FEET FIRST: QVC is dipping its toes into designer territory once again by hosting the Fashion Footwear Association of New York’s annual benefit for breast cancer research on Wednesday at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The event will honor Burt Tansky, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Group, and the late Vivian Infantino, who was fashion director of Footwear News which, like WWD, is published by Fairchild Publications Inc.

The benefit will feature a pop-up shoe salon where guests will be able to purchase styles donated by Manolo Blahnik, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Stuart Weitzman and others at half their retail price to aid the charities, while auction items will include a trip to Paris to attend the couture collections and a $20,000 shopping spree on Madison Avenue with stylist Patricia Field. The gala will coincide with a shoe sale being broadcast on QVC that also benefits the breast cancer charities and is expected, in its 11th year, to reach its one-millionth pair of shoes sold during the event. (The tally stands at 950,000.) On-air segments are planned to feature clips taped from the event, including a one-hour performance by Donna Summer.

What’s more, QVC has another designer benefit in the works, a Feb. 22 fashion show featuring diffusion lines for QVC by Alice Roi, John Bartlett, Maria Cornejo and Liz Collins. While sales from that show are expected to benefit a scholarship fund for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the event could also serve as an audition for the designers involved for their own possible spinoff deals with the network.

GETTING ARTSY: Christian Dior is bringing art and fashion closer together: under the same roof, in fact. When the French house christens its new flagship in Ginza this weekend, the top two floors will be devoted to a museum showcasing masterpieces by Renoir, Klimt, Van Gogh and Picasso alongside couture dresses by John Galliano. Contemporary works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and others will also be featured next to designs by Galliano and Dior’s other designers: Hedi Slimane and Victoire de Castellane. And what would a Dior blowout be without a few stars? Word has it actresses Milla Jovovich and Lou Doillon will be joining Dior brass for the ribbon cutting on Friday.

This story first appeared in the October 19, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.