Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

Goth Rocker Jewelry Designer Loree Rodkin A Bit Too Cool For HSN, So She Seems To Think

October 20, 2011

Did anyone have the same reaction to gothic, rock ‘n roll jewelry designer Loree Rodkin that we did?

We thought she was acting like it was a bit beneath her — a woman who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama and Steve Tyler, among many other celebs — to be hawking her wares on HSN.

The Loree Rodkin ring that Steven Tyler wears on his pinky

We only caught some of her show at the end of the day, so maybe she had just fading and tire.

Apparently, Cher had called in earlier to cheer Rodkin on.

Tyler wears one of the rings that Rodkin was selling, which incorporates peace signs, on his pinky. It came in three colors, gunmetal, gold and silver. Tyler, most recently of “American Idol” fame, has the ring in gunmetal.

It was $25, but we have a feeling Tyler’s version is in real previous metals with diamonds.

The Wall Street Journal On HSN Honcho Mindy Grossman, Why Home Shopping Is Hot And ‘Pooh-Poohing’ Designers

November 11, 2010

Did you realize it’s “The Golden Age of TV Shopping”?

We know, we’ve been telling you that for more than a year now, but The Wall Street Journal made it official Thursday, with a big feature with that “Golden Age” headline.

It looks like Journal reporter Elizabeth Holmes actually plopped her butt onto a plane and made the trek to St. Petersburg, Fla., to find out exactly why the hell upscale designers such as Reem Acra (who is so high-end we had never heard of her), Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Naeem Khan are now selling their wares on HSN. In the past, they were selling their duds to celebs like Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry.

The Journal story mainly focuses on HSN and its evolution (which has some irate customers wanting to start a revolution) under the helm of CEO Mindy Grossman. But it also references the market’s dominant player, QVC, and its hip vendors such as razor-thin celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant.

Your's truly with designing team Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who are a big part of The Journal's home shopping story

As usual in one of these home-shopping-networks-are-no-longer-downscale stories, we have the usual quotes from Acra and Khan (who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama) knocking electronic home — that is before they swallowed the Kool-Aid.

“I never watched it before,” Acra told The Journal, referring to HSN. “I pooh-poohed it. But now look at it. There are items I would want every single day.”

Ah, a true believer now.

Naeem Khan's $870 bag for HSN

Then the story gets to the obvious: High-end designers have gone to HSN because they can move a hell of a lot of product on it, which is pretty crucial when sales for upsale goods have crashed. Mischka told Rupert Murdoch’s financial rag that Badgley Mischka sold 18,000 units of one particular jacket on HSN. It would take a lot of couture gowns to ring up that kind of revenue. Volume, volume, volume.

We did learn a few things from The Journal, like that HSN keeps track of sales by the minutes, and uses that “intel,” as Jack Bauer would say, to guide hosts. The story says that when HSN host Bobbi Ray Carter mentioned the quality of one of Acra’s jackets, it’s sales shot up. So HSN had Ray talk in more detail about the material in the piece.

HSN chief Mindy Grossman

The article talks quite a bit about Nike veteran Grossman, who came on board to HSN in 2006 and began making it more fashion-forward by courting a host of big-name designers.

Grossman did her research, asking people about HSN, and told The Journal she got three responses, “Some who shopped, some who didn’t, some who did but they whispered that they did.””

We never whispered, Mindy! We were always loud and proud about our HSN and QVC purchases, despite being surrounded by snobby Manhattanites (most of whom where transplants from the Midwest).

The Journal story goes on about Grossman, saying, “The new CEO cleaned house, shedding brands that she didn’t think made sense for the network.”

We guess the “shedding” refers to the exits of vendors like Suzanne Somers, Terry Lewis, Beyonce’s mom Tina Knowles and a parade of others. The departure of Terry Lewis and her Classic Luxuries line still has some HSN shoppers calling for Grossman to be drawn and quartered.

We did get a kick out of the anecdote in the story about Mischka “falling off the stage” the first time he and his partner Badgley appeared on HSN. But unfortunately for viewers, the camera wasn’t on him when that little mishap took place.

Wall Street Journal Does Non-Snarky Story On HSN’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Promotion

August 5, 2010

We broke the story June 1 that HSN had a big promotion cooking for the new movie “Eat, Pray, Love” — even though the home shopping network wouidn’t comment on it.

On July 6 HSN put out a press release about the formerly hush-hush three-day promotion with Sony Pictures for the film, which stars Julia Roberts and is being released Aug. 13.

Today, Thursday, The Wall Street Journal had a piece on the promotion headlined “‘Eat, Pray, Love’ — and Shop at HSN.”

Unlike most of The Journal’s stories, this one doesn’t look down its nose at HSN and the home shopping industry.

The article says that Sony Pictures will get a piece of sales of some merchandise that HSN sells this weekend for its “Eat, Pray, Love” event. The more than 400 new items being presented from India, Italy and Bali — where the movie is set — will include special teas and spices from “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi and clothes from Michella Obama designer Naeem Khan.

In The Journal story HSN CEO Mindy Grossman is given full credit for coming up with the idea of the home shopping network’s tie-in with the film.

HSN staff has already previewed the flick, and they have also been given copies of the bestseller by Elizabeth Gilbert that the film is based on.

For its part, Sony Pictures is trying to draw HSN’s female customers in and get them to see the movie.

Crabby Designer Arnold Scaasi To Shutter His Couture Business, But Continue His HSN Jewelry Line

July 22, 2010

One of Scaasi's HSN pieces

Mr. Charm and Warmth himself, Arnold Scaasi, is shuttering his apparel business after 55 years of supplying dresses to women like Barbara Bush and Barbra Streisand (he designed the see-through pants she wore to the Oscars in 1969).

But never fear, home shopping queens, Scaasi will continue to do his fashion jewelry line for HSN.

The New York Times had the news Thursday about Scaasi ending his dress line, in a story headlined “No More Flattery From Scaasi,” which we believe was a sarcastic hede. We hadn’t been aware of this, but Scaasi apparently has criticized Michelle Obama’s fashion style. We guess he feels he’s qualified, since he has dressed five First Ladies during his career, according to The Times.

Scaasi, who had been making 20 custom gowns a month, has a glorious jewelry line on HSN. The pieces are gorgeous, and really well-priced.

But he is a nasty jackass on-air, being rude to hosts such as Colleen Lopez, who gave it right back to him — in a nice way. He acts like he is above selling goods on a home shopping channel.

Well, if Badgley Mischka can come to HSN and not be condescending, so can Scaasi. We don’t care how many First Ladies he has dressed.

Vivienne Tam Is Now Designing Computer Notebooks For QVC: Consumer Electronic Products Get Stylish Makeovers

April 20, 2010

Designer consumer electronics

In March we identified a possible new trend: fashion designers putting their mark on consumer electronics, one of the few sales categories that has remained fairly strong during the recession.

Well, it looks like it really is a trend. We see that QVC is offering a laptop whose shell was decorated by designer Vivienne Tam.

The netbook has several butterflies on its top, a motif inspired by Tam’s recent clothing lines.

QVC is selling this “HP designer digital clutch” for $600.

Here’s what QVC said about its new computer:

“A glamour gal is always fashion forward–whether she flaunts a runway-ready look or uses the hottest, hippest electronics around. This Vivienne Tam Edition Mini netbook fits in with your luxurious lifestyle–and is made to fit in your high-fashion purse! Designed with an HP imprint of the Butterfly Lovers theme–from Vivienne’s spring 2010 collection–this trend-setting tech sparkles in a high-gloss champagne gold.

Have no fear–there’s plenty of power behind the posh. Girls on-the-go will love the speed and space it offers with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor N450 and 250GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive. And, you can run music, graphics, and video applications quickly and easily thanks to 2GB DDR2 RAM.”

The first example of this we saw of these designer CE products was last month, when HSN began selling digital cameras that were designed by Jason Wu, who created the white ballgown that First Lady Michelle Obama wore to all the Inaugural balls in D.C. Those cameras were “styled” by Wu, and sell under the name “Create by Jason Wu.”

Michelle Obama Designer Jason Wu’s Line Of Digital Cameras (Yes, That’s Right) Will Debut On HSN Friday

March 17, 2010

Michelle Obama in Jason Wu's gown

Hot fashion designer Jason Wu got national headlines when First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses to the Inaugural balls last year. Now, he’s designing electronics, and HSN will be featuring his cameras in a show Friday.

It seems that Wu struck a deal with General Imaging, the exclusive licensee of GE branded digital cameras, to “style” a collection of digital cameras under the name “Create by Jason Wu.”

We guess it was only a matter of time before fashion designers would be asked to put their touch on one of the only categories that is selling these days: Consumer electronics.

Here’s General Imaging’s hype on Wu’s work for it.

“Create is an exclusive line of digital cameras resulting from the unique collaboration between General Imaging, the company behind GE branded digital cameras, and Jason Wu, the 27-year-old designer who has claimed the international fashion spotlight, dressing celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Diane Kruger and Natalie Portman.”

According to General Imaging, “Create seamlessly blends Jason Wu’s rich sense of style with the latest digital camera technology. The camera features simple, one-touch operation to record videos, take pictures and easily delete photos.”

The press release says the cameras will be available in April for $179.99. But HSN is already selling one model online for $200.

Just last week Wu appeared with the First Lady at the Smithsonian National Museum, meeting her for the first time, when the dress he did for the Inauguration was installed in the American First Ladies Collection.

Michelle Obama put Wu, a little-known 26-year-old designer, on the map when she wore a white, one-shouldered gown he designed for her to the Inaugural festivities The gown looked somewhat like a wedding dress, and frankly, we didn’t like it. We didn’t think it flattered the First Lady’s fabulous figure. It made her look chunky in the tummy area.

HSN’s Fashion Designer Naeem Khan Is Dressing You and Michelle Obama

November 26, 2009

Khan for HSN

The New York Daily News has a story Thursday on Manhattan-based fashion designer Naeem Khan, who does a line for HSN called Timeless by Naeem Khan.

It turns out Mubai-born Khan designed the gorgeous champagne strapless gown that Michelle Obama wore to the first Obama White House State dinner. The dress is adorned with silver sequins. The White House was hosting India’s prime minister.

Khan comes from a family that produced fabrics for Indian royalty, according to the Daily News.

One of Khan’s Timeless pieces for HSN is a sequined dress for $400.