Archive for the ‘Mary J. Blige’ Category

HSN’s Good Deed: Designer Ornaments For St. Jude

October 22, 2010

Jay King's ornament

We think HSN’s Designer Ornament event is a pretty neat idea, and all for a good cause.

The No. 2 home shopping network asked a bunch of its vendors — 73 total — to each design a Christmas tree decoration for its HSN 2010 Designer Ornament Collection. The ornaments, which HSN has been selling on-air for the past two days, range in price from $20 to $40.

So Susan Lucci, Diane Gilman, Emeril Lagasse, Jay King, Mary J. Blige, Martha Sewart, Jennifer Stallone, Twiggy and Gwen Stefani were among the HSN vendors who designed ornaments for the collection.

Twiggy's version

The sale of the ornaments is supporting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a pediatric research and treatment center devoted solely to finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses.

Gwen Stefani's ornament

In fact, 100 percent of the profits, no less than 30 percent of the purchase price of each ornament, will be donated to St. Jude.

We particularly liked Twiggy’s Union Jack version, King’s white and turquoise ornament, Stallone’s cute Santa and Emeril’s purple turnip.

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‘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.

HSN Vendor Carol’s Daughter Does Q&A With New York Times Business Section

August 23, 2010

Hair butter from Carol's Daughter

We’ve noted that HSN makes a real effort to target African-American customers, and one brand it’s brought on to do that is the beauty line Carol’s Daughter.

One of Carol’s Daughters investors is singer Mary J. Blige:

The Sunday New York Times did a Q&A with the brand’s founder and president, Lisa Price, that was headlined “Memo to Self: Don’t Take It Personally.” That’s good advice for us, because we take everything personally.

Price, who started out by making batches of her hair products in her kitchen, discusses her feelings about being a manager and bringing in a CEO for the company, Richard Dantas.

Carol's Daughter investor Mary J. Blige

Here’s what HSN has to say about Carol’s Daughter.

Beginning with a love for experimenting with fragrances, Brooklyn native Lisa Price started making products in her kitchen as gifts for friends back in 1993. Mixing essential oils and natural moisturizers, she homemade unique elixirs with love and attention to detail. She named her company in honor of her mother, to acknowledge her support and inspiration.

A well-known record executive spread the word about Lisa’s luxurious bath, body and hair care products, prompting the transition from creating concoctions in the kitchen for a select few to successfully reaching customers across the country via mail order and the web. Even though her products have earned a cult following – they’re a staple on the shelves of celebrity bathrooms – Carol’s daughter Lisa has stayed true to her homemade roots. After years of success, celebrity, and expansion Carol’s Daughter products are still made with love and still made by hand.

Discover yourself the special touch Lisa brings to each of her products. Carol’s Daughter offers only the sweetest, most luxurious products the heart can offer, so you can love your beauty.

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.