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The Official Page of The Fashion Law.

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    Last month, Supreme and Married to the Mob settled their bitter legal battle out of court. As we predicted, it seems that part of their undisclosed settlement agreement includes Married to the Mob discontinuing the manufacture and sale of any garments/accessories with the words "Supreme Bitch" in lettering that resembles that of Supreme's logo (seen on Rihanna below). While some sites are still selling Supreme Bitch wares (likely just until they sell out of their current inventory), Married to the Mob no longer has any for sale, with the exception of a hat with the words "Supreme Bitch" written in a significantly different font and without the red/white color scheme. 


    While it seems that Supreme's battle ends there, that's not exactly the case. Prior to the lawsuit, Supreme Bitch t-shirts had been out in the world (spotted on Rihanna) and featured heavily in the blogosphere for some time, which means that the NYC-based skate company now has the entire internet to police. By that I mean the vast amount of counterfeit clothing websites hawking "Supreme Bitch" tess. We told you not too long ago that the fake Givenchy t-shirt is the new fake Louis Vuitton bag, and unfortunately for Supreme, most sites that stock fake Givenchy tees also stock fake Supreme and Married to the Mob tees, as well. One site, for instance, Romwe, which obviously doesn't seem to care about trademark infringement and certainly doesn't care about the fact that Married to the Mob has stopped selling its "Supreme Bitch" tee (likely due to the parties legal settlement), is selling fake Givenchy and Kenzo tees, and a tie-dyed version of the "Supreme Bitch" shirt. So, it turns out Supreme's fight isn't exactly over after all, and it looks like trademark infringement is the real bitch here. 

    Supreme tee (left) & Romwe's Supreme Bitch tee (right)
    image courtesy of tfs, supreme & romwe

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    The Fashion Law ExclusiveA New York City-based jewelry design company that sued by Tory Burch in May, filed its answer to Burch's complaint, as well as some counterclaims of its own, today in the S.D.N.Y. court. In its counter suit, Lin & J International accuses the billionaire fashion designer of using "sham lawsuits" to conceal her copying of its designs. The counterclaims further allege that the designer is guilty of unfair trade practices, tortious interference with its business relationships, defamation, and trademark infringement. “Don’t be fooled by Tory Burch’s commando-style litigation and media blitz. Tory Burch is well aware that my client introduced its 'Isis Cross' design over four years ago – long before she introduced her line,” says Howard Myerowitz, the attorney for Lin & J International and several of its distributors. 

    image courtesy of wmagazine

    Lin & J International had sales last year of $2.2 million. According to Myerowitz: “Tory Burch might be bigger in terms of market share, but might doesn’t make you right. If Tory Burch wants a fight, she’s got one."

    In related news, Tory Burch (in connection with River Light V, L.P., the owner of Tory Burch's IP rights) filed another one of its routine trademark infringement lawsuits today in an Illinois Northern District Court against an array of defendants. The Tory Burch legal team regularly files such suits in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami courts - with over ten lawsuits pending so far this summer. This is not uncommon behavior for the owner of a well-known trademark (as trademark owners have the duty to police those marks from unauthorized use). Coach, Chanel (which actually filed two suits today in a southern Florida court, against  a total of 2000 web domains that have been selling counterfeit "Chanel" products), Ugg Boots' parent company Decker, and others regularly file similar suits, as well. More to come ...

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    Last week, Switzerland's Federal Competition Commission (or COMCO, for short) announced that it had rejected an agreement struck between its Secretariat and the Swatch Group this past spring to reduce deliveries of components to rival watchmakers. The Swatch Group, which has been the supplier of various watch components for most of the Swiss watch industry for over 20 years (including its direct competitors, as well as big luxury brands, like Cartier and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton's Tag Heuer), expressed its intent to reduce deliveries of various watch mechanisms to its rival watchmakers in 2011. The Swatch Group, which owns Harry Winston and Omega, as well as the license for Balmain's watches and Tiffany's (until the parties had a falling out), asked COMCO for permission to decrease the number of movements and other parts it sells to competitors, which caused a flurry of lawsuits and fears that independent watchmakers would be put out of business. 

    image courtesy of onsugar

    COMCO launched a probe in June 2011 into whether cutting off the supply to third parties would constitute an abuse of Swatch Group’s dominant position in the market, in violation of competition law. At the time, Nick Hayek, Swatch's chief executive said: "We are in a ridiculous situation that would be like having BMW supply all the engines for Audi and Mercedes." Small temporary reductions were announced in late 2011, while COMCO launched an investigation. Last week, COMCO said it agreed in principle that Swatch Group should be able to reduce the delivery of mechanical movements, but held that the company must do so in a gradual way and under certain conditions. COMCO further approved a further 10 percent reduction for 2014. 

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    Jay Z likes fashion (as indicated by his new song entitled, Tom Ford and that song about Prada blouses some time ago) and so, nowadays the logical thing to do with your "passion for fashion" is to design a collection. For Barneys (one of the most respected and high-end department stores in the country). It appears the rapper has been spending a bit too much time with his friend, Kanye West, and blurring the line between qualified luxury fashion designer and well, absolutely unqualified luxury fashion designer (and don't even try to tell me Rocawear makes him qualified to design something for Barneys). According to WWD, rumors are swirling that the rapper is in talks to collaborate with Barneys. Moreover, Barneys has “held secret talks” with Jay about a future collaboration, perhaps on an upcoming holiday campaign. Is it just me or does whatever clothing Jay Z is about to "design" not exactly belong next to pieces from Alexander McQueen or Rodarte or Balenciaga? Also, does the average Barneys customer really want to wear anything "designed" by or bearing the name Jay Z? 

    image courtesy of nitrolicious

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    We have been saying for some time that guns are not in fashion, and it appears that the Transportation Security Administration at New York's LaGuardia airport feels the same way. TSA officials recently confiscated a pair of those gun-heel shoes from a woman because they claim the shoes "looked like poorly disguised guns." While it is illegal to bring undisclosed guns to the airport, the unidentified woman wasn't arrested for the shoes and no report was taken, as she voluntarily surrendered them upon TSA's request. The shoes are quickly becoming quite a talked-about matter as TSA public affairs tweeted a photo of the shoes and said "Also, what not to wear through a #LGA checkpoint," and as of late, they are also listed on TSA's site under "unusual items that were confiscated." Fashion bloggers, if you absolutely need to travel with your gun heels (say, for fashion week so Tommy Ton will take your picture), you can include them in your checked luggage but you cannot wear or carry them on to an airplane. 

    image courtesy of tumblr

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    Apparently, the not-so-new but still very relevant (?) trend in fashion is not necessarily going to Parsons or Central Saint Martins to study fashion design. It is NOT having a background in fashion. In the past year alone, quite a few individuals have announced they will join the celebrity fashion "designer" club and launch clothing and/or accessories collections. See the list after the break - which includes many, but not nearly all of the latest collections/collaborations. 

    If we are judging by this list, and this list alone,  it appears that the best way to break into the fashion world is to: 1) Not attend fashion school, 2) Get famous - via film, television (this includes reality television), music, etc., and 3) License your name to a fast fashion or mass market retailer. Now, this doesn't guarantee that your "designs" will be a success but it will more likely than not ensure that your name appears on a garment made in China and gets you one step closer to having a lifestyle brand - because that seems to be what everyone currently wants!


    Actors
    Sarah Jessica Parker for Manolo Blahnik (SJP made her debut with Bitten for chain Steve and Barry's,  which went bankrupt in 2008)
    Cameron Diaz for Pour La Victoire (because she has a passion for fashion!)
    Matthew McConaughey for Dillards
    Kate Hudson's workout clothes for JustFab (she's already done a collection with Ann Taylor)
    Eva Mendes for New York & Co.
    Rosamund Pike for LK Bennett
    Twilight star Nikki Reid for 7 For All Mankind
    Sofia Vergara for KMart
    Charlize Theron x Leslie Fremar


    Reality Stars
    Kardashians for Lipsy (which joins their Sears' Kardashian Kollection and their beauty collection)
    Kendall and Kylie Kardashian for PacSun and a jewelry line with Pascal Mouawad for Nordstrom
    The Bachelorette's Emily Maynard
    Snooki for NYS Collection (she's also reportedly in the process of "designing" Snooki Couture, and has already launched a accessories line, which included a Alexander McQueen copy)


    Musicians
    Nicki Minaj for KMart
    Selena Gomez for Adidas (she has one with KMart, too)
    Avril Lavigne for Kohl's (she already has her own line, Abbey Dawn)
    Beyoncé for H&M (she already has her House of Deréon line)
    Taylor Swift for Keds
    Kanye West for A.P.C. (in case you forgot, he has "designed" some interesting womenswear in the past)
    Nas x Grungy Gentleman
    One Direction for Makeup Academy (yes - the boy band now has a makeup collection)
    Ke$sha for Charles Albert


    Models
    Heidi Klum for New Balance and for Babies 'R' Us
    Gisele Bundchen Brazilian Intimates
    Lily Aldridge for Graham & Spencer and for Velvet
    Alessandra Ambrosio x Cherokee
    Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Marks & Spencer
    Chrissy Teigen for Beach Bunny

    images courtesy of elle, tfs, fashionista, racked.com

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    Vogue magazine may have raked in the most advertising dollars of all U.S. fashion mags for September, but it recently lost a bid involving an allegedly infringing domain name: voguefashionmodels.com. Earlier this year, counsel for the American magazine sent a cease-and-desist letter to the operators of the website, who responded by saying that they did not have any desire to cause confusion with Vogue’s brand and that they would "cease and desist from using this name until this is looked unto further and reverified," the magazine filed a complaint with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Vogue, which is owned by Conde Nast, held that the site was being used to attract aspiring models who mistakenly thought the site was affiliated with Vogue. 

    image courtesy of irishtimes

    On July 19th, ICANN, which has the power to rule on most types of trademark-based domain-name disputes and essentially award the domain(s) at issue to the rightful trademark owner, issued a statement refusing to grant Vogue ownership of the voguefashionmodels.com domain. Turns out, in a hearing on July 5th, the ICANN panelists found that Vogue had not met its burden in showing that the domain was infringing. The three elements are: 1) the domain names are confusingly similar or identical (this one was likely easy for Vogue to meet as individuals had been confused about the connection between Vogue and the modeling website); 2) the allegedly infringing website has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain names; and 3) the domain name was registered with knowledge of Vogue's use of the trademark and without a legitimate interest, and thus, in "bad faith."

    According to ICANN's decision, Vogue was unable to prove that the operators of the voguefashionmodels.com domain were acting in bad faith, even given the fact that site administrators contacted individuals using the email “info@voguefashionmodels.com." While the majority of the panel agreed that Vogue failed to show any conduct that would constitute bad faith use, one panelist dissented, saying: “Complainant expressly alleged that respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith, and provided evidence that respondent used the domain name in its email address to negotiate a business contract over the course of multiple emails.” 

    However, considering the fact that the voguefashionmodels.com site appears to be currently out of commission, maybe Vogue didn't actually lose this one after all. Also, as far as I know, a ICANN Domain Name Resolution hearing does not prevent a company from filing suit. So, Vogue still has the option of filing a trademark infringement lawsuit.

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    THIS is what high fashion has been missing. Michelle Williams. The actress stars in the Paris-based fashion house's autumn/winter 2013 campaign, which focuses on two new style handbags, the W and the Capucines. While this is the star's first high fashion campaign, LV's choice of model isn't completely out of left field, as the iconic brand dressed Williams for the 2012 Academy Awards. What do you think of the campaign?




    images courtesy of lvmh

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    Urban Outfitters is at it against. This time the often-controversial retailer is apparently messing with Chicago-based gang, Gangster Disciples, after offering a t-shirt with the gang's symbol printed across the chest. After getting word of the similarity of the symbol printed on its Vanguard Pitchfork tee to that of the Gangster Disciples (the gang responsible for killing singer Jennifer Hudson's family members in 2008), Urban Outfitters removed the tee and released the following statement: 

    "Urban Outfitters had no prior knowledge of this symbol's affiliation when we purchased the t-shirt from the designer. It was never meant to offend nor promote gang violence."


    Given that Urban Outfitters has already insulted Native Americans, Jews, gays, underage models and those affected by drug abuse and addiction, it only seems fitting that they tackle gangs. 

    And while we are on the topic, you may recall that in 2010, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (yeah, a corporate gang) sued Alexander McQueen for breach of trademark, after the fashion house featured motifs similar to its famous winged death head.  Lawyers for the motorcycle gang cited four products from the late designer's final collection, created shortly before his suicide in February this year, some of which referenced "Hells Angels" in their product titles/descriptions. The iconic motorcycle gang also sued Saks Fifth Avenue and e-tailer Zappos.com for selling the products at issue. The lawsuit was settled a month later, with the companies agreeing to recall merchandise that had already been sold and destroy it, as well as pay financial damages based on profits earned by the fashion companies on the merchandise. 

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    Get used to seeing Kate Spade Saturday around because the brand is set to be the next big thing. After winning its lawsuit involving similarly-named Saturdays Surf for the right to continue using its Saturday name, the brand is moving forward at full speed. Since opening several popup shops in NYC (see one pictured below) and announcing plans to for a permanent store, which is slated to open this fall at 152 Spring Street in NYC, Kate Spade Saturdays execs are looking for more locations for brick and mortar stores, as well as mall stores in Manhattan, on the West Coast, and in Japan (much like its recent legal rival, Saturdays Surf, which has a Tokyo location). 

    image courtesy of mashable

    WWD reports that the Saturday brand could quickly outpace the original Kate Spade New York brand, which has 80 stateside stores, and according to senior vice president and brand director, Kyle Andrew, this is likely going to be the case. As for how the company will raise funds for the expansion: Fifth & Pacific (which owns Kate Spade) is in the process of selling off its Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture brands to devote more resources to its new, more accessible line. More to come, I'm sure ...

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    Design duo (and newly minted billionaires) Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are taking a bit of an unconventional route in terms of appealing their guilty verdict for evading millions of dollars in taxes. The Dolce & Gabbana founders' legal team is reportedly set to appeal the ruling, but it seems the two men are taking matters into their own hands for the moment, by releasing a statement that they will close the brand if the ruling is not overturned. According to their statement, which was released yesterday, they don't appreciate "'being crucified like thieves" and said: "We will close. What do you want us to do? We will close. We will not be able to deal with it. Impossible."

    image courtesy of d&g


    The design duo and several other individuals from the D&G company were under investigation since the sale of the brand to a holding company called Gado, which they allegedly established in Luxuembourg in 2004, enabling them to avoid the Italian higher tax rate, and as a result, they evaded $540 million in taxes. However, the designers have been shooting down the ruling and the allegation. According to Gabbana: "How could we accept being branded tax evaders? We are good people, we live in Italy we pay taxes in Italy, we don't pretend to live abroad." The designers' statements come on the heels of not-so-nice words from Milan's Councillor for Commerce Franco D'Alfonso and the temporary closing of the brand's Milan stores in protest of the recent ruling. More to come ...

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    There's been an update in the lawsuit that Lady Gaga's former assistant has filed against the singer. You may recall that Jennifer O'Neill, 42, Gaga's former assistant and "best friend" (according to the singer) brought suit in December 2011 claiming that the singer failed to pay her more than $380,000 in overtime pay. Well, as of last week, a Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe ordered famed photographer Terry Richardson to hand over nearly 150,000 pictures he took of Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga during her “Monster Ball” tour, as O'Neill (who worked for Gaga from 2009-2011) claims they are indicative of how closely she worked with the singer and just how extensive her hours were. See some of our favorite Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson pictures after the break ... 

    Lady Gaga and Terry Richardson
    image courtesy of terry richardson

    Earlier this year, O’Neill’s lawyers sought a subpoena, which would require Richardson to produce candid photos he had taken of Gaga and O'Neill during the singer's “Monster Ball” tour in 2011. Richardson isn't exactly thrilled to hand over the photos; in fact, his attorney filed a motion to quash the order, claiming the photos are “irrelevant” to O’Neill’s case and calling the request “harassment.” However, following the court's most recent ruling, Richardson must turn over the pictures, as the court has deemed them relevant evidence (a pretty easy standard to meet in most cases). More to come ...





    images courtesy of terry richardson

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    Cole Haan’s Lunargrand has been the brand’s biggest hit in recent years, especially as the official finance-bro-cool-guy-weekend-shoe.Design piracy and infringement in menswear is a bit more complicated than it is for womenswear; as most items are revisions of classics - generally borne out of the military or classic Ivy league style. So, while the idea that one English shoemaker’s brogue could infringe on another’s is probably out of the question, there are still instances where original, unique design exists and, like original and unique (and profitable) designs in womenswear – there will be copycats waiting in the wings. 


    Having said that, chukkas are not entirely novel designs by any means. As such, we are not saying that Cole Haan deserves design patent protection for the appearance of the shoes. Also, as we all know very well, thanks to the Louboutin v. YSL case, colored soles have been done before and those looking to trademark a color in connection with a design may have an uphill (and lengthy and expensive) battle ahead of them. However, take these two pairs of chukkas – the grey suede on top (and the black version), visible leather welt, and bright pink sole are all identical. But does the subtle toe-cap on the United Nudes (on the left) and different sole make them different enough? What do you think? Let us know in the comments. 

    Cole Haan (top) & United Nude (bottom)

    Cole Haan (top) & United Nude (bottom)
    images courtesy of selectism, cole haan, united nude, ebay

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    Singer-turned-"designer" Rihanna has been slapped with nearly a $50,000 fine this week for failing to appear at a deposition last month, stemming from a case she initiated against Berdon LLP, an NYC-based accounting and advisory firm. This week, a NY federal judge ordered the signer to pay over $47,000 in court fees for failing to show up at a June deposition: $33,850 in fees for Berdon and its employee Michael Mitnick, and $13,200 for Peter Gounis, another Berdon employee who has retained separate counsel in the suit. 

    image courtesy of nydailynews

    The singer filed suit in a federal court in Manhattan in June of last year, accusing her former accounting firm and two accountants of “gross mismanagement” of her finances, costing her millions of dollars during her 2010 “Last Girl on Earth” tour. According to her complaint, Rihanna (who goes by her real name, Robyn Fenty, in the suit) alleges: “In 2005, when Fenty was 16 years old, Berdon was hired to provide her with accounting, business and financial management services for all aspects of her rapidly growing music career." Berdon reportedly took “exorbitant and excessive" commissions from Rihanna during this time, and as a result, the singer is seeking unspecified damages from the firm and the two accountants.

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    With so many new fashion-related lawsuits being filed every day, here are some updates on a few that you may have forgotten about ...


    John Galliano v. Dior - The disgraced designer's trial stemming from his anti-semitic rant may be over, but don't forget that Galliano filed suit after he claims he was an "ill-founded" termination from Christian Dior and his namesake label. Last thing we heard, Galliano attended a hearing at the Conseil de prud’hommes, or Labor Relations Court in early February, in which the court held that it was qualified to hear Galliano’s claims against his dismissal in March 2011 after 15 years as creative director at Dior (as opposed to trying the case in a commercial court, which Dior had argued for, given the complicated nature of the contracts linking Galliano with the two firms). Within 15 days of that hearing, Dior moved to oppose the court’s decision. As a result, the case was set to be referred to the Paris court of appeal, and is set to be heard anytime between August and November of this year.

    Marilyn Model Management v. Constance Jablonski - In January, Marilyn filed a $3.3 million suit against the Victoria’s Secret angel for violating her three year contract by signing on with rival agency, DNA Model Management. We haven't heard too much about this one since it was filed, which means two agencies and Jablonski likely settled this matter out of court. DNA and Jablonski either agreed to pay Marilyn a portion for the $3.3 million it asked for, as Jablonski still had a year and a half left when she signed with DNA, and that was the end of that; or, there's a chance that Marilyn wants to be paid 20% (the usual rate for an agency to take) of every deal that Jablonski signs from January until her contract expires. Either way, we probably won't know the truth as settlements tend to be subject to nondisclosure agreements of sorts. 

    6126 LLC v. D.N.A.M. - Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan and her business partner filed suit against the Los Angeles apparel company behind her clothing brand 6126 Collection, claiming that she is owed more than $1 million in guaranteed royalties and damages from her licensing deal for the line. D.N.A.M. followed up with a countersuit alleging that Lohan and her drug-addled image destroyed 6126's reputation, and rendered the clothing line completely unsellable. D.N.A.M. is also suing for breach of contract and fraud, demanding at least $5 million in damages. Well, the lawsuit isn't going away, but D.N.A.M. has put its countersuit on hold until Lohan finishes her latest stint in rehab as "a gesture of good faith and so as not to disturb her healing process." More to come ... 

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    This is Kate Middleton's week. She had her baby and now, Laurence Pieau, the editor of French magazine Closer, has been formally charged in connection with the topless photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing in France last September that were published in the French gossip magazine. The infringing photos were taken while Kate and Prince William were vacationing in Chateau d'Autet in Provence, France, and thus, French's strict privacy laws apply. Pieau faces an alleged breach of privacy charge and will stand trial alongside two other photographers and Closer's publishing director, Ernesto Mauri. If found guilty, Pieau could potentially face up to one year imprisonment and a fine of $57,000+. More to come ...

    image courtesy of dailymail

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    Abercrombie & Fitch is in trouble again. On the heels of several controversies as of late, a French rights watchdog said it is set to launch an investigation of the retailer's recruitment methods, namely, whether A&F is involved in discriminatory hiring practices (aka whether A&F is employing its sales staff based on their looks). The investigation stems from the Ohio-based retailer's flagship store on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, which is far more well-attended than those in the U.S, and more often than not, there is a line in order to enter the store. 

    images courtesy of tfs

    Dominique Baudis, the head of the Defender of Rights watchdog, an independent organization that aims to protect the rights and freedoms of French citizens, recently said that Abercrombie seems "to base its recruitment methods on discriminatory criteria and particularly on physical appearance." In fact, on the recruitment section of Abercrombie's website, the retailer refers to its sales staff as "models." (Classifying them as "models," however, may be the retailer's out of a charge of discrimination, as most U.S. companies are permitted to take an individual's looks into account when he or she is being hired in the capacity of being a model). 

    The watchdog says that models recruited by the brand, whose target market is mainly teenagers, appear "to be models and vendors at the same time. While essential and decisive professional requirements can justify taking physical appearance into account when recruiting models, it is different for vendor positions," Baudis said. He pointed to comments made in 2006 by Mike Jeffries, A&F's CEO, in which he justified hiring only "good-looking people because we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that," he said in an interview. 

    So, another day, another A&F scandal. As for whether the brand's repeated publicity stunts are making the once very sought-after brand relevant again, I'm not so sure that's the case.

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    Towards the end of Nicolas Ghesquière's tenure at Balenciaga, the house's long-time creative director introduced several new handbag styles, a few of which he debuted for Pre-Spring 2012 (in a show that took place in July 2011). This is a noteworthy move, certainly, considering Balenciaga's city/motorcycle bags were one of the generation's most sought-after "it" bags. So, while Alexander Wang and his team have descended upon the Paris-based brand, changes are obviously taking place; it seems one Ghesquière for Balenciaga style is not going away just yet, as indicated by the design patent the house has just received for the "ornamental design for a handbag." Thanks to a heads up from our go-to design patent expert, Balenciaga was awarded a patent design for a shoulder bag (see it after break), which, according to the USPTO's records, was filed for on May 21, 2012 (prior to Ghesquière's departure in late November 2012), and invented by Isabelle Guichot, Balenciaga's Président & CEO. 


    Considering that the design patent process is relatively time-consuming and expensive, it seems that by seeking such protection, Balenciaga has plans to continue to offer this style (and/or elements of this style) bag for sale. So, for the die-hard Ghesquière fans out there (like myself), who want to ditch the motorcycle bag for awhile, this is the bag for you. 

    images courtesy of uspto, vogue & balenciaga

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    LVMH has managed what we thought may be the impossible: increased its share in Hermès. Despite extensive efforts (and lawuits) by the Birkin bag design brand to prevent such purchases. According to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s first-half financial report, the Paris-based luxury conglomerate (which owns Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, and Céline - among many other brands) quietly raised its stake in Hermès - again. Last time we checked, LVMH owned a 22.6 percent stake in the largely family-owned company, but as of June 30, 2013, LVMH actually bought more, for a total of 23.1 percent. This comes on the heels of LVMH being slapped with a $10 million fine by France’s stock market regulator, AMF, stemming from the way in which it acquired the initial Hermès shares. LVMH has appealed the ruling. As for its latest acquisition, this will likely spark even more drama between the two companies, which are currently involved in an array of rival lawsuits, as well as add fuel to the speculation that some Hermès family members have been offloading their shares. See a timeline of the luxury brands' extensive history here ... 

    image courtesy of tfs

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    Adored by men’s fashion enthusiasts the world over, Hypebeast is an online magazine focusing on streetwear, music, and urban culture. As menswear has become a more popular part of the fashion industry over the past few years, media outlets have begun to provide more coverage about high-fashion clothing and accessories for men. Streetwear is a popular gateway drug through which many young males begin their foray into fashion consciousness. Thus it seems advantageous for Hypebeast, a website that regularly broke news on über-expensive sneakers and Supreme collections, to transition into more high-brow coverage of menswear. Over the past few years, Hypebeast started a print magazine, and an online store that sells recherché lines like Kriss Van Assche and our talented friends Public School. However, as Hypebeast has rebranded itself into a more diverse and modern collection of news and media, its target audience has shifted, and its original readers have become highly critical.


    On June 25th, Hypebeast published a video interview on Shayne Oliver, the founder and director of Hood By Air, a “luxury streetwear” featured in Vogue and adored by Opening Ceremony. The comments on this particular article quickly escalated from jabs at Oliver’s tank top to full-fledged homophobic assaults on Oliver, his designs, and his brand. Hypebeast’s comments section has become notorious recently for its anti-gay slurs, and people are beginning to take notice. To be fair to Hypebeast and its online community, this problem has not gone completely unaddressed. A thread started last January asks simply: Why is this board so homophobic?

    The comments seen on Hypebeast’s website are an indicator of a larger discussion to be had, as menswear industry expands and becomes more accessible. With Kanye West wearing skirts and Celine blouses, three rappers wearing the same Versace sweater to the BET awards, and A$AP Rocky’s entire persona, popular culture is becoming more mindful of men’s fashion. Linking a designer’s sexuality to their product is both presumptuous and problematic. Fashion has always largely transcended boundaries, of gender or otherwise, and as long as there are buyers, designers will continue to push the envelope of men’s clothing. As the lines between streetwear and luxury blur further, perhaps commenters will become more accepting of those who dare to transcend the pedestrian trappings of box logo tees.

    images courtesy of hypebeast & tfs

    The Intern Journals is a segment by TFL Intern Dominic DeLuque. Dominic is an MLK scholar at New York University studying Art History. The Intern Journals features stories on contemporary fashion and relevant happenings in and around New York. Contact: domdeluque@gmail.com.

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