Back in July, Mariah Carey made an insane two-hour live appearance on the Home Shopping Network, which I distilled down to the most entertaining four minutes. So when I found out that Carey would kick off another round of HSN hawking early this morning, I couldn't help but tune in (and not just because she challenged Gawker to do so).
• Cintra Wilson is not impressed with the NYC's very first JCPenney: "Why would this perennially square department store bother to reanimate itself in Manhattan—in the sleekest, scariest fashion city in America—during a hair-raising economic downturn, without taking the opportunity to vigorously rebrand itself?" Making matters worse, she says even the mannequins are obese: "It's like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of Roseanne." [NYT]
• Contrary to recent rumors, Kanye West is not interning at the Gap. [FWD]
• It looks like Escada is the latest fashion house to go bust. [Bloomberg]
• Anna Wintour will appear on Dave Letterman's show on August 24. (Set your DVR!) In other Anna-related news (and despite recent budget cuts at Condé Nast), the Vogue editrix will be making the trip to London Fashion Week.
♦ Pat Field's debuted her line for HSN today. The Carrie-like dresses cost $150 a pop and each order comes with a subscription to Vogue. "If only Anna Wintour would go on the air and shill along with Pat Field." [The Cut]
♦ Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen might be feuding, their neighbors might hate them, but their fashion empire keeps expanding: They've just signed a deal with Steve Madden to create a shoe line under their Elizabeth and James brand. [WWD]
In the second quarter, IAC swung from a $94.6 million profit last year to a $421.6 million loss this year. Don't blame Jakob Lodwick! His former company, Vimeo, is nowhere near the top of IAC/InterActiveCorp's expense report for the past quarter. The real problem at Barry Diller's Internet empire is Cornerstone Brands, a rollup of catalog companies undermined by weak consumer spending in home and apparel retail. Cornerstone's losses led to a $300 million writedown in goodwill in IAC's second quarter. In addition, the soft real estate market cut revenue for home financing site LendingTree nearly in half.IAC is moving ahead with plans to spin off four of its divisions by the end of August: HSN (which includes Cornerstone), Ticketmaster, Tree.com (which includes LendingTree), and Interval Leisure Group, which operates vacation sites including ResortQuest Hawaii. That leaves IAC with Ask.com, Match.com and Citysearch. What's happening? Simple: Diller and company have learned that bundling a bunch of diverse online businesses together doesn't create the promised "synergy" of the Web 1.0 boom. Better to let each site fend for itself. Since IAC got rid of Expedia in 2005 (Barry Diller's still chairman of the board), the travel site's ups and downs have closely followed the travel market. That's the watercooler version. You can wonk out with the full details.