April 24, 2014

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Designer Rachel Roy is Suing The Jones Group

NYC-based designer Rachel Roy has slapped the Jones Group with a $20 million lawsuit for “ruining” her eponymous womenswear label. The Jones Group, which was recently acquired by private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, bought 50% of Roy’s brand in 2008, but cut ties with the designer last month. According to Roy’s complaint, the Jones Group was “working to eviscerate her brand by abruptly shutting down its operations, firing personnel that run the business, and stonewalling all efforts by Ms. Roy to continue to conduct business.” While Roy maintained creative control of her namesake brand for the duration of her venture with Jones, she claims that Jones conducted business behind her back.

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We’re Watching: Model Files I Model Rehab

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Libertine Responds to Similarly-Named Brand

Ever the crafty and creative designer, Johnson Hartig, the creative force behind Los Angeles-based brand, Libertine, known for its colorful wares, mixed prints, and bold graphics (all of which are hand screen printed – a technique Libertine pioneered when they launched in the early 2000′s) has issued a response to a very similarly named Danish brand that has subsequently come onto the scene. Hartig launched Libertine in 2001 and has since made a name for his menswear and womenswear brand, showing at New York Fashion Week, stocking at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Maxfield in Los Angeles, Colette in Paris, and Isetan in Tokyo – among other coveted stockists around the world, collaborating with major industry forces, and attracting the attention of an array of leading publications, as well as die hard fans that include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Heidi Klum, and Karl Lagerfeld (who bought Hartig’s entire collaboration collection with Goyard) – just to name a few.

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The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund Nominees Are …

Christopher Shannon, Menswear, Fall Winter, 2014, LondonChristopher Raeburn, Christopher Shannon (left), E. Tautz, Lou Dalton and Richard Nicoll are in the running for this year’s British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Menswear Fund. The winner, who will be selected  in June, will receive 12 months of mentoring and a $200k grant. To qualify for the prize, designers must have been trading with stockists in the U.K. and internationally for at least three years. The five brands on the shortlist will take part in a two-month mentoring scheme to develop their business plans before presenting them to the judging panel. According to Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council: “After reviewing their business plans, it was clear each of these designers are at an accomplished stage of their business and will really benefit from the mentoring sessions. GQ Editor and chair of London Collections: Men Dylan Jones, echoed this point, saying: ”The shortlisted designers are testament to the extraordinary array of talent in the menswear industry in Britain right now.” More to come …

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Interview Series: Benjamin Lafaille

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Some sources of inspiration are a bit more discernible than others, and Montreal-based brand Lafaille certainly falls into the former camp for Fall/Winter 2014. Benjamin Lafaille, the designer behind emerging label, Lafaille, took on the internet with his debut collection entitled, “Down the Web-it Hole.” We caught up with the designer, who spoke about his brand’s young clientele, the deep web, what website he’s obsessed with right now and more …

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Is Pharrell’s “Happy” Video a Bit Too Similar?

No doubt you’ve heard of a little tune called “Happy” by Pharrell. It’s also likely that you’ve seen the musician and designer in the now famous over-sized hat. What you may not have seen is the “world’s longest music video” project featuring Pharrell and others dancing for 24 hours to “Happy”.  Whether the concept sounds like a good way to spend an entire day or not, there’s no denying that it has garnered a lot of attention, including that of dancer and actress Anne Marsen, who starred in a 75-minute dance film called “Girl Walk // All Day”. The 2011 project, which was released by Wild Combination, follows Marsen and two others as they dance around New York City to Girl Talk’s “All Day” album. The two music videos undeniably share a similar concept – spontaneous-looking dancing for a long period of time – but as Marsen pointed out with a short video (see it after the break below), they share more than just that. There haven’t been any whispers of a lawsuit thus far, so ours is purely a hypothetical question: are there any potential legal claims against Pharrell and company?

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Veronika Heilbrunner & Justin O’Shea: Dressing for Men vs. Women

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by Chioma Nnadi

Justin O’Shea and Veronika Heilbrunner, the much sought-after street style couple behind luxury e-boutique mytheresa.com, weigh in on fashion for him and for her …

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Opening Ceremony Just Sold Minority Stake in its Co.

Xiao Wen Ju - Adidas Originals x Opening Ceremony Fall 2012 - 4NYC-based retailer, Opening Ceremony has landed some funding. Former David Yurman and Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk’s latest venture, Front Row Partners (which has been backed by $350 million from Berkshire Partners), has taken a minority stake in OC, as the firm looks to invest in “businesses that are original, highly differentiated, and authentic.” Opening Ceremony’s co-founders, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (who also serve as the creative directors of Paris-based house, KENZO), will maintain control of the company, with Senk acting as non-executive chairman. The retailer, which also boasts an in-house line, confirmed plans to open more stores (in addition to its NYC, LA and Tokyo locations) and enhance its e-commerce presence. No word yet on what other brands Front Row is looking into, but it certainly represents a growing trend of new firms investing in fashion brands. The Dock Group, the Los Angeles-based firm that invested in Creatures of the Wild, is on this list, as well.

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