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ALL IN THE FAMILY: Rumor has it that Louis Vuitton plans to feature a coupla Coppolas in the next installment of its “core values” campaign. According to sources, “Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter, Sofia, recently posed together for photographer Annie Leibovitz in Argentina, where father Ford is filming his latest movie, “Tetro.” Keith Richards, Mikhail Gorbachev and Catherine Deneuve are among personalities already featured in Vuitton ads underscoring its travel roots.

SUBTLE MESSAGE?: For Abercrombie & Fitch, there couldn’t have been better exposure. Clear as daylight, three young men wearing big-logoed Abercrombie shirts were on camera in the crowd, just behind Sen. Barack Obama during his Pennsylvania primary concession speech Tuesday night in Evansville, Ind. But it was Obama’s people, not A&F’s, who put them there — possibly to bolster the candidate’s youth appeal after losing to Sen. Hillary Clinton by a 10-point margin.

This story first appeared in the April 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Thanks to the Obama campaign for the great product placement. We wish we thought of it,” said Tom Lennox, A&F’s vice president of corporate communications. “If Hillary is interested, we’ve got stores in North Carolina, Indiana and Oregon.”

Abercrombie actually has a policy of not pursuing product placement, but does have a knack for generating controversy, typically with catalogue photographs of beefy young men in a state of partial disrobe. The three men on camera, one of whom is believed to be an Abercrombie store employee, were obviously not of that ilk.

COMING OF AGE: From morning to evening, VIPs flocked around Manhattan to help glamazon tennis star Maria Sharapova celebrate her 21st birthday. On Tuesday morning at a Tag Heuer-sponsored breakfast at the Four Seasons, magazine editors quizzed Sharapova about her love life, diet and the dangling earrings she is known to wear on court. Clad in a black Anne Demeulemeester tank and white Dolce & Gabbana pants, she was as skillful at volleying the questions as she is balls on the court. “People don’t see me outside clubs at 3 a.m. I don’t like to party. I don’t like drinking. My life is fulfilling outside the court,” said Sharapova. “In regards to dating, I’m pretty independent. I don’t always have to be with someone. Maybe one day I will.” Later that night, she strayed from her norm at a Heuer-sponsored party at Tenjune. Tennis aficionados Anna Wintour and Vera Wang as well as friends Dave Annable and Michelle Trachtenberg stopped by to congratulate Sharapova, who changed into a teal Lanvin dress and a Tiffany & Co. diamond headband.

Heuer president and chief executive Ulrich Wohn could not make the breakfast but managed to get to the party. “I had jury duty,” lamented Wohn, who toasted the birthday girl with pink Champagne and a multitiered cupcake cake.

HOROLOGY HAVEN: Patek Philippe lovers come hither: Today marks the opening of the 169-year-old Swiss watch firm’s first U.S. salon. The 3,000-square-foot space was created in partnership with Tiffany & Co. and resides on the mezzanine level of its Fifth Avenue flagship. Patek has salons within other stores in London, Shanghai and Paris, though none are of this size. The brand also has a stand-alone boutique in Geneva. The Patrick Gaguech-designed space offers watches from $15,000 to the millions of dollars. And the anticipation for the salon among collectors has been so great that a few even snuck in before the official opening. “It’s funny that people have been somehow finagling the elevator operators to go to the mezzanine even though we’re not quite ready for guests,” effused Larry Pettinelli, president of Patek Philippe USA. The salon opening will be marked with a three-day exhibition of 400 of Patek’s timepieces throughout history, including the brand’s first wristwatch and an enameled pocket watch from 1850. On May 16, the exhibition will go to the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills for a three-day run.

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