Archive for October, 2009

What Do Molly Sims, Fran Drescher, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs And Badgley Mischka All Have In Common?

October 31, 2009


Badgley Mischka

What cable network will actress Fran Drescher, model-turned-actress Molly Sims, rapper/entrepreneur Sean Combs and the red-carpet fashion design team Badgley Mischka all be appearing on next month? It’s HSN.

An odder assortment of celebrities might be hard to find, but there will be lots of premieres of these stars and their products on HSN in November. If you are a fan of any of these folks, but hate home shopping networks, remember that you will get a chance to see these celebs live — unfiltered and without scripts — on HSN.

Sometimes it’s not a pretty sight, like when Jessica Simpson recently appeared on QVC. Other times it’s a pleasant surprise, like seeing the likable and amiable Tori Spelling and Paula Abdul when they sell their fashion jewelry on HSN.

Drescher has a skincare line, FranBrand, that will debut on HSN Nov. 10. HSN describes her as “the flashy girl from Flushing.”

Sims’s fashion jewelry line, Grayce, will premiere Nov. 13. Items are already up on HSN’s Web site.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy, has a fragrance line set to appear on HSN Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

And Badgley Mischka, in the wake of a major recently announced deal, will premiere the American Glamour line Nov. 17, with a two-hour show.

We expect the legendary designers, and we mean that, Mark Badgley and James Mischka to be down in Florida.

We have a pair of pink metallic sandals from these guys that we bought at a Manhattan sample sale. That was years ago, but we could go to a black-tie event with those shoes and they’d look right in style.

On its Web site, HSN welcomed the celebrity newcomers to “the HSN family.”

QVC Host Lisa Robertson Adds To Her Endless List of Purchases From Her Employer

October 31, 2009

We said we were going to keep track of each time QVC host Lisa Robertson says she’s buying an item she’s presenting, so here’s an update. Last week Robertson claimed she was going to buy a pair of hoop earrings from upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck’s new QVC line, Dweck Diamonds.

On Friday Robertson was presenting Ross-Simons jewelry. During that shindig, Robertson several times told the company’s CEO and president, Darrell Ross, that she planned to purchase several of his products.

First, she was going nuts over a pair of pearl and gemstone dangle earrings priced at $77.

“Don’t be surprised if I own those earrings by the end of the show,” Robertson told Ross, later adding, “Everytime you’re here, I spend money.”

Then Robertson said that she also planned to add a silver daisy ring to her shopping list (we put it on our list, too, for when we get a job).

As we said, Robertson’s jewelry box and clothes closet must be the size of warehouses, to hold all the QVC merchandise she claims she buys.

The note pad we’re using to list her QVC purchases is right by our TV, and we know it will get longer and longer.

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers Blogs About Larry King Interview, Her Controversial New Cancer Book ‘Knockout,’ And Close-Minded American Cancer Society

October 30, 2009

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers has blogged about her recent interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” and what she believes is the obstinancy and close-mindedness of conventional oncologists.

The blonde actress/entrepreneur faced off on the show with Dr. Otis Brawley, who is with the American Cancer Society. He was dissing her new book, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

Somers’ book advocates alternative treatments and diet as ways to cure and prevent cancer, rather than always turning to chemotherapy.

According to the actress, a year ago she was misdiagnosed at one point for full-body cancer, and thought she was going to die until finding out she was really OK. Scary stuff.

InStyle Magazine Says Upscale Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck Has Second Lower-Priced Line In Works, In Addition To QVC’s Dweck Diamonds

October 30, 2009

It looks like “rock star” jewelry designer Stephen Dweck isn’t just doing a lower-priced line for QVC. He has a second affordable jewelry line in the works for retail. 

Dweck, whose upscale pieces are sold in Neiman Marcus, next month will debut a jewelry line called Garden of Stephen in Bloomingdale’s, according to the November issue of InStyle magazine. This week Dweck debuted another lower-priced line, Dweck Diamonds, on QVC.

In a story headlined “Rock Star,” InStyle notes that celebrities such as Beyonce and Blake Lively of “Gossip Girl” all wear Dweck’s upscale jewelry, which is chunky and loaded with huge semiprecious gems. Actresses Salma Hayek and Catherine Zeta-Jones rocked (get it) Dweck’s jewelry when they were cover girls for InStyle.

Dweck’s Garden of Stephen jewelry is totally different from the work he has done for QVC, and both lower-priced lines are nothing like his higher-end pieces. The jewelry that will be sold in Bloomie’s includes gold-plated chains with semi-precious charms and scarab rings. They are in the $235 to $345 price range.

QVC’s Dweck Diamonds pieces were inspired by nature. They have an organic feel, with designs that incorporate flowers and twig-like branches. Some of the jewelry had tiny buds, sprinkled with diamonds. The most expensive QVC piece was a $604 necklace, which sold out.

HSN’s Kim Parrish The Latest To Make The Switch To ShopNBC, According To Mindless Rants

October 29, 2009

Looks like yet another HSN defection to ShopNBC, snooped out by our fellow Jersey native Hugh Jee, master of the blog Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants (which has some great music, as well as political and sports coverage).

He reported Thursday that HSN host-turned-vendor Kim Parrish is taking her clothing line to ShopNBC.

Parrish announced the switch on her Facebook page, according to Hugh Jee and his Mindless Rants. Her collection will debut Nov. 13, Friday the Thirteeth.

Vendors are really playing musical chairs with home shopping networks this year. Suzanne Somers and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey moved from HSN to ShopNBC, while jewelry designers such as Dallas Prince went from ShopNBC to HSN.

It’s hard to know who instigated the switches: Were the vendors’ contracts not renewed, or did they want to jump ship?

We Bet Business Travelers Can’t Wait For This: HSN To Stream Live Video For New In-Flight Service, SkyTown Center

October 29, 2009

HSN will offer live online video programming as part of a new in-flight service called SkyTown Center, officials said Thursday.

The service is being launched by Row 44, a provider of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi for commercial aircraft. The walled-garden service is meant to allow airlines to rapidly offer additional revenue-generating entertainment, shopping and productivity options to the flying public.

SkyTown Center is the first of several products designed to fully leverage an airline’s investment in in-flight connectivity.

In addition to HSN, rollout partners include SkyMall, which will manage its retail partners and their operations; and specialists in travel and mobility like JiWire, BeDynamic and Pinger. First fly date is scheduled Nov.1, in time for the holiday shopping season.

“As an innovative leader in the multi-channel industry, HSN is the first retailer to offer live video streaming across three screens – television, online and via mobile – and we are thrilled to be partnering with Row 44 as the first TV shopping network to broadcast live via Wi-Fi more than 10,000 feet in the air,” John McDevitt, HSN’s vice president of advanced services, said in a prepared statement.

“This innovative new platform is a great opportunity for us to raise our brand awareness while generating revenue from a highly desirable customer base,” he added.

The walled garden is accessible at no charge to all passengers with Wi-Fi-enabled devices, regardless of their interest in purchasing Internet access. Flyers can use it to shop at major retailers, view live television, play games, and explore their destination cities-even booking ground-based services and events before they land.

“SkyMall is excited to expand its role as the in-flight retail consolidator to SkyTown Center,” Casey Christ, SkyMall’s vice president of airline marketing, said in a prepared statement.

“From this platform, we can offer customers the ability to shop from a wide variety of retailers during their flight, allowing them to be more productive when they are traveling,” Christ said. “For retailers, this new platform will provide another way to reach the highly desirable and captive air traveler. Row 44 has developed an outstanding platform and this program is a natural evolution of the SkyMall program which will allow us to drive more revenue for our airline partners while enhancing the overall customer experience onboard.”

A paid SMS-gateway texting feature will also be offered, allowing passengers to send and receive messages to mobile phone users on the ground.

Skytown Center will test various service models during a pilot period. It also includes a technical trial of live television streamed over IP (Internet Protocol) and simultaneous broadcast to multiple aircraft while in flight.

The Skytown Center portal is available for rebranding and customization by any airline using the Row 44 in-flight broadband system.

“Pent up demand for in-flight Internet access is the key driver in the airline industry’s desire to purchase connectivity for their fleets,” said Wendy Campanella, Row 44’s vice president of business development. “But our customers understand that it’s simply the first step in fully leveraging aircraft connectivity, and that there are many additional potential revenue streams. Skytown Center is designed to speed them down this path.”

Row 44 is the a leading broadband Mobile Service Provider to commercial aviation. The company’s Wi-Fi hotspots in the sky offer broadband speeds to the plane. Row 44’s broadband solution is supported by the global infrastructure of Hughes, which has shipped more than 1.9 million broadband satellite terminals to customers in more than 100 countries.

HSN Handbag Designer Carlos Falchi Is Profiled In New York Times, His Target Line Debuts Nov. 1

October 29, 2009

Designer Carlos Falchi, who has expanded his HSN line beyond handbags to shoes, clothes and accessories, is profiled in the “Thursday Styles” section of The New York Times today.

The second graph of the story talks about Falchi pullng an all-nighter at HSN, where sales for his $100 faux leather coat were at more than 16,000 pieces that day.

In the profile, The Times also talks about the designer’s move into additional products, not just handbags, for HSN with his new Chi by Falchi line.

The story was a good read for us, because we didn’t know much about Falchi’s background. And we weren’t aware that Falchi will be doing a line of purses for Target, priced at $20 to $50. They go on sale at Target Nov. 1, and will be available for two months, according to The Times.

Falchi’s signature leather bags for HSN are much pricier than that, topping out at $850, and he favors floppy, unconstructed designs.

He does about $100 million a year in retail sales, according to The Times.

After New Line On ShopNBC, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey And HSN Seem To Have Parted Ways

October 29, 2009

Thanks to a tip from one of our readers, we’ve learned that Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey’s fancy undies and bras have been pulled off, so to speak, HSN’s Web site.

We guess that answers our question — e-mailed three times to HSN and Reys’ PR people — about whether the physician will continue to be selling his Shapewear line even though last week he started to selll his Senuous Solutions skincare creams on ShopNBC.

A poster to one of HSN’s online forums first reported that Rey’s goodies on Monday were deleted fom the No. 2 home shopping channel’s site. HR passd on that information to us.

Rey is the star of the E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210.”

We Take Third Shot At Finding Out If Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey Will Keep HSN Gig, While Also Selling Product On ShopNBC

October 28, 2009

Call us crazy, but we’re taking a third shot to try to find out if Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey will continue to appear on HSN now that he’s got a gig at rival ShopNBC.

Rey, star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” has been selling Shapewear, fancy undies and bras, on HSN for some time. But last weekend he went on  ShopNBC selling a skincare line, Sensual Solutions.

We don’t offhand recall a time when a vendor was selling goods on two home shopping networks at the same time. We want to know if Rey’s tenure with HSN is over.  

So far, we have sent three e-mails to HSN corporate, which states it will only take questions  from “a media professional with a specific request.” No response yet. Maybe HSN doesn’t think The Homeshoppingista is a media professional.

Not for nothing, and not to toot our own horn, but we will when we must. We went to one of the best J-schools in the country, Medill.  We helped launch Crain’s New York Business. We won one of the most prestigious awards for business journalism, the Gerald Loeb Award, for a story on the impact of AIDS on the fashion industry.

We covered the cable industry for 16 years at Multichannel News, writing stories about the business and programming such as HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

And we are still reporting on the cable business, the multi-billion dollar home shopping segment, with this blog. QVC and ShopNBC are totally owned or partially owned by two key media giants, John Malone’s Liberty Media and NBC.

In between job hunting, we are also writing for the growing Web site, with a recent profile on Jersey’s Kurt Sutter, creator of the FX hit “Sons of Anarchy.”

We believe this all qualifies us as a media professional. 

We have e-mailed Rey twice, no response. But then we learned today that he has a PR firm that handles the media, and we shot an e-mail to them. Maybe they will answer our question. 

And we even e-mailed ShopNBC this morning, asking them if they know if Rey will remain on HSN.

Once again, we’ll let you know what we hear.

QVC ‘Savors’ A Chance To Do A Jewelry Line Like HSN’s Technibond

October 28, 2009

With the price of gold at an all-time high, and jewelry sales tanking, it looks like QVC is taking a page out of HSN’s book with Savor, a new line that debuts Wednesday night.

Savor is jewelry made of 14 carat gold bonded over sterling silver, very similar to HSN’s Technibond line. So you get the look of gold, which is out of the range of many people’s wallets, for a fraction of the price.

At least that’s the theory, but the Savor goods didn’t look so inexpensive to us. A lot of the Savor pieces on QVC’s Web site didn’t have photos yet, but many of the earrings were priced at more than $100, and a station-link necklace was close to $300.

The price points on HSN’s Technibond are much cheaper.