Archive for April, 2010

Singer Mary J. Blige To Debut Her New Perfume On HSN, First Exclusive Fragrance Premiere On A Home Shopping Network

April 30, 2010

Grammy award-winning singer Mary J. Blige and the beauty brand Carol’s Daughter have partnered with HSN to debut the fragrance My Life, the home shopping network announced Friday.

My Life is the first fragrance to be launched exclusively through a home shopping channel, according to HSN. The new fragrance will be introduced via a multi-platform campaign that will use all of HSN’s marketing channels, including television, online, mobile, print advertising, public relations, events and direct mail.

The fragrance is a first from Blige and the first celebrity fragrance to be developed by Carol’s Daughter. Steve Stoute, Chairman & Lead Investor of Carol’s Daughter, played a pivotal role in creating the unique partnership between Blige and HSN for thelaunch.

“My life is my journey and I’ve always shared it through my music,” Blige said in a statement, “I can’t wait to share my story with millions of women through HSN. Working with Carol’s Daughter on the fragrance has been an amazing experience that I will forever cherish."

A portion of the proceeds of My Life will benefit the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN). FFAWN was created by Blige and Stoute to help women gain the confidence and skills they need to pursue and realize their goals and dreams.

“We are thrilled to partner with Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute to forge new ground in the beauty industry, break the existing business model of selling fragrance and leverage the power of our interactive platform to launch My Life,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said in a canned statement. “Mary’s story is inspiring to all women, and we believe our customers will identify with her confidence, compassion and perseverance.”

According to Stoute, “This partnership will break the stagnant role the fragrance industry has found itself in. In the truest sense of a fragrance, the emotional journey will be told directly to consumers from one of the world’s best lyricists, Mary J. Blige, and the best storyteller, HSN. My Life will touch the lives of millions of women.”

HSN’s multi-platform marketing campaign will target a broad consumer base, including Blige’s fans, as well as new and existing HSN Carol’s Daughter customers.

Video segments called Life Chapters will capture various facets of Blige’s life story, including her philanthropic, music, and beauty projects. The segments will be seeded online, on HSN and through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Life Chapters will be used to bring the My Life story to life at the upcoming Essence Music Festival in New Orleans July Fourth weekend. HSN, a festival sponsor, will produce an interactive My Life booth where fans can learn about the fragrance, Blige’s journey and charity, and meet the singer. They will also be able to post pictures from the Festival on http://www.hsn.com/maryjblige.

Mobile marketing will be instrumental in the launch. Prior to each of the festival's three headlining concerts, HSN will air a newly created spot directing thousands of concertgoers to an exclusive mobile landing page at http://www.hsn.com where they can reserve their order of the My Life fragrance and sign up for tune-in alerts and email reminders. This special online experience will only be available for a limited time to Festival concertgoers.

My Life is inspired by Blige's life experiences outlined in her most personal work of art — her album. The fragrance is a lyrical composition of florals, fruit and wood understones. It embodies her persona through feminine, beautiful and sensual notes.

The premiere is strategically scheduled on July 31 during the finale of HSN's popular month-long birthday celebration. The My Life HSN "Today's Special" will include a 1.7 eau de parfum and a limited edition gold clutch. Future items include a shower cream, body lotion, and eau de parfum rollerpen.

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First ThighMasters, Now Wine: ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers Mulls Getting Into the Vino Business

April 30, 2010

Would you bring a bottle of Suzanne Somers wine to a dinner party?ShopNBC vendor and actress Suzanne Somers is contemplating getting into the wine business.

Somers, who left HSN after more than a dozen years and went to ShopNBC last fall, sent an e-mail out Friday to those who subscribe to her electronic newsletter.

Somers, a controversial best-selling author, asked for customer feedback about her starting to sell wine from a small vineyard she discovered in Napa Valley.

“As you know, I am constantly reviewing products. I insist on high-quality items and today I am writing to you with my first request for honest feedback,” Somers wrote.

“Recently I discovered a small winery in Napa Valley, Calif., that produces over 20 wine varieties,” she said. “They are a family-owned winery, run by 6th generation winemakers. They have a very small output of quality wines that are not nationally distributed. I was impressed with this wine, and love the fact that their grapes are grown without the use of pesticides. I would like to see if these products would be of interest to you. They would be available only at suzannesomers.com and priced in the $20-$30 range.”

The blonde is or has sold clothing, health supplements, diet foods, exercise equipment, makeup, skin care products, shoes and jewelry, so maybe wine isn’t such a stretch.

QVC Denies Viral Buzz That It Resells Returned Makeup

April 29, 2010

QVC Thursday quickly put the kibosh on an icky allegation, made on one of its online forums, that the home shopping network was reselling used makeup.

“It is QVC’s policy to destroy cosmetics and skin care products that have been returned to us,” QVC spokeswoman Erin Mulholland said in a statement.

The flap was ridiculous, based on a QVC forum posting that was obviously joking.

“Just a warning before you go buying any beauty products from qvc!,” it said. “You may get one that was already used !
Watch your perricone kits! They may send you the one I sent back LOL.”

That got the ball rolling, as another poster claimed she had gotten Laura Geller blush that had already been used.

Those unsubstantiated charges got the QVC forum posters frantic. Somehow the beauty and gossip blogs got hold of it, with TheFrisky.com breaking the news.

Needless to say most QVC customers were not happy with the notion that the home shopping channel was selling them makeup others had used and returned. That would not be very sanitary, would it?

Former Lifetime Network CEO Andrea Wong Joins Board Of QVC’s Parent, Liberty Media

April 29, 2010

The cable industry is a small, tight-knit world, and you never know who is going to end up where. But we learned Thursday that Andrea Wong, former president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, was named to Liberty Media’s board.

Liberty is QVC’s parent company.

“Andrea’s extensive experience in media and expertise in programming will be valuable in helping guide Liberty,” Liberty CEO Greg Maffei said in a canned statement. “We look forward to her contributions as our newest board member.”

Wong had joined Lifetime from The Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, where during her 14-year tenure she served in a variety of roles, most notably as an executive vice president where her responsibilities included reality programming.

We interviewed Wong several times when she was at Lifetime, and she had a bumpy tenure at the women’s channel. She brought over Bravo’s hit “Project Runway,” but only after a prolonged legal battle. The ratings for the network were good.

Then last year Lifetime’s joint ownership, Disney and A&E Networks, was unraveled. Wong left this week, and her vacancy was filled Tuesday with an A&E Nets veteran, History Channel’s GM Nancy Dubuc.

Dubuc is a talented, ambitious executive that we once profiled.

We wonder how active a voice Wong will have regarding QVC.

Before Lifetime, Wong worked in the areas of corporate planning and high-yield finance. Wong obtained her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

The Cheesecake Factory Debuts On HSN Mother’s Day, Taking On Isaac Mizrahi’s Plaid Junior’s Cheesecake

April 29, 2010

Red velvet cheesecake

If there’s anything we love more than good cheesecake, it’s red velvet cake, which we’ve only been turned on to recently.

Mizrahi's cheesecake

Well, HSN is bringing us those two favorites in one package — one cake — when it debuts goods from The Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain on Mother’s Day, May 9.

The red velvet cheesecake, which has 12 slices, sells for a ridiculous $50.

That even more expensive than the plaid Junior’s cheesecake, designed by Isaaz Mizrahi, that QVC sells for $44.

But we’re tempted by the red velvet-cheesecake combo.

Isaac Mizrahi May Use His QVC Paycheck To Buy A $6 Million Penthouse In The Village

April 29, 2010

Isaac Mizrahi must be getting paid a pretty penny by QVC.

The curly-topped fashion designer, who does a collection ranging from clothes to housewares for the home shopping network, has been checking out new digs. And they are none too shabby. Mizrahi recently visited a penthouse duplex in Greenwich Village that’s got a $5.95 million pricetag, The New York Post reported Thursday in its real estate section.

The humble abode at 39 Fifth Ave. has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wraparound terrace and “an entrance foyer made of French limestone,” according to the Post.

The co-op is owned by Rosalind Resnick, described as an ex-journalist who created an e-marketing firm, and then sold it for $111 milllion.

We don’t know many ex-reporters who live in $6 million co-op apartments. But we’d sure like to.

And we’d gladly field offers for this website, at far less than the $111 million that Resnick raked in.

You know where to find us.

Happy Birthday, Fellow April 28 Taurus Babes

April 28, 2010

Jay Leno had a roller-coaster year.

Today, April 28, QVC president Mike George and HSN president Mindy Grossman are doing presentations at the Barclay’s Capital Retail Conference in Manhattan.

But that’s enough home shopping news for today. Let’s move on to more important stuff: It’s our birthday.

A year ago today, it was 92 degrees, much too hot for spring. And truth be known, it was not really the usual joyful celebration, even though nobody loves birthdays more than us. We were still quite devastated from our layoff three months prior.

This year things are different. First, it’s freezing out. It was about 40 degrees or cooler this morning. Second, we’ve been forced to do that “reinvention” thing, and it’s working on both a professional and personal level.

Penelope Cruz

As astrology buffs, we always keep track of the fellow Taureans who share our birthday. That’s why we kept a close watch on Jay Leno last year. Like us, he was a hard worker and talent who was underappreciated by management. He got screwed, like some other people we know. While we rooted for his 10 p.m. show, we saw he was struggling. He didn’t want to reinvent himself.

So when Leno got his late-night slot back (karma at work), we felt no sympathy at all for Conan O’Brien. People complained that Leno was not such a nice guy for displacing O’Brien. Since when does being a nice guy mean being a doormat?

Like us, there are two fellow April 28 babies with Latin blood: Penelope Cruz and Jessica Alba. Cruz has had a great year in terms of her career. And she’s with Javier Bardem. Lucky girl.

Jessica Alba

Alba, well, she always seems happy when we see her with photos of her kid.

Ann-Margret, who attended Northwestern like us, is still going strong and performing.

Jorge Garcia, who plays one of the most beloved characters on “Lost,” is also our birthdate mate. Garcia is Hurley.

And the wife of our former co-worker, Eric Smith, was born today.

We’ve left the worse for last. One of the most vile and evil dicators ever, Saddam Hussein, was born April 28. Well, there’s always a black sheep in the family.

Here’s what astrologer Eugenia Last predicts for those of us born today:

“Happy Birthday: Concentrate on the present and forget the past and you will be able to look forward to the future. The outcome is in your hands — simply stay calm and do what needs to be done. Taking care of both personal and professional business will lead to your victory. As long as you know what your goals are, you will have no trouble attaining them.

Jorge Garcia

Birthday Baby: You are sensitive, caring and very protective. You are hardworking, a good listener, strong and determined.”

From astrologer Holly Mathis:

“You take projects to a new level this year. In June, you’ll attract people to help you exceed previous limitations. Follow curiosities in September: They lead to love. Libra, Capricorn people adore you.”

Donald’s Better Half Melania Trump Debuts Her QVC Jewelry Line Friday

April 27, 2010

Melania Trump

It was Melania Trump’s birthday Monday, and it is our’s Wednesday. Good times and fresh starts for Taurus, the bull. Is anyone tired about hearing about our birthday yet? Too bad.

Anyway, QVC Tuesday put out the official announcement about Donald Trump’s wife coming to QVC this Friday at 9 p.m.

The Slovenian beauty, as QVC describes her, is debuting her Timepieces & Fashion Jewelry line on the home shopping network.

“I am thrilled to work with QVC to bring my personal inspiration and design aesthetic to life,” the model said in a canned statement. “I’m proud to debut my collection of premium, affordable timepieces and jewelry and make it available to millions of women across the country. Now women everywhere can add a touch of luxury to their everyday lifestyle!”

Here’s QVC’s bio of Melania.

“Born in Slovenia, Melania Knauss began her modeling career at the age of 16. The Slovenian-born brunette has appeared in high-profile ad campaigns, and has worked with some of the top photographers in the fashion industry, including Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, Arthur Elgort, Ellen Von Unwerth, Peter Arnell, Antoine Verglas and Mario Testino.

At 5 feet 11 inches, Melania has a captivating presence in front of the camera. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, New York Magazine. Melania’s style has been noted to be one of natural elegance. In the words of Manolo Blahnik, “She is a true beauty. She has it.”

Melania’s philanthropic interests more and more represent her humanitarian side, and she remains an indefatigable and dedicated New Yorker. She was Honorary Chairwoman for Martha Graham Dance Company in April 2005, is an active member of the Police Athletic League, which honored her with Woman of The Year 2006, has been an Honorary Chairwoman for The Boy’s Club of New York for five consecutive years, and in 2005 The American Red Cross awarded her with Goodwill Ambassador, which she has proudly served for four years.

In April of 2008, she was asked by Love Our Children USA and NASDAQ to participate in the Fifth Annual National Love Our Children Day and the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention month by ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ. In February 2010, she was the chairwoman of the American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Ball, which raised $1.7 million for heart disease research.

Melania married Donald Trump in January 2005. In March of 2006 they had their first child, Barron William Trump.

QVC is apparently thrilled to have her. But then, who wouldn’t want a charming Taurus in their camp?

“We are excited to bring Melania’s exquisite collection to QVC,” Debra Puzio, QVC’s director of merchandising, said in her canned statement. “Each piece is as stylish and stunning as Melania and I believe that her personality and aesthetic will truly resonate with our customers.”

ShopNBC Names QVC Vet Scott Garozzo Director Of Jewelry

April 27, 2010

QVC and Lord & Taylor veteran Scott Garozzo has joined ShopNBC as Director of Jewelry, the home shopping network said Monday.

Most recently, Garozzo served as senior vice president of merchandising & product development at SHR & Simmons Jewelry Co. Prior to that, he held merchandising positions in the jewelry category at QVC and Lord & Taylor.

Garozzo is being granted inducement stock options as of his first day of employment with ShopNBC, covering the right to purchase 25,000 shares of the company’s common stock. The options will have an exercise price equal to the closing price of the company’s common stock on the date of the grant.

Actress Linda Dano Returns To QVC With Spring Home Decor, Jewelry

April 26, 2010

Linda Dano

Actress Linda Dano, who previewed her spring home collection last week, will be back on QVC this Friday at 7 p.m.

Dano will be discussing the new trends she saw covering the New York City trade shows; her “new nest” in the Manhattan East Side museum district; and what new celebrity home she just completed! (Does the name Rosie O’Donnell ring a bell?).

This week Dano will be offering item such as a bamboo bistro table and chairs, as well as a new version of her faux book end table, a softcolored embroidered pillow and throw, the return of her zebra rug, and a set of oversized zebra napkins and gemstone napkin rings.

The star is also bringing more jewelry to QVC, and will have a version of her Y necklace in springtime colors this week.

To promote her QVC shows, Dano appeared on “Good Day New York” on WNEW-TV last week and she will be speaking with Joan Hamburg on WOR AM radio Wednesday, our birthday.

QVC has given Dano the go-ahead for her first Christmas show.