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The Official Page of The Fashion Law.

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    In case you're in the market for a house in London, have $12 million to spare and want to live in the would-be home of a true fashion legend, you're in luck! The luxury apartment that was being renovated by Alexander McQueen has finally been listed for sale over three years after the beloved fashion designer's tragic death in February 2010. The Mayfair property on Dunraven Street is 2,500 sq ft and boasts three-bedrooms, several private courtyards and a wine cellar, which McQueen referred to enthusiastically in his last interview before he died. The interior decoration, however, is said to not reflect what the late design genius had intended. 

    McQueen, who is known for his deftly cut tailored look and become known as one of the most respected fashion designers in the world, completed a masters degree in Fashion Design at Central St Martins before he founded his namesake house in 1992 and was appointed as head designer at Givenchy in 1996, succeeding John Galliano and stayed with the house until March 2001.

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  • 09/02/13--10:38: Week in Review
  • There was quite a bit of fashion law news this past week, right on the eve of New York Fashion Week. So, be sure to read up on the week's biggest stories below and stay tuned for more this week ...

    Wildfox Couture is coming under fire. The Los Angeles-based brand's CEO (who was 43 at the time) has been accused of taking advantage of and sexually exploiting a teenager and aspiring model.

    Louis Vuitton won in court this week. The U.S. division of the Paris-based design house has been granted nearly $2 million in damages, as well as ownership of several domain names, stemming from the sale of counterfeit LV goods. 

    Guess what, Bloggers? You can stay home from NYFW. One of our favorite new writers takes on the bloggers-at-NYFW phenomenon and here's what she has to say ... 

    The Fashion Law MAN talks streetwear. In particular: some of the brands that will be showing during New York Fashion Week that may not benefit from the fact that they are labeled as "streetwear." 

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    The Fashion Law Exclusive - In July we you told exclusively (and still no other publication has written about it) that New York-based model management companies, Re:Quest and Root, were merging. The companies have yet to make an announcement regarding the merger, as they as reportedly waiting to announce the news in a few days during New York Fashion Week, we have a bit more proof that the merger is not only happening, but has already happened. We told you that Root had let the vast majority of its boys (and all of its girls) go and would only be taking its top guys and a few employees to Re:Quest. Just about all of Root's boys, including Ole Syrstad, Matthew Girard, Alex Wells, Ben Bengtsson, Gus Drake, Joel Snobohm, David Quon, Ben Howard, Bobby Warden, Francis Lane, Harry Gilliam, Jai Stevens, and Matt King, among others, who were signed with Root (and are still pictured on Root's website), are now on Re:Quest's board.  As for the girls, it seems Li Bing, Tia Karlsen, and Raquel Nave have made the switch, as well. They join the likes of Yuri Pleskun, Cole Mohr, Lyle Lodwick, and Willy Cartier at Re:Quest. Merger complete. 

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    The last thing I'm going to say about Brian Lichtenberg's tired attempts to be edgy is this: my inbox has been blowing up since yesterday about how Brian Lichtenberg is basically devoid of any creativity. The common thread amongst all of the emails: The BALLIN in Paris design being sold by Alex & Chloe, a Los Angeles-based apparel & accessories brand for men and women, which was launched by Chris Lichtenberg (yes, Brian's brother) in 2004. Apparently, there is some confusion out there about which Lichtenberg is responsible for the BALLIN design, which is currently being stocked by both Lichtenbergs, but under two different brand names. So, I did some research ... 

    It seems that all signs point in the direction of Alex & Chloe, as the originator of the BALLIN in PARIS design, for a few reasons, namely: 1) The following statement that appears on the Alex & Chloe website alongside the BALLIN design and a copyright disclaimer: "THIS DESIGN WAS DESIGNED FOR AND BY ALEX & CHLOE. THIS DESIGN WAS NOT DESIGNED BY OR FOR BRIAN LICHTENBERG OR BLTEE. ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS;" 2) The fact that the Alex & Chloe version was released in January 2013 and Brian Lichtenberg was subsequently released in March 2013; and 3) The many variations of the Homies tee that hit stores before Brian Lichtenberg released his version (such as Supamarket's version which was released in 2011) suggests that he may not be above taking "inspiration" from others. So, take a side (if you want), battle it out in the comments section (if you want).

    Supamarket's Homies t-shirt (left) & Brian Lichtenberg's version (right)

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    Fashion month is upon us, which means that things are about to get a bit hectic. New York Fashion Week begins tomorrow and while we will be running between shows and presentations, checking in with some of New York's best establish and emerging designers and writing reviews of the Spring 2014 collections, and bringing you coverage from the tents and beyond, please be patient as this will largely be our focus for the next week. We will resume regular activities next week and will do our best to bring you the latest in fashion law and business of fashion news throughout this busy week. 

    images courtesy of milk

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    We’ve recently made a request to those of you holding your breath for S/S 2014 collections, which was that you wait. Wait to purchase the real thing instead of buying the fast-fashion version that will be out long before the designer version. In my personal life and in response to the article, I frequently am confronted with this response: What if I can’t afford to do that? What’s a sartorially inclined person to do if he or she loves labels but also lives on a budget? 

    I can personally sympathize with the struggle that comes from the excitement of seeing what comes down the runway versus the small tinge of disappointment in knowing I can’t buy it all. The reality is, with each collection, I’ll probably buy three or four items when they are first sold. And what’s more, I know that there are certain brands that I can’t rationally consider in terms of buying, like Chanel and (one of my favorites) Balenciaga. I tend to think more realistically along the lines of Tibi, Elizabeth and James, and Rebecca Minkoff. I also know where to focus my attention (and money). I typically lust after jackets more than anything else; in fact, I’ve convinced myself that no one person can own too many of them. Thus, this is where I make the biggest investment each season, with the exception being the occasional pair of shoes.   

    As for most other items, I’m looking for ways to add labels to my closet while keeping a budget in mind, and this is where The Outnet becomes an essential part of my life. The Outnet is an online fashion outlet that sells designer clothing and accessories at hugely discounted prices. But now I have to use a phrase that’s abhorrent in the fashion world: last season. The only downside for some (not me, personally) when purchasing from The Outnet is that the items are typically from last season. I honestly love my “old news” purchases as much as anything else. And even the items I buy as soon as they’re available will be last season in no time at all. MyHabit is another site which offers extremely discounted designer clothing to its members (don’t worry, membership is free).   

    The last consideration I make when updating my wardrobe each season is how to fill in the gaps. Not everything can be designer when you’re working with a budget, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for low quality copies that aren’t ethically made. For example, brands like Madewell and J.Crew offer reasonably priced items that are ethically and well made. I want to be clear that I’m not intending to imply that you are necessarily contributing to the destruction of fashion by shopping at Topshop or Zara. What I am saying is that you probably know about Zara’s recent troubles in Bangladesh and that you should shop with that in mind. Also, there’s a huge difference between going to Topshop to buy a basic black t-shirt versus purchasing a Rottweiler sweatshirt knowing there might be confusion with Givenchy.   

    I know as well as the next fashion-obsessed soul that it’s hard to be patient. I also know that when I see something I love on the runway, I want it in my hands as soon as is humanly possible. The unfortunate truth is that for many of us, that’s not the reality. But there are still responsible ways to satisfy the need to add new items to the closet, and believe me, these ways don’t need to involve the risk of human life or stealing from a true designer. 

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

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    If this nail polish is any indication, Facebook is set to join the likes of Tiffany & Co., Christian Louboutin, Veuve Clicquot, UPS, and others that have federally registered their brand's signature hue as a trademark. Turns out, Facebook has been selling blue nail polish, which is "Social Butterfly Blue" and is actually devoid of any reference to the social networking site, at its campus store in Menlo Park, California since January. Facebook currently has many, many federal trademark registrations and pending applications that cover everything from giftcards and clothing to quite an array of marks that extend to computer software and services (obviously). While many of Facebook's trademarks incorporate and claim the color blue, a specific trademark for the color itself is nowhere to be found. It appears that as of now, Facebook's legal team has not submitted an application the USPTO to register its signature blue. But I'm sure there will be more to come ...

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    Luxury rivals LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton and Hermès are embroiled in several bitter legal battles at the moment. However, a case involving the Autorité des Marchés Financiers is no longer one of them. In July, France’s stock market watchdog, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)'s sanctions committee slapped LVMH with a fine of $10.4 million, stemming from its acquisition of nearly 20% in Hermès. The AMF began an investigation into LVMH's purchase of stake in Hermès in 2010, and in April, announced that it found that LVMH had secretly bought shares in rival Hermès to build a stake in the iconic Paris-based design house, and not merely to make a financial investment as LVMH has claimed. While LVMH denies that any insider trading and share price manipulation has taken place, the luxury conglomerate is not filing an appeal, a decision which "reflects LVMH’s commitment to ensuring the soundest possible management of its investment in Hermès." The company released the following press statement:

    LVMH has decided to terminate the AMF proceedings in relation to its acquisition of approximately 10% of Hermès’ share capital in October 2010. This decision reflects LVMH’s commitment to ensuring the soundest possible management of its investment in Hermès. To this end, LVMH will not appeal the 25 June 2013 decision of the AMF’s disciplinary commission. 
    Throughout its proceedings, the AMF expressly confirmed that in acquiring its equity stake in Hermès, LVMH never breached regulations regarding ownership thresholds or engaged in insider trading or market manipulation. 
    The AMF’s only criticism, (other than in relation to certain accounting records which the AMF confirmed had no impact on LVMH’s annual accounts), concerned the timing of LVMH’s disclosure of the Hermès equity swaps, which the AMF considered should have been made in June, rather than October, 2010. The AMF argued that LVMH reached an agreement with two of the three banks involved in June 2010, when in fact the agreement was not achieved until October. As promptly remarked by eminent observers, the AMF disciplinary commission’s position is therefore highly questionable, both in law and in fact.
    As a result, LVMH would be entirely justified in appealing the disciplinary commission’s administrative decision, as envisaged at the time it was announced. However, the interests of LVMH’s shareholders go beyond the defence of these legal principles. Instead, LVMH must also consider the time and cost of further proceedings and the fact that such proceedings would interfere with the sound management of LVMH’s investment in Hermès. 
    These priorities have led LVMH to decide to bring a definitive conclusion to the AMF proceedings. In the same spirit, LVMH will take all necessary action to end the baseless legal proceedings being pursued by Hermès management and to recover compensation for the serious harm their actions have caused.

    In regard to "the baseless legal proceedings being pursued by Hermès," LVMH is referring to the criminal complaint the company filed against LVMH in a Paris court (which is separate from the AMF's investigation), accusing the luxury conglomerate of insider trading, collusion and manipulating stock prices. LVMH subsequently filed a suit against Hermès for “blackmail, slander and unfair competition.”

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    Snooki (aka Nicole Polizzi), a cast member on MTV's former reality show, The Jersey Shore, has slapped New Jersey-based Excell Brands with a $6.5 million trademark infringement lawsuit. According to Snooki's complaint, which was filed on Friday in the Southern District of New York, the cosmetics company (which manufactures a fragrance called "Snazzy") is using her name and selling a fragrance that smells a lot like her “Snooki by Nicole Polizzi” and “Snooki Couture” fragrances. The suit further alleges that Excell Brand is using Snooki's “likeness” on its bottle, her name in marketing, her signature on its packaging and a font on the bottle that is similar to the one on Snooki’s scents. Excell is reportedly even marketing the Snazzy fragrance as  "our version of Snooki by Nicole Polizzi."

    The documents filed in court include a page outlining Snooki's rise to fame, including her appearances on late night talk shows, the three books she has written and her Teen Choice Award nominations. According to the complaint, “Polizzi has achieved considerable commercial success in her career by, among other things, maintaining strict control over the projects and commercials endorsements with which she is associated.” And the complaint also states that Snooki's fragrance is quite a success: “The 3.3 ounce bottle of Snooki perfume costs $45 and Customer reviews of Platiniff's official perfume rate it highly.” 

    Snooki by Nicole Polizzi (left) & Snazzy (right)

    Unlike a fellow cast member who has sued for federal trademark infringement without actually having any trademark registrations (think: Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino v. Abercrombie), Polizzi has a federally registered trademark on the word "Snooki" in Class 41, which extends to "entertainment in the nature of personal appearances by a television personality." While that doesn't really help me here, she does have pending registrations (which were filed in 2011) for "Snooki by Nicole Polizzi" and "Snooki" in Class 3 - cosmetics and fragrances, etc. Maybe this is karma for the time Snooki copied Alexander McQueen ... 

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    Balenciaga’s $9.2 million lawsuit against former creative director Nicolas Ghesquière is set to go. Ahearing date has been set for until Oct. 15 and Balenciaga’s counsel confirmed that the lawsuit does, in fact, stem from Ghesquière’s comments in an interview with System magazine (read what he said here) that inspired Balenciaga to sue. Stylist Marie-Amélie Sauvé has been named in the suit, as well. Balenciaga's complaint alleges that Ghesquière comment to System violated the parties' “separation agreement” that Ghesquière signed last October, which stipulated that he would “refrain from declarations that could hurt the image of Balenciaga.”

    The complaint further states that “Balenciaga didn’t want its designer to justify his departure by criticizing the house that employed. In general, the parties, knowing the hypersensitivity of the fashion industry to changes in creative direction, were forbidden from commenting on the break in order to avoid any detrimental effect on their economic interests or their image.” On October 15th, we will see if Ghesquière can get the lawsuit dismissed or if the parties will proceed to a full hearing next year. 

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    Zara's Fall 2013 lookbook is here and the Spanish fast fashion giant's inspiration is crystal clear. Complete with "superskinny jeans," checkered button-downs, biker jackets and striped scarves, the collection feels very familiar. Luckily, it does not appear that they have misappropriated any protectable elements from the original collection, which was showed last January in Paris. See the original collection below ...

    Zara Fall 2013

    Saint Laurent Fall 2013 menswear

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    In case you're interested, here is a schedule of New York Fashion Week's many, many shows. It is not all of the shows but its a lot. Check it you and tell us what ones you're going to and/or what ones you are looking forward to seeing ...

    Thursday, September 5
    9:00am Nicholas K
    10:00am BCBG Max Azria
    12:00pm Creatures of the Wind
    1:00pm Tocca
    2:30-3:30pm Candela
    3:00pm Costello Tagliapietra
    4:00pm Honor
    5:00pm Marissa Webb
    8:00pm VFILES

    Friday, September 6
    8:00-10:00am Fashion Law Institute Pop Up Clinic
    9:00am Zimmerman
    9:00am Pierre Balmain
    10:00am Peter Som
    11:00am Carmen Marc Valco
    11:00am Tess Giberson
    11:00am-1:00pm Kate Spade
    11:30am Jenni Kayne
    1:00pm Jason Wu
    2:00pm Sally Lapointe
    2:00pm Nautica
    2:00pm Houghton
    3:00pm Cushnie et Ochs
    3:00pm Rebecca Minkoff
    4:00-5:00pm Gregory Parkinson
    5:00pm Rag & Bone
    6:00pm Helmut Lang
    6:00pm Nicole Miller
    7:00pm Todd Snyder
    8:00pm Suno
    9:00pm Billy Reid

    Saturday, September 7
    9:00am Ruffian
    9:30-10:30am Rafael Cennamo
    10:00am Lacoste
    11:00am Jill Stuart
    12:00pm Prabal Gurung
    1:00pm Rebecca Taylor
    2:00pm Mara Hoffman
    2:00-3:00pm Kenneth Cole
    3:00pm Hérve Leger by Max Azria
    4:00pm Christian Soriano
    4:00pm Katya Leonovitch
    5:00pm Alexander Wang
    6:00pm Alexandre Herchcovitch
    6:30-8:00pm Charlotte Ronson
    7:00pm Monique Lhullier
    7:00pm Calla Presentation
    7:00-8:00pm Jonathan Simkhai
    8:00pm Altuzarra
    9:00pm Venexiana

    Sunday, September 8
    10:00am Victoria Beckham
    11:00am Lela Rose
    12:00pm Derek Lam
    1:00pm DKNY
    2:00pm Tracy Reese
    2:00pm Jeremy Laing
    3:00pm Thakoon
    3:30-4:30pm Trina Turk
    4:00pm Diane von Furstenberg
    5:00pm Band of Outsiders
    5:00pm Y-3
    6:00pm Edun
    6:00pm Vivienne Tam
    6:00pm Patrik Ervell Men's Show
    7:00pm Zac Posen
    7:00-9:00pm Allsaints
    7:00pm Belstaff Presentation
    8:00pm Opening Ceremony
    8:00pm Ricardo Seco

    Monday, September 9
    9:00-10:00am Mathieu Mirano
    10:00am Carolina Herrera
    11:00am Tommy Hilfiger
    1:00pm Pamella Roland
    1:00-3:00pm Barbara Tfank
    2:00pm Karen Walker
    3:00pm Concept Korea
    3:00pm 3.1 Phillip Lim
    4:00pm Donna Karan New York
    4:00-7:00pm Rosie Assoulin Presentation
    5:00-7:00pm Alice + Olivia Presentation
    6:00pm Reem Acra
    7:00pm Kaufmanfranco
    7:00-9:00pm Alexandra Vidal
    8:00pm Libertine

    Tuesday, September 10
    Time TBA Rodarte
    9:00am Tory Burch
    9:30-10:30am J.Crew
    9:30-10:30am Steven Alan
    10:00am Badgley Mischka
    10:00am Timo Weiland
    10:00am-5:00pm Jil Sander Navy Presentation
    11:00am Vera Wang
    1:00pm Jenny Packham
    1:00pm Diesel Black Gold
    2:00pm Naeem Khan
    2:00pm Wes Gordon
    3:00pm Dennis Basso
    4:00pm Marc by Marc Jacobs
    5:00pm Sophie Theallet
    5:30-6:30pm Elie Tahari
    6:00pm Maison Martin Margiela
    6:40pm Oscar de la Renta
    7:00pm ICB
    7:00-9:00pm Bottega Venetta

    Wednesday, September 11
    10:00am Michael Kors
    11:00am Nanette Lepore
    11:00am Dougland Hannant
    12:00pm Proenza Schouler
    1:00pm Rachel Zoe
    2:30-3:30pm Clover Canyon
    3:00pm Milly by Michelle
    3:00pm Jeremy Scott
    4:00pm Reed Krakoff
    5:00pm Marchesa
    5:00pm Betsey Johnson
    6:00pm Anna Sui
    6:00-8:00pm Elizabeth & James
    6:30-7:30pm Anya Caliendo
    7:00-10:00pm Converse Maison Martin Margiela

    Thursday, September 12
    10:00am Ralph Lauren
    2:00pm Calvin Klein Collection
    8:00pm Marc Jacobs

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  • 09/04/13--15:58: NYFW: Highlights From Day 1
  • New York Fashion Week kicked off today and two NYC-based emerging brands that we really like presented their Spring 2014 collections: Veronica Beard and Bespoken.

    Veronica Beard - The two Veronicas (sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson) the duo behind the brand Veronica Beard make for an obvious choice for this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. For Spring, the two showed a collection of monochrome yellow and white looks with touches of leopard print (aka a leopard print suit), floral prints and denim (think: a denim leather miniskirt paired with a cropped denim leather jacket). The collection, which included jewelry from fellow Fashion Funder Jennifer Fisher, was well-styled and the majority of the pieces are wearable, stylish separates for Spring. It makes it quite easy to forget that the brand just launched in 2010. (And the Veronicas drew quite a crowd - CFDA CEO Steven Kolb; Andrew Rosen, who is the President and Founder of Theory and who owns a stake in Proenza Schouler; tennis star Maria Sharapova; Neiman Marcus' Fashion Director Ken Downing and more). Don't miss: the skinny trousers, the high-waisted scuba pencil skirt or the rust-colored perforated leather dress! 

    Bespoken - The self-proclaimed "part Savile Row, part Rock n’ Roll" label, Bespoken, which actually produces the majority of its clothing in the UK, was true to its heritage this season - channeling the London schoolboy (and using the British flag as the backdrop). The designers (two sets of brothers - the Goncalveses (Paulo and Carlos) and the Fayeds (Liam, Sam, and James)) presented a mix of on-point tailoring and sportswear by way of patch-pocket shirts, military-style jackets, knitted sweaters, and patterned suit jackets over matching trousers. With an emphasis on old-school quality and craftsmanship, the collection feels very preppy, yet still a bit edgy and sharp (think: the navy blue camo print blazer and matching trousers). Don't miss: the navy satin and leather varsity bomber jacket. 

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    I've written a few pieces on the Cambridge Satchel phenomenon. The reinterpretation of the classic English school bag (which has been around since the 17th century) by the Cambridge Satchel Company ("CSC") and the resulting almost-overnight popularity in the fashion scene and beyond. After neon satchels were spotted on the arms of "it" bloggers and celebs alike, a group of other companies released similar products (think: Zatchels, Zara, Dr. Martens, Evie Knight and Steve Madden, among others). The latest company attempting to tap into the appeal of the new-and-improved satchel is Canterbury Satchels. Just in case the latter company's oh-so-similar name is not evidence enough that they didn't come up with the idea of pastel and metallic satchels on their own, the "About us" section of the company's website is quite telling ...

    According to the Canterbury Satchel website, the company's founder spent a lot of time "trawling the Internet for a special leather bag" for her 8-year old daughter. She claims, "the bags I did find were brown or black, which are not [her daughter's] favourite colours" and they were "old fashioned." As a result, the founder and her 8-year old "both sat down together and came up with [their] ideal music bag."

    The company, including its name and the story behind its founding, is suspiciously similar to the CSC. Primarily, both companies are named after cities in England. Second - finding a updated version of a satchel-style bag in colors other than brown and black and is made by a company that values quality is not difficult, given the Cambridge Satchel Company's wide range of colors and the company's significant presence in the UK and abroad (and online!). Also, Canterbury Satchels' story sounds a bit familiar. In case you don't know about CSC (aka you didn't see its Google Chrome commercial), it  was founded by Julie Deane and her mother (with sime input from Deane's young daughter) in 2008 as a way of earning money for Deane to send her two children to private school, as her daughter (who was 8 years old at the time) was being bullied in public school. 

    The similarity between the two companies' Twitter handles (CamSatchelCo and CanSatchel) is further evidence that Canterbury Satchel is banking on consumer confusion between the brands. So, we are here to set the record straight. This is just another copycat company. Shop the real thing here!

    Cambridge Satchels (top) &  Canterbury Satchels (below)

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    Antwerp-based brand, A.F. VANDEVORST, a women’s ready-to-wear line designed by An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, seems to be looking to others for inspiration. Case in point: the eighth look in their Fall 2013 collection is drawing some attention for its similarity to a look from Raf Simons’ debut collection for Christian Dior. It seems that A.F. VANDEVORST is channeling one of the closing looks from Dior's Fall 2012 Couture collection from the front-seams in the pants, the bustier-type cups of the top and the styling of the dress over the pants. Tell us: Coincidence or copy?

    Dior Couture Fall 2012 (left) & A.F. VANDEVORST Fall 2013 (right) 

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    There is a chance that the name Isabel Marant doesn't ring a bell to the average consumers in the same way Louis Vuitton or Chanel does (and she doesn't mind. "I don't care about being known all over the world," she told the WSJ). However, whether Ms. Marant likes it or not, her sneaker wedge has been one of the most known pieces in fashion for quite a few years now, as has her "rock 'n' roll, California surfer girl and insouciant Parisienne" aesthetic. She boasts 800 stockists worldwide and namesake boutiques in countries like Korea and Lebanon. Along with fashion fame comes the inevitable copies, which hit Marant pretty hard. Her clothing is copied on Chinese-based e-commerce sites, and mainstream companies like Steve Madden have copied her wedges and offered them for sale before the originals hit stores

    Of her expansion, Marant says: "I don't want to be on every corner. If I open everywhere, then it becomes common. I don't want to overflow the world with Isabel Marant." When asked about knockoffs, Marant exhales and says in a measured tone: "You are super pissed-off, but if you are not copied, it means you are not 'the one.' What I don't like is that it spreads your style everywhere. Something you are doing gets old in a minute. It takes such time to achieve something well and find the right way of doing things. But what can you do?" See a timeline of Marant's must-have looks below ...

    images courtesy of wsj

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    The Internet was overjoyed late last week when sneaker company Converse and Paris-based design Margiela revealed that soon, broke sneaker afficianados all over the world will be able to own something that says MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA on it without having to fork over their rent money (kind of like when Margiela teamed up with H&M). And earlier this week, we finally got a glimpse of what the final product will look like – two Converse classics, Jack Purcells and high-top Chuck Taylors, will be DIPPED IN WHITE PAINT for a measly $160 surcharge.

    John Varavatos x Converse (top) & Margiela x Converse (bottom)

    In case the whole dipped in white paint concept sounds familiar, that is probably because it has been done before. In fact, this was the exact premise behind a style of John Varvatos Converse sneakers back in 2007. Now, we all know by now that sneaker collaborations are so common that rarely does one adequately merge the strength of two different brands to create something truly original, and ultimately, worth writing about. So, you be the judge. Did that happen in this case? Noteworthy or just a glorified recycled idea? 

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  • 09/05/13--14:23: NYFW: Highlights From Day 2
  • NYFW is off to a great start. Some notable shows so far from Day 2: Nicholas K, Creatures of the Wind (pictured below), and Honor.

    Nicholas K - Bright and early this morning, brother-sister-duo Nicole and Chris Kunz showed their collection, Nicholas K. Known for their modern nomad approach to fashion, which more often than not takes the form of effortless-looking layers, Spring 2014 was just that - a collection of weightless wares by way of flowing coats, blouses, floor-grazing dresses, and pants of varying lengths.  Was there much innovation from any of the collections we have seen from this brand in the past? Aside from the incorporation of some prints, most of which were stripes variations (and for the menswear - the stripes bore a bit of a similarity to the stripes that Burberry uses from time to time), there much much innovation. Repeat Nicholas K consumers, who are content with the nomad-chic essentials will likely be pleased with the collection, while those looking for evolution will have to keep waiting. Maybe if the duo plans to stick with minimal aesthetic innovation, they will incorporate utility into the garments (as tech-meets-chic is catching on as of late).

    Creatures of the Wind - Recent Chicago-transplants, Chris Peters and Shane Gabier, showed their first collection as full-time NYC residents today. Faulted in the past for not being "commercial enough," the duo (which recently drew the attention and investment of the Dock Group) has come out on top, presenting a collection of wearable pieces that still embody their off-beat (and wonderfully chic) aesthetic. They marry rich and disparate fabrics (think: silk lame paired with wool chambray, nylon gabardine and laminated mesh, paper nylon, and silk jacquard mixed with destroyed floral embroidery and Swarovski crystal details) in a way few others can pull-off and the result is a breed of quirky beauty. But don't be misled. Just because Gabier and Peters' signature is a bit eccentric does not mean these two don't present down-right-sexy pieces. The forest green plunging v-neck blouse, the broken marble printed v-neck tunic paired with a sky-blue skirt and of course, hints of sheer make for a bit of sex appeal. Don't miss: the monochrome red nylon and silk shirt dress or the gold poly sport drawstring wide-leg pants!

    Honor - Last but seriously NOT least, Giovanna Randall (an opera singer-turned-premedical student-turned-womenswear designer) romanced us again this season. An enchanted forest backdrop set the scene for Randall's Spring 2014 collection, which consists of pencil skirts, delicate shorts, thinly tailored suits, full skirts paired with crossed jackets and of course, her utterly beautiful gowns. From the birch tree-prints to the to mix-and-match floral prints, this collection was not devoid of depth and a range of color. We even saw a bit of a resurgence of the neon lace that she showed last Spring, a pleasant reminder of what has come before. Amidst the very HONOR-esque laser cute applique, there was a touch of the 1980's seen in the ruffled skirts of long dresses. She showed some very wearable pieces (think: cropped cigarette pants and lace-trimmed shorts). Maybe the most beautiful of all, though: All of the garments are made in NYC's Garment District. Not to be missed: the finale of barefoot models holding hands, skipping, smiling and laughing, which resulted in a very, very refreshing moment for all!

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    In other news, Kenneth Cole (who apparently still designs clothing) is racking up a bit of (orchestrated) press attention thanks to his Twitter account. Today, the fashion designer weighed in on possible military action in Syria by mocking the phrase "boots on the ground," which has been used by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry with regards to sending ground troops into Syria. His tweet: "Boots on the ground" or not, let's not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear" (Cole is no stranger to controversy, in February 2011 (also during or right around Fashion Week!!) when he joked about the escalating protests in Egypt to tout his new spring collection via Twitter). It seems Cole needs to find a new strategy for getting press, instead of tweeting controversial things during New York Fashion Week to garner attention for his clothing. No?

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    This past February we told you that Jeremy Scott basically copied a bunch of Santa Cruz-based graphic artist Jimbo Phillips' work, put the images on some garments and called it his Fall 2013 collection. Well, it appears that Scott picked the wrong guy to copy because not only did Phillips sue him (we told you it was an illegal move on Scott's part), but as of this week, Scott has agreed not to "produce or distribute" the collection and to pay Phillips a undisclosed sum for what likely amounts to copyright infringement. (This is great news for Phillips, but too bad Scott already has slapped a bit of the artwork on some Longchamp bags and distributed those - in "limited" quantities). 

    Bob Denike, the CEO of Santa Cruz-based skateboard company NHS Inc., which was a party in the lawsuit,  put to rest any rumors that this has helped the brand, saying: “I do not believe in the idea that any publicity is good publicity. There was a lot of interest in this issue, but we do not need this type of PR to help grow our brands. It was actually quite damaging to us. We don’t want to be associated with Scott.” Ouch. 

    And Jeremy Scott issued the follow statement: “I regret that certain pieces of my February 2013 Fall Winter fashion line incorporated imagery that was similar to images owned by NHS and Messrs. Phillips. I now recognize my mistake and out of respect to their work and their rights, the clothing and handbags at issue will not be produced or distributed.”

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