AN ICONIC BEAUTY: MAC Cosmetics has picked French actress Catherine Deneuve as its next “beauty icon.” Deneuve follows Diana Ross and Liza Minnelli in the role. Deneuve will headline a MAC color collection that will be launched globally in February. The legendary beauty, whose career has spanned more than four decades, is no stranger to the cosmetics world — she served as the face of Chanel No.5 in the early Eighties.

RETAIL DETAIL: Bernard Arnault appreciates art, but not that much. The LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton kingpin took the unusual step Tuesday of issuing a press release to “formally deny” a French radio report that LVMH would be converting its giant Samaritaine department store into an art foundation. As reported, the landmark retailer on the Seine was shuttered earlier this month because of fire safety concerns, prompting widespread union actions and some wild theorizing about LVMH’s plans for the site. Security inspectors are expected to propose recommendations next week for how to proceed with renovations.

CHARMED LIFE: Tori Spelling isn’t stopping with jewelry. Spelling told friends last weekend over a dinner marking the Los Angeles launch of her jewelry line Maven that she wants to start her own lifestyle brand. “We do want to snowball Maven into something more — fashion, shoes, accessories,” said Spelling at the soiree at her publicist Brian Long‘s home. “That’s why we called [the jewelry line] Maven, because it’s all-encompassing. We are mavens of everything, mavens of everything fashion.” Already in the works is Mavenette, which she hopes will charm a younger crowd with silver necklaces retailing at $50. Spelling discovered her inner designer when she and longtime friend Mehran Farhat created a diamond pave dog bone last year to benefit Much Love Animal Rescue. The charm necklaces, with names such as “Vegas Baby” and “Love Chain” retail for about $540 at Fred Segal and Kitson, among other specialty shops.

MIDDLE EAST GETS PHAT: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien was the master of ceremonies at The Wayuu Taya Foundation Benefit Monday night at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York honoring Lila Downs, Edward James Olmos and Russell Simmons for their contributions to the indigenous people of Latin America.

This story first appeared in the June 22, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Dressed in a flowy, black Alberta Ferretti gown, O’Brien admitted she wasn’t completely at ease on the red carpet. “I don’t mind being on the other side of the interview, but that is something different,” she said gesturing to the incessant flashes behind her as photographers snapped Wilmer Valderrama. “He gets that everywhere he goes! How do you go around like that?” she wondered. Simmons entered with his wife, Kimora Lee, dressed in what she thought was Escada, “I think it’s Escada,” she said. “Whatever it is, it’s old. I just grabbed it out of my closet.” Simmons said he’s been busy scouting out locations for new Phat Farm stores. “We’re opening a new store in London and stores in the Middle East,” he said.

MAZEL TOV: Zac Posen can now add the prefix “uncle” to his name. On June 8, his sister and creative director Alexandra and her husband, Nils Folke Anderson, became the parents of Cyrus Everett Anderson, who weighed 6 pounds and 14 ounces when she gave birth to him at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. Cyrus is the first grandchild for Susan Posen, the Posen clan’s matriarch and chief executive officer at the designer’s company. Zac, meanwhile, already has fashion plans of his own. “I can’t wait to do a baby line,” he quipped. “I’d love to start developing my client base from birth.”

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