October 21, 2014

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Today: From Around the Web

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French brand Sezane has teamed up with Madewell for a collab that hits the web and select stores today. Sezane apparently enjoys a “cult-following” over in France, and Madewell will be the first place to stock the line in the U.S. – Racked

Here is a rare insight into the story and business model behind Inditex, the owner of Zara, and its founder Amancio Ortega, the third richest man in the world. – Telegraph

Ann Demeulemeester recently launched her epic new book charting her collections (pictured above) from 1989 until her retirement in 2013. Patti Smith performed with PJ Harvey as Ann spoke about her newfound freedom. – i-D

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s latest exhibit, “Death Becomes Her,” opens today and focuses on mourning fashion from 1815 to 1915. – The Cut

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Oscar de la Renta Dies at 82

Just days after the announcement that Peter Coppings would come on board as creative director at Oscar de la Renta, one of the world most prestigious fashion houses, the legendary New York-based designer has passed away. ABC News is reporting the fashion designer has died at age 82, a report that has been confirmed by a family member. De la Renta, who hit his 50th year in fashion in 2013, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta apprenticed with Spanish master, Cristobal Balenciaga before moving to Paris to work at Lanvin, where he joined Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant. In 1963, he moved to New York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden, and two years later, launched his eponymous label, which has since evolved into a $600 million-a-year business, known for its ornate embroidery, sumptuous fur, cheerful florals, and hint of the exotic.

From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, Oscar de la Renta served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the trade organization recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Mr. de la Renta has dressed first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and most recently Michelle Obama. He also quite famously welcomed disgraced designer John Galliano into his studio during the Spring of 2013. He is a true fashion legend, who will be greatly missed in the fashion industry in the Unites States and internationally.

Oscar de la Renta at his fashion show at Neiman Marcus-  Chevy C

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Marc Jacobs is Being Sued by a Former Intern

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This morning we told you that Oscar de la Renta is the most recent design house to be slapped with a wage and labor lawsuit by a former intern, and now we can add Marc Jacobs to that list. The New York-based company, which consists of the Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs brands, has been named in a lawsuit, filed by last week in  the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York by Linney Warren, for failing to pay its interns. In her suit, Warren, who was an intern for the Jacobs from April to June 2009, claims that the company has been purposely misclassifying entry level employees as interns “pursuant to a corporate policy or practice of minimizing labor costs by denying the named plaintiff and the putative class compensation.”

In her complaint, Warren, who is currently employed as an assistant designer for Banana Republic, claims she often worked 70-hour weeks transporting raw materials between various studios, organizing fabrics, correcting patterns, sewing and fetching coffee. She also claims that she didn’t walk away from the internship with any academic or vocational training. Since her internship, she has gone on to serve as a freelance accessories designer for J. Crew and an associate designer for the Jones Group, which until relatively recently owned the Stuart Weitzman and Rachel Roy brands. In addition to an array of damages, Warren has asked the court to certify a class action lawsuit, allowing other Marc Jacobs interns (from as far back as 2009) to join in the litigation. Much like the pending Donna Karan and Oscar de la Renta lawsuits, Warren is being represented by Virginia & Ambinder LLP and Leeds Brown Law PC.

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Vivienne Westwood and Memoir are at the Center of Legal Controversy

Last week, English designer Vivienne Westwood took the stage at a Guardian Live event to share her thoughts on the state of fashion. Known for her modern punk and new wave designs, Westwood is no stranger to controversy, and Wednesday evening’s message was nothing if not against the status quo. While other brands are racing to design more or more collections and get their wares to stores in accordance with a rapid timetable, Westwood is urging consumers to shop less. She told the crowd: “Clothes should cost a lot more than they do,” which is something we have heard her say before, along with the sentiments that we should be buying less but buying better and that high end clothing should be expensive. And Dame Westwood didn’t stop there. She also took on the topic of emerging talent in design, specifically the modern day fashion student, saying: “There are a lot of people who are there just because that is what they want to be [fashion designers]. You can do anything and you can be what you want – that’s what fashion schools teach and it’s wrong.”

georgia may jagger for vivienne westwood jewellery

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Oscar de la Renta Slapped with Unpaid Internship Lawsuit

Oscar de la Renta is the latest design house to be slapped with an unpaid internship lawsuit. The New York-based house is named in a proposed class action lawsuit by lead plaintiff Monica Ramirez, an intern who worked for the brand between January and April 2009. According to Ramirez’s suit, which was filed in the Supreme Court of New York state last month, she, along with others, was improperly classified as an intern, when, in actuality, she was performing entry-level labor without compensation. These tasks included making jewelry, ordering coffee and food for supervisors, delivering fabric and accessories to vendors and dressing models for fashion shows. She claims Oscar de la Renta violated state labor and wage laws.

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Today: From Around the Web

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Brand owners in the UK will for the first time have the power to order internet service providers to block websites selling counterfeit goods, following a ruling in Cartier, Chloe and Alaia’s parent company, Richemont’s favor at the English High Court today. – TBO

Next May, a Cannes Fashion Festival—yes, fashion—will be held May 20 to 22 during the film festival. – Style.com

French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, whose name and legacy have been synonymous with Parisian chic for more than 50 years, says fashion has become “vulgar.” – Global Post 

Rick Owens and the dark art of creativity: “I could just burn the whole fucking place down.” – The Independent

Mulberry, which has been without a creative director since the departure of Emma Hill, is said to be shopping around. Johnny Coca, Céline’s head design director for leather goods, accessories, shoes, and jewelry,  reportedly is the top contender. – The Cut

Apple Watch’s fashion-first design may soon have a competitor in the form of one of the world’s most prestigious fashion brands. Luxury conglomerate LVMH is reportedly in talks to start a partnership with a technology company and enter the smart watch game. – WSJ

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The Week in Review

Dominating the fashion industry (and Twitter) this week was the launch of the Alexander Wang x H&M lookbook and the corresponding runway show, which took place at the Fort Washington Avenue Armory. Not unlike the Swedish fast fashion giant’s previous launch parties (think: Versace, Margiela, and Lanvin, just to name a few), Wang’s launch was a over the top affair, and judging by the big-name models that walked in the show (Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Natasha Poly and more), no expense was spared. Having said this, we will be interested to see on November 9th, if the sales of the collection match up the the hype of the evening, as such collaborations have been known to crash and burn (in terms of sales) in the past. Here are the other stories you may have missed this week …

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UPDATE: Chanel vs. What About Yves

The Fashion Law Exclusive – Earlier this week, we broke the news that Chanel filed suit against “parody” tee brand, What About Yves, stemming from a design bearing the Paris-based design house’s trademarked logo. Since then, founder Jeanine Heller has responded with a comment on the pending litigation. Heller claims that Chanel has withdrawn the lawsuit due to misfiling. She told us exclusively in an email: “I sold my majority stake [in What About Yves] this past year, but do still hold ownership within the brand.  I personally have never done business as ‘WAY.’ It is a DE Corp and Chanel must pursue legal complaints against the Corporation and not an Owner or Officer.” However, according to the Southern District of New York’s records, the case is, in fact, still pending and no motion to dismiss for any reason has been filed on behalf of Heller.

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