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Beauty Beat: Williams Tapped for Flirt Guest Role ... Kanebo Bidding Process Under Way ... Pop Artist Romero Britto Does Sea-Inspired Scent

You could say that it’s game, set, Flirt for tennis whiz Serena Williams.

Romero Brittos Britto Azul

Romero Britto's Britto Azul.

Photo By WWD Staff

Williams Tapped for Flirt Guest Role
NEW YORK — You could say that it’s game, set, Flirt for tennis whiz Serena Williams.

The tennis star has been named a guest creator for Flirt, the color-driven line launched last summer by the Estée Lauder Cos.’ BeautyBank division.

Unlike previous spokeswomen Michelle Branch and Mila Kunis, both of whom served for a season, the tennis whiz will serve as the brand’s face for a year. Like Branch and Kunis, she will create color cosmetics for the brand during her tenure; the first Williams-designed products will roll out in February at select Kohl’s Department Store doors.

Serena and her sister, Venus, had previously appeared in print and TV ads promoting products from Avon Products Inc.

Serena Williams will be in New York later this week for the U.S. Open and will appear at a press conference Thursday at Chelsea Piers, officially unveiling the deal. But while she has been sidelined from competitive tennis in the last several weeks due to an ankle injury, she hasn’t been sitting still. Both sisters taped a reality TV show based on their lives on ABC Family, which began airing in July. As well, a line of activewear Serena Williams designed with Nike began selling this spring, and she launched an apparel line, Aneres — Serena spelled backward — last fall.
— Julie Naughton

Kanebo Bidding Process Under Way
TOKYO — About 10 companies — including L’Oréal and Johnson & Johnson, but not Shiseido — have expressed interest in Kanebo and Kanebo Cosmetics, according to sources.

The Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan, or IRJC, is also said to have received first-round bids from Kao, Kose, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and some individual Japanese investors.

The next round of bids is expected at the end of September and the final decision will be made later this year. It is understood that new players can bid in alliance with the initial group.

Kanebo’s cosmetics operation, which generated $1.9 billion, or 204 billion yen at current exchange, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004, was spun off from the heavily indebted firm last year under a restructuring plan with the help of IRJC.

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