AOL AND CAP CITIES FASHION AN ONLINE CHANNEL:ARMANI SIGNS AS FIRST SPONSOR OF THEMED AREA DEVOTED TO STYLE

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America online and Capital Cities/ABC are teaming to launch the Style Channel, an AOL content area with a fashion theme.

The Style Channel opens June 1 and includes fashion and beauty coverage as well as a transactional area that will house up to 20 retailers.

NEW COLLECTIONS, NEW CONTENT

"Do we want to show Ralph Lauren's new collection and Donna Karan's? Yes. But we also want to have completely original content," said Mark Sullivan, a former VP-group editor and publisher at Cap Cities/ABC-owned Fairchild Publications, who becomes general manager for the Style Channel.

AOL has invested $1.5 million in the Style Channel thus far, said one executive close to the project.

Giorgio Armani and Armani A/X are the site's first sponsors. Ad rates range from $10,000 to $15,000 per month, said Mr. Sullivan, who plans to secure 12 charter advertisers.

TAPPING FAIRCHILD

Although Fairchild content won't be repurposed, Mr. Sullivan hopes to tap the advertiser base of the company's magazines, including W and Women's Wear Daily.

Others have the fashion bug also. Downtown magazine Paper (http://www.papermag.com) developed an area for Armani A/X, and Fashion Internet (http://www.finy.com) has sent several designers down its runways.

Like AOL's recent venture with New Line Television for an entertainment channel called the Hub, the Style Channel will emphasize original content and programming that could lead to further branding in other media.

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