New Beckham/Armani Briefs Advertisement Debuts

  • Before we tackle today's inevitable layoffs, liquidations and bankruptcies, look at David Beckham. Look at semi-naked David Beckham. In his very important new Emporio Armani ad. Why, good morning to you, Dave. [People]
  • Unfortunately for Heidi Montag, clothing lines whose main qualification as same is the attachment of a famous name are not faring well in the downturn. (Please, let someone therefore piece it together that continuing to announce B-List Star for Major Middle Market Retailer arrangements isn't a recession-proof move.) [AdAge]
  • Unfortunately, the news came too late to stop Hilary Duff for DKNY Jeans... [WWD]
  • ...and to stop Jessica Alba from dipping her toe into the designer waters. [Fashionista]
  • And Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen menswear. (OK, so The Row technically should get a pass for being, actually, kinda good, but it's the principle of the thing.) [Elle]
  • But getting a celebrity to wear your dress on a red carpet is still worth a starlet's weight in gold. [WSJ]
  • The recession will not, however, kill Spanx, which had sales volume of over $350 million last year. Because while the shitty economy is temporary, hating your body enough to want to squeeze and yank and pull it into a girdle is forever. [Reuters]
  • The economic situation is making it tougher perhaps than ever for young designers who were in the midst of expanding in line with pre-recession demand and fanfare. [NY Times]
  • Esprit has reported its first interim drop in profits in ten years. Sales are slow worldwide, and particularly so in Europe. [Financial Times]
  • Estee Lauder's second-quarter profits are also down by 30%. The company will restructure 2,000 workers out of working existence. [The Street]
  • Elizabeth Arden, however, beat analysts' expectations for the second quarter by 2 cents a share. Sales still fell 12.7% and net profit was down from $33.8 million one year ago to $17.4 million now. [Reuters]
  • A handful more details about the Mathew Williamson line for Target: it launches on April 23, it will be colorful (which, frankly, if anything at all comes to mind when you think "Mathew Williamson" you already knew), and in addition to the regular frocks and tops, there'll be jumpsuits. Controversial move! [Blackbook]
  • Kim Gordon discusses her line for Urban Outfitters, Mirror/Dash, with the New York Times, but although they hit stores on February 16, there's only one picture of the actual clothes. She's surprisingly realistic about Mirror/Dash's design process — she admits she doesn't actually sketch so much as talk about fabric and "ideas" with her partner before sending away to Urban Outfitters' sample houses. [The Moment]
  • Never to be outdone by Vogue and its eyebrow-raising Sean Avery internship, Elle now has for an intern the fashlete (did I just make that up? I think I did. Let's go with it!) Stew Bradley, an actual Philadelphia Eagle. May he cherish the coffee-schlepping, xeroxing, and sexual harassment that are the hallmarks of any true New York media internship. [The Cut]
  • Except, on his first day, Bradley went to lunch with Diana Ross, Diane von Furstenberg, Jessica Alba, Jason Wu, Anil Kapoor Veronica Webb, Eva Amurri, John Frey, Roberta Myers, Joe Zee, Anne Slowey, Whitney Port, and Olivia Palermo. At Diane von Furstenberg's studio. [WWD]
  • Now, if she'd only worn her favorite label, Carhartt, on the campaign trail, Sarah Palin might have had a shot at the Brooklyn hipster vote! [US News]
  • Janie Bryant, the costume designer for Mad Men, is crafting a contemporary, not vintage, clothing line. And that's about all she's willing to say just now. [WSJ]
  • High-end Baltimore fabric store Michael's Fabrics says it has the lemongrass embroidered wool Isabel Toledo used to create Michelle Obama's inauguration day outfit. It's 33" wide and yours for a mere $500 a yard. Just in case you want to whip a dress up at home. [Unbeige]
  • Isabel Toledo is still reeling from the media attention following dressing Michelle Obama. (Her husband, the fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, calls it "Obamathon.") An exhibition of her dresses is going up at the museum at FIT in June. [WWD]
  • Monique Lhuillier is introducing a new, more moderately priced line for fall. Given her regular dresses retail for $3,000-$7,000, "moderately priced" in this sentence means around $2,500. [WSJ]
  • The Washington Post saw Jill Biden and her security detail nip into Bloomingdale's to buy some Tory Burch shoes. [Washington Post]
  • UK Elle has Vivienne Westwood's handwritten "manifesto," and it includes such worthwhile tips as "DIY Suggestions: Necklace of safety pins" and the reminder "We need an estimated $30 billion per year to save the rainforest. $30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000etc—>" Also, she believes Leonard Peltier is innocent. [Elle]
  • PETA Photoshopped a Pinocchio nose on to Giorgio Armani's face for a full-page ad in Variety after the scrappy perma-tanned Italian allegedly went back on his word after pledging to no longer use fur in his collections. Armani's people say they use only rabbit fur from animals raised for meat. [New York Daily News]
  • Now, this should be fun: Lynda Carter, Valerie Bertinelli, Katie Couric, Natya Liukin, Jennie Garth, and Tori Spelling are among those modeling for a fashion week show dedicated to heart health. Designers include Christian Siriano, Carolina Herrera, and those guys at Badgley Mischka. [WWD]