Archive for the ‘Sean "Diddy" Combs’ Category

‘The Insider’ Goes Inside HSN, But Not Too Far

October 20, 2010

Lara Spencer chatted up Wolfgang Puck at HSN's studios

Yippee, as we’ve noted before, the traditional media has finally figured out that home shopping is not still about selling can openers and cubic zirconia anymore. Jeez, even Oprah Winfrey shops on HSN! (We’ll explain later.)

CNN woke up and made it official when it did a segment on QVC’s large role in Fashion Week in Manhattan this year. And this week “The Insider” sent the vapid and extremely annoying Lara Spencer down to HSN’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla., to do a story on how celebrities are flocking to sell goods on home shopping networks.

The story was a couple of minutes, which for “The Insider” is like an investigative report, even though it stated the obvious to anyone who knows the home shopping industry. But it was a great plug for HSN, that’s for sure.

The segment showed a clip of Liza Minnelli’s disastrous appearance, and there were also interviews with celebrity chef and pot peddler Wolfgang Puck, as well as Bill Brand, HSN’s executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development.

The segment said that HSN started in 1977 on AM radio selling electronic can openers. While there was once a “stigma” to appear on HSN, now celebs are calling the TV network to get on, we’re told.

“This world had changed and it’s been focused on finding those personalities that are popular, that are interesting but also very credible and authentic and are experts in their field,” Brand said to Spencer.

Spencer noted that Puck would be on the air for 10 hours, “not a single minute of it with a teleprompter,” the day she was in Florida shooting her segment.

“Welcome to a very tasty HSN,” Puck told Spencer.

She noted that as Puck was selling his cookware, HSN producers were watching how many people were calling in and buying, and then they told Puck through his earpiece whether to keep talking or move on.

There was also a clip of Sean “Diddy” Combs from his appearance on the home shopping network to sell his fragrance.

“I made it,” Combs said. “I’m on HSN, Ma.”

His fragrance, “I Am King,” sold out in 14 minutes, product that was meant to last for a two-hour show.

Brand also talked about singer Mary J. Blige debuting her new perfume exclusively on HSN. “That was really a first for the business,” he said.

“The Insider” also showed Oprah Winfrey calling in while Blige was on the air on HSN.

“I am supporting her and waiting on my shower gel,” Winfrey told Blige and HSN host Callie Northagen.

“You even have Oprah shopping on HSN, so it’s no surprise that HSN brings in $2 billion a year in revenue,” somebody whose name we didn’t catch said.

As for Spencer, she told us “it is not your grandmother’s HSN.”

No sh-t.

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Actress/Perfumier Kate Walsh Wants You To Take Your ‘Boyfriend’ Anywhere You Go: What If You Don’t Want To?

October 15, 2010

Another celebrity is jumping on the perfume bandwagon, an unlikely one as far as we’re concerned: Actress Kate Walsh of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”

We’ve loved Walsh ever since she blew Meredith’s mind on Season 1 of “Anatomy” when she showed up in Seattle and announced that she was McDreamy’s wife.

Now Walsh will join vendors like Mary J. Blige, Sean “Diddy” Combs and soon Jennifer Stallone who are peddling perfume on HSN, the home shopping network said Friday.

Walsh’s women’s fragrance and product line is named “Boyfriend” and will launch exclusively on HSN and at hsn.com on Nov. 11 and 12.

The five-piece collection will employ a viral marketing campaign, and photographer Terry Richardson shot the brand advertising campaign.

Kate Walsh, Photo by Roberto D'Este

“For the launch of Boyfriend, Kate sought a partner that understood her creative vision and connected with a broad base of engaged women on a personal level,” the press release says.

“I’m super excited about my launch partnership with HSN,” Walsh said in her canned statement. “They’ve been incredibly enthusiastic about Boyfriend, and particularly supportive of my creative vision.”

And Michael Henry, HSN’s senior vice president of merchandising, got his two cents in.

“As part of our strategy to have a dominant position in the fragrance industry, we are thrilled to take the next step and offer our consumers this new and exciting line of products,” Henry said. “Our partnership with Kate on Boyfriend illustrates both HSN’s role as a retail innovator across all of our market categories, as well as our commitment to delivering unique products that resonate with women.”

We’re not quite sure we follow the logic behind this perfume.

The press release says, “In the fragrance creation process, Kate was inspired by the scent of a ‘guy on a girl,’ and combined notes of amber and woods, with a bright floral scent that women love. The fragrance has a bright muguet floralcy with dark plum and myrrh on top, with night blooming jasmine.”

Mmmmm, you lost us on some of those ingredients.

We are told that to ensure that “women can take their Boyfriend wherever they go,” Kate created “The Boyfriend” kit, a black train case inspired by a classic vintage design retailing for $79.95.

It features Deluxe Miniature Fragrance Spray 15ml, Body Creme 50mlm, Dry Body Oil 30ml, Votive Candle 24 grams and
Pulse Point Oil 5ml.

Following the initial launch, select products from the kit will be offered in individual full-sized packaging featuring the 50ml EDP.

The Boyfriend story will be told through a viral campaign that will consist of branded videos or “webimercials.”

The “webimercials” will feature Walsh and different Boyfriend scenarios.

“Just as you tune in every week to watch your favorite television shows to follow the story line…there will continually be a new boyfriend story to entice the customer,” says Walsh.

Additionally, consumers will have the chance to engage with the brand and tell their own boyfriend stories via uploaded videos. This user-generated content will be integrated into Boyfriend marketing creating a truly unique call to action for the consumer.

Founded in 2010, Boyfriend LLC is a newly launched beauty and lifestyle company, owned by actress Kate Walsh. Boyfriend LLC will launch its first product this November with HSN to be followed by a retail launch in Sephora stores nationwide in January.

Boyfriend LLC will continue to roll-out new Boyfriend fragrances through 2012 with the plan of expanding into the lifestyle market. Givaudan and perfumer MaryPierre Julien created the juice, Consultant Pamela Vaile, worked with Kate to develop the product line, the marketing plan and distribution strategy, Bentley Laboratories LLC created the formulas and Chad Lavigne LLC produced the package design and branding imagery.

Is HSN Bouncing Beyonce’s Mom, Miss Tina, From The Home Shopping Network?

July 30, 2010

Tina Knowles, Beyonce's mom

It looks like HSN is discontinuing yet another clothing line, and this time the exit door is being given to Tina Knowles, mother of pop superstar Beyonce Knowles.

Mama Knowles, who used to design costumes for Destiny’s Child before Beyonce split off from that group, has been doing a clothing and accessory line for HSN called Miss Tina By Tina Knowles.

The collection included not only clothing but also jewelry, shoes and handbags.

But currently all of Miss Tina’a merchandise on HSN.com, the little of it there is left, is on clearance. The line included some clunkers, like a skirt attached to leggings. But it also had more classic pieces, especially the purses.

We asked HSN for a comment Thursday, and the network said it was getting something together for us. We still don’t have anything from them.

HSN, under new CEO Mindy Grossman, has replaced many of the channel’s veteran vendors, such as Suzanne Somers, with hipper, more upscale and notable designers, such as Badgley Mischka.

Miss Tina would be the second African-American designer to lose her line on HSN. This year Terry Lewis, a former HSN host who did a collection called Classic Luxury for her former employer, also lost her spot on the network’s roster.

Of course, HSN has ended its relationship with many Caucasian vendors, as well, but the exit of Miss Tina might not sit well with some viewers, especially black customers of the No. 2 home shopping network. We heard from fans of Lewis who were not happy about her departure.

That would self-defeating for HSN, which of all the three major electronic retailers seems to have made a real effort to use African-American vendors and court African-American customers. HSN’s black vendors include Iman, Serena Williams, Carol’s Daughter, Sean ‘Puff Daddy” Combs, Antthony Design Originals and Natalie Cole.

And Saturday singer Mary J. Blige will do the exclusive premiere of her perfume, My Life, on HSN.

HSN Steps Up Courting Of African-American Women With Mary J. Blige Perfume Launch

May 2, 2010

Mary J. Blige's new fragrance is part of HSN's courting of African-American consumers

Of all the major home shopping networks, HSN has been the most aggressive in courting African-American consumers.

And it took another big step in that strategy with its announcement last week that singer Mary J. Blige was launching a fragrance, My Life, on the channel July 31.

Grammy-winner Blige is partnering with one of HSN’s vendors, Carol’s Daughter, with this marking the beauty brand’s first foray into a celebrity perfume. HSN described Carol’s Daughter as “a polyethnic beauty brand,” but fact of the matter is the hair and beauty products on Carol’s line are mainly aimed at black women and their unique beauty needs.

Carol’s Daughter was created by a black entrepreneur, Lisa Price. She would mix essential oils and natural moisturizers and give these skin and hair products as gifts to her friends. She launched it as a business in 1993.

We were introduced to the Carol’s Daughter line long before its HSN debut. It is sold in one of our favorite shops in Montclair, N.J., Dem Two Hands. The store, which has artisan-crafted jewelry to die for, is owned by African-American women and caters to larger women in terms of clothing.

HSN vendor Serena Williams

It’s no wonder that HSN did the Blige deal, after the success of its show last year with rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. He did one hour, and his award-winning men’s fragrances — Sean John I Am King and Unforgiven — blew out the door and sold out. The music and style entrepreneur fielded endless calls from his devoted fans during the show. And they were all eager to buy his fragrances.

We’re sure HSN is looking for that kind of success with Blige. The network said its marketing for My Life will aim at the singer’s fans, as well as Carol’s Daughter’s HSN fans.

HSN host Marlo Smith

The No. 2 home shopping channel didn’t just start targeting women of color. HSN also has several African-American fashion designers that have been on the air for years, including Antthony Design Originals.

The model-businesswoman Iman and tennis pro Serena Williams also have jewelry and clothing lines on HSN, as does former HSN host Terry Lewis.

We’re not saying that Iman and Williams’ clothes and accessories aren’t popular with Caucasian women. But those two women get many on-air calls from a large number of their African-American fans.

HSN’s host roster, as well as its vendor list, has several women of color. That includes Marlo Smith and Tamara Hooks.

In its announcement last week, HSN said that the debut of Blige’s My Life is the first exclusive launch of a fragrance on a home shopping channel. And it’s a complex, “multi-platform” effort, as they say in the biz.

As part of HNS’s marketing campaing, video segments called “Life Chapters” will “capture various facets of Mary J. Blige’s compelling 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,” according to HSN.

This Life Chapters campaign will also flow over into the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans July Fourth, with HSN a sponsor of that event. HSN will set up an interactive My Life booth where fans can learn about the fragrance and meet Blige. They will also be able to post pictures from the Festival on http://www.hsn.com/maryjblige.

Iman's HSN line is called Global Chic

Part of the proceeds of My Life’s sales will benefit the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, which was founded by Blige “to help women gain the confidence and skills they need to pursue and realize their goals and dreams.”

The risk with Blige is that her often rocky relationships with men may resurface. In December, the New York tabloids reported that Blige had punched her husband Kendu Isaacs at a record-launch party.

She later said she was just trying to break up a fight between Issacs and her brother, according to the New York Daily News.

Did HSN Vendor And Rap Entrepreneur Sean Combs Do The ‘Unforgivable’ By Allegedly Copying An Artist’s Design?

February 16, 2010

The new, smooth HSN version of Unforgivable's bottle

HSN vendor and rap impressario Sean “Diddy” Combs is being sued by a glassblowing artist who charges that Puff Daddy copied one of his designs for the bottle of the cologne Unforgivable, The New York Post reported Tuesday.

Artist Tom Patti alleges that Combs’ Sean John company ripped off one of his 1981 sculptures. The suit claims that the piece was on exhibit in a Manhattan gallery in 2006, and was valued at $40,000 then.

Combs denies he did any copyright infringement, and has taken his own legal action.

Combs is a new HSN vendor, and several months back he sold his Unforgivable men’s and women’s cologne on the home shopping channel.

But the fragrance was in a smooth bottle, not the ribbed version that allegedly copies the glass scuplture. Maybe the bottle design was changed after the suit was filed.

But there’s another twist to this story. Combs beleives that Patti sued because he was approached by The Urban Glass Quarterly about the resemblance of his sculpture and Unforgivable’s bottle.

So Combs is asking a Brooklyn judge to compel The Urban Glass Quarterly’s writer to produce her notes from her reporting for her 2008 story.

Celebrity Stylist Rachel Zoe and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Vendors On QVC and HSN, Makes New York Post’s List Of Trendsetters This Decade

December 31, 2009

Two home shopping vendors, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and rapper-entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs, both made the New York Post’s list in its “A Decade of Trends” story Thursday.

Zoe, who does a fashion and accessory line for QVC, was lauded by the Post for building “a career on perfect taste, an eye for vintage and a knack for pulling fabulous gowns.” Zoe, who does “The Rachel Zoe Project” for Bravo, is pictured with client Nicole Richie.

Combs, who sold out his fragrances during is recent debut on HSN, won high praise from the Post. “By far, one of the greatest retail successes that doesn’t make us want to barf is Sean John — the label launched in the late ’90s by music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs,” the Post wrote.

The Post said that this “early entry in the celebrity clothing-line genre” has “staying power.”

Uptown Girl Mindy Grossman Is Taking Space For HSN Executive Offices In A Madison Ave. Penthouse, New York Observer Reports

December 21, 2009

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

We guess St. Petersburg, Fla., is not good enough for HSN CEO Mindy Grossman. She wants a penthouse in the Big Apple.

The home shopping network is taking space for executive offices in Manhattan, far away from HSN’s HQ in Florida, The New York Observer reported Monday.

HSN is renting at the luxurious, newly renovated tower at 545 Madison Ave., according to the paper.

Grossman’s company will be renting the whole 18th floor, glass-encased penthouse of the LCOR building, The Observer reported. It will provide digs for some HSN executive offices, a marketing center and some studio presentations.

The story quotes LCOR exec David Sigman, who says, “Home Shopping Network was looking for high-end, highly visible executive space that also had great light and views.”

If we were HSN shareholders, we’d be questioning why the network will be paying sky-high rents for space in Manhattan.

An HSN official contacted The Homeshoppingista to stress that HSN’s home office and corporate headquarters will remain in St. Petersburg.

But it looks like Grossman wants to stake a claim for HSN in Manhattan. She strikes us as an uptown girl, and that’s certainly the direction she is taking the No. 2 home shopping channel. Madison Avenue is what HSN is aspiring to.

Grossman’s strategy is to attract younger, hipper women to HSN. To do that, she has brought on a load of new Manhattan-based vendors, such as Stefani Greenfield and Badgley Mischka. Now, they won’t have to take a plane trip to Florida.

The blonde Grossman’s strategy that has meant that veteran HSN vendors such as Suzanne Somers parted ways with the Southern Channel. The blonde actress-author-entrepreneur is now on ShopNBC.

Of course, The Observer had to take some pot shots at HSN. Welcome to Manhattan pretensions.

“What better place to hawk tracksuits and sweater sets than a Madison Avenue penthouse?” The Observer wrote, calling “the Home Shopping Network…that seemingly inevitable destination of ex ‘Project Runway’-ers” and P. Diddy.

First of all, HSN changed its name years ago from Home Shopping Network. And second, it’s QVC that has the former ‘Project Runway’ winner, namely Chloe Dao.

It is true that Sean “Diddy” Combs is selling men’s fragrance on HSN, and it sold out on his first visit.

New York Daily News Notes Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs And His Recent HSN Sellout

December 11, 2009

The New York Daily News Friday did an item in its “Gatecrasher” column that mentioned Sean Combs’ recent success on HSN.

Rapper, entrepreneur and style icon “Diddy” attended the AOL Kickoff party earlier this week at the New York Stock Exchange. Apparently, a number of white-bread finance guys were stopping Combs and asking him what he thought about their suits and ties, since he is known as a fashion plate.

The News item then noted that Combs know what’s hot, because his new line of fragrances, which includes I Am King, recently sold out on HSN.

“I’m just trying to bring some of my style to Middle Americam” Combs told the News.

HSN Adds Some Flava: Rapper-Entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Premieres His Fragrances On The Home Shopping Network

December 1, 2009

Sean “Diddy” Combs made his debut on HSN Monday, as did his fragrance line.

His motto seemed to be that he likes his grandfather, but he doesn’t want to smell like him. Hence the fragrances (but we hope grandpa wasn’t watching).

Combs’ products were such a hit during his first show at 11 p.m. that they all sold out. So HSN had to cancel his second scheduled show at 1 a.m., since there was no merchandise left to sell.

For Combs’ debut HSN CEO Mindy Grossman opened the company wallet and had a new set built, which looked like a sophisticated penthouse, and even had the Manhattan skyline in the background. Puff Daddy was laid back and modest, rather charming for a mogul with a multi-million dollar empire in music, fashion, TV, movies and fragrances.

“It’s a great way to reach people all over the world…I made it on HSN mom,” Combs said during his home shopping debut, where he fielded many calls from overwrought fans. “I’m blessed to be here.”

More than any of the other shopping networks, HSN has courted the African-American market, by bringing vendors in such as the hair-care line Carol’s Daughter, David Bowie’s wife Iman, and now Combs.

Talking about his award-winning men’s fragrance, I Am King, Combs said, “This is not a celebrity fragrance.”

The rapper said he helped design the cologne, in partnership with Estee Lauder. It has won the FiFi Award, which Combs called “the Oscars” of the perfume industry.

“I have a very sensitive nose,” said Combs, who described I Am King as being “a clean scent.”

He said, “I don’t like things that are overbearing.”

The name I Am King was not a boast, according to Combs, but a positive affirmation for everyone.

“I was talking about the king in all of us,” Combs said. “If we as men act as kings, we will respect our women as queens.”

Those are great sentiments, but we can’t help but note that Combs has a somewhat checkered past, which includes an arrest on a weapons charge — when he was with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez — following a nightclub shooting in Manhattan. Scorpios like Combs often have a dark side.

We remember tabloid stories about an upset Lopez being dragged down to the police station with Combs the night he was arrested. Doesn’t sound very queenly. Well, that was almost 10 years ago. Leopards can change their spots.

Host Callie Northagen did the show. She seems to be HSN’s ace for interviewing high-profile talent, including Madonna and singer Natalie Cole.

HSN was also selling the men’s and women’s fragrance lines Sean John Unforgivable. The kits and gift sets ranged in price from $57 to $78. There was also a fleece robe for $60.

Combs has a vast empire, and even produced and was a judge for the MTV show “Making the Band.”

He also claimed he was a fan of the No. 2 home shopping channel.

“Sometimes when you watch HSN, you get stuck there for hours,” Combs said.

We know what you mean, Diddy.

Rapper-Entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Comes To HSN Next Week To Debut His Sean Jean Fragrances And ‘Exclusive’ Puff Daddy Robe

November 26, 2009

Puff Daddy is coming to HSN.

Sean “Diddy” Combs will appear live on the home shopping network next week to sell his award-winning fragrances, holiday gift sets and exclusive Sean John robe for $60.

Combs, who is also an actor and music producer, will unveil his men’s fragrance collections Unforgivable and I Am King, and women’s fragrance collection Unforgivable Woman during two shows: Monday at 11 p.m. and Tuesday at 1 a.m.

“With the help of HSN, I’m going to be coming to your living room for the holidays,” Combs said in a prepared statement. “I can’t wait to show HSN’s viewers my lineup of Sean John Fragrances for men and women. It’s the perfect time to shop for the holidays.”

Unforgivable, I Am King and Unforgivable Woman fragrance collections will be available for the first time on HSN in gift sets “that touch upon signature notes of Sicilian Lemon and Italian Bergamot, Pina Colada and Grapefruit, as well as Tangerine Zest and the Imperial French Berry,” according to HSN’s press release.

The women’s fragrance collection, Unforgivable Woman, “is a sensual combination of creamy, floral and warm and luscious notes,” says HSN.

Combs’ newest men’s fragrance, I am King, “is an untraditional fresh fruity, woody scent, evoking the modern day king,” according to HSN.

“We are very excited to partner with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and bring to life on HSN the compelling story behind the success of his top-selling fragrances for both women and men,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said in a prepared statement.

“Offering our customers a wider array of luxurious fragrances has been a focus for HSN as we continue to expand our beauty business,” she said. “Mr. Combs is a lifestyle icon who will provide our customers with unique experiences and the quality products we strive to deliver.”

The Unforgivable gift sets for men will be available in a Deluxe Holiday Set, which will include a 4.2 ounce spray and signature watch, or in a Classic Holiday Set featuring a smaller 2.5 ounce Eau de Toilette spray and deodorant.

The I Am King Classic Holiday Set includes a 1.7 ounce spray and 3.4 ounce After Shave Balm. All three sets for men include a Sean John signature bag as a gift with purchase.

For women, the Unforgivable Woman Holiday Set will include a 4.2 ounce scent spray, body lotion and corresponding makeup bag, along with Unforgivable and Unforgivable Woman Bubble Baths as gifts with purchase.

The Unforgivable, Unforgivable Woman and I Am King Eau de Toilette will be available as well.

In addition, an exclusive Sean John robe will be available to complement the gift sets.