Archive for the ‘James Mischka’ Category

The Wall Street Journal On HSN Honcho Mindy Grossman, Why Home Shopping Is Hot And ‘Pooh-Poohing’ Designers

November 11, 2010

Did you realize it’s “The Golden Age of TV Shopping”?

We know, we’ve been telling you that for more than a year now, but The Wall Street Journal made it official Thursday, with a big feature with that “Golden Age” headline.

It looks like Journal reporter Elizabeth Holmes actually plopped her butt onto a plane and made the trek to St. Petersburg, Fla., to find out exactly why the hell upscale designers such as Reem Acra (who is so high-end we had never heard of her), Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Naeem Khan are now selling their wares on HSN. In the past, they were selling their duds to celebs like Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry.

The Journal story mainly focuses on HSN and its evolution (which has some irate customers wanting to start a revolution) under the helm of CEO Mindy Grossman. But it also references the market’s dominant player, QVC, and its hip vendors such as razor-thin celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant.

Your's truly with designing team Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who are a big part of The Journal's home shopping story

As usual in one of these home-shopping-networks-are-no-longer-downscale stories, we have the usual quotes from Acra and Khan (who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama) knocking electronic home — that is before they swallowed the Kool-Aid.

“I never watched it before,” Acra told The Journal, referring to HSN. “I pooh-poohed it. But now look at it. There are items I would want every single day.”

Ah, a true believer now.

Naeem Khan's $870 bag for HSN

Then the story gets to the obvious: High-end designers have gone to HSN because they can move a hell of a lot of product on it, which is pretty crucial when sales for upsale goods have crashed. Mischka told Rupert Murdoch’s financial rag that Badgley Mischka sold 18,000 units of one particular jacket on HSN. It would take a lot of couture gowns to ring up that kind of revenue. Volume, volume, volume.

We did learn a few things from The Journal, like that HSN keeps track of sales by the minutes, and uses that “intel,” as Jack Bauer would say, to guide hosts. The story says that when HSN host Bobbi Ray Carter mentioned the quality of one of Acra’s jackets, it’s sales shot up. So HSN had Ray talk in more detail about the material in the piece.

HSN chief Mindy Grossman

The article talks quite a bit about Nike veteran Grossman, who came on board to HSN in 2006 and began making it more fashion-forward by courting a host of big-name designers.

Grossman did her research, asking people about HSN, and told The Journal she got three responses, “Some who shopped, some who didn’t, some who did but they whispered that they did.””

We never whispered, Mindy! We were always loud and proud about our HSN and QVC purchases, despite being surrounded by snobby Manhattanites (most of whom where transplants from the Midwest).

The Journal story goes on about Grossman, saying, “The new CEO cleaned house, shedding brands that she didn’t think made sense for the network.”

We guess the “shedding” refers to the exits of vendors like Suzanne Somers, Terry Lewis, Beyonce’s mom Tina Knowles and a parade of others. The departure of Terry Lewis and her Classic Luxuries line still has some HSN shoppers calling for Grossman to be drawn and quartered.

We did get a kick out of the anecdote in the story about Mischka “falling off the stage” the first time he and his partner Badgley appeared on HSN. But unfortunately for viewers, the camera wasn’t on him when that little mishap took place.

HSN Teams With TLC, Kelly Ripa For New ‘Homemade Millionaire’ TV Show

October 12, 2010

It looks like HSN is dipping its toe in the traditional TV programming business, by joining forces with TLC and Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ company, Milojo Productions, on a six-part series that gives women entrepreneurs a chance to make their visions reality.

The show, “Homemade Millionaire,” debuts Nov. 19 at 10 p.m., and in part will feature HSN vendors like Emeril Lagasse and jean queen Diane Gilman.

“The series offers aspiring female entrepreneurs the potential opportunity of a lifetime – to have their innovative ideas sold on-air and online through interactive multichannel retailer HSN,” the press release Monday said. “With product sales on HSN topping $2 billion a year, a deal with HSN could change these women’s lives overnight.”

Here are the canned quotes, folks.

“We are super excited to be working with TLC and HSN on this project,” Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos said, apparently in remarkable unison. “We’re sent so many innovative products from women every day, and to be able to help them get into the marketplace is a dream come true for us. These inventors have worked so hard in this show. We’re beyond proud of them.”

And from TLC…

“’Homemade Millionaire’ provides an opportunity to those ‘kitchen-table inventors’ to get their creative ideas out to the masses,” Nancy Daniels, TLC’s senior of production and development, said. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Kelly and Milojo Productions, and believe HSN is the perfect outlet for these hard-working women to showcase their inventions.”

Each hour-long episode of “Homemade Millionaire” will follow three women competing for a chance to sell their inventions on HSN.

Open calls were held throughout the country, and thousands of women showed up with their unique products in hand, with the hopes of being part of this experience.

“We are very excited to work with Kelly Ripa and TLC to help these inventors realize their dreams,” Bill Brand, HSN executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development said in his canned statement. “HSN is all about great products and amazing storytellers and that is what this series will deliver to our customers.”

The inventors were had to perform a series of tasks designed to get their product ready for consumers. Helping Ripa coach these women are two “business experts,” Wendy Robbins and Ed Evangelista, who serve as mentors for these would-be business women as they evolve their product and build a unique marketing strategy to present to HSN.

Wendy Robbins, founder of Nowhere To Millionaire LLC and author of “Why Marry a Millionaire? Just Be One!”, worked her way out of debt to make millions with her invention the Tingler head massager. She is also a leading expert on mastering the millionaire mindset, and how to manufacture and market ideas to millions.

Ed Evangelista became the first advertising executive embedded into entertainment content when he served as a judge, juror, and executioner on ABC’s “American Inventor.” Evangelista has created award-winning advertising, marketing and alternative content for some of the world’s largest consumer brands from diamonds and liquors, to automobiles, finance and bubble gum.

Alongside Ripa on the judges’ panel are two HSN executives – Jennifer Cotter, senior vice president of television, and Chris Nicola, vice president of product development – who draw upon their vast experience in television and retail to evaluate each product.

Each episode also features HSN vendors and lifestyle journalists including Emeril Lagasse, Jennifer Flavin-Stallone, Colin Cowie, Ingrid Hoffmann, Diane Gilman, Stacey Schieffelin, Jeffrey Banks, James Mischka and Mark Badgley, Skip Borghese, Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Allie Lewis, food editor, Real Simple Magazine and Lori Bergamotto, fashion editor for Lucky Magazine

“Homemade Millionaire” is produced by Milojo Productions and Discovery Studios for TLC.

Badgley Mischka’s HSN Collection Gets Spotlight In New York Daily News

April 12, 2010

The New York Daily News Monday is featuring a host of low-priced fashion items, including five pieces from Badgley Mischka’s HSN collection.

The story, headlined “New York’s Best For Less: Designer Duds, And The Prices are Right On Target,” notes that red-carpet designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka are doing a line called “American Glamour” for the No. 2 home shopping channel.

The two-page spread, which must have HSN PR in ecstasy, has photos of three of the collection’s fashion jewelry pieces.

The pair’s $79 medallion necklace is shown.

The other Badgley Mischka jewelry items depicted are a $99 faux turquoise stretch bracelet, and big $79 drop earrrings, which have faux turquoise and citrine-like stones.

Also featured are a pair of $120 sequined flats from the collection, as well as a $150 patent leather tote.

Oprah Winfrey Shines In HSN Vendor Badgley Mischka’s Gown In ‘O’ Magazine

April 9, 2010

The red-carpet gown design house Badgley Mischka is designing for HSN, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have celebrity clientele.

The designing duo of Mark Badgley and James Mischka “reinterpreted” one of the gowns from their spring collection — a slinky, shimmery, gorgeous crimson dress — for Oprah Winfrey. She is shown wearing it in a photo on page 53 of O: The Oprah Magazine’s May 10th anniversday issue.

The boys also wrote a note to Winfrey, saying, “On O’s tenth anniversary congratulations. Here is to another ten.”

Badgley Mischka Returns To HSN March 18 For 12 Hours, With Today’s Tuxedo Special

March 11, 2010

The Today's Special is on the far right

The red carpet design team Badgley Mischka will be back on HSN in mid-March, on for a good 12 hours on March 18 when they will have the Today’s Special.

We got a gander Thursday at the design team’s spring American Glamour collection for HSN, and we were eyeing the TS long before it we even knew it was going to be the TS.

And the handbags, jeans, blouses, sandals and fashion jewelry that Mark Badgley and his partner James Mischka have lined up are pretty eye-catching.

During the breakfast press preview Mischka explained that the vendors that do the goods for the design team’s luxury lines, which sell in stores like Neiman Marcus, are the exact ones who are making the merchandise for HSN.

“All of our partners that do our couture range – like the jewelry, the handbags, the scarves, the shoes, the apparel – they’re the same teams that do the HSN projects,” he said.

Badgley Mischka is creating six collections a year for HSN, which is quite a commitment.

The TS for March 18 is a knit tuxedo jacket with removable jeweled belt loops that comes in a variety of colors, including black and a gorgeous turquoise that drew it to us as soon as we walked into the showroom. It will sell for $109.90, and is modeled after a suit that Badgley Mischka did for its couture collection.

The upscale design team also had some stand-out purses for HSN on display.

“Our handbags are one of our strongest categories with HSN,” Badgley said. “They’re just really fun and really chic….We made a conscious decision with them (HSN). We wanted to do fine quality leathers with them. We weren’t interested in… just throwing out a faux bag.”

When they were on HSN in November, they had a $500 snakeskin purse that sold out in a snap. That purse in the Badgley Mischka couture collection would have cost $1,600, according to Badgley.

Soft Napa tote

His favorites in the collection for the spring were a slouchy Napa leather tote with for $329, and “this studded bag has about 500 hand-done studs…I love this bag.”

Then Mischka chimed in, “We’re going to actually count them for you on the show.”

Chunky bangles, $79

Badgley Mischka is know for its bling, and they are bringing chunky gemstone cuffs and a sea life collection – necklaces adorned with rhinestoned starfishes, coral and shells – to HSN this spring.

“I love the jewelry,” Badgley said. “James and I are freaks for stones and vintage jewelry. Jewelry always inspires all the beading, all the artwork, on our evening gowns. So the jewelry is really one of our favorites.”

Badgley Mischka is also doing jeans for HSN this go-around, including a pair of straight legs that we have our eye on now.

“It’s such a super important category for HSN,” Badgley said.

The 5-way maxi-dress for $129.90

And Mischka added, “Our couture customer wears them at trunk shows. She comes in with a Chanel jacket and a pair of jeans on. It’s the dominant category for HSN, too.”

The other items that caught our fancy included a cowl-neck jersey-like top that has a removable necklace; real snakeskin flats; and a georgette maxi dress that can be worn five ways.

We’re not shoe whores, but Mischka pointed out a pair of cork platforms with a fabric “fun and flirty” flower. The runway version of that show was called one of the season’s best shoes by The New York Times, according to Mischka.

Badgley and Mischka will have a jewely show on HSN March 17, and them will dominate March 18. Their shows that day will be from midnight to 2 a.m.; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Jewelry Hour); 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and 10 p.m. to midnight.

Red Carpet Designers Badgley And Mischka Dish About How They Wound Up On HSN: The Mindy Grossman Connection

March 11, 2010

Couture and HSN designer James Mischka, The Homeshoppingista (my head's as big as Nancy Reagan's) and Mark Badgley

HSN gave the press a sneak peek Thursday at Badgley Mischka’s spring line for the home shopping channel. And it rocked.

We and a handful of other early-rising writers got to interview both bling boys. Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who were charming and down to earth (we hear tell Mischka grew up in Jersey, so that’s a big plus in his favor right off the bat).

They then took us through their merchandise, set up in displays at the couture design house’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Garment District.

When we first heard that Badgley Mischka, the designers of bedazzling couture red carpet gowns, were coming to HSN last year we couldn’t believe it. These are the guys who have done dresses for the likes Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Garner, to name just a few of their clients.

The duo debuted their lower-priced American Glamour apparel and accessory line last November on HSN, and the goods blew out the door.

The design partners, we found out, go way back with HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, and talked to the home shopping network for several years about coming onboard. Mischka, the blond, said he worked with Grossman at his first job at WilliWear from Willi Smith back in the 1980s.

“I’ve known her for 27 years,” Mischka said.

The duo, dressed in their uniforms of jeans and jackets, just opened a store in Palm Beach. They want to spread their wings and expand their brand, and that’s where HSN came in, especially in an economy where the luxury category has been hit hard.

“We were selling $10,000 evening gowns for about 16 years, which is fun, but it’s a specialized niche and a niche that we love,” the bespectacled Badgley said. “But today, you can do more than just that single kind of category.”

A georgette dress, far left, is one of Badgley Mischka's hot items for the spring, along with quality leather purses

Surprisingly, or not, the designers said that the women who guy their luxury couture clothes are also shopping for their wares on HSN.

“After the HSN thing in November, we were walking down Worth Avenue and 12 people stopped us on the street and said, ‘Oh, I saw your stuff on HSN. I bought a bag or I tried to get a bag but it was sold out,’” Mischka said. “So the Worth Avenue-Palm Beach customer also shops HSN.”

And, just as we’ve been preaching, those young fashionistas in Badgley Mischka’s Seventh Avenue showroom watch the No. 2 home shopping network.

“All the girls here in the office are closet HSN shoppers,” Mischka said. “Their closets are apparently full of those hangers.”

He was referring, of course, to Joy Mangano’s Huggable Hangers. Our closet is full of them, too.

The designing duo returns to HSN March 17 for one show, and for 12 hours on March 18, with the Today’s Special, which is a hell of a lot of air time.

The spectator look and studded purses are part of the American Glamour collection this spring

“We’re supposed to be on for 12 hours, if we live to tell the tale,” Badgley said.

Mischka said they recently saw fellow HSN vendor Stefani Greenfield, and she advised them, “Don’t drink too much Red Bull, or you won’t sleep on your hours off.”

Badgley admitted that it’s not easy to be on-air live, trying to come up with dozens of adjectives to describe a shirt, for example.

“James and I don’t really have the gift of gab, so it’s a challenge,” he said.

Well, the HSN hosts sure have it, so don’t worry too much, Mark,

Our blog on the new collection is coming shortly.

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!

Fashion Design Team Badgley Mischka Swaps The Red Carpet For Home Shopping Trunk Show On HSN

November 18, 2009

Who’d a thunk that the red-carpet fashion house Badgley Mischka would one day be selling a line on HSN.

But the two designers and celebrity favorites, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, premiered their American Glamour line of apparel, accessories and jewelry during a two-hour show Tuesday night. The first hour was clothes and handbags, the second devoted to jewelry.

“We’re here to bring glamour to American life,” said Badgley, who is the one with the glasses.

The team made its name designing beautful beaded and embellished evening gowns.

The price points on their HSN goods ranged from $99 for a silk tunic to $499 for a snakeskin satchel.

“This is truly one of our luxe bags,”  Badgley said.

Host Colleen Lopez said the handbag was the best-selling item on the HSN Web site out of the collection, and it was our favorite item. It sold out.

The Badgley Mischka foray on HSN is part of a trend of high-end designers, with the luxury market suffering, looking for distribution of lower-priced lines to the masses.

The designing duo started its couture company 20 years ago, with a collection of black dresses.

Badgley seemed like he had a smirk on his face throughout the show, but maybe he was just nervous. But all in all, he and his partner Mischka were pretty down to earth and came across quite well.

Lopez who couldn’t stop gushing about the merchandise.

“I might hyperventilate before this whole show is over,” she told the two designers.

Lopez was wearing a silk top that could be worn off the shoulders, the only place that Lopez said she didn’t have cellulite. It was $89.90, and she wore it in mocha.

Badgley got a surprise when his aunt in Nevada called in to wish him luck on the new line. She said she had purchased a tunic and was looking at some other items to buy. Mark, what kind of a nephew are you? Couldn’t you get her your stuff wholesale?

Of the jewelry, one of our favorites was Badgley Mischka’s Maltese crosses, but there was also an unusual watch. It looked like a vintage crystal bracelet at first glance, but was in fact a working watch. Mischka said it was inspired by a piece they found in a shop in Rhode Island.

Badgley and Mischka won’t be back on HSN until March, according to Lopez.