Memo Pad: Doing the Right Thing... Holiday Goodies...

American Apparel's Dov Charney wasn't prepared for the reaction to his ad about the plight of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

It remains to be seen whether "Mr. Charney Goes to Washington," to paraphrase the Jimmy Stewart film. But the long-controversial apparel figure aims to make an impact in his hometown, pointing to the example of Levi's desegregating its factories in San Francisco during the civil rights movement. "Why did Levi's do it? Probably because it was the right thing to do at the time. And they became known as a company that represented what America was all about," said Charney. "What Levi's was to San Francisco, we aspire to be to Los Angeles," said Charney. — Marcy Medina

HOLIDAY GOODIES: While no one complains about getting a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates as a corporate holiday gift (except, perhaps, for waistline watchers with little self-control), a few media gift-givers were extra creative this year. Time Inc.'s corporate communications department sent out a media sampling selected by their editors. An Amy Winehouse CD, DVDs of the television show "Friday Night Lights" and the Oscar-winning film "The Lives of Others," and Khaled Hosseini's novel "A Thousand Splendid Suns" made the cut.

Vanity Fair, which last year gave a pocket-size copy of The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, ensured it would be remembered this year for its Christmas card, an Annie Leibovitz shot of Bono and Graydon Carter, with the latter giving Time Inc.'s Jim Kelly a run for his money in the Santa verisimilitude department. (A video of Carter's transformation is on the magazine's Web site.)

Architectural Digest turned to one of its AD 100 designers, Alexa Hampton of Mark Hampton, to design a gold lamé umbrella for its gift this year. "Hampton was inspired by the inherent architectural shape of the umbrella with its three-dimensional skeleton arches and spire," said a spokesman for the magazine. Unfortunately, the umbrella itself is a bit more fragile than your average architectural landmark — it comes with a tag warning users not to fold it when wet. But at least it looks good. — Irin Carmon
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