ROME-ING AROUND?: Valentino sure knows how to draw a crowd, wherever he may roam. Among the eclectic list of boldfaced names expected at his couture show tonight are Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt’s first lady, a newly single Dita Von Teese and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. But an Italian trip for Val’s gals may be in the offing come July. Word has it he is mulling showing his 45th anniversary couture collection in Rome — or Paris or both. Reached on Sunday, a spokesman said, “Nothing is yet confirmed.”

MARCHESA BUZZ: Could Marchesa be on the block? There is some speculation the label’s investors, who include restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani and real estate entrepreneur Steven Witkoff, are quietly shopping the three-year-old label, which is designed by Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman. “It is no secret that we have been approached by many different companies,” a spokeswoman for Marchesa said. “We are very pleased with the success of Marchesa and are considering all options, including remaining as we are.” But there is an inexplicable twist to the story. It is a well-known fact that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is Chapman’s boyfriend, and, according to sources, is also a key investor and is even said to be looking into making other fashion acquisitions. So, buy or sell?

This story first appeared in the January 22, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

PAST THE IMPASSE: Protracted negotiations to renew Hedi Slimane‘s contract at Dior Homme — and launch his signature brand, including women’s wear — have taken a positive turn, sources indicated last week. A deal has yet to be signed, but it is understood talks are progressing well between the men’s wear star and the French fashion house. One concrete sign is the fact that, contract or not, a Dior Homme fall-winter 2007 show is going ahead on Jan. 30 during men’s fashion week in Paris. The show venue should be finalized today. Meanwhile, guests at the Dior couture show today should expect a rather timely start: It’s slated to be broadcast live in Japan at a special party Dior has organized there.

BRAVO’S LATEST OPTIONS: Rose Marie Bravo, former chief executive of Burberry, may have left her day-to-day duties behind last summer, but she’s still reaping the rewards of her labors. Bravo, whose title is now vice chairman of Burberry, on Thursday cashed in executive share options worth more than 3 million pounds, or $5.9 million. The options were granted to Bravo around the time that Burberry was floated on the London Stock Exchange five years ago. Bravo handed over the reins to her successor, Angela Ahrendts, on July 1. However, as vice chairman and an employee of the company, she is still eligible to take advantage of stock options.

NO BAGS FOR BECKHAM: Victoria Beckham may love her branded bags and heels, but clearly not enough to design them herself. A spokeswoman for Beckham denied a report in Britain’s Daily Mirror on Friday that the former Posh Spice had signed a $5 million deal in the U.S. to design a collection of high-end accessories. But Beckham isn’t exactly sitting still: Sources in London say she is already working with New York-based marketing and communications firm Lividini Weisenfeld Partners to develop plans for the DVB brand in the U.S. Her latest product is sunglasses, which have just hit stores in the U.K. and will arrive at Fred Segal at the end of February.

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