Jay-Z Raps About Wintour; Gaga & Marc Jacobs Do Comic BookS

  • Does Jay-Z reference Anna Wintour in his song "Empire State of Mind"? The line in question is: "caught up in the in crowd/now you're in-style/and in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out." [Fashion Week Daily]
  • Earlier today it was reported that Michael Vick had resigned with Nike two years after the company dropped him when he was sent to prison for dogfighting. His agent said, "Mike has a long-standing, great relationship with Nike, and he looks forward to continuing that relationship." But, now Nike has released a statement saying it has not "contractual relationship" with Vick and it merely, "agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike." [AP]
  • Michel Phan of the ESSEC Business School, which runs the world's only luxury brand management MBA program, says luxury retailers in Asia need to focus more on service. He explains: "It's not enough to say 'Our brand is expensive, or known'. You have to make customers connect with your brand, especially during this crisis, when they're more reluctant to buy on the spur of the moment. You have to give people a good reason to buy." [Reuters]
  • Peter Copping, the new designer of Nina Ricci, says Ricci's romantic designs are in line with his personal taste and belief that customers want feminine clothes. In his previous job at Louis Vuitton, he says, "whenever we did more feminine-based collections, the sales were always incredible in the stores as opposed to the more austere or hard-edged things... Obviously, one has to find a way to make that contemporary, modern and fashionable." [WWD]
  • On Tuesday, Giles Deacon received an award from France's National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts along with a grant of $233,470 that will finance his spring fashion show in Paris. [WWD]
  • Timberland has collaborated with Wyclef Jean to design a line of 16 boots. For every pair sold $2 will be donated to Yéle Haiti Foundation to support reforestation in Haiti. [WWD]
  • At the D&G runway show in Milan, the chief executives of Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman were put in the second and third rows while the chief executive of Yoox.com was in the front row. Bloggers have been invited to New York shows for a few seasons, but Europe is just warming to fashion bloggers who write for sites like Bryanboy.com, JakandJil.com, and GaranceDore.fr. [WSJ]
  • Artist Brian Einersen created a Lady Gaga comic book that's selling at Marc Jacobs stores for $2. [Fashionista]
  • Gareth Pugh is considering doing a fast-fashion line. He says: "I have considered it. The offers have come in, and every time we get an offer, I mull it over. I'd like more people to have access to my clothes, but the timing hasn't been right, or the project hasn't been right, or some combination of both those things. The first time I was approached, I wasn't even producing the garments I was showing on the runway. I didn't have a factory. Everything I was making, I was making by hand. Doing a fast-fashion collection seemed a little premature." He says companies should, "Keep asking. And I'll keep thinking." [N.Y. Magazine]
  • Robert Lee Morris had to create toned down versions of his jewelry in during the recession in the early '90s, but now his more showy creations are becoming popular again. They were featured in several runway shows this fall and Henri Bendel will open a Robert Lee Morris boutique tomorrow. [N.Y. Times]
  • At a party celebrating Sundance Channel's new show Man Shops Globe about Anthropologie buyer at large, Keith Johnson introduced guests to his partner Glen Senk, who fell in love with him in grade school. "I moved next door to him, at age 9, and the first day I saw him, I fell in love with him," Senk said. "It was otherworldly. I felt sparks all over my body. Literally, I saw stars. He was the kindest, sweetest, most wonderful person. I feel like that 44 years later." Johnson said, "It took a few years to convince me... He didn't convince me until I was 12." [N.Y. Times]
  • Paolo Colonna, a partner in Permira, the European private equity firm that bought the Valentino Fashion Group, said that though the fund usually exits its private equity investments after four or five years, but, "The various [economic] crises will delay our exit. Still, we are patient money. This is a long-term deal for us. I don't see any urgency to sell at these low valuations." [NY Times]
  • Giorgio Armani has reorganized his company, expanding the board of directors and delegating more power to non-family members. He's been suffering with a bout of hepatitis for months and says his illness was worsened by working long hours for decades. The reorganization is raising questions about whether the brand can outlive Armani. [WSJ]
  • Pam Grier says, "I'm hoping the Smithsonian will call me for the dress from Foxy Brown. The blue one with the ruffles. I'm holding onto it. Call me, Smithsonian!" [Village Voice]