STAR STRUCK: Gucci has signed Claire Danes as the new face for its fine jewelry ad campaign that will soon be shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. The ads will break worldwide in the fall. Further details were unavailable. “Claire Danes is a modern icon and one of the most interesting young actresses on the international scene. Claire’s sensual, confident beauty and her passionate, independent and strong character embodies today’s Gucci woman,” said Gucci creative director Frida Giannini. Danes said, “Frida is a very inspiring and creative woman. Her vision is extraordinary and I am excited to be a part of it.” The actress stars in Richard Linklater’s upcoming film “Me and Orson Welles.”

ODE TO LOUBOUTIN: Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan has access to all the clothes and accessories that any fashion maven could imagine, but there’s one thing the man can’t have — Christian Louboutin stilettos. “Christian’s shoes are like the circus coming into town,” gushed Doonan, lamenting that he doesn’t own a pair. “Louboutins are a total drug and there is no methadone.” So it comes as little surprise that when Louboutin sent gouache sketches for the invitation to his personal appearances at Barneys, Doonan went gaga. He had the sketches blown up and will put them in the windows of the New York and Beverly Hills stores starting today. Louboutin will be on the fourth floor of the Madison Avenue flagship on the May 1 and in the Beverly Hills store on May 7.

The Lauren clan likes to show their support for one another, and this Saturday will be no different. That’s when Ralph, Ricky, David and Dylan are expected to attend the Tribeca Film Festival premiere party for “This Is Not a Robbery,” the new Andrew Lauren-produced film about bank robber J.L. Hunter “Red” Rountree. The party, which will take place at Marion’s Continental on the Bowery, will mark another big moment in Andrew Lauren’s budding movie career. He also was an executive producer for “The Squid and the Whale,” which won several awards and was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 2006.

This story first appeared in the April 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

START ‘EM YOUNG: Liz Claiborne Inc. brought 200 pairs of fresh eyes into its New Jersey headquarters Thursday. But instead of consultants looking for cost savings, the six focus groups were made up of 8- to 12-year-olds enjoying Claiborne’s Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day, which included a Juicy Couture presentation, a multibrand fashion show (complete with a pony), and two hours in subgroups creating a presentation on how to “Make the World a Better Place.” Claiborne employees, including Dana Buchman, helped lead the kids on their projects, which included a car that runs on water and a “Planet Fest” fund-raising concert. The panel of judges (which, egalitarian style, didn’t declare a winner) came straight from Claiborne’s executive suite: chief executive William L. McComb, chief financial officer Andy Warren, vice president general counsel Nick Rubino (who rapped for the kids), vice president of corporate communications Jane Randel and vice president of human resources Bill Higley. “I’m very impressed,” McComb said. “If you put us adults in a room for a couple of hours, we could never come up with this.”

LINDSAY’S ETHICAL SWAP: Lindsay Lohan may be known for her revolving wardrobe of brand new designer duds, but after appearing in ad campaigns for labels from Miu Miu to Jill Stuart, the party-loving actress has now turned her attention to ethical fashion. Visa Swap — a pop-up shop where customers can swap their cast-off clothing items for others’, which the credit card company will set up in London’s Covent Garden in June — has signed the actress to be the face of the project. Lohan has been shot in a collection of vintage clothing to promote the shop, and the images will be released in June. The idea behind the project is that customers can donate clothing they no longer wear to the Covent Garden shop over a period of three weeks beginning June 21, and then have the value of their clothing — in points — put onto a Visa card. During the weekend of July 19, customers can then exchange the value of the points on their cards for others’ second-hand items. Visa will donate any left over items to TRAID, a British organization that raises money to support communities in developing countries by recycling clothing through its network of stores. The Covent Garden Visa Swap follows the launch of the company’s Swap store on London’s Brompton Road last year.

HOPPING ALONG: On Tuesday afternoon, Donna Karan hosted a private lunch and viewing for Parisian jeweler Lorenz Bäumer at Karan’s collection outpost on Madison Avenue. Heather Mnuchin, Jessica Seinfeld, Sloane Barnett, Nathalie Kaplan, Shafi Roepers, Marjorie Gubelmann and Ulla Parker sat at tables adorned with centerpieces that featured Bäumer’s baubles atop bunches of freshly imported green bananas (so fresh, in fact, that a frog popped out of one centerpiece just before the lunch began). “Pass them down,” directed Caryn Zucker, referring to the gems that the ladies were eagerly trying on for size. Barnett wore Bäumer pieces from her own collection, including a large cocktail ring — equipped with a compartment behind the stone. “It’s for your Valium or your Ecstasy,” the San Francisco-based socialite joked.

COLD STARE: After partying in New York last week, Jade Jagger feted her “Jagger Dagger” for Belvedere vodka at Chateau Marmont in Hollywood on Tuesday, culling a group of party pal siblings including Ione Skye and Donovan Leitch, Tatiana and Alexandre von Furstenberg, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Michelle Hicks and Sienna Guillory. “Our men are off making a movie in England, so Sienna is staying with me in Los Angeles,” said Hicks, who arrived tardy, explaining, “We’re on English time.” Jagger, who designed the bejeweled dagger that dancers used to chip away at ice during a routine, said, “The dagger’s a very English symbol, very authoritarian. I’ve got lots.”

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