Archive for the ‘Louis Dell'Olio’ Category

Why No Mention, Or Questions About, The Louis Dell’Olio Brouhaha On QVC Parent’s First-Quarter Call?

May 7, 2010

QVC president and CEO Mike George

Well, we just listened to the Liberty Media first-quarter earnings call, since it is the parent of QVC. We were hoping — silly gooses that we are — that the battle over the demise, and resurrection, of Louis Dell’Olio’s Linea line would be mentioned.

Why? Even though Dell’Olio’s QVC fans were livid that the home shopping channel was going to dump his line, their reaction demonstrated how dedicated and passionate customers are about the brand.

Let’s face it, if some other people heard that a clothing line they liked was being discontinued on QVC, they might not be happy. But they would not mount a campaign — with letters and phone calls to Liberty chairman John Malone, Liberty CEO Greg Maffei and QVC president Mike George — to lobby for that desiigner to be kept on.

Dell’Olio’s ladies fought for him, and as a result not only will his clothing line remain on the home shopping channel, he is even expanding with a jewelry line.

We guess these hot shot Wall Street analysts don’t read The Homeshoppingista, so they were oblivious to the brouhaha and didn’t ask about it. And maybe Malone, Maffei and George are still pissed off about those Linea Ladies calls, even though they capitulated.

But we think the flap presented a PR opportunity. Liberty and QVC could have spun the story, noting how passionate the home shopping network’s customers are, and how QVC actualy listens to its loyal customer base.

Any way, there was nothing that fresh and exciting on the call. Earlier today, Friday, Liberty reported that domestic QVC saw a 10 percent jump in revenue, to $1.2 billion, in the first quarter. QVC also saw its adjusted OIBDA increase 19 percent to $261 million compared to the year-ago quarter.

The network’s product mix continued to shift from the jewelry and apparel to accessories and home.

In the first three months both QVC and competitor HSN saw roughly the same sales growth. On Tuesday, HSN reported that its first-quarter sales had increased, up 9 percent, to $518.9 million.

On the analysts’ call, George said that QVC’s HD channel is now in 32 million homes. The number of new customers was up 15 percent, with revenue from new customers increasing 26 percent.

QVC Relents, Decides to Keep Designer Louis Dell’Olio’s Line After Campaign By His Fans

April 25, 2010

It’s rare when a consumer campaign to keep a TV show alive or a product in production works, but it’s happened with designer Louis Dell’Olio’s QVC fans.

The home shopping network, which had told Dell’Olio it was discontinuing his line in the fall, has changed its mind after a campaign of angry phone calls and mail from his aficionados, the Linea Ladies.

Dell’Olio, an award-winning designer who worked alongside Donna Karan at Anne Klein, met with QVC officials in Manhattan last Thursday. The designer blogged that it looked good with QVC, but a few final details had to be ironed out. We guess they were, because not only will his Linea clothing line continue on QVC, he will also be introducing a jewelry line.

Dell’Olio posted the scoop on his blog Saturday. Here is part of it:

“Linea Lives! I am thrilled to be able to post this. I am not exaggerating when I say that this turn of events is because of all of you and your incredible determination and support! QVC has indeed, heard all of your voices, in the calls you made, the letters you wrote, the postings you made, the e-mails, the twitters.

QVC and I have come to a mutual agreement and QVC is anxious and eager to support me and the Linea business. One dismaying note is, due to time restraints, I will not be able to have a Fall line in time for the Designer Gallery in July. That will be the only Designer Gallery I will not be a part of…..That is a promise.

Let’s get right back to the good news. Time IS short, but my manufacture and I are now working to get a Fall line ready for September shows. That is the earliest I will be able to present the collect. As I’m sure you can understand, much time is needed in advance to accomplish all that needs to happen. The design and manufacturing process is a long one.

I would like to make one thing clear. At no time did QVC EVER ask me to diminish or compromise the quality of the Linea collection. From the designs, the fabrics, the trims, the fit, the make….all will be pure “Linea”, exactly what you have come to expect from me. That also is a promise.

Iin my September show, I will be introducing my first JEWELRY pieces!!!!!!! There also will be more jewelry introduced and available on dot com. in September. I am hopeful that this will be well received and will eventually expand into a larger accessory line. I know so many of you have asked for this and your wishes have come true. You will now have it!!

Another new program, Linea Essentials…..will also be presented in September and offered on dot com. I know that so MANY of you have been asking for this. You will now have it!!

Jac and I are both so glad to be staying at QVC. This is where Linea was born! It has been our pleasure to have been there for 10 years. It has been our EXTREME pleasure to get to know all of you and we truly consider you our friends. Getting to know you has been the very best part!!!!!

With my deepest thanks…….and MUCH Love……………Louis

Well, we have to tip our hats to the Linea Ladies, for their spirited and well-coordinated campaign on behalf of Dell’Olio. And we also congratulate QVC for actually listening to its customers. Good work all.

Designer Dell’Olio Says ‘Open Issues’ Need To Be Settled For His Collection To Stay On QVC

April 23, 2010

Fashion designer Louis Dell’Olio met with QVC officials Thursday to discuss the future of his clothing line, but said that there are still issues that need to be resolved in order for his collection to continue to be sold on the home shopping channel.

On his blog, Dell’Olio left a somewhat cryptic blog about what happened Thursday.

Here it is:

My dear friends.

First, I must thank you for all of the support and love you have shown Jac and myself. If it weren’t for all of you, this meeting would have never taken place. Jac came with me to the city for moral support. I also went into the meeting with all of your suggestions and good wishes.

I am pleased to be able to report to you that I met with the QVC representatives in New York City at the Linea offices, to discuss the future of the Linea/QVC relationship. The meeting was a positive one, but there are certain important matters yet to be agreed upon. It is my hope that this can be accomplished quickly and satisfactorily.

 I will be able to continue to provide you with my Linea collection through QVC. I will report back to you as soon as the open issues are resolved.

Blinddogs, if and when this should happen, I need to know which green you want matched….an A# would help!!!!!! All my LOVE….and a big THANK YOU……………Louis

Dell’Olio’s QVC fans, who call themselves the Linea Ladies, mounted a campaign to keep the designer on QVC when they heard the network planned to dump his Linea line in the fall. They phoned the offices of QVC president Mike George and John Malone, the chairman of QVC parent LIbery Media, and sent letters to the companies.

On the heels of that campaign, where the Linea Ladies threatened to boycott QVC, the home shopping channel asked to meet with the designer to talk about the future his QVC collection. That’s the meeting that took place.

Here’s hoping that Dell’Olio irons out any “issues” with QVC, because we like his clothes, too.

Hot Flash: Designer Louis Dell’Olio Meets Thursday With QVC Officials About The Future Of His Clothing Line

April 20, 2010

It looks like the QVC customer campaign to keep designer Louis Dell’Olio on the home shopping network may be working.

On Monday Dell’Olio wrote on his blog that he has a meeting set for Thursday with the honchos at QVC.

Here is his post:

My Dear Friends,

As of this posting, my “discussion” with QVC regarding Linea’s future will take place this Thursday afternoon. I want you all to know that I am taking all of your thoughts, suggestions and ideas with me. I have continually read all of your postings and can’t thank you enough for your untiring support and guidance. You have aided me in focusing on what is most important for Linea. You are one strong, intelligent group of women. It is an honor to know you. Obviously, you a force to be reckoned with……….always, with Love……..Louis

As we’ve said before, campaigns by fans — and threatened boycotts — to keep a cancelled TV show on the air, for example, only rarely work.

But it looks like all the irate phone calls that Dell’Olio’s “Linea Ladies” made last week and Monday to QVC president Mike George and the honchos at QVC’s parent Liberty Media, John Malone and Greg Maffei, may be working. These ladies were threatening to boycott QVC and take their disposable income elsewhere.

Last week Dell’Olio, who just celebrated his 10th anniversary on QVC, wrote in his blog that the home shopping channel had informed him it wasn’t placing any new orders or reorders for his Linea line come the fall.

Liberty Media Says It’s QVC’s Decision Whether Or Not to Drop Designer Louis Dell’Olio’s Line

April 19, 2010

John Malone

Monday morning fashion designer Louis Dell’Olio’s QVC fans decided to protest his possible exit by calling John Malone’s office at Liberty Media. Liberty owns QVC, and cable legend Malone is chairman. The guy who really runs that show on a day-to-day basis, however, is Liberty president Greg Maffei. Malone is more a big-picture guy.

Anyway, we decided to give Liberty’s PR department out in Denver a call Monday afternoon to find out how many calls they had received, etc. We also checked in with QVC, to find out of president Mike George’s phone was ringing off the hook.

At Liberty, corporate spokeswoman Courtnee Ulrich told us they have been getting calls from Dell’Olio’s fans, who have named themselves Linea Ladies, after the name of his QVC collection. She didn’t have a count as to how many calls Liberty had fielded about Dell’Olio, but she said, “We forward everything along to QVC.”

The hubbub started last week when Dell’Olio revealed on his blog that QVC had informed him it would stop ordering his line in the fall. His loyal QVC fans, who love his beautifully tailored classic clothes, sprang into action, coming up with a campaing to pressure QVC to keep Dell’OLio on.

That strategy included phone calls and letters to QVC president Mike George, as well as Malone and Maffei.

“We appreciate the feedback that we’re getting from customers,” Liberty’s Ulrich said. “But it’s an operating decision, so any changes will be coming out of QVC.”

That means it is QVC’s decision to make.

There is some hope for Dell’Olio’s QVC line. He blogged Friday that he had been contacted by QVC folks, and they want to sit down with him and discuss the future of his collection. That means there may be actually be a future for the designer beyond this fall at the Q.

When we checked in with QVC, spokeswoman Erin Mulholland was cordial, but close-mouthed. She wouldn’t comment on how many calls George had received, or about QVC possilby reconsidering its decision to drop Dell’Olio.

For those interested, Liberty will report its first-quarter earnings May 7 at noon (ET). Maffei will host the call, and QVC’s George ususally speaks, as well.

Replays of the conference call can be accessed through 3:00 p.m. (ET) May 14 by dialing (719) 457-0820 or (888) 203-1112 plus the pass code 5583834#.

Just for your information, the first-quarter earnings conference call will also be broadcast live via the Internet. All interested participants should go to Liberty’s website at to register for the web cast.

Replays of the call will also be available on the Liberty Media website. The conference call and related materials will be archived there for one year.

But maybe this Dell’OLio mess will have been solved by then.

The Dumping of Louis Dell’Olio And Charla Rines Sparks Customer Outrage At QVC And ShopNBC: How Shifts In Strategy Can Alienate Shoppers

April 18, 2010

Charla Rines

We’ve chronicled two instances now where customers of QVC and ShopNBC have become livid, and threatened to boycott those networks, because the two channels were getting rid of two popular personalities.

In the most recent brouhaha, more “mature” QVC shoppers were ready to tar and feather QVC president Mike George and John Malone and Gref Maffei, who run QVC’s parent Liberty Media, when they got word that the home shopping channel was dropping designer Louis Dell’Olio’s line.

Linea Ladies (named after his QVC Linea collection) this week mounted a focused campaign to keep Dell’Olio on the air, setting up a Twitter account, bombarding the offices of George and Malone with phone calls, and writing to these executives.

Who knows what will happen ultimately. Campaigns like this, no matter how passionate the protesters, seldom work.

But the “Ladies” seem to have made some progress last week on behalf of Dell’Olio. The award-winning designer wrote on his blog Friday that QVC officials now want to meet with him to discuss the future of his line for them. Prior to that, Dell’Olio said that QVC had informed him that it would stop placing orders for his line in the fall.

Customer relations are not much better at ShopNBC, where angry viewers are still shocked that the No. 3 shopping network canned spike-haired Rines, a loud-mouthed but popular host, back in January. Our blogs about Rines have received the most traffic of any items on this site, and more than 80 people have posted comments damning ShopNBC for letting Rines go.

These ShopNBC customers are also posting that the network had gone down the toilet in terms of the quality of its merchandise, especially the high-end jewelry that Rines used to do presentations on.

What’s going on here? You are seeing customer reaction to major changes in strategy at both QVC and ShopNBC.

Mindy Grossman

HSN is making similar changes, but even when veteran vendor Suzanne Somers left last fall after more than a decade at the network, there was no viewer ire. We guess that’s because she had her new home-shopping gig set up — moving over to ShopNBC.

With the recession, it’s a tough environment out there for home shopping networks. Gems TV went black last Thursday, and has filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection. QVC, HSN and ShopNBC obviously don’t want to suffer a similar fate.

All three home shopping networks have shifted their strategies. For one, they have changed their product mixes to include less jewelry (which apparently no one but us is buying nowadays) and much more beauty and consumer electronics producs.

QVC and HSN are going in similar directions in many respects: In particular, they are replacing their older clothing lines with hipper fashions by younger designers. So for example, you have HSN CEO Mindy Grossman bringing in higher-end design talent like Badgley Mischka, Naeem Khan and Stephani Greenfield to the network.

In the case of QVC and Dell’Olio, he makes gorgeous classic tailored clothes, the kind of garments that women my age love. But QVC is trying to attract new, younger viewers, and has brought in more fashion-forward designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Chloe Dao with their edgier fashions.

Linea Ladies pointed out to QVC that they have lots more disposal income than the kids, and that younger shoppers are fickle and unloyal. Good points.

If you read QVC’s online forums, you will soon learn that the Linea Ladies don’t like the new designers like Mizrahi, and that they feel they are being swept aside in the home shopping channel’s push to draw new shoppers. And these women are probably right.

Keith Stewart

That age issue is also at the center of customer anger over ShopNBC letting Rines go: She was not a 20-something, she was maybe a 50-something. The new generic, picture perfect hosts that ShopNBC has hired just don’t cut the mustard, according to Rines’s fans.

With her bright red lipstick and short platinum blonde hair, Rines didn’t look or act like any other host on a home shopping channel. She was outspoken, blunt, sarcastic and had a real edge to her. She drove us nuts sometimes, but at least she didn’t have the nauseatingly sweet, unskeptical persona of many home-shopping network hosts.

ShopNBC’s situation, except for it getting rid of an older talent, is opposite of QVC’s and HSN’s. Chief Keith Stewart is trying to make the No. 3 home shopping channel less upscale, lowering the average price of its merchandise. You won’t see many $20,000 rings being sold on ShopNBC now, the way you used to.

And he is widening ShopNBC’s product mix to be more like QVC and HSN, in that the No. 3 home shopping network is now selling gourmet food and even 3D HDTV sets (before its two rivals did).

All three home shopping channels will soon be reporting their first-quarter earnings. They have been seeing rising sales, so maybe their new strategies are working.

But their core customers are not happy. And those are the shoppers that they depend on to come back again and again.

QVC Designer Izaac Mizrahi’s Appearance on ‘Jeopardy’: We Can’t Shake This Guy

April 17, 2010

No matter what we do or where we go, we can’t seem to get away from home shopping.

Last night at the gym (another exciting Friday night), as we were wiping sweat from our brow while on the elliptical, we glanced at the TV screen of the guy next to us. He was watching “Jeopardy,” and we thought we were seeing things. Was that guy in the middle of the panel QVC designer Isaac Mizrahi?

We tuned to “Jeopardy” on our own TV screen, and yes, it was the curly-haired wonder himself. It was a “Celebrity Jeopardy” show, and Mizrahi was competing against Jane Curtin, a veteran of the old “Saturday Night Live,” and CC Pounder, the talented actress who had a big role in FX’s “The Shield.”

Mizrahi is bright, and he was ahead of his two rivals for part of the competition. But then Curtin pulled way ahead of him. Pounder proved that she should just stick with acting.

Then came the final “Jeopardy” question, where Mizrahi had a chance to pull ahead of Curtin. The question was which British actor was the first to be knighted. Both Mizrahi and Curtin got the right answer, Laurence Olivier, but Curtin was so still far ahead she won. She got $35,000 for her favorite charity.

Pounder bombed out, and wound up with zero dollars.

How QVC finagled to get Mizrahi, a fashion designer, qualified as a celebrity for “Jeopardy,” we don’t know. But score one for the QVC PR department.

By the way, Mizrahi ears should be ringing. He is the target of a lot of anger on QVC’s online forums, now that news leaked that Louis Dell’Olio’s line is being dumped by QVC.

The more mature fans of Dell’Olio’s classy tailored clothes don’t like the fact that QVC had made Mizrahi its new design darling, and a lot of viewers — The Homeshoppingista included — have been less than impressed with Mizrahi’s new collection.

But QVC, after angry letters and phone calls, has asked to talk to Dell’Olio about the future of his line, so there may be hope for him yet at the home shopping network.

Designer Louis Dell’Olio Says QVC Has Asked To Discuss The Future Of His Line: Will Linea Live?

April 17, 2010

Dell'Olio QVC fans have been calling Liberty Media chairman John Malone's office to stop QVC from dropping the designer's line

Louis Dell’Olio fans’ phone calls to the head of QVC’s parent company, Liberty Media chairman John Malone out in Denver, may be paying off.

The award-winning fashion designer, who was recently told by the home shopping network that it would stop ordering his line this fall, Friday blogged that he tenure at QVC may not be over.

Here’s what Dell’Olio wrote:

“My Dear Friends, I will never be able to tell you enough times how much I appreciate all of your support. I want you all to know that Jac (his wife) and I have read every Post, Blog and Twitter that has been written. Jac has cried often over your very kind and supportive words.

I know about the e-mails and all of your letters and calls to QVC. This has been a very emotional time. How can I ever describe how much you have meant to both of us. My promise to you is that I will always be honest and direct in whatever I say. Because of your efforts alone, QVC has just approached me to say they want to have a discussion regarding the future of Linea.

As of last week, there was no future for Linea. I will, of course, keep you informed.

To be continued…….Thank you all and God bless………Louis.”

Dell’Olio’s irate and feisty QVC fans, who have dubbed themselves “Linea Ladies,” have been lobbying to keep him on QVC by either writing to, or calling, the offices of QVC president Mike George, Liberty chairman Malone, and Liberty president Greg Maffei, who really runs the place.

Former engineer Malone, often referred to as a cable cowboy, is legend in the cable industry, and was the head of what back then was the country’s largest cable company, TCI.

For Fans Furious That QVC Is Dropping Designer Louis Dell’Olio: We’ll Give You QVC’s And Liberty Media’s Addresses And Phone Numbers

April 15, 2010

We're sure QVC president Mike George will be happy to take your calls about his network dumping Louis Dell'Olio's line

The brouhaha about QVC dropping award-winning designer Louis Dell’Olio’s clothing line seems to be escalating.

Dell’Olio’s fans at the Q have mounted a campaign to keep his collection on the home shopping channel, and they are urging viewers to phone officials at QVC, namely president Mike George, and at its parent company, John Malone’s Liberty Media.

But the Linea Ladies, as the designer’s QVC fans are calling themselves, claim QVC is not playing fair. On Thursday one poster on QVC’s online forums, Blinddogs, charged that the home shopping network had “poofed” the phone numbers and addresses of QVC and Liberty Media’s bigwhigs.

Here is one of Blinddogs’ posts:

“WELL, isn’t the Q getting cute…Now they don’t poof the entire thread, just  delete the words that make the point: the names, address and phone number for corporate officers of Liberty Media Corp., the parent company of QVC. Is it a state secret and does QVC really stand for CIA?

What do Q execs have to hide that they are so scared that we might contact THEIR bosses at Liberty Media?

Since after 4 tries have been poofed, you can find the names and address yourself with a bit of looking at and click on the corporate officers. Click on investor relations to get a toll free number to call. And under investor relations, click on events and you can find what is also top secret and a link thereto poofed previously: audio of QVC President and CEO Mike George’s statements to shareholders in March.

SHHHS top secret information: Dr. John Malone is the chairman of the board and the founder of Liberty Media. Don’t tell anyone…”

The Linea Ladies have set up a Twitter address for their crusade to keep Dell’OLio, who designs classic tailored clothes, at the No. 1 home shopping channel.

We got a callback Thursday from QVC spokeswoman Erin Mulholland, but she didn’t have too much to say.

She declined to comment on whether QVC is dropping Dell’Olio’s line (the designer himself let the cat of the bag on his blog, where he said he was told QVC told him it would no longer order from him starting in the fall).

She declined to say whether or not QVC was deleting the phone numbers and addresses of QVC and Liberty Media officials on the forums.

She declined to say how many phone calls George had received complaining about Dell’Olio’s ouster.

She did say that Dell’Olio has shows on QVC in May.

Well, we’ll lend a helping hand here, with some names, addresses and numbers.

Liberty Media Corp.
12300 Liberty Blvd.
Englewood, Colo. 80112
(720) 875-5400

Liberty Chairman John Malone
Liberty President Greg Maffei

QVC President Mike George
1200 Wilson Drive
West Chester, Pa. 19380
800-296-2931 or 484-701-8253

Dell’Olio said in a new blog that his QVC shows are scheduled for May 12. He also thanked his fans for their support.

“Jac (his wife) and I want you all to know that we are just overwhelmed by your caring……Overwhelmed,” Dell’Olio blogged. “My anniversary dates are: Wednesday, May 12th, 6-7am, 1-3pm and 7-8pm. We love you all………….Louis.”

At least one of Dell’Olio’s fans tweeted on Twitter that she had gotten through to QVC honcho George’s office.

“Hi ladies, Mike George’s office called me and said they have not made final decision yet. they will call me when they have. keep fingers crsd.”

We hate to say it, but don’t hold your breathe, girlfriend.

One online poster said that customer service reps were telling people that called to complain that Dell’Olio’s line wasn’t “popular.” That really got his Linea Ladies riled up.

QVC, like HSN, is adamant about drawing younger viewers, and they think they can do it with fresh names like Isaac Mizrahi.

But it’s usually not a good idea to alienate your current customers, or don’t that teach that at Harvard and Wharton MBA classes these days?

We’re Still Waiting For QVC To Tell Us Why It’s Dropping Louis Dell’Olio’s Line

April 14, 2010

It’s Wednesday, and we’re still waiting for QVC’s comment on the network pulling the plug on fashion designer Louis Dell’Olio clothing line, Linea.

His QVC fans are still in an uproar that Dell’Olio, who just celebrated his 10th anniversary with the network, is esentially getting dropped this fall. QVC’s online forums were hot yesterday and are already buzzing this morning. They are planning a campaign to keep him on.

Most of the posts are irate that QVC is risking alienating its older shoppers, who love Dell’Olio’s classicly tailored clothes, by replacing him with younger, hipper designers.

You QVC viewers know what’s going on: The network, like HSN, is trying to draw younger female viewers by featuring fashions from fresh faces. The big push has been clothing from QVC’s new talent, Isaac Mizrahi.

Some of QVC’s posters said they’ve called QVC president Mike George’s office or customer service to complain. One woman said that customer service said it was a QVC buyer’s decision to scrap Dell’Olio.

“I wrote to the President of QVC and I see that went NOWHERE,” wrote one poster Wednesday. “Well, I will say this emphatically, QVC you are betting on the wrong horse (Mizrahi)! You have made me livid, as I hear others are. Where Louis goes, I will follow. This is how you treat your customers that you supposedly care about? BIG MISTAKE! If Louis goes, so does my Q card, right in the shredder!!!”

Anyway, this flap isn’t going to die down soon.

It reminds us of the continuing anger that rages against ShopNBC because it let popular host Charla Rines go in January.