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FAST TIMES: Continuing to bank on the titanic buzz-factor of Hollywood screen legends, Tag Heuer, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Swiss timepiece giant, has tapped Leonardo DiCaprio as the new ambassador of its
best-selling Carrera timepiece line, replacing Brad Pitt, whose six-year contract ended last month. DiCaprio has signed for three years, according to a Tag Heuer spokeswoman. Under the deal, royalties generated will go toward
major environmental initiatives and Di Caprio also has made a multi-million dollar pledge toward green causes. The contract represents a major investment for the watch brand during a period of belt-tightening. The new campaign, which breaks this spring across all territories, in a range of luxury magazines and on billboards, sees DiCaprio sporting the brand’s Carrera Day-Date model.

This story first appeared in the January 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


WHO’S THE BOSS: Hugo Boss is restructuring its North American businesses and created a new position to manage its U.S., Canadian and Latin American divisions. A spokesperson confirmed the creation of a new executive office, to be called the chief executive of the Americas, and said the appointment would be announced today. Market sources indicated the job is likely to go to Mark Brashear, who served as ceo of Façonnable for six years before resigning last March. His objectives as the top dog of three major markets for Hugo Boss are unclear. However, he will have seniority over Joachim Beer, ceo of the U.S. division who was appointed in October after Tony Lucia stepped down. Beer, who will report to Brashear, is a company insider who was brought over from Hugo Boss headquarters in Metzingen, Germany where he had been the company’s head of trade marketing.

In addition to the new corporate hierarchy, Hugo Boss also restructured its U.S. business, eliminating 10 positions within the company across all divisions. Two of those were senior positions, including a vice president of sales and a vice president of retail. A company spokesperson declined to give names, but said there were redundancies within the management.

GO WEST: Kanye West is sure to be among famous men dotting the front rows of Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. Not only will he in town to unveil a sneaker collaboration with Louis Vuitton, and watch a pair stomp down the runway, but he’s due to co-host a Wallpaper event at Boucheron Jan. 22 to fete the magazine’s design awards.


AMERICAN STYLE: There is really no excuse for any last minute style blunders at next week’s inauguration — at least not for guests at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington D.C. As part of the celebrations next week, Ralph Lauren is setting up a temporary boutique in the hotel’s lobby. It will offer a mix of the designer’s accessories and furnishings. For a perfect polish, there will even be a “Ralph Lauren Bow Tie Butler” on hand to help guests tie the perfect bow tie. And for those with a last minute fashion panic, two Lauren wardrobe consultants can work with clients on special requests and needs. The boutique will be open Jan.17 to 21.


CURTAIN RAISER: Word has it L’Oréal Paris is gearing up to launch a product at Alexis Mabille’s show on Jan. 26, day one of Paris couture week. The beauty brand, which will also be a Mabille show sponsor, kept mum on details regarding its latest beauty creation.


CHIC BACKGROUND: Prada’s edgy Epicenter store in New York’s SoHo will have a different function for a little while starting today. That’s because celebrated filmmaker and photographer Mike Figgis, who is putting together a special project on SoHo, will use the Prada outpost as the backdrop for his portraits. The high-tech digital images that feature people, architecture and street life from day into night, will be displayed as a contemporary collage at Milk Studio’s Gallery from Thursday to Feb. 7. The exhibition, which is free, will also be posted online at

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