John Varvatos and Brendan Fraser

<b>LANVIN LEGACY:</b> Jacques Levy is said to be out as Lanvin’s chief executive officer, according to sources. On Tuesday, a company spokeswoman would not comment on speculation circulating in the industry in Paris. Levy could not be...

LANVIN LEGACY: Jacques Levy is said to be out as Lanvin’s chief executive officer, according to sources. On Tuesday, a company spokeswoman would not comment on speculation circulating in the industry in Paris. Levy could not be reached.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Levy joined Lanvin in September 2001, a couple of months after the brand was bought by investment group Harmonie SA from French beauty giant L’Oréal.

THE MOMMY TRACK: Motherhood apparently agrees with Lucy Sykes. She’s taken to it so well, in fact, that she won’t be coming back to Marie Claire as fashion director, instead handing the post to style director Tracy Taylor. Sykes is staying on as fashion editor at large, styling the covers and some fashion features, but her son, Heathcliff, born this past July, is coming first. “I think she got used to a nicer pace,” said Marie Claire editor Lesley Jane Seymour. “She’ll still be out there with us, hanging with the advertisers.”

STILL A WONDERFUL LIFE: The continued resurgence of all things preppy has finally got around to rejuvenating the career of the photographer whose work inspired it: Slim Aarons. Aarons’ 1974 book, “A Wonderful Life,” contained the definitive portraits of old money at play — C.Z. Guest by her pool in Palm Beach, Calif.; prepsters skiing in Vermont — that designers like Michael Kors now pay $2,000 to rare book dealers in search of inspiration in the chic Americana vein. Aarons’ new book, “Once Upon a Time,” arrives in December accompanied by excerpts in Vanity Fair, and Aarons himself is busy again, having signed up with society bible Quest to contribute a regular column explicating classic pics — photographs full of women with names like Britty, Molly, Elsie and Bobo. Kors and his ilk should be thrilled — they’ll only have to shell out $75 if their copy of the new book goes missing. Out-of-print copies of “A Wonderful Life” are regularly stolen; Aarons told Vanity Fair, “Vogue’s had and lost 47 copies!”

A RINGING SURPRISE: On Saturday, Spanish monarchs King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia officially announced the engagement of their son, Felipe de Borbón, Prince of Asturias, to Letizia Ortiz, a 31-year-old journalist and newscaster for Televisión Espanola. And yes, the future Queen of Spain is blonde and beautiful. (Prince Felipe has squired Spanish aristocrat Isabel Sartorius, American Gigi Howard and Norwegian model Eva Sannum, but who cares about that now?) Letizia is not a blue-blood, but she is Spanish (and, fittingly, from the northern region of Asturias). She is what the press in Spain calls normalisima, meaning she works like the rest of us. She is also divorced but nobody seems to give a fig.

The Prince — tall, handsome and 36 next January — has always said he would marry for love. Period. And love, it seems, sure came quick — less than a year, sources said. But it was a well-kept secret. There have been no photos of the prince and the reporter, and no speculation.

Felipe will officially ask for Letizia’s hand on Thursday at the Zarzuela Palace, the royal residence near Madrid (he lives in a medium-size manse on the grounds) and the wedding, planned for early summer, will take place in the Spanish capital’s Almudena Cathedral.

MEN AT WORK: Hollywood’s best-dressed men, including Brendan Fraser, Greg Kinnear, David Schwimmer, Eric McCormack, Steve Tisch and Jim Belushi, turned out to help their friend, John Varvatos, raise funds at his Melrose Avenue boutique for the Rape Treatment Center. “I don’t know how to do anything small,” said the designer of the huge tented daytime affair, featuring five bands, live and silent auctions and gourmet treats from local restaurants. That sentiment also applies to his upcoming women’s collection, which he plans to launch in February at New York Fashion Week and in stores next August. “It will be just as big as the men’s collection,” he said, “with the same sleek tailoring, but a more sexy edge. Women’s fashion allows you to push the walls out a little.” Although he plans to add the women’s line to his four existing boutiques, Varvatos also has plans for an all-women’s store in New York, plus one to two more locations. He also plans to distribute the line to better specialty stores and Europe and Japan.

WEATHERPROOF’S LEADING LADY: Kristin Davis was busy Monday starring in Weatherproof Garment Co.’s new ad campaign, under the watchful eyes of ad man Walter Chin and producer Olivia Badrutt-Giron. In January, the “Sex and the City” perennial good girl will appear in the brand’s first print ads and outdoor pitch for women. Al Roker is staying on board as spokesman for the men’s brand. Weatherproof president Freddie Stollmack said her wholesome Greenwich, Conn.-type looks should appeal to Americans who are maxing out on in-your-face sexuality — provided they don’t have cable.

CITY LIGHTS: New Yorkers may not think of the East River bridges’ cable lights as a traditional accessory, but it was certainly enough of one for the International Gemological Institute. In March, cuts in the city budget forced the lights to be turned off. Thanks to a group of sponsors that includes the IGI, the four bridges’ so-called necklace lights will be lit again for two years, starting tonight. The ceremony, by the Brooklyn Bridge, will be hosted by Department of Transportation commissioner Iris Weinshall.

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