AWARDS REDUX: It seems podcasts are quickly becoming fashion’s newest must-have obsessions. After Karl Lagerfeld offered a podcast of his signature show on iTunes in February, the Council of Fashion Designers of America is jumping on the techy bandwagon for next Monday’s 2006 CFDA Fashion Awards. Those who weren’t able to fetch an invite to the awards now will be able to sample the action at the New York Public Library that night from the comfort of their iPod videos. The CFDA is creating an eight- to 10-minute podcast with highlights from the awards. The free podcast will be made available on iTunes and through a link on cfda.com starting next Tuesday. The question is: What will be the highlights?
BYE-BYE FERRAGAMO: At the end of June, Clarice Pecori Giraldi, Ferragamo’s worldwide communications director since 2004, will leave the luxury goods house for personal reasons. Pecori Giraldi, who also worked at Prada for years, is getting married in mid-June and would rather stay put in Milan than shuttle back and forth between Milan and Florence, where Ferragamo is based, on a weekly basis. But Pecori Giraldi’s honeymoon won’t be a drawn-out affair — she will join Christie’s Italy as general manager in July.
STYLISH SLEEP: Brides who step down the aisle in a Vera Wang gown now can dream Wang-style, too. The designer just introduced the “Vera Wang by Serta” mattress collection. Wang has yet to launch into soft bedding such as sheets, but mattresses seemed a natural for the company. “When we looked into the concept of bridal registry, it now extends far beyond the traditional,” said Laura Lee Miller, president of Vera Wang Licensing LLC, a Vera Wang Group division. “With market research, we determined that 47 percent of newlyweds pick a mattress as the first household purchase.” The launch collection, from $1,000 to about $1,500 at retail, includes a limited-edition mattress with Wang’s triple-heart motif to aid Serta’s Counting Sheep for the Cure campaign.
While some got a taste of the line in low-budget local ads by Providence, R.I., retail chain Off-Track Bedding, the official marketing blitz started Thursday, with television commercials during NBC’s Martha show and ABC’s Oprah show. The Thomas Kloss-directed commercials feature Wang, surrounded by bridal gowns, saying: “I have designed all kinds of fashion, but when Serta asked me to design a mattress collection, I said, ‘Let me sleep on it.'” She then lounges on a bed, sketches and takes notes. An accompanying print campaign by Nigel Parry made its debut in June issues of upscale bridal and lifestyle magazines. Miller wouldn’t comment on the proliferation of local ads. “Bedding does have a unique channel of distribution, but the Vera Wang company has approached it like every other licensed category — pushing it up and making it more prestigious, through both creative and media selections,” she said. Miller declined to reveal whether there’s a pea under every mattress.