Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Forever 21 Suppliers are accused of Labor Law Violations

Just-Style.com reports that Forever 21 (XXI) suppliers are accused of maintaining sweatshop-like conditions. Just recently, the Department of Labor said it recently found evidence of significant violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions by vendors in southern California supplying goods to XXI, more specifically in the Los Angeles and Orange county locations.
While the The FLSA requires workers to be paid a minimum wage of $7.25, plus time and one-half thier regular commissions, the  Dept. of Labor also said that since 2008, its Los Angeles offices have carried out more than 1500 investigations and found that XXI violated about 93% of them.

Refusing to comply with a subpoena to provide back-up documents, steps are now being taken to force the retailer to comply.

More of the story at Just-style.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

Duro Olowu Collaborates with J.C. Penny for Spring '13

J.C. Penny has made many changes, from the corporate office all the way down to the store aisles. JCP is now hosted by a new CEO and spokesperson, added new miniature store collections inside of its main stores, and revamped its sale system. But the latest and greatest change is the collection addition from the Mix Print Monster Duro Olowu (this news was so good, J.C.P had to tweet about it).

Nigerian-born and London raised fashion designer Duro Olowu will be featured as a limited edition designer at J.C. Penny's come March 2013. Known as the "Mix Print Monster" and a designer favorite among celebrities and dignitaries such as Michelle Obama, Duro Olowu's wonderful prints will now be at J.C. Penny for less.

Much like Target, Kohl's, and Macy's, who all feature high designer fashion for less (Jason Wu, Missoni, Prabal Gurun; Narcisco Rodriguez, Derek Lam; and Giambattista Valli, Karl Lagerfeld respectively), the Duro Olowu collection at J.C.P. will be the same. In fact, theme for the collection is "everything under $100." 

Oluwo told InStyle.com, " This collection is for anyone, from 18 to 80... Everything has a flattering element, whether you mix prints or pull out one piece and keep it simple. I've always tried to give a woman a sense of inner beauty with joy, and now it's just the right time to make that more democratic."

All photos courtesy of InStyle.com

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beyonce and Jay Z lose Trademark battle for "Blu Ivy"

It is no secret that Jay Z and Beyonce have a unique name for their first born baby girl Blu Ivy. After their baby girl was born in 2012, Beyonce and Jay Z filed an "intent to use" for the name "Blue Ivy" because they planned to use the name for a baby and children's clothing line. The name is very catchy and already quite a few people have sought after the name for commercial use. Moreover, literally two days after Blue Ivy was born, a fashion designer named Joseph Mbeh tried to trademark "Blue Ivy Carter NYC" for infant clothing use; and a little more than a week later, a New York clothier called CBH by Benton tried to trademark "Blue Ivy Carter Glory IV" for perfume use, reported Dan Nabel, Esq. for Thomson Reuters News & Insight.

However, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected both of the "copycat" applications in about two weeks. If you were wondering, the USPTO is the place to go and register for official patents and trademarks. The process for accepting and rejecting trademarks applications usually takes longer than two weeks but this was clearly a case of celebrity exploitation (or maybe a huge Jay and B fan exists within the office) so the USPTO did not waste any time.  

Ok so Beyonce and Jay Z filed at the USPTO but their claim to the name for and intent to use it is not official. There are two "Blue Ivy" trademark users beyond the music moguls' claim. The first is Blue Ivy, a women's retail store in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, which filed its registration for Blue Ivy in January 2011-before Beyonce was even pregnant.

The second is Blue Ivy, a Boston based events planning company. The owner, Veronica Alexander, did not file for a trademark application until February 2012 but has been commercially using the name since 2009 (an important point that Fashion Legallaire will discuss at the end).  After hearing the widespread news of Beyonce and Jay Z's petition for their intent to use the name, Alexander filed for a trademark application with the USPTO in order to protect her event planning business name and entity. Alexander told the Boston Herald that she needed to protect what she had been living on. In turn, the USPTO granted Alexander an official trademark for Blue Ivy and sent a suspended letter to Beyonce and Jay Z for her Alexander's trademarks.

What does this mean? As a trademark owner Alexander has the right to use the name "Blue Ivy" for advertising, business management and administration, and planning and entertainment purposes. On the other hand Beyonce and Jay Z will not be able to use the name in any way but to call out their daughter's name, at least for now. Trademarks do have life spans and if one does not extend or refile, he or she can lose the mark protection.

Fashion Legllaire's Assesment: As mentioned before, I will explain the difference between a trademark application for an  "intent to use" verses a "use in commerce" application. The former is what Beyonce and Jay-Z filed with the USPTO and the latter is what Alexander likely filed since she was commercially using the name before actually registering it as a trademark.

  • When one files an "intent to use" application, the applicant is essentially telling the USPTO that although he or she has not started using the mark, he or she intends to use it at some time in the future. If accepted, the applicant has six months to file an "allegation of use" aka the applicant has begun using the mark. This type of application can be extended for up to three years. Essentially an "intent to use" cannot stop anyone from using the mark but it can discourage others from using it. 

  • When one files a "use in commerce" application, it means that the applicant is already using the mark in commerce and is seeking protection. 
A fashion lawyer will conduct a diligent search to make sure that the fashion company's proposed mark (name or symbol) is not already in similar use. Also, a fashion lawyer will stay on top of the life span of the mark making sure to refile and file for extensions. Lastly, a fashion lawyer will play watch-dog to make sure that no one is illegally using the mark as his own for commercial exploitation for this may lead to legal issues such as trademark infringement and dilution. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Paris Prosecutor Examines Hermes Complaint against LVMH

The Paris Prosecutor's office has opened a preliminary inquiry into a complaint by Hermes International concerning LVMH acquisition. This will decide whether the prosecutor drops the case or hands it over to an investigating judge.  But next let's talk about the nature of the complaint.

Back in 2010 French Billionaire Bernard Arnault of the Moet Hennessy  Louis Vuitton  (LVMH) brand led LVMH to merge with the Hermes International brand and bought 17 % stake of shares becoming a stakeholder. Today, that number has grown to 22 % stake of shares.

Fearful of a takeover by LVMH, Herme's complaint alleges that Arnault's moves were the product of insider trading, collusion, and price manipulation. In order to avert the threat of a takeover, the Hermes family created a new holding company controlling 52 shares. However, Arnault continued to buy shares. As a result, this July, Hermes filed complaint. Moreover, in response to the complaint, LVMH company representative said "LVMH has no intention of launching a tender offer, taking control of Hermes or seeking board representation."    

In response, LVMH has filed a counter complaint  alleging slander, blackmail, and unfair competition.

Fashion Legallaire's Assessment: LVMH is known for brand takeovers from Donna Karan International to Glenmorangie Plc., and  Hermes fears that he could be one day bought out acquisition style if Arnault continues to buy shares.

U.S. Border Patrol Seizes Exotic Animal Skins and Wallets

Center of Border Protection
The Center of Border Protection (CBP) recently seized about 500 exotic animal skins and wallets at the Saint Theresa Port in New Mexico. Reports made by Port Director Joanne Thale-Lambo claimed that the incident was a "clear case of someone trying to circumvent the laws intended to protect wildlife."

On a late Thursday night on October 4, 2012, the driver of the vehicle made a negative declaration of any items in his truck at the border and managed to clear pass two security inspections. However, as Thale-Lambo reports, the truck was examined again and CBP officers recovered 332 python skins, six python skin wallets and five armadillo skin wallets- a $500 penalty for failure to declare. Immediately, the skins were turned over to the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fashion Legallaire's Assessment: A fashion lawyer must stay abreast with laws regarding imports and exports. For example, what products are legal or illegal for the commercial market.

More of the story at www.cpb.gov.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week 2012

This Just in: Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) tops the list as the most fashionable brand worth about $25.9 Billion. Hermes was second on the list. LVMH sells fine and luxurious apparel, handbags and leather goods, wines and spirits, perfumes, and cosmetics.

At Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton pleasantly surprises with bright colors, iconic LV squares, suits, dresses, and a plane single flower print. Here are Fashion Legallaire's favorite looks below.

Source: www.Wmagazine.com

(No Yves) St. Laurent, Paris Fashion Week 2012

Hedi Slimane is the new creative director for St. Laurent and he made his big debut at Paris Fashion Week 2012. He is behind the name change of the formerly known YSL and his direction for the brand is to embody ready to wear fashions. Despite the confirmed drama that Cathy Horyn, New York Times writer, was not invited, the show, as they say, "went on." However, I do not want to leave you into the dark if interested in this tidbit so here is what Cathy Horyn had to say:
I was not invited. Despite positive reviews of his early YSL and Dior collections, as well as a profile, Mr. Slimane objected bitterly to a review I wrote in 2004 — not about him but Raf Simons. Essentially I wrote that without Mr. Simons’s template of slim tailoring and street casting, there would not have been a Hedi Slimane — just as there would never have been a Raf Simons without Helmut Lang. Fashion develops a bit like a genetic line.
                                                                                                                       - NY Magazine

According to this collection, whom ever said mixing brown and black was a fashion no-no is a fashion liar. Nevertheless, here are Future Legallaire's favorite looks.

Source: www.Wmagazine.com

Alexander McQueen at Paris Fashion Week 2012

This collection had a sense of antiquated nobility, Dorthy Dandridge-esque (what came to mind), rich colors of gold, red, orange hues, and black. Honestly, could have passed on a few items but here are Fashion Legallaire's favorite looks out of the bunch.

This Reminds me of Dorthy Dandridge,
Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren

This does too!

love the see-through lace pull
on the sleeves and the bust

Source: www.Wmagazine.com