Posts Tagged ‘Madison Avenue’

Designer Reem Acra, Celebrity Schmatta Maker, Is Doing A Collection For HSN

September 13, 2010

Reem Acra, on the left

Luxury fashion designer Reem Acra, another “designer to the stars” that we’ve never heard of, will be bringing a collection called Reem (original) to HSN this month.

Here is Ms. Acra’s bio from HSN, for ignorant folk like us who are not up to speed on our fashion designers.

Gaining international recognition for her atelier, Reem Acra has become one of the leading names in luxury ready to wear and bridal. With an insatiable desire for luxury, Reem Acra’s designs are carried in more that 150 of the most exclusive retailers in the world. Her signature boutique on Madison Avenue in New York City is a reflection of her eclectic sensibility, combining the exotic and romantic with the modern and elegant.

Reem Acra’s designs are available internationally at leading department stores and specialty boutiques. These stores include Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols in the Middle East. Her designs are also available at top specialty retailers across the world: in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

Celebrated for her ability to match a look to a woman’s personality, Acra has dressed global icons of style for weddings, red carpet appearances and awards ceremonies. Her following includes Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Eva Longoria as well as royal families around the world.

In her canned statement from HSN’s press release Monday, Acra said, “I have been approached by many companies to develop a more affordable collection, but until I met Mindy Grossman and her team, I did not believe that it would be possible to translate my designs into products that retain a luxurious feel and yet are accessible. HSN absolutely understands how to work with a designer to achieve this balance.”

Acra will show off “a capsule collection” during live segments Sept. 22 and 23 during the finale of HSN’s Fall Fashion Series Presented by ELLE. She is looking forward to engaging directly with fans of her designs.

“I know that there are a lot of women out there who appreciate great fashion and may not have easy access to it,” Acra said. “HSN provides that opportunity.”

God bless America.

“When I first met Reem, I knew she would resonate with our customers,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman chimed in with her canned statement. “She has a unique way of melding cultural influences, femininity, meticulous detailing and color to create clothes that are truly special. “She also embodies the qualities that our customers look for from us: global style, authenticity, quality and inspiration. Never before has her collection been so accessible, and we’re excited to bring it to HSN.”

Items in the Reem collecton will range in price from $39 for a shawl to $299 for a sequin jacket, and the line will include tunics, dresses and jackets with jewelry embellishments.

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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.

‘Real Housewives’ Star Ramona Singer Shows Off The HSN Pearl and Diamond Pendant She’ll Be Wearing On The Reality Show Next Season

December 18, 2009

Ramona Singer, one of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” made her final visit to HSN for this year with her jewelry collection Thursday night.

Singer, who comes across as a much nicer person on HSN than she does on Bravo’s reality show, had on a grey freshwater pearl and diamond enhancer pendant — and a matching ring and earrings — from her collection for the home shopping network.

“I actually wore these pieces on my last episode,” Singer said.

She was referring to the fact that Bravo just wrapped up filming the next season of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

Singer is not just another celebrity lending her name to a product. Her husband is a fourth-generation jeweler, and her mother collected estate jewelry and taught Singer all about it, she told HSN viewers.

Singer’s pieces have a vintage feel to them, and are very similar in look to those of upscale Madison Avenue designer Judith Ripka, who does a collection for QVC.

For example, the style of the hinged cuff bracelets that Singer and Ripka do are very much alike.

Singer considers her cuffs her signature pieces. “I wear two at a time,” she said.

The reality TV star got a little choked up when she explained that one of her rings, which had pink topaz and diamonds, was modeled after a ruby ring that her mom owned. Her mom is deceased.

Love of jewelry must be in Singer’s family genes. Singer keeps all her HSN rings in a box on her dresser, and she said her teen daughter noticed them recently and asked for one. The young lady wants to be able to pass that ring on to her daughter, according to Singer.

She also claimed that a Manhattan retailer is clamoring to sell her jewelry line, but that she told him it’s exclusive to HSN.