It was a tasty mix of media mavens and fab fashionistas at Michael’s today as the town car set dined and dished before jetting off to their summer cottages. While Rupert Murdoch was still topic A for plenty of regulars, talk of the stalemate over the debt ceiling appeared to be on plenty of folks’ minds, too. “I’ve got clients who are on the brink of spending some serious money,” one stylista told me. “I’m praying I can get the deals signed and sealed before something happens to scare them away.” We’ve got our fingers crossed.
I was joined today by Jaqui Lividini whose company, Lividini & Co. specializes in brand development for fashion and lifestyle companies. Having spent two decades at Saks Fifth Avenue — when she left to start her own firm, she was senior vice president of fashion merchandising and communications — Jaqui now works with an impressive roster of fab fashionistas, including fine jewelry designer Monica Rich Kosann, silversmith Georg Jensen and lingerie designer Josie Natori who, says Jaqui, has transformed her business into a “lifestyle brand” with a new East-West inspired home accents line and a lower-priced intimate apparel collection for Target due in October. Jaqui’s company also counsels a long list of retailers, like Scoop and my personal favorite, Lord & Taylor.
Richard Baker, CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company, which owns and operates Lord & Taylor, brought Jaqui on board six years ago when the store began its transformation from a staid, somewhat traditional specialty retailer into the go-to, chic shopping emporium it is today. “What [CEO] Brendan Hoffman and the whole team at Lord & Taylor have done is fantastic,” says Jaqui. And rev up those credit cards — Jaqui reports the Westchester store (the most profitable location in the chain) is adding home to its offerings, plus two new locations are planned for New Jersey. Ready, set, shop!
1. Joel Chase and a table full of suited up movers and shakers.
2. Cosmo editrix Kate White(loved those sky high sandals!) and Estee Lauder’s Marisa Thalberg.
3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with Carl Bernstein, who told me he’s hot on Rupert Murdoch’s trail for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. The intrepid journo, who knows a thing or two about covering wire tapping stories, says the story of Murdoch’s imploding media empire is “complicated.” He also told me he’s not as sure as some other media watchers seem to be about Murdoch’s eventual ouster as chairman of his company. “It’s more about him being able to put one of his kids in there,” Carl told me. We’ll be reading your future dispatches from the front lines with interest.
4. The Early Show: Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer with his lovely wife Pat
5. Hearst hotshots Michael Clinton and Deb Shriver, who stopped by our table to say hello. Cheers!
6. Hearst president David Carey enjoying lunch with his son, Ethan
7. Literary agent Frederica Friedman with an equally elegant looking blonde lady
8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia (Happy Birthday!) with Headbutler.com’s Jesse Kornbluth and his wife, Karen Collins
9. Dateline’s David Corvoand Missy Rennie
11. Radical Media’s Bob Friedman
12. Hollywoodlife.com’s Bonnie Fuller, fresh off this morning’s appearance on The View (“I was giving them the scoop on all the Hollywood gossip”) with Fidelis Global’s Gerry Byrne and a handsome mystery man.
14. Jaqui Lividini and yours truly
15. Two Degrees Venture’s Mitch Kaner
16. Public Relations powerhouse Susan Blond. We were so impressed to read about her role in MTV’s early days in the oral history of the network that appeared in The New York Post earlier this week.
81. PR maven Lisa Linden with lobbyist Suri Kaiser (loved that suit!)
17. Judy Price
18. Patriarch Partners’ Randy Jones (aka The Best Dressed Man in New York) with John Brodie, executive editor at Grand Central Publishing/Business Plus
20. Accessory maven Mickey Ateyeh
21. Denise LeFrak (Francine’s sister)
22. Fred Siegel
23. BizBash’s David Adler
24. Ed DeYoung and his wife who, we hear, are visiting from Texas
25. Time Warner Cable’s Glenn Britt and Ed Adler
26. Scalamandre’s president Steve Stolman
27. Warner Brothers Television’s Ken Werner
28. Harry Winston’s Virginia Wettlaufer
29. Stu Zakim with Lucky’s publisher Michelle Myers. These two pals had plenty to celebrate. Stu tells me he’s signed on as a consultant to Shane McMahon’s (son of Vince) new company You on Demand which has locked up a long-term exclusive to show Warner Brother movies on demand in China. Michelle was thrilled to report that Lucky‘s September issue is the book’s biggest since September 2008 and was Conde Nast’s “best performing” magazine this month. “Chuck Townsend came down and toasted the staff yesterday!” said Michelle, bubbling over with excitement. Who says no one is buying magazines anymore?
Faces in the crowd: Designer David Biscaye chatting with The ‘Bar-ettes’ Kira Semler and Vi Huse (Happy Birthday!) at the bar. I was thrilled to spend some time with some of my favorite Michael’s regulars after lunch today to join them in bidding bartender Yung Leung a fond farewell. Yung’s last day at Michael’s is tomorrow. He’s got an exciting new position with Morrell & Company starting next week. Good luck. We’ll miss you!
Please send comments and corrections to lunch at mediabistro DOT com.