October 31, 2014

LATEST HEADLINES

Daria Werbowy Fronts Céline’s Resort 2015 Campaign

Supermodel Daria Werbowy is continuing her reign as the face of LVMH-owned brand Céline. The Polish-born beauty, who acts as muse to Céline’s creative director Phoebe Philo, has been fronting campaigns for the celebrated brand since 2011, when she appeared in the Spring/Summer ad, and has subsequently landed one every season. Her latest: the Resort 2015 campaign shot by fashion photographer Tyrone Lebon. See the campaign in its entirety below …

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Chris Benz Lands Creative Director Position at Bill Blass

guest-judge-chris-benzAfter a few seasons-long hiatus from fashion, New York-based designer, Chris Benz, is coming back in a big way: As the creative director of Bill Blass, effective immediately. Blass, which enjoyed its heyday in the 1980′s, has not shown a ready-to-wear collection since Fall/Winter 2012, and is looking to Benz to help relaunch the house’s womenswear collection. Of Benz’s appointment, Bill Blass President and Chief Operating Officer, Stuart M. Goldblatt, said: “The reason Chris is on board is because we wanted a top-flight designer—someone who paralleled [the late] Mr. Blass. The whole idea was to bring in an American designer who understands the woman today and who is highly social just as Mr. Blass was.” Benz, a Parsons graduate, who launched his eponymous label in 2007, was immediately welcomed by the industry, which took a liking to his signature quirky aesthetic, unexpected use of color and mix-and-match pairing of textiles. Of his debut, Eric Wilson, fashion reporter for The New York Times, referred to Benz as one of fashion’s “newest darlings” and his work as one of “the best examples of the heightened level of sophistication that is expected of new designers today.” Benz, 32, will present his first collection for the house during the Spring/Summer 2016 shows.

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Fondation Louis Vuitton: In Photos

Created as a space to celebrate artistic creation in all its forms, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which opened its doors for the first time this week, was commissioned by LVMH Chair Bernard Arnault and designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry, who was inspired by the lightness of 19th century glass and garden architecture. Located within the  fields of the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, the Fondation is the first privately funded major cultural institution in France. (LVMH managed to sidestep the usual bureaucratic objections by building the structure, complete with twelve curving glass sails, in a public park. Moreover, as part of an agreement with the city for the plot, ownership of the museum will vest in the city of Paris in 55 years).

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Retailers Sued for Withholding Employees’ Overtime Compensation

Last week’s mini-trend in fashion law was unpaid intern lawsuit. This week appears to be centered on unpaid overtime lawsuits amongst mass market retailers. Up first: J.Crew. The New York-based retailer was slapped with a punitive class action lawsuit in Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles by Andrew Duberry, who worked for J.Crew from 2010 to 2012, alleges that the company has failed to compensate him (and about 250 other California store employees) for overtime hours worked. Specifically, the brand allegedly refuses to appropriately compensate employees for overtime work and meal breaks, and has also failed to maintain accurate payroll documentation and to provide employees with itemized wage statements, in violation of the California state labor code. According to Duberry’s complaint, J.Crew “engaged in a uniform policy and systematic scheme of wage abuse against their hourly paid or nonexempt employees within the State of California and the policy of denying wages for off-the-clock work and missed meal breaks means that store employees were often not paid minimum wage.” Next up: Abercrombie & Fitch …

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Today: From Around the Web

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have proven their fashion prowess in the retail arena, hitting nearly every price point successfully. Their latest venture, the fourth collaboration in the StyleMint Studio Series is a capsule collection of accessories, called AMKxSM. – Harper’s Bazaar

Loïc Prigent, fashion’s preeminent documentarian, talks about his professional trajectory and how he approaches his métier. – BOF

Meet Somsack Sikhounmuong, the design director behind go-to denim and basics brand, Madewell – The Cut

On the heels of the Nike Women’s Summit in New York City, Lou Stoppard explores fashion’s fascination with sportswear. – i-D

And the 2014 CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge Winner is … Brooklyn-based jewelry brand K/LLER Collection. - TFS

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Retro Read: Parsons MFA Fashion Design Grad, Andrea Jiapei Li

In light of the recent announcement of the 2015 H&M Design Award semifinalists, here is a Retro Read dedicated to one of the three New York-based finalists, Andrea Jaipei Li …

Not to be overlooked in this year’s Parsons Masters of Fine Arts Fashion Design and Society program graduating class: Beijing-born Andrea Jiapei Li and her collection, I AM WHAT [I AM] (the second in a series of Parsons MFA grads we are featuring in the upcoming weeks). Along with her classmates, Li just finished up showing her collection in the Gucci building on Fifth Avenue in New York and will show during NYFW in September. Style.com reviewed the 24-year old designer’s “sculpted graduate collection”, speaking highly of “her oversize neoprene and mesh wares, each of which fused impeccable construction with forward-thinking, flirty flare and sporty wearability.” We caught up with Li, who focusing on Womenswear (printing and weaving textile design), and spoke to her about her brand, what she has learned about the business of fashion, what she is obsessed with right now and more …

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And the 2015 H&M Design Award Semi-Finalists Are …

Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M has announced its semifinalists for the 2015 Design Award. Of the 24 young designers, who hail from an array of international fashion schools, including Parsons the New School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Central Saint Martins, and the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp, among others, 8 will be selected for the next round and present their collection to a international jury panel, lead by Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative head of design for H&M, in London next month. In addition to a nearly $65,000 prize, the winner will receive a mentorship with the Swedish retailer, the opportunity to host a runway show during Stockholm Fashion Week, and the winner’s designs will be sold in select H&M stores worldwide.

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Investigation Finds “Slavery” at Mills Used by Major Fast Fashion Brands

tumblr_ndn7ovX0gh1tn4spoo1_500A handful of textile mills in the Tamil Nadu area of India have been accused of employing forced labor and have been linked to major fast fashion giants including H&M, Primark and C&A. According to “Flawed Fabrics,” a report from the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and the India Committee of the Netherlands, which was compiled “through a mixture of desk research and interviews with workers,” an array of core labor rights are being violated. Girls and young women are “being lured from their home villages [at as young as age 15] by false promises” and are working under “appalling, prison-like conditions” in which the women are often bonded. According to British Vogue, the mills are used by the retailers’ suppliers, suggesting that there is “no direct link.” However, many brands associated with the mills have announced that they plan to take action immediately. H&M, which has been using one of the mills in question thanks to one of its Bangladeshi suppliers (yes, H&M still manufactures heavily in Bangladesh), has announced it will “blacklist” the mills, thereby, prohibiting its suppliers from ordering yarn from it. More to come …

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