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The Official Page of The Fashion Law.
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    The Fashion Law EXCLUSIVE - Brothers Brian Lichtenberg and Chris Lichtenberg are involved in what is sure to be a bitter legal battle over the "BALLIN in PARIS" design that both stock under their respective brand names. Brian Lichtenberg (who recently released a collection designer drug tees) filed a lawsuit against his brother, Christopher Walter Lichtenberg (hereinafter "CWL"), who is the designer behind Los Angeles-based label Alex & Chloe, for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and defamation, among claims. According to Brian Lichtenberg's complaint, which was filed on September 17th in a Los Angeles federal court, Brian's designs often include designer parodies depicted on "uniquely designed shirts" (think: "the unique stitching, placement of the labels, and fabric"). Brian Lichtenberg (via counsel, David Graziani) goes on the set the stage of the case, which involves quite a back story. According to Brian, "By the spring of 2012, CWL was a failed fashion and jewelry designer overshadowed by the financial and creative success of Brian Lichtenberg, his older brother, in the same industry." At this point, Brian Lichtenberg claims that he arranged for his brother's Alex & Chloe website to sell some of his products under a consignment arrangement and for CWL to do some "part-time contractor" work for the Brian Lichtenberg label. 

    Alex & Chloe (above) and BLTEE by Brian Lichtenberg (below)

    Brian Lichtenberg alleges that his brother, CWL, worked on the BALLIN design with him. Brian asserts that he hand-sketched the BALLIN design in his day planner on Jan. 30, 2013 after he was inspired by a conversation with rapper Kanye West and provided CWL with a sketch of the design [which would satisfy the copyright requirement of fixation in a tangible medium and assuming the requisite level of originality exists (which is pretty questionable in this case, given the similarity to the Balmain font and logo), would be enough to establish copyright protection for the design, for the legal enthusiasts reading this].

    CWL then reportedly took the concept and created an electronic version of the design for Brian. At this point, Brian alleges that CWL "proceeded to use such purloined information to enable his company, [Alex & Chloe], to take T-shirts and sweatshirts using the 'Ballin' and 'Ballin Paris' parody name to the market before [Brian Lichtenberg]." CWL then allegedly began representing that he came up with the original "BALLIN" design. Brian claims his brother also copied his company's confidential customer list; and contacted the manufacturer responsible for making Brian Lichtenberg products and requested that he manufacture products identical to Brian Lichtenberg's products.

    Moreover, CWL allegedly interfered with Brian Lichtenberg's ongoing business relationships and contracts with at least 10 different companies. The complaint states: "Over the course of CWL's employment by [Brian Lichtenberg] CWL purposefully and with the intent to defraud, slowed down the launch of the clothing line, 'BALLIN PARIS', by claiming to be sick and not able to finish his assignments when in fact he was stealing Brian Lichtenberg's designs the entire time he was employed by [Brian Lichtenberg]."

    Lichtenberg is seeking injunction relief (which would require CWL and Alex & Chloe immediately and permanently cease use of Brian's designs and marks) and punitive damages. See some of the exhibits from Lichtenberg's lawsuit below ...

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    The Fashion Law EXCLUSIVE - We told you the Brian Lichtenberg v. Christopher Lichtenberg lawsuit was not going to be pretty. After Brian Lichtenberg filed suit against his brother, Chris Lichtenberg (the founder of Los Angeles-based brand, Alex & Chloe) has spoken out, and revealed the lawsuit he filed against his brother, in March. According to a statement issued by Alex & Chloe: "Brian Richard Lichtenberg has very falsely accused Alex & Chloe of stealing a design from him, when he and his business partner Reda Bouiassa know full well that this design is owned by Alex & Chloe." 

    Turns out, Christopher Lichtenberg (and Alex & Chloe, Inc.) filed his own lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on March 22, 2013 against Brian Richard Lichtenberg, Brian Lichtenberg, LLC, Reda Bouaissa, Los Angeles-based retailer Kitson, and others (Case No. BC503835), and reportedly intended to keep the family legal drama under warps but now that older brother Brian has filed suit, the other Lichtenberg is speaking out. Of the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs state: "As we have always stated, the BALLIN and BALLIN PARIS design is an Original design made by and for Alex & Chloe. The BALLIN and BALLIN PARIS design was NOT designed by Brian Lichtenberg. Accept no Imitations." 

    As for Brian Lichtenberg's alleged "January 2012 HAND SKETCH of the design," his brother's lawsuit alleges that no such sketch exists, and coincidentally or not, no such sketch has not been submitted as evidence in either case. Also worthy of note, since this is a family feud-turned-public legal case, the Lichtenberg boys' mother, Ann Lichtenberg, appears to have sided with Christopher, by way of declarations she makes in Christopher Lichtenberg's complaint. More to come, I'm sure ...

    Related Stories
    Brian Lichtenberg Files Suit Against His Brother
    Brian Lichtenberg Releases Designer Drugs Tees
    Those Brian Lichtenberg Designer Drug Tees May Be Copies 
    Drugs Companies to take Legal Action Against Lichtenberg
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    Kanye West recently confirmed that his track, "I am a God," is about Hedi Slimane. (Apparently there has been quite a bit of speculation about this). Yeezy told BBC Radio 1′s Zane Lowe that he wrote the track in Paris after Slimane told him that he could only attend his first show at Saint Laurent if he  attended the Saint Laurent show exclusively. Obviously, Kanye (a self-proclaimed Steve Jobs), didn't appreciate this, and told W Magazine shortly thereafter: "It’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the number-one living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix. You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show." Catch the song lyrics below and let us know what you think [Also, FYI ... Kanye's song “Black Skinhead” was also reportedly inspired by the Slimane incident. West hit the recording studio in Paris immediately after drama, and even took things one step further by using the exact same musicians that Slimane used for his runway show]. Happy Monday. 

    I am a god 
    Hurry up with my damn massage 
    Hurry up with my damn ménage 
    Get the Porsche out the damn garage 
    I am a god 
    Even though I'm a man of god 
    My whole life in the hands of god 
    So y'all better quit playing with god 

    [Verse 1] 
    Soon as they like you make more money like you 
    But kissing people ass is so unlike you 
    The only rapper who could compare to Michael 
    So here's a few hating ass niggas who'll fight you 
    And here's a few snake ass niggas who'll bite you 
    I don't even wanna hear why some niggas like you 
    Old niggas mentally still in high school 
    Since the tight jeans they never liked you 
    Pink ass polos and a fucking backpack 
    Everybody know you brought real rap back 
    Nobody else swag nigga we the rat pack 
    Virgil Pyrex, Don C snapback 
    Ibn diamond, Chi-town shining 

    Same thing I'm in 
    Until the day I get struck by lightning 

    [Hook 2] 
    I am a god 
    So hurry up with my damn massage 
    And a French ass restaurant 
    Hurry up with my damn croissants 
    I am a god 
    I am a god 
    I am a god 

    [Verse 2] 
    I just talked to Jesus 
    He said 'what up Yeezus?' 
    I said "Shit I'm chilling 
    Trying to stack these millions" 
    I know he the most high 
    But I am a close high 
    Mi casa es su casa 
    That's that cosa nostra 
    I am a god 
    I am a god 
    I am a god

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    Personal style blogger, Leandra Medine, the brains and overalls behind the popular site, The Man Repeller, has a bit of a legal smarts, as well. Along with the rise of her site, Medine coined a few terms, namely: Man Repeller (which she defines as "outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs") and Arm Party (which refers to the the stacks and stacks of bracelets she regularly dons and in her own words, "is most usually composed of a combination of DANNIJO, LeivanKash, Shashi, sometimes sprinkled over a little Hermes, Kara Ackerman and the token Love Bracelet engraved with best words ever: 'We’re so proud, love Mom and Dad.'"). Medine then did what a smart blogger does and applied to trademark her terms of art. She filed to federally register her Man Repeller mark in 2010 (which was registered in 2013) and according to multiple sources, including an interview with Fashionologie in 2011, Medine she has a trademark pending for the frequently used term "Arm Party." However, a quick search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's records reveals that she may not have acted quickly enough in filing to protect the term.

    According to the USPTO, the only pending registration for the term is one filed by Fantasia Accessories for costume jewelry. So, either Medine is registering her term through the self-proclaimed "fast fashion" NYC-based company (which owns the licenses to various brands, including Sanrio and Disney) as of June 2012 or the company is trying to secure the rights to Medine's otherwise unregistered trademark. While it sounds bad, chances are, this won't be a deal breaker for Medine, who is a creative genius with many more catchy trademarks up her sleeve. In addition, she could always claim common law trademark rights over the term, "arm party," especially because Fantasia is an NYC-based company and has filed its application on a 1B basis, which means it has not yet used the term in commerce. Medine, on the other hand, has been using the term on her site (aka in commerce) since at least 2011. #Team Man Repeller.

    So, take note bloggers. Got a term or brand name that you don't want someone else to steal (and potentially prevent you from using it)? Consider applying to federally register it as a trademark.

    images courtesy of guestofaguest & man repeller

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    Here is another look at Isabel Marant's upcoming collection for H&M. We told you the collection is quite similar to her namesake collection, and this is becoming even more apparent with the more looks she releases. Think: an almost exact replica of her best-selling Renell embroidered skinny jeans, which she is now offering for men, thanks to the H&M collab. See more looks, which are modeled by Clement Chabernaud, Lou Doillon, Alek Wek and more, after the break and tell us if you'll be shopping this collection when it hits stores and the web on November 14 ... 

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    The Texas Department of Transportation has ordered Playboy to remove the sign it erected on a rural highway outside of Marfa, a town in west Texas in June (pictured below). The sign, which was designed by the artist Richard Phillips for Playboy (and was paid for by Playboy), consists of a 1972 Dodge Charger on top of a box in front of a forty-foot neon Playboy bunny sign. The Dept. of Transportation has held that Playboy's sign is in violation of the 1965 Highway Beautification Act and has given the Beverly Hill-based global media and lifestyle company a month to disassemble the sign. As we told you last week, Prada Marfa, on the other hand, has been in existence since 2005, and apparently is not as simple of a case than the Playboy one. The Dept. of Transportation has not yet determined whether to take similar action against Prada Marfa, the brainchild of Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Unlike the Playboy sign (which was commission by Playboy enterprises), the $80,000 Prada project, was not funded by Prada but by New York nonprofits Art Production Fund in collaboration with Ballroom Marfa. More about Prada Marfa here

    image courtesy of associated press

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    Louis Vuitton has brought a new accessories designer on board to help re-secure its status as one of the most desirable luxury brands on earth. The design house's new addition: Proenza Schouler's ex-accessories design director Darren Spaziani. He will assume his position at the company on October 1st and is likely being brought on to help with creative director Marc Jacobs' impending departure. It is no secret that Louis Vuitton has been attempting to revamp its image after suffering a dip in demand for its logo-embossed canvas bags (thanks to the side effects of intense market saturation). The iconic design house's new collection, including the Capucine bag, is faring well, with bags flying off the shelves at European fashion capitals and waiting lists coming into fruition. 

    According to a Louis Vuitton statement, 38-year old Spaziani (a graduate of Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, who worked for Louis Vuitton from 2004 to 2006) will create new collections made with "leather of the highest quality." Recently-promoted Delphine Arnault, daughter of LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault, described Spaziani as "one of the most talented designers of his generation. He knows the maison well and will bring modern vision and professionalism to Louis Vuitton's creations." 

    Interestingly, in addition to working at Proenza Schouler, Spaziani has previously worked as accessories design director at Balenciaga, which is owned by LVMH's market and legal rival Kering.

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    Known for slinky sex appeal, Anthony Vaccarello certainly delivered for Spring. Anja Rubik, Vaccarello's muse opened the show, which consisted of roughly 35 looks, and while this was not a new direction for Vaccarello at it, the collection feels anything but tired or repetitious. The super-short frocks and micro-mini skirts bore pointed hemlines and many had cutouts on the upper-thigh. Tie-dyed bleached denim and hints of red leather (as well as an red leather frock) broke up the mostly black lineup, much of which was adorned with gold buttons and some of which was softened a bit with black lace. All-in-all, Vacarello channeled sexy in a major way, and the collection felt almost Versace-ish - in the best possible way. See the entire collection after the break below ...

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    Logo mania is back? It seems that the trend of garments and accessories bearing brand names just became a thing of the past (think: the movement away from bags covered in Louis Vuitton logo prints and towards more discrete, virtually label-less Celine totes). However, this Spring’s collections indicate otherwise. Italian design house Missoni, which showed its Spring/Summer 2014 wares this weekend during Milan Fashion Week, says they are “re-igniting” the logo. It seems the luxury knitwear maker’s creative director Angela Missoni is doing so via archive prints of the house's logo, which were adapted to graphic effect on several looks (and bags) for Spring. The same seems so for Alexander Wang, DKNY, Moschino (as usual), and Emilio Pucci, all of which also showed logos for this upcoming Spring. You likely recall Wang’s name-emblazoned accessories; Hood by Air’s wares that more-commonly-than-not read HBA; DKNY’s logo-covered sweat suits and lastly, the logo-emblazoned bags and belts at Moschino – something the Italian design house has been doing for quite a few seasons now. 

    While we do not make a habit of tracking the various Fashion Week trends, this one is worthy of note because the most frequently trademarked words or designs are brand names and logos. So, essentially, trademarks are very “in” for Spring, especially because they allow designers/design houses to protect garments and accessories that may not otherwise be granted protection (in the U.S.). For instance, the leather gloves that Alexander Wang showed, which bore the “Wang” name in each, would likely not be protected via copyright law because as gloves, they are utilitarian in nature. However, since Alexander Wang has trademarked his name in Class 25, which applies to clothing and arguably may apply to gloves, anyone else’s use of his name on these goods will likely amount to trademark infringement. As a result, there is less of chance that Nasty Gal will be stocking a cheap version of the Wang gloves anytime soon. They could legally copy the gloves line-for-line, but as soon as they include the Wang name on them, that’s infringement. That’s the beauty of trademark protection. 

    Missoni should probably look into federally registering the new design of its name to protect the design of the name, in addition to the basic trademark protection that currently extends to the Missoni name.

    from left: DKNY, Moschino, Alexander Wang & Hood by Air

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  • 09/25/13--06:47: SEE: Damir Doma Spring 2014
  • Paris Fashion Week is underway. Croatia-born, Germany-raised Damir Doma has largely become known for the austerity and clean lines of his menswear collection, but as of this passed June, he has been focusing on his womenswear collection is a major way, presenting at Pitti W in Florence. See Damir Doma's Spring 2014 collection here ...

    images courtesy of

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  • 09/25/13--07:09: Dries Van Noten Spring 2014
  • Dries Van Noten showed his Spring 2014 collection today. See the entire collection below ...

    images courtesy of wwd

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    Parsons The New School for Design has a roster of famed students (some of whom didn't quite make it to graduation): Alexander Wang (who actually dropped out before graduation), Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Tom Ford, Peter Som, Marc Jacobs and the list goes on. Well, as of last year, the celebrated NYC school has offered a new program, the Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society, that has drawn enormous interest from the industry. In fact, according to, Céline, Nike, and Givenchy are already courting members of the class of 2013. Earlier this month, the graduating class (which consists of just 16 students) showed their collections and we caught up with them to talk about their brands, the business of fashion and what they are obsessed with right now ...

    Spanish-born Isabel Rio, who boasts a resume that includes work/internship experiences with Todd Tomas NYC, Alexander McQueen, and Carolina Herrera, among others, showed a collection of voluminous silhouettes, picture-prints (derived from photos she took) and belted dresses and coats, which felt a bit like kimonos, all of which were paired with espadrilles - certainly an ode to Rio's heritage.  

    1. How old are you and where are you from?

    I'm 30 years old and from Spain.

    2. You just showed your MFA collection. Tell me a bit about you and your design process in general.

    I am a very "hands on" designer. I am not a computer person so I like to start my research from shapes and silhouettes. I usually generate my own images and then I play with them to create my prints. The ones you have seen in the show are images from my hometown in Spain. They are obviously very abstract, but the originals where regular pictures taken with my camera. Draping is definitely one of my strengths, as well.

    3. Do you feel like you're becoming a brand?

    I would love to, maybe some day. For now, I am not in a rush to do it and I would like to work for other companies in NY and learn form other people's success and mistakes. To create your own label you really need to feel it, be ready to fight …

    4. What have you learned so far about the business of fashion?

    It is a luxury working in what you love but fashion is a complicated field and a very difficult business in terms of money and creativity. It is definitely very different from what people think it is. There is no glamour or parties. There is a lot of work behind every collection and time spent on making every detail perfect.

    5. What is your dream job in fashion?

    My dream is my own brand, but right now I would love to work for a New York-based designer.

    6. What fashion designers do you admire/look up to?

    I love Narciso Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler, Calvin Klein, Loewe, YSL. So many I can't even tell them all!

    7. What are you obsessed with right now? 

    I am really enjoying that I finally time to spend with my friends and family. I am actually enjoying NY more than ever now that the show is over. I can tell that this is going to be a pretty good time in my life.

    The class' knitwear specialist, Alison Tsai, has refined her skills through internships with Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg, won quite a few awards and even showed a capsule collection at Pitti Immagine Filati in June 2011. Before that, she studied at a medical school in Taiwan, and worked in a cancer center for nearly four years. For her thesis, Tsai presented a collection of knitted overcoats, sweaters and pants, which boast detail of painstaking precision and according to Tsai, include "very organic and creature-like shapes." One of the standout pieces from her collection? The tasseled headpiece (picture below, far right) that Kanye West will likely commission for his next tour. 

    1. How old are you and where are you from?

    I was born and raised in Taiwan (Republic of China, R.O.C.) and I just became 32.
    2. You just showed your MFA collection. Tell me a bit about you and your design process in general.

    As a knitwear designer, I usually start with examining if a material or fabric is interesting enough or not; shapes and patterns are the next step. It is not only about the balance of proportion but numerous mathematical counts, as well. Therefore, I have to concentrate on making sure the work is done precisely. Knitting is about both creativity and logic. Before entering the program I received scientific training and worked in a hospital for many years, which helped in cultivating part of my personality that adds some special flavor into my design. In addition, the experience I had allows me to enjoy knitting while also being efficient. About me, I am curious and am easily happy in new environments. 

    3. Do you feel like you're becoming a brand? 

    I have not thought of starting/initiating a brand so far, but would like to own a small, personal label that represents me. I sold out one of my pieces (a bodysuit) just after the show, which was exciting to me. Last winter, I made a mini scarf collection for my close friends, and as a result, received quite a few orders. From the experiences, I have realized that smart and simple designs with well-chosen materials definitely have potential.

    I am still observing, learning, accumulating knowledge and absorbing. For now, I am not in a rush to start my own brand. I’d like to be work as a team, as I like working with people and listening to different ideas in order to gain experiences. 

    4. What have you learned so far about the business of fashion?

    It is about cash flow; it is a competitive career. There are always so many new talents popping up in the industry. Business is close to the market so either we lead the market or we really need to work for it.

    5. What is your dream job in fashion?

    My dream job changes. For now, I just bought a new knit machine and tried to make some prototypes I want to try. Meanwhile, I am looking for a full time job in knitwear. For the future, I believe I will find what my enthusiasm is on the way.

    6. What fashion designers do you admire/look up to?

    Rei Kawakubo is one of my favorites. Her brand, Comme des Garcons, is so strong and striking to me. Also, she provides a good model that merges the crazy creativity with the mainstream.

    7. What are you obsessed with right now?

    The show just finished. So, I am enjoying regular life during the week. My life is mainly about cooking, reading things online, exercising and so on. Busy times are also exciting but I enjoy the short peaceful moment before the next coming chaos.

    Before attending Parsons, China-born Sijing Chen attended the Academy of Art and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing and worked for NYC-based threeasFOUR, where she led concept and fabric development and specialized in laser cutting, in addition to developing and producing a look for the brand's S/S 2013 collection. Her final collection, which consisted of a crimson red and white color palette, included billowing proportions, angular and modern shapes, and abstract prints (which actually consist of hand-sewn, geometric string art designs), as well as a stand-out laser cut skirt (pictured below, far left).

    1. How old are you and where are you from?

    I am 26 years old now. I come from China, a seaside city called Dalian.

    2. You just showed your MFA collection. Tell me a bit about you and your design process in general. 

    My collection is called "Flower Tomb" and it is about killing flowers and burying them with white pigment. I decorated the garments with a hand embroidery technique, based on geometric spiral graph patterns. And the pink threads come from the color of flowers. I think I am very detail-oriented and focus a lot on hand craft and the combination of textiles and garments. I think this makes me different from my classmates and other brands.

    3. Do you feel like you're becoming a brand? How are you different from other young designers/design brands?

    I hope I am becoming a brand! I have ideas in mind for my brand now. For instance, the logo will be a rabbit, because my zodiac is rabbit. But I will set up my brand when I have more experience and mature a bit in terms of my career.

    4. What have you learned so far about the business of fashion?

    From the Fashion Design and Society MFA program, I've been able to not only focus on fashion design, but most of our classes are more about the definition of society, our personal identity, and how to become a good designer!

    5. What is your dream job in fashion?

    I hope I can become a fashion designer like Alexander McQueen and can make some contribution to the Chinese fashion industry in the future.

    6. What fashion designers do you admire/look up to?

    Alexander McQueen! I never think about how I have been influenced by him, but my teacher and quite a few of my friends have told me that some of my work looks like McQueen.

    7. What are you obsessed with right now?

    Japanese literature, some books and movies about mental patients and psychology. It is interesting to know their stories. 

    Beijing-born Jia Hua, who was awarded the Coach scholarship in 2012, interned at Tory Burch and Diane von Furstenberg, after receiving her BFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in China. She showed a collection that involves  multiple techniques, including weaving, hand stitching, and bonding to create rich layers, and a color palette of neon colors and dark sheer chiffon. Of her designs (which pulled influences from athletic garments and artists Mickalene Thomas, Caroline Larsen, and Dan Flavin, mixed couture details with a streetwear spirit.), she says: “For me, the most important thing is for the clothes to be easy and wearable.”

    1. How old are you and where are you from?

    I am 25, and I am from China.

    2. You just showed your MFA collection. Rell me a bit about you and your design process in general. 

    My collection is about a mixture of couture hand craft techniques and contemporary active wear. It sounds like a weird combination. I spent a major amount of time developing my fabric, bringing in some traditional techniques like cording, pad stitching, weaving, etc. I also look at artists' work, like lighting installations from different artists. I am obsessed with the mixture of color and geometry "color space." 

    3. Do you feel like you're becoming a brand?
    I am still figuring out how to build up my brand and break into the market. 

    4. What have you learned so far about the business of fashion?
    It is easy to have a brand but it is difficult to maintain a business. There is always so much more to learn in this industry.

    5. What is your dream job in fashion?
    A job that will allow me to keep creating.

    6. What fashion designers do you admire/look up to?
    There are a lot, but out of all of them, Prada is always the one I admire most.

    7. What are you obsessed with right now?

    Reading. Getting rid of images and focusing on words for a while. I feel happy, satisfied and calm when I read.

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    Dubai-based graphic designer Lara Atkinson combined high fashion entities and popsicles for a cute and very likely infringing summer project. The result of a collaboration between Atkinson and a high fashion department store in the U.A.E., signage was strewn across buildings and adorned on ice cream trucks, bearing the Louis Vuitton, Burberry, McQueen, and Kenzo names, alongside colorful popsicles, inspired by the design houses' Spring 2013 collections. The "fashion pops" themselves could be purchased at various pop-up shops and popsicle vans parked in popular spots throughout the city this passed summer. According to Atkinson, "This is a collaboration inspired by the most iconic S/S 13 fashion collections and the summer popsicle fad. After choosing popsicle shapes and colours that resemble the collections closely, we transformed what we saw into matching flavours to accessories the fashion pack of Dubai throughout the hot summer months."

    Atkinson's foray into high fashion ice cream is certainly cute. The problem is: You can't just slap the Louis Vuitton or Burberry name on your product and sell it without the authorization to do so. Brand names are quite often federally registered trademarks (that likely apply in Dubai given Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, McQueen and Burberry's physical presence in Dubai via numerous brick and mortar stores and online service). Moreover, trademarks are extremely valuable assets to design houses, and ones that they protect quite vigilantly, as that is the trademark holder's duty. Having said this, and knowing a bit about Kering (which owns McQueen) and LVMH's (which owns Kenzo and Louis Vuitton) zealous efforts to protect its trademarks from becoming generic, I find it highly unlikely that the design houses signed off on this project. That makes this trademark infringement by way of trademark dilution - because the design houses at issue here do not appear to have registered their marks in Class 1, which applies to food. Thus, they would have to argue dilution, which is the reduction, or is likelihood of reduction, of the public's perception that the famous mark signifies something unique, singular or particular. 

    Because Louis Vuitton has registered its mark in Class 16, which specifically covers plastic materials for packaging, they could potentially sue for trademark infringement in regards to that specific class, as the ice cream bars designed by Atkinson bear a plastic package with the Louis Vuitton mark.

    * The United Arab Emirates is not a party to the Madrid Protocol, and thus, not subject to international registration of U.S. trademarks. As a result, much of this piece is speculation as to what the trademark system in Dubai entails. Whether the design houses listed above actually have trademark claims depends specifically on U.A.E. trademark law, which I will not go into in this piece. 

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    By now you've probably caught on to the fact that rappers and high fashion are a seriously trendy mix. Plus, given the rumors that have been swirling for some time now, it is hardly a surprise that Jay Z has teamed up with Barneys for a holiday collection. I wasn't going to comment on this one but after reading Barneys CEO Mark Lee's comments on the collab, I seriously could not resist. Lee says: “If you close your eyes and think about who best represents New York and stands for the city, you can’t help but think about Shawn Carter. Jay Z is one of the biggest cultural icons of our time–his reach spans across music, sports, business and fashion.” (First of all, I'm pretty sure Lee is dead serious. Also, it sounds like Kanye wrote that quote about himself and then just replaced his name with Jay Z's).

    So, what can we expect of the Jay Z x Barneys menswear collection? Well, a Proenza Schouler bag (Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez's first foray into men's accessories), a Balmain scarf, a Stutterheim raincoat, a Balenciaga backpack and other wares from The Elder Statesman, Lanvin, Acne and Rick Owens. Hopefully this collection will be more of a hit than the Neiman Marcus x Target x CFDA one, which was far from a success! It is not clear how much "designing" Jay Z actually did; you can be the judge of that. See some of the pieces below ... 

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  • 09/25/13--10:41: Gareth Pugh Spring 2014
  • Young English designer Gareth Pugh (who is often treated with comparisons to the late Alexander McQueen) showed his Spring/Summer 2014 collection today and the opening look (pictured below) likely says it all! With alien-like eye makeup, giant fur hats, expertly sculpted garments and hints of bold chlorine blue, Gareth Pugh went big (as usual) for Spring. The designer, whose brand boasts a 49% ownership by Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, showed re-imagined loungewear this season (think: kimono-type robes and slinky night gowns turned into runway-ready frocks). 

    images courtesy of

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    On Wednesday, Irish-born designer, Jonathan Anderson, who has become a shining star of London Fashion Week, was given a major injection of funding to his five-year-old J.W. Anderson brand by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The luxury conglomerate has taken a 49% stake in the brand, which is known for its often transgendered take on clothing. Anderson is currently based in Dalston, the hip but rough area of northeast London, where he works in a studio with just 14 people. At the same time, he has been made creative director of Loewe, the Spanish leather brand that is part of the LVMH luxury stable. Behind the deal are recently-promoted Delphine Arnault, the daughter of the LVMH chairman and chief executive, Bernard Arnault, and Pierre-Yves Roussel, the chairman and CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group.

    As for how the partnership came about, Anderson says: “After the autumn/winter show, I sat down with Delphine and Pierre-Yves — and for me they are just a natural partner. They excite me and they understand me — and I understand them,” the designer said. “And when you do this, you want people who believe in you.”

    As for his new appointment at Loewe, his first collection may be shown as soon as next season or in a year’s time. This joins a string of recent investments/appointments by LVMH and its rival Kering. Just two weeks ago, LVMH bought into British footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood's business. In January 2013, Kering, headed by François-Henri Pinault, bought a controlling stake in the brand of the designer Christopher Kane, another powerful young British talent.

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    Alexander Wang showed his Balenciaga Spring collection bright and early this morning in Paris, and it seems the young designer is coming into his own in the Cristobal Balenciaga-founded design house. Take the first look, for instance, as well as the muscle tees, tank tops, glorified running shorts, and Perfecto jackets. Critics are already taking a liking to the high-waisted and with a tulip-shaped peplum, as well as to the elongated caped jackets. The collection isn't perfect, but Wang very well may get there. See all of the looks after the break below and let us know what you think of the collection in the comments section ...

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  • 09/26/13--07:20: Balmain Spring/Summer 2014
  • Olivier Rousteing brought the big names (think: Karlie, Karmen, Kasia, Joan Smalls, Magdalena Frackowiak, Saskia de Brauw, Cat McNeil, etc.), skillfully crafted jackets and the overalls for Balmain Spring 2014. See the entire collection below ... 

    images courtesy of

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    Reuters (edited by TFL)

    Marc Jacobs may be on the verge of leaving Louis Vuitton when his contract ends next month as designer's future at the French luxury brand remains unresolved, an industry source told Reuters. Since joining the group in 1997 Jacobs has steered Vuitton's growth into a global luxury brand which generates nearly 7 billion euros ($9.46 billion) of revenues a year and more than half of parent LVMH's operating profits. "His contract may not be renewed," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, without going into further detail. The French magazine Challenges this week said his departure had already been approved internally.

    The potential move comes as the brand, famous for its LV-embossed canvas bags, is trying to regain some of its lost prestige, having failed to anticipate quickly enough consumers' move away from logo-branded products, particularly in China. Louis Vuitton's sales growth has slowed down to 5-6 percent this year after decades of more than 10 percent annual sales growth, driven by an aggressive international expansion and demand in Asia, where it opened shops earlier than rivals. Uncertainty about future growth at Louis Vuitton has been weighing on the stock price of LVMH shares which have gained 7 percent since the beginning of the year while the European luxury sector has gained more than 17 percent on average.

    Marc Jacobs helped develop Louis Vuitton's women and men's ready-to-wear lines and runs his own eponymous brand which ranks among the most profitable smaller fashion subsidiaries within LVMH, fuelled by demand in the United States and Japan. The Marc Jacobs brand also launched in August a cosmetics products line in the United States, exclusively distributed by Sephora, LVMH's beauty products retail chain.

    "Nothing has been decided yet," a separate industry source told Reuters about Jacobs' contract. On Tuesday Louis Vuitton announced it had hired Proenza Schouler accessories designer Darren Spaziani as part of its upmarket drive and efforts to beef up its high-end offering of leather bags. Earlier this month, signs emerged that Louis Vuitton's revamp could be yielding results as the brand's new bags have been flying off the shelves since their summer launch, according to a Reuters survey of shops in Milan, Paris and London. 

    Looking ahead, names in the hat to replace Marc Jacobs include that of Nicolas Ghesquiere, a darling of fashion editors, who left Balenciaga last year after having successfully infused new life into the Kering fashion brand. Ghesquiere is regarded as close to Delphine Arnault, Louis Vuitton's deputy chief executive and one of LVMH's main talent-spotters. She is also the eldest child of Bernard Arnault, founder and chief executive of LVMH and France's richest man.

    Industry sources said it was possible that Marc Jacobs's fashion show on October 2, as part of Paris Fashion Week, could be his last. Jacobs introduced collaborations with famous artists such as Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse to help make Louis Vuitton bags more relevant to fashion followers. "Marc Jacbos has done fantastic work at Vuitton but I think that today we need to reframe the leather goods and fashion proposition which has until now mainly been focused on the bags," a luxury goods expert said, declining to be named.

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    Rihanna's lawsuit against UK fast fashion giant Topshop has resulted in more good news for the singer. After Mr Justice Birss ruled in favor of the singer in the High Court in July, holding that Topshop's sale of the "Rihanna T-shirt" without the singer's authorization constitutes "passing off" and likely resulted in wide-spread consumer confusion, Birss awarded her a permanent injunction and a "reasonable" $320,000 in damages this week. As a result, Topshop will be forced to remove the t-shirt at issue from its stock permanently and prevent any similar use in the future. Earlier this year, Rihanna filed suit against Topshop for $5 million, stemming from its use of a photograph without her permission that was taken of her on a video shoot in Northern Ireland in 2011. 

    image courtesy of terry richardson

    Mr Justice Birss gave Topshop permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against his ruling. If his decision is upheld on appeal, the judge will then assess the amount of damages due to the singer - and how much is also due in legal costs. The judge said the estimated $1.5 million legal bill put forward by Rihanna's legal team were "figures I find startling." The judge said he was not satisfied that he could safely use those figures to decide what interim payment should be made today to Rihanna pending a full damages assessment.

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    Earlier this week we told you about Kanye West’s headline making interview with BBC’s Zane Lowe, including his revelation that Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane was the inspiration behind some of the first tracks off his recently released Yeezus album. Because the interview was an hour long and contained more gems per minute (GPM) than any other interview ever, it took us a minute to let the whole hour of DOPENESS sink in. We thought we’d bring you our take on some of the best fashion-related lines from the already infamous interview ...


    Regarding “Every time my name goes up, there’s a series of people who write negative comments...’why is he still trying?’ Why are they dissing me for trying??”

    Early on in the interview, West talks about how he checks the Hypebeast site to check out new product. And, like anybody else who has ever visited the site, he took notice of the many, many haters who also frequent it also. Hypebeast’s readers have already made their MO known earlier this year with their overwhelmingly negative reaction to learning that Hood By Air designer Shayne Oliver is gay – that is, hate on everything ever with the fury of a virgin shoe collector.

    “Me and Virgil [Abloh] are in Rome, giving designs to Fendi, over and over, and getting our designs knocked down … [We] brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said ‘no.’ How many motherfuckers you done seen with a leather jogging pant?”

    This is the first of numerous emotionally charged riffs on the fashion industry and Yeezy’s desperation to find his place in it. While recounting how he spent his post-Taylor Swift Incident exile, by interning at Fendi, it seems that even then, when we were still hungry for some Balmain moto-jeans, Kanye already had 2013’s biggest fashion trend on deck. Now, how much of Fendi’s (supposed) negative reaction was Kanye being too ahead of his time and how much of it has to due with the fact that men’s leather jogging pants – the most iconic iteration thus far has come from En Noir, a line not remotely similar to Fendi – would be a weird and unnatural fit for Fendi. Sometimes (aka most of the time) Kanye's "passion for fashion" is a bit removed from the reality of high fashion. 

    “When I see Hedi Slimane, and it’s all like, okay, this is my take on the world. Yeah, he’s got some nice $5,000 jeans in there. It’s some nice ones here and there, some good shit here and there. But we culture. Rap the new rock and roll. We culture. Rap is the new rock and roll. We the rock stars. [Zane Lowe: “It’s been like that now for a minute.”] It’s been like that now for a minute, Hedi Slimane! It’s been like that now for a minute. We the rock stars, and I’m the biggest of all of them.”

    This perfect, interview-defining quote immediately followed Kanye’s thoughts on his time at Fendi. Here, Kanye manages to initiate the first-of-its-kind Rapper/Designer beef that we’ve all been waiting for, and also manages to sneak in some (surprisingly clear) views of where our culture is. For decades, rock’n’roll has been the de rigueur music of youth, of counter-culture, of rebellion. And while rap has certainly been around for a while, only recently has it transcended rock music as the primary culture driver that Kanye references here.  This is notable for two reasons: 1. During the end of Hedi Slimane’s run at Dior Homme, Kanye was quoted numerous times referring to Slimane as a “god” and, even as recently as 2010, put out a song with Pharrell and Kid Cudi  as homage to Hedi’s popular Dior Homme skinny jeans. In fact, Kanye referenced Slimane’s design when describing his recent APC collaboration. 2. Someone needed to say it. The aging-rocker schtick never really took off for John Varvatos, and watching Hedi Slimane mine that empty well has been a bit painful to watch (even if Julie doesn't think so). 

    "You guys don't understand. You guys don't understand that I did the [Air] Yeezys and they eBay'd for $90,000! And people wanted them ... bad as whatever. But I didn't get a call from Nike the next day!”

    One of the consistently surprising things about Kanye West interviews is how willing he is to publicly complain about current collaborators and partners. Whether it’s letting people know his distaste for Jay-Z’s work on Suit and Tie, or Nike, the shoe giant who currently manufactures his namesake sneaker. Speaking ill of a past sponsor is nothing new, but to gripe about the company who gave you your start in an interview takes a certain kind of nerve.

    “Both this song ['Black Skinhead'] and 'I Am a God' were made after Hedi Slimane didn't let me into his first Saint Laurent show. But it wasn't that. He wanted me to go, but he just told me I couldn't go to any other shows other than that. And I was like, 'Wait a second.' You're not telling no editor they can't go to any of your shows. I'm not your boy. You can't control me in some way. Off of that, I went into the studio with the producers that made the music for his show. And made 'I Am a God' and 'Black Skinhead.”

    Kanye v. Hedi II. For all those wondering where Kanye’s angry, minimalist sound came from – look no further. Apparently, after being told that Kanye could attend the first SLP show, but only on the condition that he not attend any others during Paris Fashion Week, he went out and got some v. nxt lvl revenge by stealing his band and, later, by putting out Yeezus, which, in light of this information, makes Hedi Slimane and SLP look about as dated and notatalledgy as the 90’s clothes they’re sending down the runway. Rarely is a high profile beef started and settled in a one hour sitting.

    The interview covered plenty of non-fashion related subjects too, ranging from his new family with Kim Kardashian to his musical evolution and what he learned from his parents’ involvement in the civil rights movement. But what can we take away from Kanye The Designer? If nothing else, that he probably isn’t going to drop the dream anytime soon. The common trait found in every quote above is a desperate yearning to be on the inside, but with a passion that can only come from being kept on the outside for too long. 

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    You know the riding boots that the house showed for Fall and Pre-Fall 2012 in an array of colors and exotic skins? The ones that were subsequently embraced by Kim Kardashian (post-Kanye makeover), Lea T., Vogue Australia's Christine Centenera, and former-Vogue Spain stylist Barbara Martelo, among others. Well, like most things Givenchy and most things high fashion in general, it really was only a matter of time before one of the big fast fashion footwear companies copied the design and sold its version for a fraction of the price. It seems Enzo Angiolini has is offering a very similar pair, its Damus style, for just under $300. That's quite a bit less than Givenchy's $2,000+ Shark lock leather wedge boots. Enzo's pair boasts a similar wedge, knee-high style and metal buckle accent. See the two after the break and tell us what you think!

    Givenchy's wedge boots (left) & Enzo's version (right)

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  • 09/26/13--14:48: Lanvin Spring/Summer 2014
  • Alber Elbaz showed Lanvin's Spring 2014 collection tonight (which was opened and closed by androgynous beauty, Jamie Bochert!). See the entire collection after the break below ...

    images courtesy of nowfashion

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    Paris Fashion Week is finally here and some of the best shows of the season are happening. See some of the highlights from the Spring/Summer 2014 collections below, including Balmain (pictured directly below), Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, and many more ... 

    Damir Doma Spring 2014

    Damir Doma Spring 2014

    Nina Ricci Spring 2014

    Nina Ricci Spring 2014

    Lanvin Spring 2014

    Rochas Spring 2014

    Rochas Spring 2014

    Anthony Vaccarello Spring 2014

    Balenciaga Spring 2014

    Balenciaga Spring 2014

    Balmain Spring 2014

    Alexis Mabille Spring 2014

    Gareth Pugh Spring 2014

    Dries Van Noten Spring 2014

    Dries Van Noten Spring 2014

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    According to the bio of mid-priced, Los Angeles-based label, Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen, the collection consists of "wearable clothing that never strays far from classic inspiration and the timeless simplicity of the basics," and by the looks of the current collection, the inspiration is clear. In fact, Shades of Grey Fall 2013 looks more like a roundup of some of menswear’s recent Greatest Hits than anything novel. Take for instance, this olive M65 jacket with desert stripe paneling from Ralph Lauren-owned Denim & Supply’s debut collection. This jacket came out a few seasons ago, but luckily for you, Micah Cohen (who is currently involved in a legal battle with author E.L. James and the USPTO over the trademark for "Shades of Grey") put out a nearly identical version this year. You can find it on his website now.

    Denim & Supply (left) & Micah Cohen (right)
    Next up, we have this Fair Isle knitted blazer, one iteration of the style Junya Watanabe absolutely murdered a few seasons ago. Because Junya's prices are out of reach for almost everyone, Micah Cohen to the rescue again. Shades of Grey has produced a pretty similar version (maybe an "ode" to Junya's design, if we are being nice), even keeping the brown suede elbow patches. That said, Shades of Grey switched up the location of the contrasting patch pocket and included two pockets as opposed to one because ORIGINALITY. 

    Junya Watanabe (left) & Micah Cohen (right)

    Finally, check out the Mark McNairy Zebra Print shorts from two years ago on the left and compared them to the current Shades of Grey shorts on the right. While they certainly do not look identical, the idea of using prints of zebras to create a makeshift stripe print was certainly eye-catching and actually pretty novel a few years ago; thank god Shades of Grey totally changed the game this season and put a rust-colored filter over their version. 

    Mark McNairy (left) & Micah Cohen (right)