Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Better Late Than Never: Christian Audigier Handbags Sold Well On ShopNBC — A Week Ago

March 25, 2011

ShopNBC got around Thursday to putting out a press release on another designer we’ve never heard of, Christian Audigier, having a successful handbag line on the No. 3 home shopping network.

That debut took place last week, which is when we wish ShopNBC had put out the press release on it.

The self-titled show series “Christian Audigier Handbags” premiered on ShopNBC during three one-hour blocks during March 16 and 17. The Christian Audigier debut also featured a smashing hit with viewers via ShopNBC’s “Today’s Top Value” offer.

Christian Audigier, after his car broke down outside of ShopNBC

Christian Audigier Rocks the Shop on ShopNBC Overall, the namesake collection, performed strongly, with several sellouts.

The Britt Grande Satchel sold out in six minutes. ShopNBC’s best value on the day of the premiere, the Christian Audigier Runway Collection, sold out one of three colors by 10 a.m and neared complete sellout at 4 p.m.

Here is the boilerplate on this designer we never heard of:

Christian Audigier is known worldwide as a fashion designer and successful entrepreneur. Best known for his Ed Hardy brand, Christian Audigier oversees several successful clothing brands and business ventures throughout the world. His namesake handbag line brings European style and a fresh California attitude to ShopNBC with unique and exclusive styles.

“I am excited about joining forces with ShopNBC to introduce my collection to a new avenue of fashion-conscious viewers,” Audigier said in a canned statement. “I’m confident that this partnership will give a broader audience greater insight and more access to my style and design.”

SHioNBC president Bob Ayd had his canned statement, too.

“We are thrilled with the successful launch of Christian Audigier Handbags on ShopNBC,” he said. “Christian’s handbags embody the Hollywood glamour and celebrity style that our customers crave. I’m pleased with how we were able to capture the passion of Christian and bring it to life for the customer in a way that delighted them while providing great value. We look forward to Christian returning in the future with an expanded product offering.”

Here Is Your B. Makowsky Contact, Unhappy Handbag Buyers

November 15, 2010

Well, we got some info about where disgruntled B. Makowsky handbag buyers should direct their complaints.

Here is the first post we got regarding a contact for Makowksy customers whose purses bled when wet or otherwise did not hold up.

The first was rather huffy.

“They are not ‘Bruce’s customers,'” it said. “They are the customers of Li & Fung Limited, a Hong Kong corporation, who purchased the BM, KVZ and Tignanello brands a few years ago. L & F does have an American subsidiary, The Millworks Trading Co., Ltd., a/k/a LF USA. Direct your complaints there.”

The “BM” obviously refers to B. Makowsky, while the “KVZ” refers to Kathy Van Zeeland, Bruce Makowsky’s handbag-designer wife, while Tignanello is their lower-priced leather line, which QVC also sells.

First off, you can try to blow smoke up someone else’s behind, dear poster, but make no mistake: These QVC shoppers and other women are Bruce’s customers.

If we go into Pizza Hut and find a bug on our personal pan pizza, we are customers of Pizza Hut, not its corporate parent Yum! Brands. Who the hell knows who Yum! Brands is?

If we shop at Kmart, we are a Kmart customer, not a customer of Sears Holding Corp., the chain’s parent.

Here is the site for Li & Fung, as well as Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s info on U.S. unit Millwork Trading Co., which does business as LF USA Inc.

Then we got a second posting that said this: “Contact for B Makowsky: VZI Investment Corp. 1359 Broadway, 21st Floor New York, NY 10018 648/839-7000.”

That address is the same one as for LF USA Inc., but is a different phone number.

Let us know how you make out ladies.

Got A Problem With A Makowsky Bag? Call QVC. If You Bought One Elsewhere, You’re Apparently Screwed: Think Twice About The TSV Boots

November 15, 2010

The complaints keep coming into our blog about women having trouble with pricey B. Makowsky handbags, which are sold on QVC and in retail.

The problem remains that while Bruce Makowsky keeps boasting about his so-soft, untreated “naked leather” purses, that leather can bleed ink when it gets wet.

Women are complaining to us that B. Makowsky has no company phone number that customers can call to get a remedy for their reuined bags. Here’s the company website, and we can’t find any contact names or numbers on it.

Over the weekend we asked QVC PR about this issue, which is timely since Makowsky has the Today’s Special Value Monday, a pair of soft leather slouch boots for $160.

Here’s what QVC told us Monday:

“We received your inquiry about a customer service number for B. Makowsky handbags. If your readers are having issues with B. Makowsky bags purchased through QVC, they should call our customer service line at 1.800.367.9444. They would be more than happy to help resolve any issues customers are experiencing. Thank you!”

So ladies, let us know what happens when you contact QVC with any complaints about your B. Makowsky handbags.

And we guess if we didn’t buy your “bleeding” Makowsky bag at QVC, you’re screwed.

Not the best way to treat your customers, Bruce. No phone number for dissatisfied customers to reach your company?

And if we were QVC, we’d think twice about dealing with a vendor who has created ill will with the handbags he sells at places like Macy’s — or that wind up at TJ Maxx.

And in light of the problems with the handbags, we’d think twice before ordering any of the Makowsky boots. If the purses bleed dye when they get wet, what will happen to the boots?

Makowsky, for those out of the loop, is married to fellow handbag designer Kathy Van Zeeland, who also sells her purses at QVC.

Shoe Designer Libby Edelman Bringing Girls’ Ballet Slippers To HSN

October 6, 2010

Girls' ballet slippers

We’ve often wondered why home shopping networks don’t sell kids’ clothes.

Perhaps its because parents think that it’s too hard get the right fit for a kid without him or her trying on the piece, but that hasn’t hindered the catalog sales of children’s apparel.

But we just got word that HSN vendor and shoe designer Libby Edelman will be doing some kids’ shoes, which will be available at the home shopping channel Nov. 12.

Mom's ballet slippers

Edelman has a pretty jeweled bow ballet slipper for girls, selling for $19.95.

And Mom can match her daughter, by wearing the Belle slipper that Edelman is also bringing to HSN. It will sell for $29.99, and is jeweled like the girls’ version of the ballet flats.

Get Your $750 Boots Here On HSN

September 21, 2010


Wow, HSN is really going upscale. You ready to shell out more than $700 for a pair of boots?

On Monday night the home shopping network was featuring shoes and boots from upscale designer Donald J. Pliner, whose wares can be found in store like Saks and Nordstrom.


A pair of tall boots were selling for $750.

They made the shorter pair of peep-toe suede boots, priced at $450, look like a bargain.

Hey, they are gorgeous boots, and they are on Flex Pay, but paying almost $1,000 for a pair of boots seems a bit much for us.

We Paid $60 At TJ Maxx For The Exact Same Bag That QVC Is Selling for $105, Plus Shipping And Handling

September 7, 2010

Not-fur-nuthin’, as we say in Jersey, but why do people buy Tignanello handbags on QVC?

We were watching last night and saw that QVC was hawking a pebble leather double-handle tote that looked very familiar to us. We pulled a black Tignanello purse with cream trim out of our closet to see how it compared to the one on-screen.

Bingo, our’s was the exact same purse.

But the pricetags were not the same.

The price on QVC was a special lower “featured” price of $105.48, with over $8 for shipping and handling. We paid $60 for the exact same purse on clearance at TJ Maxx. It’s original TJ Maxx price was $80, still lower than QVC’s “featured” price, and with no shipping and handling.

And you can put purses (although not clearance items) on layaway in most TJ Maxx stores, which is their equivalent of Easy Pay.

Duh, we don’t own TJ Maxx stock, but check your local store out before shelling out cash for a purse on QVC.

Charriol Heiress, With New QVC Handbag Line, Says Let Them Eat Cake — Or Buy $300 Purses

August 30, 2010

Charriol Lorena hobo for QVC

The rich are different from you and me, as the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote goes. That is never more clear than when reading an interview with QVC’s newest handbag vendor, Coralie Charriol.

Coralie is creative director for her daddy Phillippe’s extraordinarily pricey Swiss jeweley and watch company, Charriol. QVC host Lisa Robertson sometimes wears a white Charriol watch, which retails for about $4,000, on-air.

As The Wall Street Journal reports Monday, Coralie debuted a handbag line called C. Lili today on QVC. The story is headlined “Selling 800 Bags in 16 Minutes.”

It’s not surprising that as part of the upper crust, Coralie says she has never purchased anything on QVC. But she notes that QVC has “elevated” its brand with collections from the likes of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and Kim Kardashian (huh?)

“They have an incredible standard of workmanship with inspections and workmanship,” Coralie tells The Journal.

No shit Sherlock. Talk about back-handed compliments for QVC.

But our favorite quote from Coralie is where she talks about her initial four bags for QVC selling for less than $300. Here’s where the “rich-different-than-us” part comes in.

“You would think that for $300 that they are going to be made very cheap and out of pleather, but they’re not,” Coralie told The Journal. “They’re fabulous looking!”

Earth to Coralie: Most American women are not spending $300 for purses, and many American women are buying leather — not pleather — handbags for way less than $300.

We all can’t afford to buy $5,000 to $15,000 Gucci and Vuitton designer bags.

This woman really riles up our class consciousness, like when we walked into our first class at Northwestern and realized everyone else’s dad was a CEO.

But ultimately we came to realize that FDNY trumped CEO any day.

QVC Buyer Beware: Don’t Get Caught In The Rain With A B. Makowsky Handbag

August 25, 2010

There’s a hubbub about B. Makowsky’s handbags on QVC’s online forums, with some information that we had never heard about the products: They bleed.

It started off when one poster complained that the color from one of Makowsky’s pricey handbags from QVC had bled onto a Coach purse that she had sitting next to it.

“It was my error I did not have the dust covers on,” the poster wrote. “(QVC) Corporate told me that all B. Makowsky handbags come with a ‘warning’ about the leather. I did purchase one myself in bone color, but do not remember a warning. Also she told me his metallic handbags come with a warning ‘not to get wet.’ Any information would be appreciated. There is no way to get in touch with B. Makowsky, there is no customer service number, anywhere, including his website and also his facebook page.”

Needless to say, since handbags are worn in all types of weather, the fact that dye transfers off these bags isn’t a very good selling point in our book, and for many QVC customers.

Several posts noted that in fact the B. Makowsky bags do have a tag warning about not getting them wet.

One woman said she looked at one of the tags in Macy’s, and it said, “The fine quality leather this handbag is crafted from will showcase subtle shading & varying textures which are part of the desired effect and not to be considered flaws. Due to the nature of this n*aked leather, color transfer may occur. Choose your favorite, and enjoy.”

Enjoy? How can we enjoy the color running from a Makowsky purse bleeding our clothes or furniture?

Here’s how the thread went about the bags, from women who feel the same way we do.

“Had there been anything like that, the bag would have been returned as soon as I had finished reading either warning,” one poster wrote. “How can one have a bag that can’t get wet? Am I supposed to stick it under my shirt if I am out and it starts to rain? It the bag is not colorfast, then it should not be offered for sale. Let’s do some quality control, Bruce!”

Another apparently very affluent QVC viewer chimed in, “I never had a problem with my BM bag until I was caught in the rain. After getting into the car, I put my ‘damp’ bag on my leather seat. When I got home and picked up my bag, the color red had transferred to my white leather seats. QVC did nothing. Good luck. I would never buy one of his bags ever again. P.S. The Jaguar dealer was able to remove some of the stain, but not all of it.”

Another poster said that a saleswoman at Nordstrom told her they get a lot of complaints about the color coming off Makowsky handbags.

One poster mentioned that this problem is because Bruce Makowsky, who is married to bling bag queen Kathy Van Zeeland, used “naked leather” for his purses. Coincidentally, we heard a handbag designer on HSN Tuesday night also talk about “naked leather,” the first time I’d ever heard this term.

By the way, the woman whose BK bag’s dye ran onto her Coach purse said QVC corporate was really trying to help her and put her in contact with a rep from B. Makowsky.

But we won’t be buying any B. Makowsky handbags, from QVC, Nordstrom, TJ Maxx or anyplace else.

Atlantic Monthly, Bloomberg Businessweek Take Inside Look At Home Shopping’s QVC, HSN

May 22, 2010

Get this: both the Atlantic Monthly and Bloomberg Businessweek have stories on home shopping networks, namely QVC and HSN, respectively. Thanks to our friend Mike Squires for tipping us off to this.

If you are home shopping fans, we think you’ll enjoy the behind-the-scenes look these two articles offers.

The Atlantic story is headlined “The Genius of QVC,” and author Megan McArdle fesses up to being “a closet fan” of the No. 1 home shopping network. She bases much of her story on a tour she took of QVC’s studio in West Chester, Pa.

The article offers up many facts about QVC that we were never aware of.

“QVC’s merchandising power has nurtured blockbuster brands like Spanx body shapers — and whole sub-industries that help entrepreneurs get their products onto the shopping network (or at least claim to),” the story says. “The company’s allure is so powerful that Marlon Brando reportedly sought to become one of its celebrity presenters during his final, cash-strapped, obese, and depressed years.”

The article, which is well worth reading, also discusses the emotional tie that viewers develop with home shopping hosts.

“As one young woman said about her grandmother, whom she was accompanying on the tour, ‘She talks about them like they’re her friends,’” the article says. “Her grandmother also buys half a dozen items a week. QVC is expert at creating what consumer psychologists call ‘parasocial relationships’ — bonds that tickle our subconscious in many of the ways that real friendships do.”

The story in Bloomberg Businessweek, titled “HSN’s Fashionista,” focuses on the changes that CEO Mindy Grossman has brought to the No. 2 home shopping network.

The story kicks off describing HSN as the home of Suzanne Somers and her ThighMaster to tennis champ Serena Williams blowing out her HSN line, but jewelry to apparel.

“When Grossman was recruited for the job in 2006 by Barry Diller, chief executive of HSN’s then-corporate parent AC/InterActiveCorp, she told Diller that she would accept only if he gave her the freedom to turn the place upside down,” the story says.

“She wanted to transform HSN by making it more modern and tasteful: Maybe it would never be hip, it certainly wouldn’t try to be edgy, but it could at least be relevant,” Bloomberg Businessweek says.

Grossman viewed HSN a second-rate QVC, and went about changing that.

CEO Mindy Grossman lured high-end designers to HSN

“Within her first year at the company, she dumped about a dozen brands she had never heard of,” the story says. “Gone were the pants with elastic waists and anything that viewers could easily find elsewhere. Then she set out to create a studio environment that wouldn’t scare off the designers she hoped to feature. For that she turned to Andrew Sheldon, a British television executive. He streamlined the sets, cleaned up the green rooms, hired full-time makeup artists and hair stylists, and modulated the hosts’ presentations.”

The story says “Grossman, 52, is sleek and stylish, and she likes to pile on the necklaces and bracelets when she dresses. If women ask her for advice about accessories, she always says: ‘more.'” It doesn’t get into the fact that Grossman likes to show a little cleavage during business presentations.

Want to know how Grossman got those fancy Manhattan designers to come over to the dark side?

“In order to attract more power shoppers, Grossman set out to persuade a whole new type of designer to create collections for HSN.” the story says. “Among those who have happily, if nervously, appeared on the network as a result of Grossman’s coaxing are Naeem Khan, who designed the silver sequined gown Michelle Obama wore to the President’s first state dinner, and Badgley Mischka, who dressed Helen Mirren in gray silk and organza for this year’s Academy Awards. Grossman promised to protect them and their brands from ridicule and to present their clothes in sophisticated settings as she exposed them to an audience far greater than they could otherwise reach. She also charmed them.”

This valentine to Grossman closes with Williams, and offers some hard numbers.

“During her 24-hour visit, HSN sold $3.25 million worth of products; Williams accounted for about one-third of it. The 1,900 pairs of jeans are gone. So are the maxi dresses,” the story says.

QVC’s Red Carpet Party From L.A. Rocks With Stars Like Joan Collins, Nolan Miller’s Date

March 6, 2010

We came in late to watch QVC’s “The Buzz on the Red Carpet” from L.A. Friday night, and were surprised to see Patti Reilly in the West Chester studio.

We checked the online forums to see what we missed, and apparently the home shopping network had trouble getting its live feed from the Left Coast and Reilly had to fill in at the last minute until they got things fixed.

Anyway, we were pretty impressed with QVC’s celebrity-studded pre-Oscar event at the swank Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Lisa Robertson was doing the selling, while Mary Beth Roe and Shawn Killinger were conducting celebrity interviews. Joan Collins, QVC vendor Nolan Miller’s date, and Tia Carrere were among those in the house.

A still drop-dead gorgeous (and fellow Northwestern alum) Cindy Crawford was hawking Meaningful Beauty products, and former entertainment-magazine show host Nancy O’Dell introduced her QVC fashion jewelry line.

“I’ve loved QVC for a long time,” O’Dell said.

QVC vendors Isaac Mizrahi, Rachel Zoe, Chaz Dean and Bruce Makowsky were also on the air.

The fun will continue Saturday night.