings Co. agreed to buy Helmut Lang from Prada, sources in Italy say executives are targeting ex-Helmut Lang...

ALL OF HELMUT’S MEN: Less than two weeks after Link-Theory Holdings Co. agreed to buy Helmut Lang from Prada, sources in Italy say executives are targeting ex-Helmut Lang assistants to take on the job of creative director. One name, Christian Niessen, surfaced late last week. Niessen, who was Lang’s longtime design assistant and most recently consulted on Prada’s denim collection, could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, it appears Cloak designer Alexandre Plokhov is looking a less likely choice, according to industry sources.

Ricky Sasaki, president and chief executive officer of Link-Theory, declined to give names of possible contenders. “We’re talking to a few candidates,” Sasaki said, “but nothing has been decided,” adding the group was working to have someone in place within the next month. Link-Theory is aiming to relaunch Helmut Lang as a contemporary brand for 2007 retail.

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

KATE THE GREAT: The comeback of Kate Moss, who dazzled the fashion pack with her virtual appearance at Alexander McQueen’s show during Paris Fashion Week, is gaining momentum. According to sources, John Galliano and photographer Nick Knight just shot Moss for the forthcoming fall campaign for Christian Dior. Dior officials could not be reached for comment on Friday.

MOVING ON: Yves Saint Laurent has poached Marie Jacoupy from Chloé to become its new head of external relations. Jacoupy reports to Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur, who arrives as YSL’s communications director on April 10. A 13-year veteran of Chloé, Jacoupy was in charge of press and advertising.

MAN OF THE HOUR: From a Coach store opening on Rodeo Drive to a Sean John after-party, Jeremy Piven of “Entourage” has turned up at his share of fashion events in the past year or two, and now he’s cashing in on all that reconnaissance. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has tapped the 40-year-old actor to host its annual gala at the New York Public Library on June 5. Piven did, after all, borrow from none other than Tom Ford for his open-shirt cover look on this month’s Cargo, and he played a Versace salesman in the forgettable “Rush Hour 2.” There’s no telling if Piven’s childhood buddy John Cusack will join in on the festivities to cheer him on. Either way, Piven should be a natural as the CFDA’s master of ceremonies. Referring to New Crime Productions, the company he founded with Cusack, he once said, “Unless an entire row of people got up in the middle of a performance and left the theater in disgust, I felt as though I hadn’t done my job.”

WELL SHOD: Tom Ford’s new namesake men’s line is shaping up. The buzz in Milan is that longtime Gucci consultant Max Verre will start collaborating on Ford’s footwear collection. A spokeswoman for Verre declined to comment. Verre, who designs the Voile Blanche shoe line, is no stranger to Ford; he used to work on the Yves Saint Laurent and Sergio Rossi men’s shoe collections.

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