Archive for the ‘Padma Lakshmi’ Category

HSN Says Bon Appetit, With Bon Appetit, With Celebrity Chef Spring Weekend

March 18, 2011

We wish we could get excited about big cooking events, but we just can’t. But here goes.

HSN will be featuring more than 24-hours of celeb chefs and more than 75 kitchen products during its HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit on March 26 and 27, the home shopping network said Thursday.

“The epicurean event will feature extraordinary chefs including Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Padma Lakshmi preparing mouth-watering springtime dishes alongside an unprecedented lineup of top kitchen and food brands,” or so we were told by HSN’s press release.

HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit will mark the HSN debut of several culinary experts:

• Southern-food enthusiasts Matt and Ted Lee will introduce an exclusive new line of beautiful Graniteware.

• Chinese-American chef and author Ken Hom. Known for making wok cooking an art form across the globe, Hom will be presenting his signature wok collection and healthy stir-fry cooking guide.

• Jacques “Mr. Chocolate” Torres. French pastry chef and chocolatier Torres will launch his collection of chocolate treats to HSN customers.

“HSN is thrilled to add highly respected figures such as Ken Hom and Matt and Ted Lee to our council of culinary experts,” Sandy Conrad, senior vice president of merchandising – electronics and household said in a canned statement. “HSN has long been a culinary destination for our customers and we look forward to hosting our biggest HSN Cooks event yet.”

Here’s Hom’s canned ham:

“I’ve been an admirer of HSN for some time and am impressed with the company’s ever-expanding culinary category,” Hom said. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to join such legendary chefs as Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck for my U.S. return and look forward to bringing my 51 years of wok-cooking experience to life while showing the HSN customer how to use my products to cook easy, delicious and healthy meals.”

And Matt and Ted Lee remarkedly responded in unison about their love of HSN.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing a Southern accent to this exciting HSN Cooks weekend, and so honored to be in the company of food experts — chefs and cookbook authors alike — who have literally inspired us to become better home cooks,” they both said, according to HSN’s opress release. “That’s really the greatest hope we have for our own product line: that our high-performing classics (along with a little Southern know-how!) will enable viewers nationwide to enjoy their kitchen more often, preparing scrumptious meals from scratch.”

Additional brands participating in the HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit include: David’s Cookies; Debbie Meyer; The Beverly Hills Kitchen; Kent Island Crab Cakes; Leonetti’s; and Aunt Ida’s Baked Goods, among others.

Bon Appétit editor, Dede Wilson, will be on-air providing cooking tips exclusively for HSN customers.

The event will begin at 6 a.m. during a special HSN Today show March 26 and continue throughout the weekend with “Top Chef” star Padma Lakshmi hosting the finale at 11 p.m. March 27, featuring new additions to her line of tea pots, teas and spices.

HSN Vendor And ‘Top Chef’ Babe Padma Lakshmi Is House Shopping

February 4, 2011

HSN vendor Padma Lakshmi, in between being involved in a custody fight, has still found time to go house-hunting in Manhattan.

The New York Post reported Thursday that Lakshmi, of “Top Chef” fame, was spotted being chauffered around in a stretch BMW to check out places to live downtown, including a $11 million five-bedroom condo in the Greenwich building on West 13th Street.

That humble abode was a mere 4,535 square feet. The brunette beauty has also scoped out “Upper East Side mansions” and “funky downtown pads,” according to the Post.

Lakshmi recently made tabloid headlines because the father of her daughter Krishna, Adam Dell, is suing for custody of the baby. Lakshmi, who does the “Easy Exotic” tea and spice line for HSN, is no longer seeing Dell. Her squeeze now is trillionaire Teddy Forstman.

HSN ‘Food Fox’ Padma Lakshmi Is Sued For Saying ‘Go Daddy’ To Her Baby’s Father

January 26, 2011

When sexy HSN vendor and “Top Chef” judge Padma Lakshmi was pregnant, she was totally mum about the paternity of her baby. Now the whole world knows.

Lakshmi made the gossip columns Wednesday after the father of her baby Krishna filed suit against her.

Lakshmi sells teas, and her books, on HSN

The New York Post’s Page Six reported that venture capitalist Adam Dell, the brother of Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell, had filed suit against Lakshmi seeking custody of their 11-month-old baby. Lakshmi, who the Post dubbed “the food fox,” has only been permitting Dell to spend seven hours a week with their baby girl.

The Post dug up the legal papers Dell filed against Lakshmi, and they don’t paint a very pretty picture of the very pretty Lakshmi. The two apparently started hooking up in November 2007 and were still intimate until the summer of 2009, when Lakshmi was suddenly not so into Dell.

According to the suit, Lakshmi was being bitchy because she was pregnant, and she was hoping that Dell wasn’t the father of the baby. She had also been sleeping with zillionaire financier Ted Forstmann, and was banking that he was the Popi.

But a DNA test found out otherwise: Dell, not Forstmann, was the father. Yet Dell’s name is nowhere to be found on the baby’s birth certificate.

Have you got all this? We wish were we fooling around with two guys with a lot of bucks.

To add insult to injury, the Post reported that Forstmann had said he wished Dell would “f–king disappear.”

Lakshmi, for those who care, sells exotic teas and some of her books on HSN.

HSN Promotes Holiday Plans With A Mariah Carey Promo

November 18, 2010

A day after QVC said it was bringing back the “new” Black Friday, HSN put out a press release about its star-studded Thanksgifting Weekend festivities. The biggest attraction will be pregnant pop diva Mariah Carey.

To promote this shindig, HSN has come up with a holiday TV campaign featuring Mariah Carey, Iman and Twiggy as guides on a virtual shopping journey that delivers “the greatest names in gifts.”

It’s kind of cute.

This promo is set to Carey’s single “Oh Santa” from her new album Merry Christmas II You, and showcases an array of products.

“This was one of the most creative campaigns HSN has ever produced and was designed to give our customers a window into the best of the holidays and gifts,” Andrew Sheldon, HSN’s EVP of Television & Executive Creative Director, said in a canned statement Thursday.

“It was exciting to shoot on the back lot of Universal Studios to capture the winter scenes and shopping windows — and to work closely with Mariah Carey and her team. Setting the promotion to Mariah’s new holiday release was a great opportunity to tie her music with her new lifestyle brand launch on Cyber Monday.”

HSN’s holiday campaign is airing on all of its shopping platforms and will also be in rotation on cable operators covering 95 million homes as part of HSN’s cross-channel marketing efforts.

Here is HSN’s line-up over the holidays:

• Nov. 19 – Twiggy presents her LONDON fashion line, while TV actress and fashion model Molly Sims offers the latest in fashion jewelry.
• Nov. 29 (Cyber Monday) – Carey launches her exclusive collection of jewelry and footwear, as well as her limited-edition fragrance and a “Merry Christmas II You” CD/DVD bundle. Also, TV actress Kathy Najimy debuts her new shapewear concept “Ch’arms.”
• Dec. 2 – Iman showcases newest fashion, jewelry and accessory designs.
• Dec. 3-5 – Chef Wolfgang Puck provides cooking tips for the holidays.
• Dec. 3 – Entertainment expert Colin Cowie presents the best in holiday entertaining.
• Dec. 4-5 – Decorating expert Nate Berkus offers distinctive styles for your home.
• Dec. 7 – Serena Williams serves up more of her jewelry, accessories and more.
• Dec. 8-9 – Culinary celebrity Padma Lakshmi showcases her collection of natural spices, teas and teapots.
• Dec. 10 – Mary J. Blige returns with her exclusive fragrance with HSN, My Life.
• Dec. 12 – Chef Todd English with his cookware.

As part of its efforts to make shopping as convenient as possible over the holidays, HSN is leveraging all of its platforms to enable customers to shop where, how and when they want – on TV from the comfort of their home, on hsn.com, or “on the go” on their iPad, iPhone or android handheld device.

Exciting surprises are also available online. Customers can play HSN’s “Great Gift Giveaway” and have the opportunity to win $100,000 in gift prizes, including HSN gift cards, and eight electronic packages, each valued at $2,000. The game is also available on HSN’s Facebook page and mobile app on the iPhone – and is featured on-air ever Friday at 4 p.m. during the Gift Friday hours.

Wall Street Journal Does Non-Snarky Story On HSN’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Promotion

August 5, 2010

We broke the story June 1 that HSN had a big promotion cooking for the new movie “Eat, Pray, Love” — even though the home shopping network wouidn’t comment on it.

On July 6 HSN put out a press release about the formerly hush-hush three-day promotion with Sony Pictures for the film, which stars Julia Roberts and is being released Aug. 13.

Today, Thursday, The Wall Street Journal had a piece on the promotion headlined “‘Eat, Pray, Love’ — and Shop at HSN.”

Unlike most of The Journal’s stories, this one doesn’t look down its nose at HSN and the home shopping industry.

The article says that Sony Pictures will get a piece of sales of some merchandise that HSN sells this weekend for its “Eat, Pray, Love” event. The more than 400 new items being presented from India, Italy and Bali — where the movie is set — will include special teas and spices from “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi and clothes from Michella Obama designer Naeem Khan.

In The Journal story HSN CEO Mindy Grossman is given full credit for coming up with the idea of the home shopping network’s tie-in with the film.

HSN staff has already previewed the flick, and they have also been given copies of the bestseller by Elizabeth Gilbert that the film is based on.

For its part, Sony Pictures is trying to draw HSN’s female customers in and get them to see the movie.

HSN Finally Reveals Details Of Its ‘Eat Pray Love’ Promotion With Sony Pictures

July 6, 2010

Weeks ago when we asked HSN about a big event it had planned in conjunction with the release of the movie “Eat Pray Love,” we didn’t really get a response. We wrote what we could garner about the event from HSN.com.

Well, Tuesday HSN announced that it was partnering with Sony Pictures to support the launch of the film.

HSN modestly says that it “will be executing the most comprehensive 360-degree marketing campaign in its history, including 72 hours of original programming on Aug. 6, 7, and 8 featuring unique products themed around the movie.”

“Eat Pray Love,” based on the best-selling novel and starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, will be released Aug. 13.

“There are very few retailers out there that have the breadth and depth of HSN,” Marc Weinstock, president of worldwide marketing for Sony Pictures, said in a canned statement. “This is a unique promotion that taps into its power as a content, community, and commerce platform, and we are excited to have them on board as a partner. This is a great opportunity for us to reach our target audience while extending the ‘Eat Pray Love’ experience on the weekend prior to our release this August.”

HSN, which reaches 95 million homes in the U.S., has a customer base that’s about 83 percent female between the ages of 30 to 50 years old, with an above-average income. Its website is a Top 10-trafficked e-commerce site.

Padma Lakshmi will be part of HSN's Eat Pray Love extravaganza

“‘Eat Pray Love’ is an event motion picture for women, and we are very excited to partner with Sony Pictures in an alliance that allows us to support the film while also providing immersive content and product experiences for our core female consumer,” HSN Mindy Grossman said in her canned statement.

“Our customers will be able to experience the journey of traveling through Italy, India and Bali as we bring ‘Eat Pray Love’ to life through stories, engaging personalities and unique products that complement the themes expressed in the movie,” she said. “We have no doubt our customers will love ‘Eat Pray Love’!”

HSN will leverage multiple platforms to deliver a 360-degree experience for consumers in support of Eat Pray Love: TV, online, mobile, print advertising, public relations, events and direct mail.

The 72-hour “Eat Pray Love” on-air event will incorporate appearances by more than 20 of HSN’s partners and brands and feature more than 400 unique items across a variety of categories, including beauty, electronics, home decor, travel, cooking, jewelry, accessories and ready-to-wear.

You’ll be seeing wares from Naeem Khan, Robin by Me & Ro, Rebecca Moses, Padma Lakshmi, Lancome, RK by Ranjana Khan, Hutton Wilkinson, Carlton Varney, Sony Electronics, Nicky Butler, V by Eva, Tagliamonte, Sajen Silver, Dalia, Clever Carriage, Casa di Francesca and Sarita Handa.

In line with the movie, HSN programming during the event will focus on three different countries: Italy on Aug. 6; India on Aug. 7 and Bali on Aug. 8 – Bali.

Bestseller “Eat Love Pray” was written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Here’s what the HSN press release says about her.

At a crossroads after a divorce, Gilbert takes a year-long sabbatical from her job and steps uncharacteristically out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life. In her wondrous and exotic travels, she experiences the simple pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of love in Bali. Based on an inspiring true story, ‘Eat Pray Love’ proves that there really is more than one way to let yourself go and see the world.

NBC Universal Chief Jeff Zucker, His PR Folks And His Talent Host Holiday Party For Media At 30 Rock

December 9, 2009

We just got back to Jersey after attending NBC Universal’s party for the press. The soiree Tuesday night, held on the 52nd floor of 30 Rock in Manhattan, was officially off-the-record. But we can certainly tell you who we saw there.

As we were checking our coat, Kathie Lee Gifford was putting on her’s and leaving. Her NBC morning-TV partner, Hoda Kotb, was still inside at the shindig.

The event, sponsored by NBCU chief Jeff Zucker and his communications team, came on the heels of news that the nation’s largest cable operator, Comcast, was buying the home of the Peacock Network along with its stable of cable channels, which includes USA Network, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, CNBC and MSNBC. The seller is General Electric.

A shirt-sleeved Zucker briefly addressed the gathered media, and made some funny jokes about the coming merger (we can’t say what, it was off the record, remember?)

There were both NBCU talent and suits at the holiday party. NBC News anchor Brian Williams, a Jersey guy, stopped by, as did Lester Holt, Ann Curry and Amy Robach from “The Today Show.” Jimmy Fallon popped by when the party was ending.

As for execs, in addition to Zucker there was NBC Cable Entertainment chief Bonnie Hammer, Bravo honcho Frances Berwick, NBCU’s women’s and lifestyle chieftain Lauren Zalaznick, CNBC president Mark Hoffman and “Saturday Night Live” creator and producer Lorne Michaels.

We have written about Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” for NewJerseyNewsroom.com, and NBC has big home shopping connections and affiliations.

First of all, GE/NBC currently owns about 32.5 percent of ShopNBC on a fully diluted basis of 37.6 million shares. NBC’s 6.4 million shares represent 16.8 percent ownership and GE’s 6 million common stock purchase warrants represent 15.7 percent.

Secondly, the stars of several of NBCU’s cable show have home shopping lines, including: Tori Spelling, who is in Oxygen’s “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” on HSN; Rachel Zoe, from Bravo’s “The Rachel Zoe Report,” on QVC; Isaac Mizrahi, who hosts Bravo’s “The Fashion Show,” on QVC; Padma Lakshmi, from Bravo’s “Top Chef,” on HSN; and Ramona Singer from Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City." on HSN.

The party gift was a DVD of the third season of NBC’s “30 Rock,” appropriately.

Sultry ‘Top Chef’ Host And HSN Vendor Padma Lakshmi Gets Eye-Popping Profile In Page Six Magazine

December 3, 2009

Thursday’s Page Six Magazine from the New York Post has, as promised, a profile on “Top Chef” host and new HSN vendor Padma Lakshmi.

The sultry cook is depicted on the cover naked in a sexy pose, wearing what we believe is jewelry from the line she designed and is selling at Bergdorf Goodman.

Cover girl Lakshmi, who is divorced from writer Salman Rushdie, is pregnant. But Page Six could not get her to spill who the father is.

We’d link you to the Page Six Magazine story, but it’s not online yet.

But the article does mention Lakshmi’s the “Easy Exotic”, an array of teas and spices that she is selling on HSN.

“Jewels, spices and teas — I sound like Magellan,” Lakshmi told Page Six Magazine.

The hit “Top Chef” airs on Bravo.

HSN Vendor and ‘Top Chef’ Star Padma Lakshmi Tells New York Post She Digs Being Naked

November 30, 2009

It’s becoming a habit: HSN’s celebrity vendors winding up on the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column. Monday it was “Top Chef’s” lovely Padma Lakshmi.

Page Six offered a tidbit, from its upcoming interview Thursday with the pregnant Lakshmi. It will appear in Page Six Magazine.

Bravo star Lakshmi, who has done a line of her cookbooks, teas and spices for HSN, tells Page Six, “I like me better naked….When you don’t have any clothes on, it’s just you, raw, and you can’t hide.”

We’re sure that will catch the attention and spark some fantasies for many red-blooded American men.

We can’t wait to read the full interview Thursday.

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC Should Give Thanks For Home Shopping’s Sea Change: They’ve Attracted Luxury Brands Like Gucci, Badgley Mischka And Stephen Dweck

November 26, 2009

QVC CEO Mike George

We thought we were seeing things a few days ago when we checked ShopNBC’s Web site and saw that it was selling dozens of Gucci watches. What happened, did they fall off a truck? Why was Gucci, a premier luxury brand, being sold on a home shopping network?

Then back in October, we couldn’t believe it when a sharp-eyed poster on QVC’s jewelry forum said that upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck, whose chunky gemstone masterpieces are featured in Neiman Marcus, was on the No. 1 home shopping network’s schedule. THE Stephen Dweck?

We checked QVC’s program guide ourselves, and there it was: Dweck was doing a lower-priced jewelry line for QVC called Dweck’s Diamonds. His Neiman Marcus pieces didn’t even have diamonds. The high-end stuff is made with semi-precious stones.

Also in October, we were checking the press releases on HSN’s Web site when we saw the network had struck a deal with one of the most famous and elite fashion houses: Badgley Mischka, designers of bejeweled gowns for the red carpet and celebrities.

We’ve written bits and pieces of this during the past two months, but we thought we’d tie it all up in a tidy package for Thanksgiving: There has been a sea change in the home shopping world, prompted by the disastrous economy and the crash of the luxury market.

Yes, home shopping networks have seen their sales hurt by the economy, like everyone else. But they claim they are still managing to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, QVC is making a full-frontal assault on them this Black Friday, with 28 hours of special products and programming stunts starting Thanksgiving night.

The consumer press will continue to mention “cubic zirconia” in every story it writes about QVC or HSN, oblivious to the fact that some of the most esteemed names in fashion, jewelry and cosmetics — brands you find in Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus — are plying their wares on the aforementioned home shopping channels.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Male journalists are blind to this. You still have the nerds at Gawker, a snide Web Site for the navel-gazing media, chiding HSN for selling “useless crap.”

If you have ever seen how male journalists dress or their fashion and style sensibilities, you will realize that you can’t expect them to know names like Badgley Mischka, Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox, Lancome and Dweck. And these brands and artists don’t represent “useless crap.”

Luxury-good makers are hurting, and they need to make up their loss in sales. So they are turning to outlets like QVC, as CEO Mike George explained at a recent Liberty Media conference, as outlets to distribute new lower-priced lines to the masses. George cited fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s QVC alliance at the meeting held in Manhattan by his parent company, Liberty.

“This complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model,” George said.

And that means partnering with QVC, HSN or ShopNBC.

As we said, it will take the consumer press years to figure out that home shopping channels are distribution powerhouses that have undergone a transformation, in part because of the infllux of talent like a Morris, who does couture jewelry for designers like Donna Karan and RLM Studio sterling silver jewelry for QVC.

The Big Three — QVC, HSN and ShopNBC — are aggressively trying to broaden their audience and potential customer base, those who don’t normally watch any of these three networks. That means the three are actually “programming” the channels, doing “shows” that have entertainment value, not just product shilling, so they will attract non-QVC or non-HSN watchers.

We remember once interviewing a QVC exec years ago and asking what the network’s ratings were. He said ratings were irrelevant: QVC was only concerned about how many products were sold in an hour.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

That’s a totally different tune from what we heard recently from QVC’s George, and from the strategies that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart have initiated.

Like traditional TV networks, the home shopping players want viewers to “sample” a QVC or an HSN. These new audience members, hopefully, will then see products that they want to buy.

For example, singer Natalie Cole recently did a live concert on HSN to promote a new Holiday CD set she is selling on the channel. If you’re a fan, you might tune in to HSN to see her, and then actually decide to purchase her CD. Artists such
as Jose Feliciano have also performed live on QVC.

QVC alum Stewart on a recent third-quarter conference call pointed out that actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, who came to ShopNBC from HSN, had succeeded in attracting new viewers to Minneapolis-based ShopNBC because she was “entertaining.” And these networks want new eyeballs.

And home shopping networks’ capacity to reach millions of consumers and do fulfillment of orders has not been lost on magazine publishers, celebrities or cable’s reality TV stars. With circulation falling, women’s magazines such as Lucky, Allure, Glamour and Self are partnering with HSN to sell subscriptions.

And stars have seen the light. In a recent interview in Oprah Winfey’s O magazine, Joan Rivers, who’s had a jewelry line on QVC for almost 20 years, told O she was on home shopping when “nobody except dead celebrities was doing merchandise on TV.”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity or TV star who doesn’t have a home shopping line. Even Madonna was interviewed on HSN when she was selling her children’s book.

Here’s a partial list:

Paula Abdul, HSN, formerly “American Idol,” Fox

Rachel Zoe, QVC, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” Bravo

Isaac Mizrahi, QVC, “The Fashion Show,” Bravo

Padma Lakshmi, HSN, “Top Chef,” Bravo

Ramona Singer, HSN, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo

Susan Lucci, HSN, “All My Children,” ABC

Carson Kressley, QVC, “How to Look Good Naked,” Lifetime Television

Dr. Robert Rey, ShopNBC, “Dr. 90210,” E! Entertainment Television

Tori Spelling, HSN, “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” Oxygen

Paula Deen, QVC, Food Network

Rachael Ray, QVC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” syndication

Ingrid Hoffmann, HSN, Food Network and Univision

Home shopping is a big business. ShopNBC is the also-ran in the group, but in the third quarter Stewart made some nice progress cutting its losses. Sales for the Big Three were all down, but down less than previous quarters.

And we are not talking chump change for these networks. The three home shopping channels generated $8.3 billion in net revenue in 2008. QVC domestic posted $4.9 billion, HSN netted $2.8 billion and ShopNBC had $568 million.

Even with revenue still slipping this year, for the first nine months QVC had revenue of $3.308 billion; HSN had net sales of $1.4 billion; and ShopNBC had $372.6 million in net sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!