Elle MacPherson To Play Model Agency Director; Barack's Watch Selling Briskly

  • 80s supermodel-turned-businesswoman Elle MacPherson will star in the CW's Beautiful as an 80s supermodel-turned-businesswoman. The show revolves around models living in agency housing. It'll be MacPherson's first television gig since her stint on Friends. [THR]
  • Barack Obama started wearing a Jorg Gray wristwatch instead of his Tag Heuer — and the private label, which had only been marketed on the corporate gifts market, promptly launched Barackswatch.com to make the best of the endorsement. Stay classy, Jorg Gray! [WWD]
  • Robin Givhan, longtime Washington Post fashion critic, is departing New York City for Washington in order to cover the First Family beat. She'll still write a weekly column on fashion, but in her new surroundings, the scope will widen to include "politician[s] looking especially appalling." [WWD]
  • Anna Wintour, who has always been a strong supporter of designer Olivier Theyskens, lashes out at Puig fashion group in her April editor's letter. Puig fired Theyskens before his contract with the house of Nina Ricci was even up. Of course, Wintour's support doesn't mean Theyskens will automatically ascend to a similarly good position: Phoebe Philo, who left Chloé in 2005, has always enjoyed Wintour's good graces, and she's only just about to settle into a design role at Celine now. [FWD]
  • Jessica Joffe is going to be in Katy Rodriguez's fall campaign. [Vogue UK]
  • Agyness Deyn and Albert Hammond, Jr., they of the Vogue Valentine's Day photo spread, are no longer an item. [Daily Intel]
  • Is it still news to anyone that editorial work is not remotely remunerative? Here is yet another industry person, Betty Sze of Models.com, to give the good word about the bad pay. Condé Nast, says Sze, pays new models about $150 a day, and more experienced girls can expect to net about $250. Those rates actually set the curve for editorial pay in the rest of the industry: three of the last half-dozen eds I've done didn't pay at all. I will say this of Condé Nast: if one of their titles is shooting you in an out-of-the-way location, unlike other media conglomerates, they send a car to take you to the airport. Which is rad, because LIRR and MTA are two acronyms you do not want on your mind when you're trying to make a 7 a.m. departure at Kennedy airport, and dropping $100 on cabs to take you to and from a job that's gonna pay $200 (after your agency's cut, when you get paid in three months, if other expenses your agency assesses in the meantime don't eat it up entirely) makes no sense. The idea is to do editorials to work with good photographers and generate enough buzz to book campaigns (or, at least, catalogs) but that second, crucial step to financial solvency is a lot tougher than anyone makes it sound. [Fashionologie]
  • Collabs between designers and mass-market retailers are on the rise this season — I'll give you one guess as to why. (Starts with "R"!) [WWD]
  • Urban Outfitters has been unveiling an unusual number of collaborations, particularly with lesser known, cutting-edge designers, this season. But that didn't stop their design team ripping off a sandal design by Hayden Harnett. They even copied the name. The New York designers called their shoe the "Camille" — Urban's offering is the "Camilla." [Fashionista]
  • Palm Beach's retail environment is struggling under the twin curses of Bernard Madoff and The Recession. [WWD]
  • Lakme fashion week in Mumbai has a bunch of designers — and a Barbie-themed show. Because what world fashion week is complete without that? [FWD]
  • The Lauren Conrad Collection is no more. Funny to think that you couldn't sell an entire line of boring jersey dresses produced by a girl whose claim to fame is playing herself on television in this economy. [P6]
  • In somewhat more disappointing news of reality star fashion projects, House of Harlow, Nicole Richie's jewelry line, sold out online before it even reached stores. Alas, she plans an empire: "I'm focusing on my brand right now. There will be a maternity line, a clothing line, shoes, belts, everything!" [People]