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The Official Page of The Fashion Law.

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    Love him or hate him, father-to-be Kanye West has been looking pretty sharp in his white on white looks lately. Since it is officially springtime, if you haven't been wearing winter white since December, its the perfect time to lighten things up. Now I personally wouldn't go head-to-toe until Memorial Day, but thanks to cream, ivory, off-white, etc., you have options. 

    Brigitte Sweater in Linen,  $270, J Brand

    Palazzo Trousers in Ecru, $79.90, Zara

    Tom Ford Nikita Sunglasses, $360.00, Far Fetch

    Daisy Lace Mini in Ivory, $98.00, J. Crew

    A.L.C. Sachi Sweater, $345.00, Barneys

    CUSHNIE ET OCHS Oscar Floating Belt Dress in White, $1295.00, Forward by Elise Walker

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    In case you didn't know, its time for Coachella. The annual music festival in the desert in Southern California is the place to be this month and so, our Saturday and Sunday style features are some of our favorite looks from festivals past. Enjoy ... 

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    In case you didn't know, its about that time again. Time for Coachella, of course! The annual music festival in the desert in Southern California is the place to be this month and so, pack your bags, get on a plane and go have fun. Speaking of packing your bags, here are 10 music festival wardrobe essentials that you simply cannot leave home without. 

    Jacobella shorts, $298.00, Joie

    Ethnic Messenger bag, $89.90, Zara

    Ray-Ban Large Metal Aviators, $145.00,

    Valdez for the Webster hat, $195.00, Far Fetch

    Current/Elliott Girlfriend Shorts, $188.00, Bloomingdales

    Crossed Lines Scarf, $68.00, J. Crew

    Tabitha Simmons Wingtip Bootie, $1195.00, Far Fetch

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    Spring in the air, it is time to start dressing the part. One of the easiest and chicest ways to do so: skirts. See Eleonora Carisi, Carine Roitfeld, Taylor Tomasi-Hill, and more in the quintessential spring garment and get inspired!

    images courtesy of harpersbazaar, nymag, vogue

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    Pencil skirts have kind of gotten a bad wrap in the past for being stuffy and basically only appropriate for office jobs. However, with Spring weather in effect and finally the chance to show a little leg (both on the job and at play), these pencil skirts are anything but boring. So, whether you want to be the chicest girl at work or whether you just want to brighten up your Spring brunch wardrobe, these beauties are perfect for almost any occasion. 

    Givenchy Printed Crepe Pencil Skirt, $1780.00, Bergdorf Goodman

    Halogen Stretch Woven Skirt, $59.00, Nordstrom

    Prabal Gurung Printed Pencil Skirt, $875.00, Kirna Zabete

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    Not one but two films about the late Yves Saint Laurent are in the works and there will likely be legal action. Both films are set to debut later this year. One, entitled Saint Laurent, has reportedly received the go ahead from Kering founder François Pinault (Kering, formerly known as PPR, owns YSL). Pinault has granted director, Bertrand Bonello, the right to use the French design house's logo and various garments in the company's possession. The other film, Yves Saint Laurent, which was directed by Jalil Lespert, is not without merits, as YSL co-founder Pierre Bergé has signed off on the project. Bergé has also given Lespert access to nearly 5,000 dresses, 15,000 accessories and 35,000 sketches.

    Bonello's YSL (left) & Lespert's YSL (right)

    Bergé has publicly stated that he "holds the moral rights over YSL's work, his image and mine and have only authorised Jalil Lespert." Lawyers for the house's co-founder (who is also president of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation) responded to communications from Bonello, forbidding him from exploring Saint Laurent's private life on film, as well as using his image or any Saint Laurent creations. Bonello's film reportedly addresses the "dark side" of the flamboyant designer, a man of "absolute excess," during his rapid rise to fame from 1965 to 1976. More to come ...

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    New York Councilwoman Margaret Chin wants to make it a crime to buy counterfeit bags in New York City. The Manhattan Democrat’s bill would penalize individuals caught buying designer fakes with a maximum $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. That's the same penalty as someone caught selling a single counterfeit good. According to the NY Post, Chin and lower-Manhattan residents are petitioning for a hearing on the bill, claiming that Canal Street merchants are spilling into side streets to harass anyone passing by. Of the bill Chin said: “It’s always illegal for people to sell [counterfeit goods], but it’s not illegal for the people who buy this stuff. Hopefully, this law will cut down on the demand.”

    Last month, federal agents busted a major counterfeit warehouse in Maspeth, Queens, where they discovered 1,400 cartons of counterfeit bags, sunglasses and watches, which were being sold to street vendors. Moreover, agents with US Customs and Border Patrol seized $511 million in fake handbags last year alone. Of that, $340 million worth of forgeries were gathered by New York agents in 458 seizures. Someone caught selling or distributing fake goods can be charged with trademark counterfeiting, a misdemeanor in New York — which carries up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. If a seller is caught with $1,000 worth of goods, it’s a felony punishable by up to 4 years in jail. Hawking more than $100,000 of fake purses could land someone up to 15 years in jail.

    Considering that the majority of individuals buying these "Chanel" bags on Canal Street know that what they are buying is fake and as a result, the whole transaction is done in a fairly shady manner, I'm not sure if the bill will actually make a significant impact on the number of buyers. What do you think?

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    The use of too-skinny and underaged models is a common theme in the fashion industry, and is especially controversial around fashion weeks. On the heels of the Fall 2013 shows, our friends over at Styleite caught up with Paper Magazine's editorial director, Mickey Boardman (who we LOVE), to talk models. Read his thoughts below and feel free to chime in and comment ... 

    Boardman says: 
    It’s kind of like…who do you blame? And I don’t want to blame people, you kind of want to move onto the next thing and solve the problem. I do think that models are too skinny. A problem is that very often they’re 14 years old. So I personally think it would be great to have models that have to be 18 — and I know they’ve tried to make models have to be 16, but some people don’t listen. The problem is that the 14-year-old girl from Ukraine looks amazing in clothes, and the ones that look amazing are skinny because they’re like baby horses. They’re like colts, they’re all just arms and legs and big eyes. And it’s not because they’re unhealthy, it’s just because they’re in that growing stage. I wish there was more of an embrace in general in fashion. Celebrating people who aren’t just sample size, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to happen. I don’t know what to do about it, but I think a big step would have to be make sure models are of a certain age. But even then, when you’re 18 and there is champagne backstage and you’re traveling. Like you’re from Belarus and you’re going to Paris and Milan, and you’re jet-lagged — it’s a difficult situation.

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    If this was the year 2000 and Carrie Bradshaw was still the "it" girl, you would most definitely see her running through Union Square in Aquazzuras. Florence-based designer Edgardo Osorio, who launched his luxury footwear company in 2011, has a thing for modern design and impeccable craftsmanship, and we do, too. So, make some room among your Manolos, Loubs and Choos and strut away the spring and summer months in these beauties. From flats to five inchers, there is a little something for every girl to let out her inner fashionista. And now for the Aquazzuras we will be sporting: the Carissima, Sexy on the Beach, Caipiroska Candy Studds, and Cheeta flat styles. See more below ... 

    Kate Concannon is an experienced fashion and lifestyle writer featured in publications, such as, Philadelphia Style Magazine, and Her fashion and lifestyle blog, Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra, featured in Time Magazine online, is a spin on all the crazed things women do for the sake of fashion. For more information, email Kate at or follow along on Twitter @LSIASB.

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    The Cambridge Satchel Company settled an infringement lawsuit against design pirate and its former manufacturer Zatchels, resulting in Zatchels paying an undisclosed sum to The Cambridge Satchel Company last August. However, that has not stopped Zatchels from continuing to manufacture the lookalike bags and offering them at nearly the exact price points as its predecessor. Right now, Cambridge Satchel is offering the following collections (among others): Classic, pastel, two-tone collection, metallic, and polka dot, all of which Zatchels is similarly offering. 

    Cambridge Satchel (left) & Zatchel (right)

    Now, I know this is where you argue that Julie Deane, the founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, did not invent the satchel, and thus, Zatchels is not really in the wrong. To that I say, you are partially correct. While the satchel is a classic English design, Deane did, in fact, popularize it and introduced novel colors and designs in connection with the bag.  English school boys were not carrying fluoro satchels, nor did they have polka-dot versions. So, while Deane did not invent the bag (and she does not claim to), I think there is some weight to the argument that she has a right to prevent others from making exact replicas of the variations her company has become known for. This is especially relevant because in fashion, there is very little that is completely novel and thus, most "new" designs or styles are simply the result of progression and not invention. 

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    Twenty-four year old Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele made her fashion debut in the Fall of 2005, walking for Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Ruffian, and Thakoon in New York. Odiele has since served as the face of Mulberry, Anna Sui, Moschino, and Diesel, among others, and graced the covers of W Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, etc. She shares her thoughts on her favorite designers, Rick Owens, models, and more ... 

    On what she wears on an average day: "Pieces of Alexander Wang for example, that’s a good friend of mine and he makes the most comfy daywear. Wang for president!”

    On models: "I'm not a product. We're not dolls. We are flesh and bones and we do eat sometimes." 

    Oh her favorite designers: “Since I live in New York, I especially love the locals. Proenza Schouler, good friends of mine. And Chanel’s just always nice. Every season there is the piece you can wear with everything and combine. Then there’s even Prada. And I am a hardcore Balenciaga-freak."

    On Rick Owens: "I've been doing his show for so many years now. Its, for me, like a tradition, and so, I am always just happy to be back. I really like it - its one of my favorites."  

    On luxury: "Luxury for me is going on vacation. It doesn't have to be fancy but it can be like I don't have to think and can just do whatever I want." 

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    Aldo Cipullo created the Juste un Clou (“Just a Nail”) bracelet for Cartier in the 1970's. When the bracelet was re-issued last spring in yellow, pink, and white gold, it quickly gained a following. We know from experience that this popularity means one thing: there would be countless copies in no time at all. And copies there are: with lower price tags, (obviously) lower quality, and another brand’s name. Now, we aren’t here to claim that the Juste un Clou bracelet is the most ornate or original bracelet on the market. It is, after all, “Just a Nail.” But when we discovered that fashion sites were saying the bracelet's design is basically too simple to own, so copy away, we felt compelled to do the proper analysis (because we doubt this was done before the assertion was made).

    Cartier (left) & Urban Outfitters (right)

    Copyright protection was granted for the Vintage Alhambra jewelry design in Van Cleef & Arpels Logistics, S.A. v. Landau JewelryThe court emphasized that the validity of copyright protection depends upon originality, and in cases involving jewelry, it is often difficult to determine when a combination of unoriginal parts is original enough to merit copyright protection. Nevertheless, protection was given to the design in question because originality, for purposes of copyright, is a low bar. It means only that there be “at least some minimal degree of creativity ... with the vast majority of works making the grade quite easily as long as they possess some creative spark, no matter how crude, humble or obvious. What does that mean for Cartier? It likely means that it's design is worthy of protection. And what does that mean for these copycat retailers? Well, it may just be the difference between a legal reproduction and copyright infringement. 

    Jennifer Williams is a law student, who writes about fashion, the legal avenues available for protecting it, and the ways in which the laws are falling short. Jennifer writes for legal reporting blogLegal As She Is Spoke. For more from Jennifer, visit her blog, StartFashionPause, or follow her on Twitter

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    Prada is headed to court stemming from a defamation suit it has brought against a former employee, who very publicly the Italian design house for harassment, but otherwise, things are looking pretty great for the company. Prada has announced an increase in its annual profit. Earnings for 2012 rose nearly 45 percent to 625.7 million euros ($811 million) from 431.9 million euros a year earlier. The Milan-based company cites its full-price policy (limited markdowns) and its new stores (the company opened opening 78 in 2012) as helping to boost its earnings. 

    Prada's CEO Patrizio Bertelli stood by the company’s retail strategy, expressing confidence in the flow of tourists shopping globally and in further growth in China while underscoring the need to continue to make interesting product. As for China he said: "In 2013 we will start looking at China with even greater attention. We have fewer stores in China compared with our competitors. We’ve opened more slowly and now we have to catch up.”

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    The tag on that shirt doesn't read CELINE (even though it is a nearly exact version of a tee shirt that the Paris-based design house makes), it says ROMWE. That's not just trademark infringement, that's counterfeiting. What's counterfeiting? Put simply: it is a specific form of trademark infringement in that applies only to marks made to look identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the actual mark, and are intended to cause consumer confusion about the source of the counterfeit goods. So, while the inside tag may read ROMWE, the manufacturers (and wearers) of this tee are certainly intending for it to appear as though it was made by CELINE. 

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    In case you weren't sure just how nasty online retailer Nasty Gal is, here's a hint. Quite often we see fast fashion retailers selling copies of high fashion garments and accessories because design piracy is a perfectly legal practice (for the most part). However, one tactic that's definitely not legal is copying an image that appears on another brand's wares and putting it on your own. Case in point: Nasty Gal's "Vicious tote." Unlike plain old design piracy (for which there is very little protection available via copyright law), there is protection for pictorial, sculptural and graphic works under U.S. copyright law. Nasty Gal's insanely blatant imitation of Givenchy's super-popular Rottweiler design is a perfect example. 

    Givenchy bag (left) & Nasty Gal's version (right)

    The Rottweiler print debuted in Givenchy’s Fall 2011 menswear show, and assuming that it is an original print (the bar for originality is low), it is protectable by law. Because the image is "separable" from the bag, t-shirt or sweatshirt, etc. that it appears on (the t-shirt or bag can exist without the image), it is classified as a pictorial, sculptural and graphic works. What does this mean for Nasty Gal? Well, it confirms something we already know: that Nasty Gal is not just nasty in name. It also means that this "insanely cool" tote (Nasty Gal's words NOT mine) is probably insanely illegal. Learn more about the protection of pictorial, sculptural and graphic works. More to come ...

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    Flaunt magazine and NYC hotspot Le Baron have teamed up to throw a Guantanamo Bay-themed Coachella party called New Guantanamo. The party's press release says the the event "will feature playful torture by Smashbox Studios with beats poured by French music and fashion label Kitsuné. This one will go until dawn.” While some sponsors have since dropped out, such as True Religion and Smashbox Studios (which claims it was unaware of the " inappropriate theme"), Flaunt is still all in. In fact, the mag released the following statement: “Flaunt has [never] shied away from controversy or provocation. We routinely cover topics of social and political contention. At our event, we intend to create an atmosphere of fun, and the spirit and theme were never intended to cause offense or harm. Guantanamo has been controversial from its inception, and that an unresolved human rights issue is again fetching headlines is, in our opinion, true to our aims as a publication. We value and respect the public’s concern and are taking action.” Thoughts? 

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    Riccardo Tisci’s ability to manifest trends from out-of-nowhere and turn them into cultural sensations is unparalleled. From wearing the most mediocre dog breed of all time on your chest (because nobody loves Rottweilers THAT much) to black leather kilts, and then getting rappers to co-sign all of it – the man has a gift. So, with the Spring/Summer season rapidly approaching, its time to look forward to the next big Tisci trend to really take off. If the editorials are any indication (see some of them below), we are in store for A-list rappers and all the subsequent wannabes, to be rocking bedazzled nose rings EVERYWHERE this Spring and Summer and, God willing, into next Fall and Winter. Because nothing says Spring/Summer like not being able to eat, drink, or smoke because you have an enormous piece of jewelry covering your entire mouth. Fashion. 

    Now, the Givenchy nose ring isn’t all that new. Tisci has been showing variations on the theme for the past year or so in both his men’s and women’s collections, as well as some of his final couture shows. But, like all good things, it is taking some time to catch on (e.g. Selfies. Can you remember a time before selfies? No, because who would want to?), and based on recent Tisci designs-turned-crazes, I’d be willing to bet we are headed into a golden age of bedazzled nose rings. 

    Gerhard Freidl for Apollo Novo (left) & Runde Sache for Die Presse (right)

    Arthur Gosse for Hero (left) & Simone Nobili for Dust Magazine (right) 

    Fabian Nordstrom for Hypebeast

    Sean O'Pry for Dansk

    Grimes for Dazed & Confused (left) & Brenda Kranz for Qvest (right)

    Lea T for (left) & Malgosia Bela for i-D (right)

    Kate Moss for Vogue (left) & Marie Piovesan for Interview (right)

    Vlada Roslyakova for Dazed & Confused (left) & Jessica Chastain for W (right)

    Saskia de Brauw for Numero (left) & Marie Piovesan for Vogue Italia (right)

    Franzi Mueller for Vogue Germany (left) & Karlie Kloss for British Vogue (right)

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    The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has investigated two complaints recently stemming from recent American Apparel ad campaigns, banning several images (including the two below). This is the third time in about a year that the Los Angeles-based retailer has faced similar action by the ASA. According to the complaints, the images portray the models as vulnerable and overtly sexual, with the photographs objectifying women. The ASA concluded that the ads breached its Code: "We considered there was a voyeuristic quality to the images, which served to heighten the impression that the women were vulnerable and in sexually provocative poses. For the reasons given, we considered the ads were likely to cause serious offence to visitors to American Apparel's website." Read American Apparel's response below ... 

    According to an American Apparel spokesperson: "We'd like to shoot down the idea that American Apparel is trying to make ads that get banned for publicity. It's the other way around. The ASA grandstands on the AA name to get publicity and that's why they repeatedly come after the company. I think the fact that the 'ads' in this case weren't even ads but images on our website makes that pretty clear. How can this agency have any say over what a company displays on its site? We've been doing these ads for 10 years. Who are they to say what is and isn't appropriate?"

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    Kanye West and UMG Recordings are set to appear in court, as the two were slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit late last week in a California court. Turns out, Yeezy may have employed some unauthorized sampling of a 1974 recording in several songs, including his 2005 hit "Gold Digger." 

    Members of the estate of late musician David Pryor (namely his children Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor) brought suit, stemming from his song "Bumpin' Bus Stop." According to the complaint, Kanye and friends "engaged in the repeated willful infringement of Plaintiffs' copyrighted music on a massive scale by sampling Plaintiffs' copyrighted music." Steward and Pryor are seeking damages of $150,000 per infringement, as well as attorneys' fees. Considering the fact that "Gold Digger" sold more than 3 million copies in the United States alone, this could be an expensive suit for Kanye. 

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    With the help of the CFDA, the Woolmark Company has reinvigorated its International Woolmark Prize, a fashion design prize that aims to identify the world’s foremost emerging designers. The prize is up for grabs in the US to the final ten designers. The finalists will create capsule collections built around merino wool and then will be judged. Regional contests take place in the U.S., China, Australia, India, Italy, the U.K. and France. The winner of each of those rounds receives $100,000 and then goes on to compete in the global competition for another $100,000. This year's finalists are ... Chris Peters and Shane Gabier of Creatures of the Wind, Joseph Altuzarra, Giulietta, Wes Gordon, WHIT by Whitney Pozgay, Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein of Timo Weiland, Bibhu Mohapatra, Alexa Adams and Flora Gill of Ohne Titel, Daniel Vosovic, and Tucker by Gaby Basora.

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