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The Official Page of The Fashion Law.

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    What does Arianna Huffington have in common with the stars of Hedi Slimane's Spring 2013 ad campaign? She apparently trashes apartments like a rockstar. The Huffington Post founder is being sued in Manhattan Supreme Court. Filmmaker Eric Steel is bringing a $275,000 lawsuit against the media mogul, alleging that she trashed the furnished, 4,400-square-foot Chelsea, NYC loft that he had sublet to her for two years. Apparently, when Huffington moved out in January, she left the walls gouged, the wood floors scratched, the steel window seats and ledges covered in candle wax, and a queen-sized mattress stained with blood. To make matters worse, the $32,000/month apartment was designed by famed architect Charles Gwathmey (Steel's stepfather), and due to loft's "historical and aesthetic significance," Steel stressed that Huffington she could not use it for business or to host parties. Steel further claims in his lawsuit that Huffington broke the sublease agreement by making "innumerable" copies of the elevator lock for people and letting her daughters live in the apartment.

    Huffington (center) with her daughters
    image courtesy of vogue

    Steel declined to comment, but Huffington has released a statement saying: "Every single claim in this suit is false except the square footage and the address. Eric Steel, who happily renewed the lease twice and visited the apartment multiple times, is holding onto $93,000 dollars in deposits, which he has refused to return. He is obviously trying to extort more money from me.... It won't work."

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    Dutch model and mother Helena Christensen wrote an open letter to the Huffington Post last week in defense of ... Kim Kardashian! The former Victoria's Secret angel, who has graced the cover of Vogue and starred in campaigns for Chanel, Versace, Lanvin, and Prada, among others, is reportedly sick of the negative media attention the reality star has been receiving in connection with her pregnancy. Read Christensen's thoughts below and tell us what YOU think!


    "It is disgusting and despicable the way that certain media constantly harass the pregnant Kim Kardashian. It's enough that they persistently project a negative focus on women's physical shapes; but a public bullying and attacking of a pregnant woman because of her growing shape is just lower than low. Whatever else the tabloid-media feel a sick need to spew out, let that be their lame choice. But there should be some moral compass. It doesn't matter who the woman is or what she does. No one should ever be publicly judged for their body, but to attack an expecting mother is sacrilegious and just plain wrong. A pregnant woman should not be criticized for her shape, period!!"

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    Today is Tuesday and its kind of boring. So, we are here to help you out. And by "we," I mean our friends over at VFILES. Take a break from your work (if you're actually working) or if you're in class, now's the perfect time to watch this. This is RJ's World, and its awesome. (And how cute is James Smith?!)

     

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    We may have just found a "parody" that isn't potentially illegal. By now, you must have come across the plethora of "parody" tees (and sweatshirts and hats, etc.) that bloggers have been quick to label as parodies and not as trademark infringement or counterfeiting. Having said this, the CANINE sweatshirt that model Jourdan Dunn is sporting above may actually be a parody. What is this sweatshirt channeling? Well, it appears to be a take on Brian Lichtenberg's FELINE tee (after the break), which is just his take on the CELINE tee. With Cartier slapping Fahad Al Hunaif, the designer responsible for those Cuntier accessories, with a cease and desist letter last month, we may start seeing more cautious takes on designer "parodies" from now on. 

    Lichtenberg's FELINE "parody" (left) & a CELINE tee (right)

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    With just about every industry publication chiming in on the lack of diversity in the modeling industry, let's step back for just a moment. By calling attention to the big design houses for using almost exclusively white models for Fall 2013, we are doing two things: 1) Assuming that "diversity" refers only to race and 2) Overlooking the casting of some of the most influential designers in the industry ... Emerging designers! To keep this brief, let's look at one designer: Prabal Gurung. One of America's sweethearts, Gurung is quickly becoming known throughout the world for his design genius. In his two most recent runway shows for his namesake label, Gurung featured a mix of white Americans, European and eastern European girls, Asian girls and black girls. Joan Smalls opened his Spring 2013 show (and appeared in his ad campaign). Ji Hye Park opened his Fall 2013 show. In case you didn't know, that's kind of a big deal. 


    Before we fault designers because the majority of the girls that walk in their shows are "white," let's address what this implies. Put simply, we are overlooking the diversity that exists within this very broad category. These are not all white, American girls. In fact, this category, "white girls," groups together individuals from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Australia, South America, South Africa, etc. Diversity is not simply about race (no matter how hard we try to make it about race), and we are doing this industry a disservice by suggesting that it is. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Liu Wen and Joan Smalls walk in every show. However, I would also love to see Casey Legler walk in more menswear shows, in addition to Bradley Soileau, Daniel Bamdad and newcomer Jonas Hofmann. My point is simply this: by choosing to define "diversity" by race and race alone, we are limiting the creative decisions of designers and turning fashion into this overly politically correct institution, and that's not what fashion is about.

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    Sunglasses aficionados, I have some great news, and I know this because I feel you. I am one of you, and so, I'm happy to tell you that an insane collaboration has taken place. Jewelry design god, Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris has teamed up with the guys behind eyewear label Illesteva. Two emerging design brands. One style. One time. House of Waris for Illesteva sunglasses. Handmade in France, the 1960s-influenced unisex style comes in five colors, and is set to debut on April 9th at the Webster, Miami, and on illesteva.com. Ahluwalia's thoughts on the collab: “The idea was to help the world look as sexy as possible, even in the glaring sun.” Sold. 

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    Who better to help us reintroduce The Fashion Law Interview Series than designer we love, Devi Kroell! This Austrian-born, New York-based designer is not only a favorite of ours, but an industry favorite, as well. Case in point: In 2006, she won the CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Accessory Design for her work at her namesake label, Devi Kroell, which she left in 2010. Lucky for us, she has since returned to the world of luxe fashion and started her successful brand: Dax Gabler, which consists of Kroell's specialty sleek, sexy, and extraordinary designs. Kroell talks to The Fashion Law about studying under Helmut Lang, her die hard customers and not using logos. 

    The Fashion Law – Tell me a little bit about your brand, since business, now more than ever, is focused on branding. 

    Devi Kroell – Dax Gabler is about must haves. The way it will evolve is that rather than adding full fledged lines, I want to focus on items I feel strongly about. We started with knitwear, shoes, handbags, but it was always just pieces. I'll add a few new must haves in other categories in the coming seasons. I am personally at a point where I want to focus on items that matter to me.


    The Fashion Law – Do you ever worry about others copying your (seriously amazing) designs, and is this something you have encountered? 

    Devi Kroell – Thanks so mcuh for the compliment ;) Sadly, that's a reality. Many "designers" find "inspiration" in the designs of other designers they admire. They'll make a change or 2, but the "inspiration" is pretty obvious. I am just so apalled that this industry is so badly protected. Take music for example, that's another industry that lives off original ideas, but the artist is very well protected. 

    The Fashion Law  You started the Devi Kroell brand in 2004. You’ve said that at the time everyone was doing logos and you thought there must be a customer that wanted something sleeker and more streamlined. You still don’t use logos. So, consumers must really be responding to your look. 

    Devi Kroell – Ha, I think now the whole industry has moved to this non-logo approach! It comes in cycles, now the next big thing will be logos again. I think my customer, who is a a very well educated, smart and independent woman, does not need logos and does not want to be a walking billboard. This customer was sort of the "opinion leader," and now everyone else has followed.


    The Fashion Law – At the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, you studied under Helmut Lang. What was that like?

    Devi Kroell – Our program was a very elitist program: only 5 students a year were admitted, handpicked by the Master himself. I don't think you can get more elitist and exclusive than that! 

    The Fashion Law – You are no longer with the Devi Kroell brand. Has it been a professional struggle dealing with the fact that the company has your name? Would you recommend designers using their names as their company name?

    Devi Kroell – It was definitely a professional struggle, because buyers were confused as to the longevity of Dax Gabler and how serious I was about it (VERY!!) Furthermore, when I was helming Devi Kroell, it was about a really cool woman, and now I am just embarrassed my name is attached to such lousy designs and concepts. 

    I don't really have any advice for designers, it's a difficult balance to keep creative control, keep your name and raise investments: perhaps not using your name is a solution. The best advice is to never sell your name, but of course, when you want funding, selling your name is usually part of the deal. Get a good lawyer who won't sell you out! 

    The good news is that 3 years after having left my company, what's left of it has nothing to do with me anymore, it's a totally different brand, and that makes it so easy to move on and focus on my next big thing.


    The Fashion Law – How are you personally and/or professionally different now than when you started Devi Kroell?

    Devi Kroell – Where do I begin? I've grown sooooooooo much, but at heart, I am still the same hardworking and idealistic designer, now more than ever.

    The Fashion Law – Your Dax Gabler collection is amazing. It’s a bit more affordable, has a wider range (ready-to-wear, bags and shoes), and focuses less on the exotics you were really known for. Do you think the Devi Kroell customer would shop Dax Gabler?

    Devi Kroell – The Devi Kroell customer who was shopping Devi Kroell when I was still there is definitely shopping Dax Gabler. The Devi Kroell customer now isn't the same as who was shopping Devi when I was still there, let's be clear about that! My first Dax Gabler customers were my most die hard customers at my previous brand. It was so endearing to see their support and belief in me. I was blown away by that loyalty. Fashion evolves, and so do I as a designer. I did python when no one else was, and now I've moved on to new pastures. I think my customer loves my sensibility, and that's really quite independent from the medium I use.

    The Fashion Law – I know you have said you want more stores and may even do some menswear. What can we expect from you in the near future?

    Devi Kroell  I am taking one day at time, that's another lesson I've learned! Menswear is still something I feel very drawn towards!

    The Fashion Law – What are you obsessed with right now? :)

    Devi Kroell – I can't tell you, that's all part of spring 2014!!!


    Learn more about Devi and shop Dax Gabler HERE
    images courtesy of daxgabler & businessinsider

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    By Georgia Graham, International Business Times (edited by TFL)

    What happens when you get ousted as editor from one of the world's most prestigious fashion magazines? Well, you write about it, of course. Longtime Vogue Australia Editor Kirstie Clements was fired in May after 25 years of service at the magazine. Now, she has released a tell-all book called "The Vogue Factor." In her new book, Clements claims models still regularly starve themselves to stay super skinny and some resort to eating tissues to help them feel full. Clements quotes an unnamed Russian model who told her over lunch that her roommate was a fit model (the body used by designers and around which the clothes are designed), “so she is in hospital on a drip a lot of the time.” 

    image courtesy of cbs

    Clements (see below), who was Vogue Australia's top editor for 13 years, recounts on one occasion she didn't once see a top model eat a single meal on a three-day gig. Even worse, Clements recounted that on the last day of the job, the model could hardly hold herself up or keep her eyes open. She also claimed that “When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast in the overseas shows ... the Vogue fashion office would say she’d become ‘Paris thin.’” Some critics believe “The Vogue Factor” is Clements way of exacting revenge after she was let go and replaced with former Harper’s Bazaar Australia editor Edwina McCann.

    If that's true, Clements isn't alone. Imogen Edwards-Jones, who wrote “Fashion Babylon,” ruffled a few feathers in 2006 when that book unveiled some insights into the not-so glamorous world of runway models. For her book, Edwards-Jones used anonymous sources -- three high-profile figures in the fashion world – to reveal that some models use “pile” cream to tighten the skin around their eyes, while others regularly take laxatives and diet pills to maintain a size 0 figure. The reporter-turned-author said, “You might be starving, drunk and high, with dried-up kidneys and the liver of a 55-year-old alcoholic, but just as long as you can make it down the catwalk looking fabulous, who cares?”

    image courtesy of fashionpatriot

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    By Matt Roper, Daily Mail (edited by TFL)

    High-street fashion retailer Zara is under investigation (for the second time in the recent past) for unethical labor practices. This time: the use of slave labour at factories in Argentina. Today, immigrant workers, including children, were discovered producing clothes for the label in "degrading" sweatshop conditions, investigators said. The mostly Bolivian laborers claimed they were made to work more than 13-hour days and were prevented from leaving the factories without permission. Garments being sewed at one clandestine workshop in Buenos Aires included items from the Zara Man collection. 


    Juan Gomez Centurion, the head of the country's Government Control Agency, which raided three factories producing Zara clothes last week, said: "We found men and children who lived in the place where they worked. They were not registered and they were living in terrible conditions. They had no official documents and were held against their will, they were not allowed to leave their workplaces without permission."

    Authorities moved in on the sweatshops in the outlying Mataderos, Liniers and Floresta districts of the Argentine capital after a tip-off from workers' rights NGO La Alameda. The charity's spokesman Gustavo Vera said people at the factory were made to start at 7am and work without a break until 11pm, from Monday to Saturday. He said: "Their workplaces were also their homes, families were forced to share cramped quarters in a mess of sewing machines, needles, threads and children. The places were dark without proper lighting to sew and no ventilation."

    The Spanish company behind Zara, Inditex, said today they were "surprised" by the revelations and claimed they had not been officially notified by the Argentinian authorities. A spokesman said: "From the limited information we have, which are the addresses of the workshops, they have no relationship with our suppliers and manufacturers in the country." He added that Zara has 60 Argentinian manufacturers and in the last two years conducted 300 audits of suppliers and factories, but would cooperate with any investigation. It is the second time Zara has been accused of involvement in slave and child labour in South America.

    In 2011 a group of workers - 14 Bolivians and one Peruvian - were rescued from an unlicensed factory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where clothes carrying the Zara label were being produced. The immigrant workers, one of whom was reported to be just 14, were living in dangerous and unhygienic conditions, forced to work 12-hour shifts for between £95 and £176 a month.

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    Another day, another Jenni Kayne copy. This time Richmond, Virginia-based online retailer Need Supply Co. is one of the culprits. The otherwise super cool site is offering spot-on replicas of Los Angeles-based designer Jenni Kayne's famed d'Orsay flats. The copies at issue: Breckelle's Studio Flats. Instead of just calling out copycat Breckelle's for manufacturing these shoes and Need Supply Co. for ordering and selling them, let's talk about difference between the two lookalike products ... 

    Jenni Kayne's flats (top) & Breckelle's versions (bottom)

    Unlike Jenni Kayne's d'Orsay flats, which are 100% manufactured in Italy (by a small, family-owned business with strict quality control measures), Breckelle's studio flats are manufactured in China. Unlike Kayne's flats, which are made of high-grade skins (leathers, suedes, lizards, etc.), Breckelle's are made of fake suede and fake leather. Lastly, unlike Kayne's original flats, which are often made in Kayne's exclusive prints and fabrics (and have been a must-have since they hit stores in January 2011), Breckelle's are blatant copies. Need I say more? Shop the real thing here. 

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    Everyone’s favorite crazy person, Lapo Elkann, is set to release a capsule collection in partnership with Gucci. In case you're not sure, Lapo is the grandson of menswear titan Gianni Agnelli and is the Director of Brand Promotion for the Fiat Group, to which he is an heir. However, maybe most importantly, he is basically the European version of Scott Disick. Elkann's capsule, titled “Lapo’s Wardrobe,” will be part of Gucci's Made-to-Measure division and is set to launch in June during the Spring/Summer 2014 menswear shows in Milan. The creative partnership will combine Frida Giannini's classic Gucci tailoring with the ability to customize like never before. Thanks to Lapo, now you too can take an otherwise perfectly elegant luxury object, like a suit from Gucci (or a Ferrari), and cover it in camouflage! This is no doubt a huge development for many of Gucci’s biggest clients.

    image courtesy of thefancy

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    image courtesy of zimbio

    Things aren't looking so pretty for E!'s Fashion Police and it has nothing to do with red carpet looks. The show, which is hosted by Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, is facing allegations of labor/wage violations. Eight writers of E!'s Fashion Police have filed suit, alleging that the TV network owes them more than $1 million in back wages. The writers have filed a claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office, claiming that E! has failed to compensate them for both regular and overtime hours worked. And it sounds like there is quite a bit of overtime. According to Fashion Police writer Eliza Skinner, they were required to work 16-hour days on more than one occasion. 

    At issue: whether E! is classifying the employees as salaried employees exempt from overtime. In a statement, E! responded to the complaints saying: "E! values our Fashion Police writers and we pay them fairly and in full legal compliance." More to come ...

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    Designer Nary Manivong may not be designing for NAHM anymore, but the good news: he’s relaunched his namesake collection for Fall 2013. While 30-year old Manivong did not show in February, he did unveil the collection to retailers during February's market and to editors following the European shows. Now its the consumer's turn. Manivong will debut select pieces from his new line, which focuses on clean, wearable silhouettes, next week with the debut of his e-commerce site.


    Regarding the upcoming launch, Manivong told us a little bit about what we can expect: "The Shop section will be personally curated favorites by me for the online store from my RTW line. The launch will first include pre-order for my Fall 2013 collection. Then this summer I will include some exclusive signature pieces and limit-edition items to be sold online." As for the site itself, Manivong is focusing quite a bit on his online presence as part of the relaunch of his namesake label. "This will be part as the fundamental to my development as a brand, and is one of the powerful ways for me to connnect with my customers," he says. Manivong's e-commerce site will go live on Monday, April 8th.  We love a good pre-order, don't you!

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    Online fashion haven, Style.com released the fourth issue of its print mag apprioriately titled, Style.com/Print. The Fall 2013 Issue includes two very interesting lists: one that names the top 10 most-viewed Fall 2013 shows on Style.com and the other names to the 10 best Fall 2013 shows as ranked by Style.com's editors. See the two lists below and tell us what you think ... 



    Top 10 Most-Viewed Fall 2013 shows
    1. Chanel
    2. Saint Laurent
    3. Valentino
    4. Balenciaga
    5. Louis Vuitton
    6. Prada
    7. Givenchy
    8. Dolce & Gabbana
    9. Marc Jacobs
    10. Christian Dior

    images courtesy of tfs

    Top 10 Editor Collections (what the editors thought were the best)
    1. Hermes
    2. Celine
    3. Givenchy
    4. Christopher Kane
    5. Prada
    6. Lanvin
    7. Marc Jacobs
    8. Proenza Schouler
    9. Undercover
    10. Chanel

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    Spotted: Young starlet Victoria Justice (above right) on the set of Extra today to promote her upcoming summer tour looking super cute in a Prabal Gurung for Target collection top. Even stars can't resist the young designer's affordable line.

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    Last month, American Apparel announced its fourth-quarter profit (the highest since 2010), but more interestingly, the company's annual report shed light on its legal landscape. Its hardly a secret that American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has faced quite a few lawsuits in the past several years, the vast majority of which were sexual harassment claims. According to the company's report, only one case (a class action on behalf of all female employees filed in 2006 by Sylvia Hsu) is outstanding. There are three harrassment cases in arbitration: one was settled "with no monetary liability to the Company;" in another, American Apparel "prevailed on the sexual harassment claims."


    Other cases that American Apparel is currently involved in: a proposed class action lawsuit claiming that AA misrepresented its compliance with federal employment laws to investors (put simply: the company knowingly employed undocumented workers and lied about it); and a class action lawsuit filed recently in Los Angeles Superior Court, which alleges that the company has filed to adequately compensate workers for overtime labor.

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    By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Report (edited by TFL)

    Almost a decade after the death of Robert Kardashian, the attorney who became nationally known as a member of O.J. Simpson's criminal defense team, the Kardashian Klan is bringing a lawsuit their late father's widow. Ellen Pearson, who Kardashian married in 2003, reportedly has some of the family's personal possessions including Robert Kardashian's diary and family photo albums. 


    The items are said to document the lives of the Kardashians before they were famous and have recently turned up in the media. For example, the Feb. 4 issue of In Touch magazine had an article titled "The Secret Kardashian Diaries" while Life & Style magazine had an article described as "Feature on the life struggles of the Kardashians including Khloé Kardashian." Pearson is said to have licensed portions of the diaries and photos to Bauer Publishing, owner of In Touch and Life & Style.

    In a lawsuit filed on Thursday in California federal court, the Kardashians and their mother Kris Jenner say that Pearson has engineered a "despicable and unlawful scheme to hold in secret and convert, and now exploit ... private personal and copyright protected" material. According to the complaint, Robert Kardashian left the "bulk of his personal tangible and intangible property" to his four children, and as a result, the Kardashians say that the diary and albums are "incontestably" their inheritance and property. They are suing for conversion and copyright infringement and demanding a full and complete accounting and imposition of a constructive trust. They want at least $500,000 in damages, as well as profits, statutory damages, punitive and exemplary damages.

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    We told you about the Mary Katrantzou x Current/Elliott Spring 2013 collection not too long ago, but now that this collab has hit stores, it is definitely worth another mention. Heavily inspired by Katrantzou's own Spring collection (which hit the runway this past Fall in London), this diffusion capsule is the next best thing, especially since it is a fraction of the cost. London-based Katrantzou put her classic prints on Current/Elliot denim and even a few of her notable silhouettes made the cut. The collab has us shopping and hoping that this is just one collection in an ongoing partnership between these two brands. 

    image courtesy of matchesfashion

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    Just in time for the weekend, you can catch up on all of the fashion law and business of fashion stories that you may have missed this week. Here our some of our top stories for your convenience ... 

    Zara's reportedly using slave labor. Authorities busted several factories in Argentina this week, where workers (including children) were producing clothing for the fast fashion retailer in sweatshop-like conditions. 

    The Fashion Law Interview Series returned this week and in the spotlight, NYC-based designer Devi Kroell, who talked about her brand, Dax Gabler; design piracy and her die-hard fans. 

    According to various reports following the close of the various Fall 2013 fashion weeks, about 90% of models who walked in shows were white. Here's our take on that report and frankly, why we think its wrong. 

    Another day, another Jenni Kayne copy. We set out the difference between the real thing (Jenni Kayne's d'Orsay flats) and the imitation (Breckelle's Studio flats) here, and its not pretty! 

    With just about every shirt with a tag line and a design logo on it being labeled a "parody" (as opposed to trademark infringement), we may have finally found one that actually is a parody! Check it out ... 


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    You may remember that former Prada Japan senior retail manager, Rina Bovrisse, filed a sexual harassment and unfair dismissal lawsuit against the Italian design house's Japanese subsidiary back in 2010. According to Bovrisse's complaint, Prada managers had pressured a number of female employees (including herself) into resigning after calling them "aged, ugly, fat, disgusting and not cute, and as [having] bad body shapes and bad teeth." This past October, the judge ruled in Prada Japan's favor, even though the court did find that harassment occurred. (The judge stated, however, that Bovrisse had failed to sufficiently establish her claim that Prada's managers had called her "ugly."). Prada Japan and Prada SA Luxembourg (the owner of the Prada trademark) filed a $780,000 countersuit against Bovrisse in the same court for defamation in July.


    According to Buzzfeed, Bovrisse is fighting Prada's countersuit. She is set to appear at the United Nations in Geneva on April 30, when the UN's High Commissioner of Human Rights presents a counter-report on the case's ruling to Japanese Parliament. The report, provided by the Working Women's Network, recommends establishing "explicit provisions for penalties on sexual harassment in the Equal Employment Opportunity Law." Bovrisse is not sure if she'll appeal the court's October ruling, but she's going to the UN "to fight for female rights here, especially in the fashion industry," she says. "Prada is not doing the right thing. They're making profits from women, meanwhile all these women working for Prada are suffering."

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