Posts Tagged ‘Liz Claiborne’

QVC Vendor Xcel Brands Buys C. Wonder Retailer

July 21, 2015

Yet again, thanks for the tip, dear reader.

Xcel Brands Inc., which owns several brands that appear on QVC, said Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the C. Wonder brand, consisting of the “C. Wonder” trademarks and related designs and other intellectual property rights.

http://ir.xcelbrands.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=922604

C. Wonder is the preppy retail company founded by billionaire Chris Burch, the ex-husband of designer Tory Burch. C. Wonder filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and closed all its stores, including the one it had in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., mall capital of the world, according to Business Insider.

http://www.businessinsider.com/xcel-brands-is-acquiring-c-wonder-2015-7?r=UK&IR=T

Xcel, a brand management firm, was founded by Robert W. D’Loren in 2011 and owns the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H by Halston and H Halston brands, and designs and manages the Liz Claiborne New York brand, which is sold exclusively on QVC.

Of course, we all know that Mizrahi and Ripka have a strong presence on the No. 1 home shopping network.

http://xcelbrands.com/

The closing of the acquisition is subject to board approval and customary closing conditions.

Xcel is mum on its plans for C. Wonder: It said it will provide further information once it completes the deal.

Can we expect to see C. Wonder products being hawked on QVC in the future?

Here’s the boilerplate on C. Wonder:

The C. Wonder brand was founded by J. Christopher Burch in 2011 to offer a wide-ranging assortment of beautiful, versatile and spirited products that are designed to transport its customers to a place they have never been.

C. Wonder offered women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories; housewares and home decor, great gifts, and a shopping experience designed to deliver delightful surprises at every turn.

Burch Acquisition, LLC, which is controlled by Mr. Burch, acquired the C. Wonder brand (including its trademarks and related intellectual property rights) following its chapter 11 filing in 2015, in order to explore strategic opportunities to re-develop and expand the C. Wonder brand.

Drusy Does Good For QVC In The Fourth Quarter, And The Network’s ‘Hipness’ Factor

February 24, 2012

The holiday season last year was pretty merry for QVC.

Domestic QVC’s revenue increased 4 percent to $1.8 billion in the fourth quarter last year and 3 percent to $5.4 billion for the full year, the company reported Thursday.

Gross product revenue increased 4 percent compared to the prior year fourth quarter, average selling price (“ASP”) increased 8 percent from $56 to $60.35 and units sold declined 3 percent.

U.S. revenue, however, maintained a 4 percent increase overall due to an 8 percent increase in shipping and handling revenue as a result of a price increase implemented in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, gross product revenue increased 4 percent compared to the prior year due to a 9 percent increase in ASP from $51.19 to $55.74 and a 4 decline decline in units sold. The decline in units sold resulted in a decline in shipping and handling revenue bringing the overall revenue growth down to 3 percent.

Fourth quarter and full year sales showed strength in electronics, home and accessories products. For the full year, these increases were partially offset by a decline in jewelry product sales.

DECLINE IN JEWELRY! That probably means QVC will be cutting back on it even more! Damn.

In the fourth quarter, QVC’s eCommerce revenue increased 16 percent to $712 million and increased to 40 percent from 36 percent as a percentage of total domestic revenue. For the year, eCommerce revenue increased 15 percent to $2 billion and increased to 37 percent from 33 percent as a percentage of total U.S. revenue.

“QVC’s success in 2011 is a result of our strategy to engage customers with compelling content and unique products at a great value. This focus has allowed us to expand our global market leadership in video and eCommerce retail, despite a tough economy,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement.

“We gained new customers at a record pace by engaging people who love to shop across all our platforms,” he said. “We sustained our 10 quarter track record of double digit eCommerce growth, and established ourselves as a global leader in mobile retail.”

George had plenty to say about QVC during the conference call today with analysts. Here are quotes from a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha, http://seekingalpha.com/article/388871-liberty-interactive-s-ceo-discusses-q4-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=qanda

“We introduced 3.1 million new customers to our brand worldwide and achieved a strong 14 percent growth in revenue from new customers for the year,” George said on the call. “We took our content to the next level with destination remote broadcast for the Oscars, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and Fashion’s Night Out in New York, we partnered with Vogue for 25 to Watch campaign. And we built ‘In The Kitchen with David’ into one of the most popular cooking shows on any network.”

He added, “And we continue to drive growth through an assortment of highly differentiated product offerings. This is [Wen] in hair care with it’s devoted following, Liz Claiborne in New York and Susan Graver in apparel. In jewelry the breakout drusy gem category along with prestige launches like John Hardy and Heidi Klum … In kitchen electrics and consumer electronics, we saw great success with the wide assortment of tablets and e-readers from the Dell Streak to the Toshiba Thrive, the Nook in the iPad.”

Love the drusy.

Matt Harrigan of Wunderlich Securities, who we interviewed when we were working for Multichannel News, had an amusing question.

“I guess as QVC recasts itself and I guess becomes even hipper, if that’s possible, in terms of the customers, are you seeing even more evolution in the product categories you are trying to emphasize, balancing the bar bell of the new customers and the established homes … in terms of the what they are like?” Harrigan asked.

George answered the question.

“All the initiatives we are pursuing we see as giving us gains, both with existing customers and new customers,” he said. “So part of it is this platform expansion being available in more places. eCommerce new customers are younger than TV new customers, mobile customers are younger than eCommerce new customers. We have a disproportionate share of new customers coming in through various forms of eCommerce. That’s part of it, both in businesses like beauty has driven in a younger customer and a lot of the things we do to create buzz and publicity, including our Oscars event tonight. I think all of that’s a broader range of customers.”

George continued. “So we continue to feel good about how our brand is being positioned and feel like we continue to sort of broaden the relevance of the brand across all age groups. One of the things I’ve shared in the past is that the average age of our new customer is slightly younger than the average age of adult female population. I don’t know if that trend will accelerate, but we think we will see it continue.”

QVC’s consolidated revenue, which includes the domestic home shopping network and all the international ones, increased 5 percent in the fourth quarter to $2.6 billion and 6 percent to $8.3 billion for the year.

QVC’s international revenue increased 7 percent in the fourth quarter to $857 million and increased 11 percent to $2.9 billion for the year. The fourth-quarter results included the negative impact of the strengthening of the US dollar against the euro and pound sterling that was offset by the weakening of the U.S. dollar against the Japanese yen, whereas the full-year results included the positive impact of favorable exchange rates in each of QVC’s markets.

QVC Japan’s market has rebounded after the tragic events experienced in March with positive sequential full year and fourth-quarter growth compared to the same periods in 2010, with fourth-quarter revenue being the highest in QVC Japan’s history.

QVC Japan’s revenue grew 6 percent and 1 percnt in local currency in the fourth quarter and the full year, respectively. The increase in the fourth quarter was due to increased sales primarily in electronics, home and apparel. For the full year, increased sales in apparel were offset by declines in jewelry and beauty.

margin decline of 69 basis points for the year was primarily due to the negative leverage impact associated with lower sales as a result of the events experienced in March 2011.

QVC Italy continues the trend upward with a 56% sequential sales growth in local currency over the third quarter of 2011 driven primarily by sales in the home, beauty, jewelry and apparel product categories during the year. QVC Italy successfully launched an eCommerce and mobile optimized website in the quarter to strong consumer response and will seek to continue to build a leading multiplatform business in Italy.

QVC In-House Designer Isaac Mizrahi’s Rising Star Was Tarnished By Flop At Liz Claiborne, Wall Street Journal Reports

August 16, 2010

QVC has been boasting about Liz Claiborne’s line coming to the network, and keeps extolling the designer it brought over from there. But maybe it shouldn’t be, if you believe a Page One story in The Wall Street Journal Monday

Headlined “Targeting Younger Buyers, Liz Claiborne Hits A Snag,” the piece chronicles the missteps of Liz Claiborne CEO William McComb. Once the top vendor in U.S. department stores, as of this month Liz Claiborne will now only be available at JC Penney and QVC after a falling out with its top client, Macy’s.

We wrote about this deal when it was announced last year. Ironically, The Journal doesn’t even mention the QVC part of the pact.

And the story is rather damning when it comes to Mizrahi, who is now QVC’s in-house lifestyle designer, doing everything from clothes to accessories to housewares and bedding.

The Journal blames Mizrahi with putting the final nail in the coffin of McComb’s and Liz Claiborne’s rocky relationship with its most important customer, Macy’s.

“In an effort to attract a younger audience, Mr. McComb decided to focus on the company’s contemporary brands with the most potential, including Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand Jeans and Mexx,” The Journal wrote.

“But he made a series of strategic blunders including hiring a star designer, Isaac Mizrahi, at a hefty salary and veering away from the Liz Claiborne brand’s trademark career apparel. He sold, discontinued or licensed several boomer brands—including Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman and Sigrid Olsen—that weren’t performing well but represented major sales volume.”

A Columbia Business school prof tells the financial broadsheet that this realignment was “a disaster waiting to happen.”

McComb hired Mizrahi away from Target in 2008 as part of his effort to relanch the Liz Claiborne Line.

Mizrahi got a nice package, The Journal reported: a five-year contract worth $6 million a year; his entire 25-person design team came with him; and Claiborne agreed to foot the bill for fashion shows for Mizrahi’s personal high-end brand for roughly $1 million a season.

Macy’s executives expressed concern that Mizrahi’s funky designs wouldn’t appeal to Liz Claiborne’s core customers, working women, and it was right.

“Mr. Mizrahi’s designs hit stores in January 2009, generating media buzz and positive reviews from fashion critics,” The Journal wrote. “Michelle Obama was photographed in one of his outfits and Vogue ran a profile of Mr. Mizrahi.”

But the line flopped, shunned by Claiborne’s regular customers and hindered by the recession.

Macy’s dumped the line, and last October McComb announced Liz Claiborne’s exclusive deal with QVC and JC Penney, as well as Mizrahi’s move to QVC.

Mizrahi declined to comment for The Journal piece.

As we’ve said before, we loved Mizrahi’s Target clothes. At QVC, he’s lost his mojo. He really disappointed us.

New York Post Paints QVC’s New Design Star Isaac Mizrahi As More Than A Bit Bitchy

February 24, 2010

The New York Post is offering up some dish on QVC’s new in-house designer, Isaac Mizrahi. And it doesn’t match the folksy, likeable persona that he shows viewers on QVC.

The dirt comes in the Post’s story Wednesday about William McComb, the relatively new CEO of Liz Claiborne, Mizrahi’s primary roost before his switch to soup-to-nuts, housewares-to-clothing, designer for QVC. McComb has had his hands full at Liz Claiborne, with the founders of its pricey Juicy Couture line storming out a month ago.

The Post says the Juicy Couture folk were irked that profits from their company were being used to pay for Mizrahi to rejuvenate the Liz Claiborne line. The Juicy girls were also miffed that their brand’s financial success was essentially footing the bill for Claiborne to bring “Project Runway” star Tim Gunn on board as its chief creative officer, whatever that title means.

Then the Post nails Mizrahi. It says that the curly-topped designer was a big “headache” to McComb, “delivering a giant flop with an overly trendy relaunch of Liz Claiborne last spring.”

The Post also claims that Mizrahi was none too happy about Gunn’s appearance on the scene, “complaining that Gunn was getting too much attention touring shopping malls and shilling for the label.”

So Liz Claiborne put the kibosh on Gunn’s appearances, according to the Post. But despite his alleged griping about Gunn, Mizrahi himself didn’t want to go out and do the Claiborne dog-and-pony shows for the unwashed masses at the nation’s new town squares, malls.

“It was like pulling teeth” to get Mizrahi to do public appearances for Claiborne, a source told the Post.

So which is it? Is Isaac just a down-to-earth, touchy-feely, likable and talented guy from Brooklyn, a prima donna that is a pain in the butt to work with, or both?

We’ll be like Fox News Channel (perish the thought, we’d rather burn in hell), and let you decide.

Believe It Or Not, Rachel Zoe, Michael Jackson And The Beatles Helped Drive QVC’s First Quarterly Sales Growth Since Early Last Year

November 9, 2009

QVC reported its best quarterly earnings Monday since early last year, with officials giving celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, Michael Jackson and the Beatles some of the credit. But the picture for the last nine months wasn’t so rosy.

During a third-quarter conference call for QVC parent Liberty Media, QVC president and CEO Mike George said that the No. 1 home shopping network is seeing the benefit of cost management and “and what appears to be some stabilization of consumer spending in the U.S.”

He also claimed that QVC is taking marketshare from a broad array of retailers, in part by drawing in new customers with big names like Zoe.

QVC domestic posted $1.098 billion in revenue the third quarter, a 2 percent increase from $1.073 billion in the year-ago period and “our first positive sales growth since early last year,” George told analysts on the call for John Malone’s Liberty.

Nonetheless, QVC’s domestic revenue in the first nine months ended Sept. 30 dropped 4.3 percent, to $3.308 billion from $3.430 billion, compared to the prior-year period, according to the 10-Q Liberty Media filed Monday.

In the third quarter QVC’s strongest gains were in the categories of beauty, accessories, consumer electronics, and cooking and household goods, according to George. As in prior quarters, jewely and apparel sales remained soft, but the rate of decline in jewelry has moderated as the weakness QVC has seen in gold jewelry was partically offset by stronger sales for lower-priced fashion jewelry lines, George said.

Adjusted OIBDA at QVC domestic was $244 million in the quarter, a 10% gain from $221 million a year ago. The 10 percent increase is “our strongest profit growth since the fourth quarter of 2006,” George told analysts.

QVC was particularly encouraged by the new customers it gained in the third quarter, a 9% increase, “our highest rate of new-customer growth in the last seven years,” according to George.

More importantly, the total spending of new customers increased 18 percent, he said.

Answering questions from analysts, George said that QVC’s improved results and jump in new customers was a result of: the shifting of its product mix, to more fitness and consumer electronics versus jewelry and apparel; popular entertainment offerings like CD sets and other Jackson merchandise and a remixed Beatles set,; more aggressive marketing; and the addition of high-profile names such as Zoe, the celebrity stylist who has a show on Bravo.

The QVC chief also cited the network’s deal with Liz Claiborne. QVC will sell the Liz Claiborne New York line and has forged a partnership with the clothier’s creative director Izaac Mizrahi, formerly with Target.

Mizrahi, who like Zoe has a show on Bravo, is doing a premium line of apparel and home goods for QVC that will debut Dec. 4, George said. Mizrahi’s program is “The Fashion Show,” while Zoe has “The Rachel Zoe Project.”

QVC has also been helped by gaining better channel positions on cable lineups, a second slot on DirecTV, and the addition of its HD network, which essentially gives it two slots. The HD service has 25 million subscribers.

“We’re confident that we will emerge from the current economic turmoil in a much stronger position, having made significant gains in our strategy to build a unique multimedia shopping experience,” George said. “We believe our focus on offering compelling, exclusive products and programming – while avoiding destructive price competition – is helping us drive accelerating share gains against the broad retail market while also protecting margins.”

QVC has gained share in consumer electronics, beauty, accessories and handbags, and retained its marketshare in jewelry and apparel, its CEO said.

The network has “built a prestige beauty business,” according to George.

Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei led the conference call.

Home Shopping Turnaround? John Malone’s QVC Sees Revenue And Earnings Rise In Third Quarter

November 9, 2009

After a year of struggling and red ink, and citing stabilization in consumer spending, domestic QVC saw its revenue and operating income rise in the third quarter, parent Liberty Media reported Monday.

QVC U.S. posted $1.098 billion in revenue in the third quarter, a 2 percent increase from $1.073 billion in the year-ago period. Adjusted OIBDA was $244 million in the quarter, a 10% gain from $221 million a year ago

“Building on momentum from the second quarter, QVC, Starz, and SIRIUS XM posted strong operating results,” Liberty President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a prepared statement.

The company, headed by cable pioneer John Malone, will do a third-quarter earnings call at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

“QVC returned to a positive position for U.S, and international net revenue and adjusted OIBDA”, QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a prepared statement.

“These results reflect the success of our sales and cost initiatives along with what appears to be a stabilization of consumer spending in the U.S. and UK,” he said.

“During the quarter we announced QVC’s exclusive distribution agreement with Liz Claiborne New York – our latest move for QVC to be the must-visit destination for exclusive, compelling content…We turned the economic downturn into an opportunity and built a stronger, leaner, more financially sound and technology rich company for the long-term.”

For the quarter, QVC has shifted its product mix from jewelry — whose sales worldwide have plummeted — and apparel product areas to the home and accessories areas.

The average selling price for the third quarter decreased 1 percent from $47.89 to $47.52 and the total number of units sold increased 1 percent to 25 million from 24.8 million.

Returns as a percent of gross-product revenue decreased from 20 percent to 19 percent due to the shift in the sales mix to home products and accessories, which typically have lower return rates.

QVC.com sales as a percentage of domestic sales increased from 24 percent to 28 percent for the third quarter.

QVC’s international revenue remained flat in the third quarter at $569 million despite the unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates in the United Kingdom and Germany and including favorable exchange rates in Japan.

International adjusted OIBDA increased 9 percent in the third quarter to $99 million.

Liberty defines adjusted OIBDA as revenue less cost of sales, operating expenses, and selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding stock and other equity-based compensation) and excludes from that definition depreciation and amortization and restructuring and impairment charges that are included in the measurement of operating income.

New York Post Claims Isaac Mizrahi’s Liz Claiborne Line Was ‘Flop,’ As The Designer Heads To QVC

November 5, 2009

True to tabloid form, the New Yotk Post Thursday headlined its story about Liz Claiborne’s dismal third-quarter earnings “Liz Whiz Fizzles: Fashion Boss Stung by Mizrahi’s $6M-a-year flop.”

The failed “Whiz” is Liz Claiborne CEO William McComb. The Post notes that since McComb came to the company, its stock has dropped from $43 to $5 and change.

And there is photo illustration that only the Post would do. They put McComb’s head on the body of man wearing a sleeveless hoody, being arrested by two cops. The cutline says “Its time for Liz Claiborne to call the fashion police.” That illustration is just in the print paper, not online.

The Post reports that Isaac Mizrahi, who left Target to be part of Liz Claiborne’s team, has not done well with his special line for the women’s apparel maker. The tabloid said Mizrahi was making $6 million a year at Target, but that he is “sucking financial wind” at Liz Claiborne.

The Post failed to mention that Liz Claiborne has struck a deal for Mizrahi to do a line of premium clothes and other goods for QVC. The home shopping channel expects the Mizrahi goods to be one of its biggest, if not its biggest, sellers.

Liz Claiborne is also making JCPenney the exclusive retailer for most of its lines.

Red, As In Ink, Was Liz Claiborne’s Color In Third Quarter, But It Expects QVC And Isaac Mizrahi To Come To The Rescue Next Year

November 4, 2009

It is not a pretty picture for Liz Claiborne, which reported dismal third-quarter earnings Wednesday. It was lots and lots of red ink, but CEO William McComb expects the company’s new deal with QVC to bring it to profitability next year.

To start off, Liz Claiborne’s net sales from continuing operations for the third quarter were $770 million, a decrease of $245 million, or 24.2 percent, from the comparable 2008 period.

There are a lot of fancy numbers here, an accountant’s wet dream, and we’ll give them to you at the end. But the bottom line is that Liz Claiborne has serious financial troubles, and has very high expections for its new pact with QVC and JCPenney.

Beginning this fall, the Liz Claiborne and Claiborne brands will be sold exclusively at JCPenney and the Liz Claiborne New York brand designed by Isaac Mizrahi will be available at QVC.

Mizrahi, who was such a success at Target, is doing a premium line of clothes and other goods for QVC. QVC expects the Mizrahi merchandise to become one its biggest lines, perhaps it’s biggest.

And it looks like Liz Claiborne is banking on QVC, and the success of the Mizrahi line, to bail out the company and turn its fortunes around.

“Fourth quarter to date, we are posting significantly improved comparable store sales results compared to the year to date trend as we have seen solid execution overall on the merchandising initiatives we outlined on our August call,” McComb said in a prepared statement. “Our recently announced licensing agreements with JC Penney and QVC will result in a dramatic shift in profitability for the Liz Claiborne brand wholesale business from a meaningful loss in 2009 to a profit in 2010.”

A quick FYI for cable-industry folk: USA Network founder Kay Koplovitz is chairman of Liz Claiborne.

Here are all the adjusted and non-adjusted numbers, and the entire press release here for real masochists. Translate the thing into English and here’s what it means: Liz Claiborne is bleeding lots of red ink, with lots of losses, adjusted numbers or non-adjusted numbers.

For the first nine months this year, the women’s clothier recorded an operating loss of $199 million compared to an operating loss of $18 million in 2008. Adjusted operating loss in the first nine months $121 million compared to adjusted operating income of $137 million last year.

The company recorded a loss from continuing operations in the first nine months of 2009 of $251 million, or $2.67 per share, compared to a loss from continuing operations in 2008 of $31 million, or 33 cents a share.

Adjusted loss per share from continuing operations in the first nine months was $1.28 compared to adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations of 83 cents last year. Net sales from continuing operations for the first nine months were $2.233 billion, a decrease of $841 million, or 27.4 per cent, from the comparable 2008 period.

The adjusted results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2009 and 2008 exclude the impact of expenses incurred in connection with Liz Claiborne’s streamlining and brand-exiting activities and non-cash goodwill and trademark impairment charges.

“The Company believes that the adjusted results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2009 and 2008 represent a more meaningful presentation of its historical operations and financial performance since these results provide period to period comparisons that are consistent and more easily understood,” Liz Claiborne said in its press release.

And McComb had his own statement.

“Our financial results in the third quarter reflect some early signs of turning around underperforming businesses,” he said. “We reduced our adjusted operating loss by $12 million compared to the second quarter as comparable store sales in our key retail formats were better overall compared with the outlook we provided on our August call, resulting in decreases of 13 percent at Juicy Couture, 16 percent at Lucky Brand, 3 per cent at Kate Spade, 13 percent at Mexx and 13 per cent n the U.S. Liz Claiborne outlets.”

Net sales from continuing operations for the third quarter were $770 million, a decrease of $245 million, or 24.2 percent from the third quarter of 2008, primarily due to decreases in the International-Based Direct Brands and Partnered Brands segments. The impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates in international businesses decreased net sales by $12 million, or 1.2 percent.

The third-quarter operating loss was $60 million compared to an operating income of $16 million in the third quarter of 2008, including $27 million of expenses associated with streamlining and brand-exiting activities in the third quarter, compared to $36 million in the third quarter last year.

Adjusted operating loss in the third quarter was $33 million compared to adjusted operating income of $62 million in 2008. The impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates in our international businesses reduced operating loss by $2 million during the quarter.

Loss from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2009 was $88 million, compared to a loss from continuing operations in the third quarter last year of $9 million.

Net loss in the third quarter of $91 million, inclusive of losses related to discontinued operations of $3 million, compared to a net loss of $69 million, inclusive of losses related to discontinued operations of $59 million in the third quarter a year ago.

Wall Street Journal Chronicles The Challenges Of Liz Claiborne Honcho William McComb, Who Struck Deal For Isaac Mizrahi To Come To QVC

November 3, 2009

The Liz Claiborne executive who just did a major deal for QVC to partner with designer Isaac Mizrahi and also carry the Liz Claiborne New York line comes under scrutiny by The Wall Street Journal Tuesday. And it isn’t pretty.

The story headlined, “Claiborne CEO Hangs On,” talks about Liz Claiborne CEO William McComb, and how the company has suffered seven consecutive quarterly losses on his watch. Liz Claiborne reports its quarterly earnings Wednesday.

McComb was responsible for recruiting Mizrahi, fresh from his success at Target, to come to Liz Claiborne as creatice director. But the women’s clothing maker still was seeing ink.

In October, Liz Claiborne officially announced a major deal to make JCPenney its sole bricks-and-mortar retailer. As part of that announcement, Liz Claiborne also said that Mizrahi would be doing a line of premium apparel, accessories and home products for QVC, and that the home shopping network would also be selling the Liz Claiborne New York line.

McComb is on the hot seat to turn Liz Claiborne around.

As an aside, The Journal quotes Kay Koplovitz, Liz Claiborne’s chairman. We know Koplovitz, and interviewed her, from our cable-reporting tenure. She is a cable pioneer who founded USA Network, and later Sci Fi Channel (recently renamed the silly Syfy).

We didn’t realize that Koplovitz, who left USA Network in 1998, was at Liz Claiborne. In the cable world, she was known as a tough-as-nails executive.

QVC Honcho Predicts Isaac Mizrahi’s Line Could Be The Home Shopping Network’s Biggest Ever

October 16, 2009

QVC has very high hopes for fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s new lifestyle line for the network, according to QVC president and CEO Mike George. But Mizrahi better not mess with Joan Rivers.

George was touting Mizrahi Friday during a presentation at the Liberty Media Investor Day in New York. Liberty is QVC’s parent.

He called QVC’s recent deal with Mizrahi one of most exciting announcements of the last year and maybe the most exciting ever for the home shoppng channel.

“We believe it will be one of our five largest brands, perhaps our largest brand, in a short period of time,” George said.

Mizrahi, who we interviewed years ago for a story that won us a Gerald Loeb Award, was one of the first luxury designers to make the move to a mass retailer, Target, George pointed out. That was a huge success. as Mizrahi positioned Target “as a design and trend retailer,” according to George.

“He can have the similar kind of transformational impact on QVC,” the CEO said.

Mizrahi went from Target to Liz Claiborne as its creative director, where he is now.

Some of Mizrahi’s QVC shows will be done live at his studios in Manhattan, George said, with the debut set for December.

The crowd of analysts and press (we listened to the Webcast) were then show a video clip of Mizrahi, who said, “You’re going to see some incredible things for QVC that I’ve been working on. I’m really excited about it.”

Then Rivers apparently appeared in the video (we only heard the audio), and told Mizrahi, “Welcome to QVC, we’re thrilled to have you. But don’t park in my parking spot. I’m not kidding you, Isaac.”

Mizrahi already has a TV presence. He has a reality show on Bravo now, “The Fashion Show.”

We were confused by, and maybe we misunderstood, one part of George’s presentation. He said QVC will be the exclusive retailer of Liz Claiborne New York, which is Mizrahi’s apparel line.

The announcement about the Mizrahi-QVC deal, we thought, said that JCPenney was going to be the exclusive retailer for Liz Claiborne’s other clothing lines, and QVC for Liz Claiborne New York. But George’s comments almost made it sound like QVC has an exclusive on all of Liz Claiborne’s lines. Whatever.