TV shows vie to be "Sex and the City" fashion heir

Fri Feb 8, 2008 5:48pm EST
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two new U.S. television shows are vying to take over from "Sex and the City" as the most fashionable shows on television.

For six seasons American women tuned into HBO to see what Sarah Jessica Parker was wearing, from expensive Manolo Blahnik sling-back shoes to high-end designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier. But since the show went off the air in 2004, fashionistas have been left without their weekly inspiration.

Now, ABC's "Cashmere Mafia," which began airing a month ago, and NBC's "Lipstick Jungle," adapted from a book by Candace Bushnell who authored the "Sex and the City" book, are hoping to take over that mantle.

And at New York's Fashion Week this week they rubbed shoulders with fashion elite in a bid to raise their profile.

Designers say television exposure can be great for business -- as is any celebrity wearing their clothes -- but it has to be a series that fits with their brand and has to be a hit.

"It's something that designers are more and more interested in doing," Bushnell said after cutting the ribbon last Friday to open New York Fashion Week with "Lipstick Jungle" stars Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price.

"It's no secret that the two series are trying to inherit the viewership gold mine that was Bushnell's 'Sex and the City,"' New York magazine wrote, naming "Cashmere Mafia" the narrow winner in the fashion stakes.

The two shows have more in common than fashion alone -- "Cashmere Mafia is produced by "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star and "Lipstick Jungle" is adapted from another book by Bushnell.   Continued...

<p>Actresses (L-R) Bonnie Somerville,Miranda Otto, Frances O'Connor and Lucy Liu, stars of the new series "Cashmere Mafia" take part in a panel discussion at the ABC television network Summer press tour for television critics in Beverly Hills, California July 25, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>