SUBTLE MESSAGE?: For Abercrombie & Fitch, there couldn't have been better exposure. Clear as daylight, three young men wearing big-logoed Abercrombie shirts were on camera in the crowd, just behind Sen. Barack Obama during his Pennsylvania primary concession speech Tuesday night in Evansville, Ind. But it was Obama's people, not A&F's, who put them there — possibly to bolster the candidate's youth appeal after losing to Sen. Hillary Clinton by a 10-point margin.
"Thanks to the Obama campaign for the great product placement. We wish we thought of it," said Tom Lennox, A&F's vice president of corporate communications. "If Hillary is interested, we've got stores in North Carolina, Indiana and Oregon."
Abercrombie actually has a policy of not pursuing product placement, but does have a knack for generating controversy, typically with catalogue photographs of beefy young men in a state of partial disrobe. The three men on camera, one of whom is believed to be an Abercrombie store employee, were obviously not of that ilk.
COMING OF AGE: From morning to evening, VIPs flocked around Manhattan to help glamazon tennis star Maria Sharapova celebrate her 21st birthday. On Tuesday morning at a Tag Heuer-sponsored breakfast at the Four Seasons, magazine editors quizzed Sharapova about her love life, diet and the dangling earrings she is known to wear on court. Clad in a black Anne Demeulemeester tank and white Dolce & Gabbana pants, she was as skillful at volleying the questions as she is balls on the court. "People don't see me outside clubs at 3 a.m. I don't like to party. I don't like drinking. My life is fulfilling outside the court," said Sharapova. "In regards to dating, I'm pretty independent. I don't always have to be with someone. Maybe one day I will." Later that night, she strayed from her norm at a Heuer-sponsored party at Tenjune. Tennis aficionados Anna Wintour and Vera Wang as well as friends Dave Annable and Michelle Trachtenberg stopped by to congratulate Sharapova, who changed into a teal Lanvin dress and a Tiffany & Co. diamond headband.