Brady's Bunch

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If all the fragrant pieces fall properly into place, an elegant new competitive shootout between two beauty industry empires, Estee Lauder and the French L'Oreal, could generate beaucoup ad pages for American women's magazines. According to cosmetic industry observer Allan Mottus, the onetime WWD man whose Informationist trade magazine goes to big retailers and the 250 top beauty industry executives, Lauder and L'Oreal will be backing dueling fashion designers. As noted, Lauder is marketing a new makeup product line by former Gucci designer Tom Ford (this fall, he'll also have his own fragrance). Meantime, L'Oreal is cutting an expanded deal with an even bigger name, Ralph Lauren. Ralph's long had his own fragrances (through L'Oreal) but in this new arrangement, he'll be doing a makeup line (his first in years) under his name and that of French label Beaute. That's the big news. Andrea Quinn Robinson, a magazine type who long ago went straight and became a topper at Revlon, plays a major role, jumping from president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide to become chief marketing officer of the Estee Lauder brand. There couldn't have been more excitement had the late Charles Revson reappeared!

"A Wonderful Life" on Broadway (at the Shubert Theatre) Dec. 12? Yessir! But for one night only, a concert version of the musical by Sheldon Harnick and the late great Joe Raposo, with the box-office receipts going to The Actors' Fund of America. A cast of top Broadway stars is lining up. Reservations at the Shubert or 212-221-7300, ext. 133, according to my source, Pat Collins.

Also on Broadway, Wendy Wasserstein's latest, "Third," previews Sept. 29 and opens Oct. 24 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, Lincoln Center.

Does Meredith's Publishing Group Prez Jack Griffin ever rest? They'll launch a new mag this fall, Siempre Mujer ("always, or forever, woman"), Meredith's first lifestyle and shelter book for the Hispanic market. It starts as a bi-monthly with initial rate base of 350,000 and will go on from there. Says Jack, citing the U.S. Census Bureau, "within the next decade, one in five new homeowners will be Hispanic. The Hispanic market currently represents $600 billion in spending power." By 2010, says Jack, that figure will hit a trillion.

Retired WWD Managing Editor Mort Sheinman and six other WWD editors published "Fashion, Retailing and a Bygone Era." Beard Books put out this "insiders' " view.

Anne Triece of Metropolitan Home says its "new increased frequency to 10X is really paying off." Through July/August, ad pages are up 15%.

Susannah Pask sends along her glossy new Spa Finder magazine and says since the magazine's redesign/re-launch of a year ago, pages are way up and that it's increased newsstand distribution 63%.

Tom Allon of Manhattan Media carps about my recent item on Chris Meigher's new Quest spinoff, Q (AA, June 27). Says, "Bah, humbug!" that their claim of 75,000 circ isn't audited.

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