Posts Tagged ‘Iman’

Queen Latifah Reigns On HSN As The Network Targets African-American Women Shoppers

August 29, 2011

Sorry we didn’t post all weekend, but we got derailed by a lady by the name of Irene. Flooding. No power. All on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in NOLA.

But we had to comment on the debut of Queen Latifah’s fashion line on HSN, with the Today’s Special, a suede hobo purse, on Saturday. Latifah, i.e. Dana Owens of East Orange, N.J., was a natural hawking her wares. As host Colleen Lopez pointed out, she really didn’t even have to be there, because Latifah was doing such a great job explaining her Queen Collection so well.

Latifah started out as a rapper and then moved on to acting and films with huge success (an Oscar nominee for “Chicago,” we believe). She’s a warm, down-to-earth, smart, beautiful woman, and she’s a big woman. And as she stated, she’s a sensitive Pisces. And she makes no excuses for her size.

Latifah said that she had been offered loads of money to do fashion lines before signing on with HSN, which she said “got” women. Latifah’s HSN line ranges in size from XS to 3X, and there is no label on it being for “plus-sized” women.

InStyle magazine this month mentions Latifah’s line, with a photo of a gorgeous draped dress that we were coveting.

What was especially uplifting were the many, many calls that Latifah got from African-American women, who said they admired her, her accomplishments and her style. Latifah’s fessed up to owning $3,000 purses, so even though her TS was $160, not cheap, it was considerably less expensive than what she is used to carrying.

HSN never markets this fact, but it has become a real promoter of African-American vendors. Artists, athletes and entrepreneurs including Iman, Serena Williams, Carol’s Daughter, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Antthony Design Originals, Sean Combs and Professor Amos are all on HSN’s roster.

And HSN used to have even more African-American vendors. Terry Lewis is a former HSN host who had a great line of classic designs, with great leather pants and skirts. Lewis’s fans still skewer HSN for not having her on the air anymore.

And Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles, once had a clothing line on HSN.

HSN also recently did a day that featured products tied to the premiere of the movie “The Help.”

We don’t see by effort by any of the other home shopping networks to target women of color, and we think it’s a great strategy on HSN’s part.

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‘Sunday Is A Xanax Night’ For QVC Designer Isaac Mizrahi, And Boy Can We Relate

December 27, 2010

On Sundays QVC design guru Isaac Mizrahi likes to have breakfast, oatmeal, at our favorite Manhattan restaurant, Pastis.

That’s what we learned tonight after finally getting around to reading The Style section of The Sunday New York Times, where the Grey Lady gave us a blow-by-blow account of the curly-topped designer’s “Sunday Routine.”

Of course, when we go to Pastis, which is in the Meatpacking District, it’s not for oatmeal. It’s at Happy Hour, for Bombay Sapphire martinis, with olives, to wash down our steak frites.

Pastis, where QVC's Isaac Mizrahi dines on oatmeal and we swill over-priced Bombay Sapphire martinis

The feature acknowledges right off the bat that Mizrahi has a lifestyle collection on QVC, and that he co-hosts the Bravo program “The Fashion Show” with model/entrepreneur Iman, who is an HSN vendor.

Mizrahi likes to go for a morning swim, and then has to wait for his boyfriend, actor Arnold Germer, to get up so they can walk their dogs. Germer lives a few blocks from Mizrahi in the Village. Mizrahi’s dog Harry has been featured in a number of the designer’s QVC items.

Mizrahi enjoys going to museums and the movies on Sundays (as do we, we saw “Black Swan” today, and thought it was great).

He’s a fan of Il Cantinori, another Manhattan eatery, and on Sunday nights Mizrahi is an avid HBO viewer, saying, “I’m mad about ‘True Blood,’ and I even got into ‘Boardwalk.'”

Good selections, Isaac.

We also tip our hat to you for this comment to The Times: “I made no bones about loving television.”

Hell, we don’t either.

And we’re with him on this one, too: “Sunday is a Xanax night for me.”

But Isaac, please lose the head scarf.

With QVC Designer Isaac Mizrahi Expands His Presence In Greenwich Village With $2 Million Condo

November 20, 2010

QVC designer Isaac Mizrahi is buying new digs in the Greenwich Village, according to the New York Post.

Mizrahi, who is also hosting Bravo’s “The Fashion Show” with HSN vendor Iman, has a contract to buy a condo on West 12th Street, where he already has a place. The building boasts actress Cameron Diaz as a resident.

Gee, we’re surprised he didn’t look at our garden apartment complex in Montclair. Who’d you rather have as a neighbor, Diaz or The Homeshoppingista?

According to the Post, Mizrahi is paying more than $2 million for the new unit, and he plans to combine it with the one he bought earlier this year for $1.1 million. Sounds like it will be quite a crib.

The story notes that Mizrahi will share the expanded digs with his partner Arnold Germer and “their adorable dog, Jack.”

TV Guide CEO Jack Kliger sold Mizrahi both places, according to the Post.

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.

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.

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.

Model/Entrepreneur Iman, Who Does An HSN Line, Is Expanding To Sell Fabric At Calico Corners

July 23, 2010

Iman

Does supermodel/entrepreneur Iman ever relax, maybe just sit down on the couch to watch TV in a stained T-shirt, eating a Pizza Hut pepperoni personal pan pie? We guess her hubby David Bowie wouldn’t like that.

Iman, who does the Global Chic apparel and accessory line for HSN, as well as having a cosmetics business, is now launching a fabric line that will be available in Calico Corners and Calico Home stores in September, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The story is headlined “Iman’s Next Gig: Remodelista.”

We loved her quote in the story: “Home is where I seduce my husband.”

The Homeshoppingista Gets A Peek At HSN’s New Manhattan Penthouse Offices, And We Meet Mindy

June 17, 2010

Artist Michael Vollbracht, who created a clothing line for HSN, did four paintings for its New York offices that feature a flower motif from one of his scarves for the home shopping network

We got to visit HSN’s spanking new offices in Manhattan, and they are some pretty stylish, should we say swank, digs.

HSN had off-the-record meetings with the press Thursday, us included. HSN EVP of programming, marketing and business development Bill Brand invited us in.

Brand is a broadcast/cable veteran who got his programming chops at local TV stations, as well as both VH1 — working for Jeff Gaspin, who is now chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment — and at Lifetime Television.

Brand was hired by HSN CEO Mindy Grossman shortly after she arrived at the home shopping channel to shake it up.

We can’t tell you the content of what Brand told us about HSN’s plans (as we said, it was off the record, and if anyone else writes it, we’re coming after Bill). We’d love to relate what Brand had to say about the second network that HSN is launching, the just-announced HSN2. But we can’t. But Brand said we could blog about the new offices.

Bill Brand

Just a few weeks ago the No. 2 home shopping network moved its Big Apple staff from the quarters of the channel’s former owner, Barry Diller’s IAC, to a building on 55th Street, right off Madison Avenue. The building, across the street from the legendary Friar’s Club, is being renovated. The construction permits were in the lobby window.

Brand got programming experience under now-NBC honcho Jeff Gaspin

HSN’s corporate headquarters and TV studios remain in steamy St. Petersburg, Fla., land of the large flying water bugs and hair-frizzing humidity. That’s why we no likey Florida.

But HSN has always had some staff in New York City, and the airy new space with the Madison Avenue address (even though the entrance is on 55th) will serve as a fine venue for the network to host product previews for the press and to meet with its growing list of Manhattan designers and vendors, people like the red-carpet Badgley Mischka team and Iman.

HSN’s got the building’s penthouse duplex, with a great view of the city and a huge terrace.

The space is wide open, and everything is white. There is some artwork on the walls. Four paintings by artist Michael Vollbacht, who has done a clothing collection for HSN, hang near the entrance of the penthouse. But furniture and other decorations are still being brought in.

As we chatted with Brand, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman stopped by. It’s the first time we met her, and she was very gracious, not mentioning the times we’ve poked fun at her (describing her as “cleavage-baring” and all that) in this blog. She’s obviously a pro who knows how the game is played. Any press is good press.

We finally met HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

We know we shouldn’t comment on an executive’s appearance (it’s sexist, some would say) but Grossman is striking looking. She has great style and was dressed all in black, the Manhattan uniform. She was wearing great jewelry, including two huge cuffs from Iman’s Global Chic HSN line.

Brand also introduced us to HSN chief financial officer Judy Schmeling, who is always on the network’s earnings calls. Most of the top executives at HSN are women, not middle-aged white men, as is typical in most of corporate America.

After a lot of chatter and a very quick, but delicious lunch, we were ushered out as the next group of reporters was coming in for their HSN meet-and-greet.

Our only regret is that we didn’t grab a few blondies to eat on the DeCamp bus back to Montclair.

How HSN CEO Mindy Grossman Brought Iman To The Home Shopping Network, As Told By The New York Times

June 7, 2010

Model/entrepreneur Iman’s Global Chic line on HSN is one of the home shopping channel’s top four sellers among more than 200 apparel and jewelry lines, according to The Sunday New York Times.

In a Style section profile headlined “Not Just Another Pretty Face,” we learn how Iman’s association with HSN came about, as well as getting a history of how she went from being a Somalian diplomat’s daughter to a super model.

Iman, who is “Ziggy Stardust” creator David Bowie, came to New York City in 1975 knowing five languages, “but had never worn makeup or high heels,” according to The Times.

We learn about her ascension as a super model, and then about how she created her own makeup line for women of color in 1994. It turned into a $25 million a year business. Later on came HSN.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman in 2007 “was convinced that any fashion merchandise with Iman’s name on it would be a home run for her television home shopping network,” according to The Times.

Iman didn’t want to do it initially, since she had no experience as a fashion designer. But she felt comfortable starting out with caftans, which she had worn while living in Egypt.

At one point in the story, Iman shows off her HSN sequin knit wrap.

The news peg for the story is that tomorrow, Monday, Iman will be recognized as the year’s Fashion Icon by the Council of Fashion Designer of America at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

The story also notes, as we have already reported, that Iman in September will join another home shopping vendor, QVC’s Isaac Mizrahi, as a co-host on Bravo’s “The Fashion Show.”

HSN Vendor Iman To Join QVC’s Isaac Mizrahi As Co-Host Of ‘The Fashion Show’

May 13, 2010

We hope they don’t share secrets of each other’s home shopping channels, but HSN fashion vendor Iman is going to be a co-host and judge along with QVC’s Isaac Mizrahi on “The Fashion Show,” which airs on Bravo.

Iman, the supermodel/entrepreneur who is married to space oddity David Bowie, is replacing former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland on the reality show.

“We are happy to welcome Iman to the Bravo family,” Frances Berwick, Bravo’s general manager and executive vice president, said in a statement. “Breaking barriers in the fashion industry, Iman is a true pioneer and her unparalleled credibility will inspire the contestants and be a perfect match to the always exciting, Isaac Mizrahi.”

Iman does the Iman Global Chic line for HSN, and also serves as host of “Project Runway Canada.”

“The Fashion Show” became Bravo’s fashion competition show last year when “Project Runway” moved to Lifeteime Television.

Mizrahi, in turn, is doing a broad line of merchandise for QVC ranging from clothing to handbags to housewares.