July 24, 2014

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In Response: Lululemon Is NOT The Fashion Industry’s Biggest Patent Troll

I have to give it to BuzzFeed for doing some research, reaching out to some sources and posting an article on design patents. This form of intellectual property is not a heavily covered topic when it comes to fashion publications, and so, props for charting relatively unknown territory. However, “Lululemon Is The Fashion Industry’s Biggest Patent Troll“? Not so fast. In fact, not only is Lululemon NOT The Fashion Industry’s Biggest Patent Troll, Lululemon is not actually a patent troll at all. Yes, Lululemon has an arsenal of design patents and yes, it enforces its patent rights against infringing parties, but that does not make it a patent troll. That makes it a diligent patent holder. Please read on, it gets so much better …

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Rumor Has It: The Row’s Design Director Will Helm Hermès

The-Row-heroThe recent news that womenswear director Christophe Lemaire is leaving Hermès has resulted in the inevitable pondering of just who will fill his shoes. A somewhat surprising choice (for anyone who is not really up on the inside world of the business of fashion, that is) has come to light: Nadège Vanhee, according to WWD and Vogue UK. While most people have never heard Nadège’s name, she is arguably one of the industry’s best kept secrets as of late. Vanhee has certainly been making a name for herself in the industry, albeit a low key one. Before taking up the position of design director at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s award winning label, The Row, she did stints as senior designer at Celine under Phoebe Philo and at Maison Martin Margiela. Lemaire will show his final collection for the Paris-based design house this upcoming October as part of the Spring/Summer 2015 womenswear shows. Of Lemaire’s impending departure, Hermès CEO Axel Dumas said in a statement: ”I am very grateful to him for the passion with which he has addressed and enriched the expression of our house in women’s ready-to-wear. Under his artistic direction, the métier has renewed its aesthetic and produced very satisfactory financial results.” More to come …

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Are Design Houses Doing Enough to Protect Themselves in Light of Collabs?

Alexander Wang announced his upcoming collaboration with H&M this past April. Shortly thereafter, we learned that Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton’s reigning menswear director, would be teaming up with NYC-based DJ/artist collective, BEEN TRILL, for a Harvey Nichols capsule collection, which debuted last month during the London Collections: Men shows. The fact that the two high profile houses, Balenciaga (where Alexander Wang is creative director) and Louis Vuitton, signed off on such projects is interesting. It appears that neither house has a clause in their directors’ contracts prohibiting them from taking on such side projects, and as a result, they are permitted to team up with other brands, whether it be iconic London-based retailer, Harvey Nichols, or Swedish fast fashion giant, H&M. So, I got to thinking, would houses benefit from placing restrictions on their most coveted talent and what do they stand to lose (or gain) by allowing such partnerships?

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Posted in Business of Fashion, Featured, LAW & BUSINESS | 1 Comment

Meet the Law Student Putting Fashion Brands in Their Place

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I sat down with Racked recently to talk about the genesis of The Fashion Law, just how I track down and cover each case, how my professors feel about my site, and more. I’d like to extend a special thank you to Racked, to all of my wonderful TFL contributors, including Jennifer Williams, Dimple Manghnani, Gabriela Lorraine, and the TFL MAN, and to everyone who reads and cares about the important issues. Catch a preview of the piece below and see it in its entirety on Racked

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Gucci Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Wage and Labor Violations

Gucci has been slapped with a class action lawsuit, which alleges that the Italian design house fails to adequately compensate its employees. The complaint, which was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California in Los Angeles by Janine Oda and Gissella Velasquez, on behalf of themselves and other unnamed employees who have worked at the brand’s California retail locations, alleges that Gucci failed to pay minimum and overtime wages, and failed to provide employees with rest and meal periods, in addition to an array of other violations of the California Labor Code and the California Business and Professions Code. The two named plaintiffs, who worked at Gucci’s Beverly Hills location, claim that there are more than 75 other employees that have been subjected to Gucci’s illegal employment practices.

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Q&A With Dior Homme’s Kris Van Assche

After graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the school that trained the Antwerp Six (Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Ann Demeulemeester), Martin Margiela, Olivier Rizzo, and Willy Vanderperre, among others, Kris Van Assche moved to Paris, where he worked under Hedi Slimane on what was then Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme. Soon after, he followed the designer to Dior Homme, where they worked together closely to pioneer the slim style that became Slimane’s trademark. Slimane would stay with the house until 2007, but Van Assche left in 2004 to launch his namesake label, KRISVANASSCHE. He maintains his creative directorship of his eponymous labels but has since returned to Dior Homme, take the reins from Slimane, who now serves as creative director at Saint Laurent, in April of 2007. Known for his minimalist take on design, near-religious attention to details, and often unshakable color palette, Van Assche speaks to his travels, his favorite art, his pets and more …

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FTC Settles with Co. Issuing Fraudulent Made in USA Certifications

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 3.49.34 PMMade in the USA Brand, LLC, a non-government entity that provides a “Made in USA” certification to United States-based brands, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges, according to our friends over at Racked. The FTC, an governmental body tasked with preventing fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices, charged Made in the USA Brand with deceiving consumers by allowing companies to use the seal without independently verifying that those companies’ products were actually made in the United States. The Columbus, Ohio-based brand’s business involved charging companies to use its certification mark and to be listed in a database of “certified” companies that comply with the FTC’s standard, which requires that products advertised or labeled as “Made in the USA” must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States. In fact, the FTC charged that Made in the USA Brand has never rejected a company’s application to use its Certification Mark or terminated a company’s use of the mark. Instead, Made in the USA Brand, LLC awarded licenses to any company that self-certified that it was complying with the FTC’s standard. The two parties agreed to settle the claims today, according to a FTC release.

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Meet Floriane de Saint Pierre, Fashion’s Favorite Matchmaker

With Christophe Lemaire on his way out at Hermès and several other coveted positions opening up at other houses thanks to the most recent round of fashion musical chairs, it is time to meet Floriane de Saint Pierre. W magazine called her the “Paris matchmaker”. The Gentlewomen referred to her as “the recruitment mogul of the fashion industry.” The Telegraph: “The woman fashion houses turn to when they’re searching for a star designer or executive.” While you may not know her name, you know her work; de Saint Pierre placed Christopher Bailey at Burberry, Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, and Christophe Lemaire at Lacoste, where he spent a decade before landing at Hermès. That’s not all. She is responsible for Alber Elbaz at Guy Laroche, Narciso Rodriguez at Calvin Klein, and Italo Zucchelli as the menswear design director of the same label. K-Hole (the trend forecasting group behind the normcore movement) sat down with de Saint Pierre recently to discuss why creative leaders are the next CEOs. Here is what she had to say …

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image courtesy of BOF

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