April 26, 2015


Industry Insiders Sound off on Fast Fashion, Manufacturing Responsibly

It has been two years since the tragedy that took place at Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza, the home of a handful of fast fashion garment factories, which collapsed in April 2013.  The details that emerged shortly after the tragedy were harrowing: over three thousand people were in the building at the time of the collapse, over two thousand were injured by the collapse, and over one thousand lost their lives.  Some of the factories located in Rana Plaza manufactured clothing for brands including Primark, Wal-Mart, Joe Fresh, Mango and Benetton.  Since the Rana Plaza collapse, the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, has been charged in a criminal lawsuit (after attempting to flee the country); associations, such as the the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, have been formed to address the conditions (think: illegally run, poorly-built factories, desperately bad pay, foul mistreatment of (mainly female, often underage) workers and a system of mind-numbingly slow bureaucracy which prevents compensation from getting to the survivors); and awareness is at a high. Celebrities, activists, and designers have taken notice of the horrible conditions in Bangladesh and are pleading with consumers to be more mindful when making a purchase. We caught up with some of our favorite industry insiders to discuss fast fashion, responsibly made clothing, and why they prefer one over the other.  Here’s what they had to say …

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The Real Problem with Fast Fashion: Codes of Conduct


Of significant concern to those with an eye on liability issues is the standard industry practice (a term which does not indicate either a legally or morally correct one) of retailers implementing a home country ‘Code of Conduct’ stating that overseas suppliers must be in compliance with their local country health, safety, environmental and labour laws while being fully aware that many suppliers simply are not. This is the epitome of hypocrisy yet day in and day out brands who swear by the strength of their codes to critics at home follow this practice.

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Today: From Around the Web

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What’s behind Gucci’s dive and Saint Laurent’s rise? The creative director. – Quartz

Get Up To Speed On Prada’s Financial Situation in 5 Minutes. – SeekingAlpha

The best designer bags for spring/summer 2015? Here they are. – Independent

The fashion expert Caryn Franklin on how to be thoughtful about fashion. – Telegraph

Iris Apfel on Her Life, Her Style, and What’s Wrong With Fashion Today. – Style.com

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Aint’ Laurent Without Yves: The Lawsuit

The Fashion Law Exclusive – Turns out, Yves Saint Laurent hasn’t forgotten about the “parody” tee that caused so much controversy in 2013, as the Paris-based design house has filed a lawsuit against its creator.  That’s right, Yves Saint Laurent (via Luxury Goods International “LGI,” the company that owns its intellectual property rights) filed suit against What About Yves and its founder, Jeanine Heller, last week in the Southern District of New York court, citing claims of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition, all stemming from the tee.


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Dior and Similarly Named Photographer are Battling over Trademarks

Design houses are really working to protect their famous names.  You may recall that in December a District Court in Indiana ruled in favor of Chanel in its lawsuit against salon owner, Chanel Jones.  The Paris-based design house alleged that Jones’ Merrillville, Indiana spa and beauty salon, entitled Chanel’s Salon, was infringing at least nine of its federally registered trademarks and was benefiting from its seeming association with the established reputation of the fashion company.  Now, Christian Dior appears to be in the early stages of a similar action involving Sirous Dior, an Auckland-based photographer, who filed to federally register the name of his company, Dior Fine Art in New Zealand, with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand last year.


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Today: From Around the Web


Lawsuit over Kimye’s marriage proposal footage advances. – P6

McDonald’s Collaborated on its own Clothing Line with Parisian “it” store, Colette. – Racked

Lawsuit claims that former American Apparel CFO schemed to get Dov Charnet fired. – Fashionista

How front row politics at fashion shows transcended the fashion itself. – Guardian

The environmental cost of your online shopping habit. – i-D

Netflix’s “Full House” spinoff very well may include Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. – WWD

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Should Balenciaga Honor Customers’ Orders for Super-Cheap Bags?

Balenciaga made headlines last week for a glitch in its system that allowed e-commerce shoppers to purchase an array of its bags that usually retail for upwards of $2,000 for $200 to $300. Rather unsprisingly, shoppers frantically swooped in before the company shut down the site late on Thursday. According to our friends over at the New York Post, buyers who purchased bags during the glitch received email confirmations for their purchases. However, on Saturday, Balenciaga notified the shoopers that their orders will not be honored, stating: “Due to an issue that listed incorrect pricing for Balenciaga products, we are sorry to inform you that your purchase . . . has been canceled.” Instead, customers were told Balenciaga will issue gift certificates for use at its stores, but didn’t say how much they’d be worth.


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Saint Laurent Continues to Grow, as Gucci Remains Priority

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courtesy of Reuters (edits/additions by TFL)

Kering’s Gucci posted a bigger than expected drop in first-quarter sales on Tuesday, which it blamed on a transition period as Gucci, its flagship brand, works to regain momentum under a new creative and management duo. Gucci, which pulls in nearly 60 percent of Kering’s operating profit, saw sales fall nearly 8 percent in the three months to March 31, while analysts had expected a drop of 3-6 percent. “Our priority is to give Gucci new impetus,” Kering Finance Director Jean-Marc Duplaix said.

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