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Posts Tagged ‘Diane Von Furstenberg’

Barry Diller Makes Waves with Grandiose Park Plan

Curbed NY’s headline for today’s announcement that IAC chairman Barry Diller and his wife Diane von Furstenberg are endowing a proposed 2.7-acre offshore park and performance space in place of Pier 54 reads: “$130 Million ‘Pier 55′ Park Looks Like Something Out of Avatar. But for a majority of the New York City residents commenting in response to today’s front-page New York Times article, the tenor is more Titanic.

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If completed, the project will sit directly across the Hudson River from Hoboken’s Pier C (pictured). From the NYT comments:

WR: If this private island gets built, who will bear the cost when its piers start rotting – yes cement rots – earlier then expected? Diller did say 20 years, obviously that is when engineers have told him the thing should start falling apart.

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FGI Night of Stars Honors Fashion’s Protagonists, Including Oscar de la Renta

Katie Couric, Lisa Paulsen and Diane Clehane

Katie Couric, Lisa Paulsen and Diane Clehane

Last night, a stylish group of entertainment and media personalities gathered at Cipriani Wall Street for The Fashion Group International’s 31st Annual Night of Stars event, honoring the creative contributions of about a dozen fashion designers and executives. This year’s theme was “The Protagonists: Those who play the leading roles in their own lives,” which could certainly describe the life of the late Oscar de la Renta. Among the evening’s highlights was a touching tribute to de la Renta by Superstar Award winner Diane von Furstenberg. Upon receiving her award, the designer recalled a tradition she had with her good friend:

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Diane von Furstenberg Partners with E! to Find ‘Global Brand Ambassador’

These days, next to cooking, there’s no surer reality TV bet than fashion. Even more so when the person at the center of a fashion project is a famous, glamorous name.

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Announced this week and coming in late 2014, The DVF Project will combine a behind-the-scenes look at Mrs. Barry Diller‘s empire with the golden-ticket premise of a group of chosen young women vying for a position with her company. Think of it as The Diane’s version of The Apprentice:

Diane von Furstenberg is one of fashion’s most innovative designers and a true icon who inspires women to seize opportunities,” said Jeff Olde, executive vice president, programming and development, E!. “There is a magical, somewhat Willy Wonka aspect to the world Diane wants to create with this show. That is if Willy Wonka were a fabulous, glamorous fashion icon willing to share her secrets with talented young women dedicated to learning them.”

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The ‘Cosmo 100′ Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Seinfeld; The Wednesday Crowd with Star Jones and Doris Kearns Goodwin

1003_mockup.gifAs you probably know by now, only the most extreme circumstances could keep the faithful from their usual lunch at Michael’s. Since Mother Nature proved to be too formidable a force for us on not one, but two back-to-back Wednesdays, we were only too happy to pull double duty this week.

On Monday, I attended the estrogen-fueled lunch for “The Cosmo 100,” a gals-only power lunch hosted by Joanna Coles who, having been named EIC of Cosmopolitan mere weeks ago, put together a guest list to end all guest lists for her first event. When I arrived  a few minutes before noon, the paparazzi was lined up to capture the arrival of Sarah Jessica ParkerDiane von Furstenberg, Ali Wentworth, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jessica Seinfeld, who seemed to be channeling MC Hammer in some curious gold lame harem pants. Also in attendance: ABC News’ Deborah Roberts, model Carol Alt, bestselling author Jane Green and more A-list Gotham gals than I’ve seen in one place in ages. Hearst’s amazing PR team headed by Deb Shriver, Alexandra Carlin and Holly Whidden deserve some major kudos. I was seated at a fabulous table with Cathie Black, modeling icon Pat Cleveland and Barbara Taylor Bradford, who told me her 29th book will be published early next year. The mind reels.

When the A-list crowd made their way to the Garden Room, Joanna (who was rocking some gorgeous leather pants) greeted everyone with her trademark cheeky humor, telling us she’d prepared ‘binders of men’ as research for her new gig and then quoting Margaret Thatcher with the wise words, ‘Cocks crow but it’s hens that lay the eggs.’ She also advised us “never to underestimate what you can do in 10 minutes.” So true. But Joanna wanted to do more than celebrate fun, fearless females at her kick-off lunch; she surprised everyone by introducing some truly formidable women who’d broken through the glass ceiling during this election cycle. New Hampshire’s first female governor Maggie Hassan talked of having her daughter run her winning campaign, Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to congress explained how she won her race in Hawaii by proving wrong the naysayers who told her “it wasn’t her time,” and Grace Meng, the first Asian-American elected to congress from New York, spoke of the need for women to be mentors to other women. It was truly one of the most inspiring events I’ve attended in a long, long time.

Marcy Syms and Diane Clehane

Marcy Syms and Diane Clehane

Today, I was joined by another trailblazer Marcy Syms, who you must know from those commercials for the legendary off-price retailer (“An educated consumer is our best customer”).  It was Marcy’s father, the late Sy Syms who founded the business in 1958 as the first national retailer to sell off-price men’s clothing. At first, it was Sy who gave voice to the slogan in 1974, but he wisely asked Marcy to take his place in 1978 thus tapping into an emerging public consciousness about working women. The rest, as they say, is history.  ”I still remember wearing those bow blouses and those short haircuts!” said Marcy.

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Women@NBCU Hosts Power of the Purse Breakfast for Advertising Week

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(L to R): Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media; Debora Spar, President, Barnard College; Tina Brown, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Beast; Lauren Zalaznick, President, NBCU Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks; Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills; Kim Brink, Executive Director, Advertising and Sales Promotion, Cadillac; Donna Speciale, President of Investment and Activation, MediaVest USA.

The Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown, NBC’s Lauren Zalaznick and Jeff Zucker, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gathered among other powerful women (and men) in media and marketing this morning for Women@NBCU’s annual Power of the Purse Breakfast. This year’s event was held at New York’s Cipriani’s as part of Advertising Week and focused on “Women in Power: Marketing to the Educated Consumer.”

To reach female consumers, Brown said it was important to remember the way women think. “Men want to know what happened. Women want to know what really happened,” she said. “Women have the incredible bullshit detector about everything.”

After the session wrapped, we spoke with the media veteran about her work at The Daily Beast, which she praised for pulling in a healthy five million unique visitors a month. Brown also said she’s looking forward to several upcoming Beast events, including a conference on reviving the economy in New Orleans featuring D.C. public school chancellor Michelle Rhee, and their Women of the World event in March featuring Diane Von Furstenberg and Meryl Streep.

But Brown was still mum on where those Newsweek-Daily Beast merger rumors originated. “I’ve already said everything I have to say about that,” she said.

Follow the jump to watch video from this morning’s panel and for more photos from the event.

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Lunch: Soledad O’Brien Talks Helping Haiti’s Children

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The media mob was out in force today at Michael’s and we spotted plenty of table hopping between bites. It was fascinating to see all the head honchos make the rounds while checking in with the competition. Who needs to eat anyway?

I was joined today by CNN’s anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, who I’ve known since her days as anchor of Weekend Today, and CNN publicist Van Scott. Since making the move to cable, Soledad, who left NBC in 2003 to anchor the network’s maiden season of American Morning, has gotten plenty of attention for her on-the-ground reporting of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina. It was Soledad’s infamous interview with then FEMA chief Michael Brown that started the public outcry eventually leading to his resignation in September 2005.

After logging in plenty of air miles last year covering major news stories like the earthquake in Haiti, Soledad has unpacked her bags long enough to do a slew of documentaries that are kicking off next month. On May 8, CNN will premiere Rescued, an hour-long look at the plight of Haiti’s children told through the eyes of 6 year-old Cendy Jeune and former child slave Marc Kenson Oliphi. After being in Haiti immediately following the disaster, Soledad tells me she held orphans in her arms whose eyes had seen so much that “they looked old.” The documentary chronicles the lives of the children who are living in the Lighthouse orphanage where rather than being put up for adoption, they are instead taught skills, given an education, and encouraged to be valuable members of society when they “age out” of the orphanage at 18.

It was clearly a transformative experience for Soledad, herself a mother of four. She told me, “The best way to help Haiti is to help the children of Haiti help Haiti.” She’s planning on returning to the region next month with her 9 year-old daughter Sophia in tow. “My kids really want to do something to help. We’re going to ‘adopt a community’ and do what we can.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The lovely Pat Schoenfeld, in a chic red topper and matching loafers, with a few close pals.

2. Cablevision’s president Tad Smith

3. Sony Pictures’ Steve Mosko

4. Steve Rubenstein and William Lauder

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Norman Mailer Writers Colony To Honor Toni Morrison, David Halberstam

mailer award.jpgNext week, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony will throw its first gala hosted by New York media bigwigs Tina Brown and New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick.

The gala, emceed by Nation columnist Calvin Trillin, will be held at Cipriani on Tuesday night and will also serve as an awards dinner honoring Toni Morrison with a Lifetime Achievement Award and posthumously bestowing the Distinguished Journalism Prize to David Halberstam. The first Norman Mailer National High School Nonfiction Writing Award and Norman Mailer College Nonfiction Writing Award will also be given out that night.

The writers colony is a nonprofit organization founded earlier this year, located at the home of the late author and Village Voice founder in Provincetown, Mass. It aims to help nurture writers in the spirit of Mailer, who passed away in November 2007 at the age of 84. The organization is billing this year’s gala as the “first annual,” presuming there will be more to come.

The group is also promising that boldfaced names like Joan Didion, Pete Hamill, Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Gay Talese, designer Diane von Furstenberg and director John Waters will be in attendance, so you know we’ll be there covering the event.

Related: RIP, Norman Mailer

Anna Wintour Doesn’t Care About Antitrust Laws

vogue.pngThe fashion industry in the U.S. — and the magazines that cover it — has suffered throughout the recession. But the industry’s leaders are not ready to take their hits lying down.

Earlier this week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America held a town hall meeting to discuss Fashion Week and its dwindling relevance. A number of suggestions were brought up during the meeting, like CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg‘s idea to have two Fashion Weeks — one for trade and one for shops — and designer Betsey Johnson‘s suggestion to hold a public fashion show in Madison Square Garden.

But the craziest idea was brought up by Vogue editor Anna Wintour. “Could someone lead a committee that would make ground rules for retailers of when the discounting starts, and then all the retailers can agree to it?” she said, according to the New York Observer.

After von Furstenberg pointed out that Wintour’s idea would violate U.S. antitrust laws, the editrix offered, “Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now!”

Lunch: Andre Leon Talley Stops By — and Hugh Jackman is Coming Tonight!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Our invitation to tonight’s party for Joel Grey hosted by Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborah Lee Furness, must have gotten lost in the mail. Oh well. The dining room was jam-packed with the Wednesday regulars in action, so there was plenty to keep us entertained. I was also happy to catch up with some pals I hadn’t seen in a while. When my friend Andre Leon Talley swept through the door resplendent in a rose-hued Prada coat and “raspberry velvet” custom-made Manolo Blahnik sandals, I was thrilled that he had time for a chat before joining George Malkemus for lunch.

I just had to ask him what he thought about Morley Safer‘s segment on Anna Wintour that aired on 60 Minutes a few weeks back. “I was really impressed with their research,” said Andre, who reported that the show spent weeks at Vogue‘s offices and trekked to Europe for the collections to cover Anna in action and get many of fashion’s most famous faces to weigh in on her decades-long reign at the style bible. We both agreed that Morley sounded a wee bit contemptuous of the players and the game. The newsman’s occasional barbs thrown into the piece — including an observation that Karl Lagerfeld dressed like Count Dracula (“He’s had that look for eight years!”) and that all Vogue‘s young staffers have to be skinny — were “a bit dismissive,” said Andre. (I did love when Anna said that on a recent trip to Minnesota she found most of the folks resembled “little houses.”) Andre reports Anna was “thrilled” with the piece. “It’s 60 Minutes — she was on the same show as Secretary Gates. It was fabulous,” proclaimed Andre.

Today, he was taking a break between the resort presentations that designers were hosting around town in their showrooms this week. “The resort shows are fabulous,” he reports. “It’s become a much more interesting season where people are really doing some fabulous things.” Among the highlights so far: Diane von Furstenberg‘s “Going to Rio”-inspired collection with everything a girl needs all packed into one bag (“It’s her best collection in three years”), Zac Posen‘s ruched silk lame jeans and “major” shoes — especially the sexy lace d’Orsay numbers. Andre also gave high marks to Michael Kors‘ batik prints. “There are a lot of great clothes and great items that women will want to buy.” Music to a lot of retailers’ ears, no doubt.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Conde Nast’s Lou Cona and the dashing Daniel Lalonde, president and CEO of Louis Vuitton, presiding over a table full of movers and shakers.

2. Peter Brown

3. Judith Verno

4. Stephen Swid and a blonde gal we didn’t recognize

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Lunch: Musical Chairs With Sir Paul McCartney

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— DIANE CLEHANE

So you think you’ve got problems? Paul McCartney (that’s Sir Paul to you) arrived at Michael’s today shortly before noon to scope out a table for a quiet lunch with Barbara Walters. When he was ushered to Table One, situated in the bay window, he passed on perching at the power spot and asked to check out the room before settling on a primo corner table. Babs arrived shortly thereafter, as did a dark-haired beauty that some thought might be Paul’s gal pal Nancy Shevell (but we think not) and a distinguished mystery gent. But alas, the happy foursome couldn’t enjoy their lunch because the eagle-eyed former Beatle spied a pesky video cameraman taking it all in from the sidewalk, shooting through the window. We’re guessing it was those intrepid folks from TMZ who regularly stake out the joint. Well, Paul wasn’t about to give up on his quest for some privacy, so the gang moved once again to the back of the dining room and finally settled in for some good dish. Whew!

The rest of the room was buzzing, with tables shoehorned in all over the place to deal with the overflow of media A-listers. When I made my rounds, I stopped by my good pal Fern Mallis‘ table to say hello. She was nice enough to introduce me to her charming niece, Brooke Lampley, an assistant vice president at Christie’s, and internationally acclaimed museum designer Stuart Silver. The always-optimistic Fern wanted to talk about how well things are going as she prepares for next month’s Fashion Week. (We can’t wait for the Barbie show!) Contrary to published reports, says Fern, there are plenty of exciting designers and companies that are spending money to show at the tents — some for the first time. “I don’t understand why people want to focus on so much negativity,” says Fern. “Why not write about what new things people are doing to help their businesses?” It’s a good question. Many folks that I’ve talked to in the fashion biz say the reporting in this area is far too much gloom and doom, and it’s becoming something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. So come on, people! How about some industry cheerleading? It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Imber Gang: Dr. Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer and Andy Bergman. We’re guessing Jeff Greenfield is a bit busy for lunch this week…

2. John Sykes (who was overheard telling Paul McCartney that he had dinner with Clint Eastwood last night and was singing the praises of his latest film, Gran Torino. ‘It’s great,’ enthused John!) and Frederic Fekkai

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with Glamour editrix Cindi Leive

4. Fox 5′s Rosanna Scotto with her former colleague, newly-minted real estate mogul Penny Crone

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