The announcement of Vetements' first foray into couture absolutely swept the industry this week. Interestingly, the news coincided with an article from UK-based publication, The Telegraph, in which Vetements creative director, Demna Gvasalia, denounced his own offerings for their pricey nature, saying he'd rather take a vacation than purchase his overpriced jeans or trendy DHL t-shirts.
As for what the newbie Paris-based brand's inclusion on the list of guest designers for this upcoming July's couture shows means for the industry at large is very much up for debate. It seems, however, that at least one of two things is at play. First, this is the latest in wider efforts to modernize the otherwise archaic practice of couture. Second, such modernization goes far beyond the application of more wearable hemlines and other practical considerations, like pockets and zippers. Maybe it includes an influx of some of the increasingly press-seeking ways of the modern day ready-to-wear brand. Vetements certainly does draw a crowd, after all.
Here are some of the other stories you may have missed this week ...
1. Beyonce and Topshop have come under fire for manufacturing the singer's new Ivy Park collection in sweatshops in Sri Lanka. While Beyonce's camp has released a vague statement, it has not actually denied the existence of sweatshop conditions.
2. We are firmly cemented in a new era, one that is being dominated by “the influencer.” Celebrity endorsements have long been an advertising staple in the fashion industry and beyond, and that has not changed. However, what qualifies as a "celebrity" and the way in which marketers are utilizing their selling power is changing quite rapidly.
3. Nike owns the word Waffle when it comes to clothing and footwear, or at least it does according to its latest action on the intellectual property front.
4. Just a week after Alibaba's inclusion as a member in the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, the Washington, DC-based group has has suspended its membership status. In the week since the Chinese online giant joined, at least three brands, including Gucci, Michael Kors and Tiffany & Co., rescinded their membership status as a direct result of Alibaba being admitted.
5. Counterfeits are on the rise and so too are anti-counterfeiting technologies. Here is a look at a range of tactics that fashion brands are utilizing to ward off unwanted imitators.
6. Not legally famous enough: Urban Outfitters has been handed a partial victory in the trademark battle it is fighting against the Navajo Nation after making and selling garments and accessories bearing the word “Navajo.” Judge Black has dismissed the trademark dilution claims, holding the North American tribe - the largest in the U.S. - is not so well known that is eligible for protection against trademark dilution.
7. And last but not least, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg has named Jonathan Saunders as the brand's new chief creative officer. The move is likely just one of many coming appointments, as the figureheads behind a number of New York's most successful brands begin to age out of the business and look for successors to groom.