Check out The Great Gatsby’s Costume Director, Catherine Martin’s take on the collaboration with Miuccia Prada for the upcoming film!
As the death toll mounted from the building collapse at Rana Plaza in Savar, the outcry locally and around the world got louder on Thursday.
Bangladesh faces turmoil as yet another garment factory disaster takes the lives hundreds of young girls and women, according to WWD and the NYTimes. This Thursday, the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh, a suburb of the nation’s capital, Dhaka, taking the lives of about 300 workers, one of the highest death tolls from a garment factory disaster, and one that is expected to keep rising. The building housed 5 garment factories, and what sources are saying 3,000 employees.
This disaster comes after a series of fires that have killed factory workers (which are predominantly young girls and women), including the Tazreen factory fire in Dhaka last November, which took the lives of 112 garment workers, many of them young children.
The US fashion industry heavily relies on foreign manufactures, and many popular high-end brands goods are manufactured in these Bangladesh factories. Among the labels found at the disaster site were Joe Fresh , Primark, and Mango labels (WWD).
According to CBSNews, “Garment manufacturing is a crucial component to the country’s economy: More than 4,000 garment factories generate 80 percent of Bangladesh’s exports, worth about $20 billion per year. The nation is among the biggest exporter of garments in the world, with most going to the United States and Europe.”
Wal-mart has made statements to the press about its concerns and potential business decision to cease using facilities like in Bangladesh in places that have poor working conditions, low compliance regulations, and severely lacking fire hazard safety protections.
Workers say they want the factory owners to be imprisoned or they will go on strike. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for the arrests of the owner of Rana Plaza, as well as the owners of 4 garment factories on the upper floors. Pressure is also being put on the Western clothing brands that rely on Bangladesh factories to manufacture their big labels.
Sparked by Thursday’s disaster, angry Bangladesh citizens took to the streets to protest these disasters. The protest continued into Saturday, with thousands of garment workers smashing cars with bamboo poles and setting fire to at least two garment factories.
The NYtimes called this disaster the “the deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry.” The United States has suffered similar disasters in the early 20th century, as with the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, that took the lives of 146 garment workers. Since then, labor unions, compliance laws, fire and hazard regulations have developed in the US to protect American factory workers. But because of the increased costs of producing at home due to these developments, many companies take the cheaper route by manufacturing their goods in factories abroad. The consequence: human rights disasters, fires, and rising death tolls. With US and European companies exposed to these issues and with the whole world and their consumers watching, the dictating question for these fashion companies to answer is at what price are they willing to pay to produce a cheap shirt?
When: April 24, 2013, 7pm-8:30pm
Reception to follow: (pasta bar, ice-cream bar, and warm cookie station!)
Price?: FREE if you’re an enrolled law student (please bring ID)
RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all models - the Model Alliance hosts its next workshop with advisory board member Coco Rocha at Columbia Law School this Wednesday.
Jury selection began today in Katherine Jackson’s $40 billion wrongful death suit against concert promoter AEG Live. The suit alleges that AEG Live was negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to oversee Michael Jackson’s medical care. Jackson’s attorneys allege that in hiring Murray, AEG Live “gave little consideration to red flags showing that the doctor was in debt and was not a board-certified cardiologist.” AEG Live’s attorney, Marvin Putnam, argues that AEG Live never hired Dr. Murray, that Dr. Murray had treated Michael Jackson in the past, and that Michael Jackson had a drug problem. “Putnam maintained that a proposed contract between Murray and AEG Live was never executed before Jackson’s death.” The trial is expected to take anywhere from 30-90 days. After determining which jurors will be able to participate for the duration of the trial, lawyers will have potential juror candidates answer a 24-page questionnaire to identify potential biases before selecting the final 12 jurors.
Click here to read the full story.
Benson and Stabler aren’t going to be happy about this one!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood colorist and ex-staffer on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Charlotte Grau, is suing NBC Universal, Universal Studios, and many named executives claiming that she was fired after complaining about sex discrimination and and taking time off to get treatment for breast cancer. Grau alleges that “she was routinely mistreated by NBCU employees, paid less in overtime than male colleagues, told that her work was inferior and physically assaulted by a male superior.” She is seeking $5 million in damages.
Click here to read the full complaint.
A federal judge has issued a wide-spanning injunction over “Khroma”, the Kardashians’ line of cosmetic products, after finding that the “Khroma” brand was likely to infringe the trademark rights of Lee Tillett’s ”Kroma” line of cosmetics.
In issuing her ruling, the judge found that “there’s similarity in the marks in that they ‘sound identical’ and ‘appear nearly identical’ and that “there’s a relatedness of the goods in that the “parties both sell cosmetics, and in fact, some of their products are identical, such as blush, compacts, gloss, lip kits, foundation, eye shadow, and bronzer.”
Tillett has agreed to allow stores to sell through their current Khroma products. However, unless Boldface, the company licensing the Kardashians’ names and likenesses, can convince the Ninth Circuit to stay and reverse its ruling, Khroma could be pulled from 5,321 stores in 48 states, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. Conversely, if the injunction were not granted, the judge was convinced that Tillett’s business would be destroyed. Unfortunately for Boldface and the Kardashian Krew, Tillett has superior trademark rights and thus, “the balance of hardships tips sharply in Tillett’s favor.”
Click here for the full story.
Spanx and Yummie Tummie are fighting it out in the courtroom, in what WWD calls the “Battle of the Shapewear Pioneers.”
Heather Thomson, president of Times Three Clothier LLC and creator of the Yummie Tummie lifestyle brand, claims Sara Blakely, founder and owner of Spanx Inc., knocked off several of her patented control tops. Thomson contacted Blakely in January with a cease and desist letter, alleging patent infringement. Spanx requested an extension to do its own due diligence, and then denied any infringement on their part in February. On March 5th, Spanx filed a declaratory judgment in the Northern District Court of Georgia, seeking a declaration that its Total Taming Tank, Top This Tank and Top This Cami “have not infringed and do not infringe any valid claim of the patents-in-suit.”
When asked for comments on the case, Spanx issued the following statement: “Spanx was making shaping camisoles long before Yummie Tummie. We have no further comment. The papers filed in court provide our position at this time.” Thomson, on the other hand, is more vocal about the suit: “I hope she’s ready for war because I will not lie down.”
Heather Thomson, from the cast of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City, is a former stylist for Sean John, Sweetface and House of Deréon. Sara Blakely is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire and was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.
According to the Huffington Post, Frank Ocean is being sued by Producer Micah Otano. Otano is claiming production credit for “Lost,” the fourth single off of Ocean’s 2013 Grammy winning album, “Channel ORANGE.” Otano’s complaint alleges that he wrote a song called “Daylight” with another producer known as Malay. He then claims that Malay adapted the song into “Lost” and took sole credit for its production. Stay tuned to see what happens!
But in the meantime, here’s a link for the song at the center of the controversy. Enjoy!
The Department of Homeland Security has taken a new, creative angle on fighting counterfeits, and has launched their own counterfeit website. DesignsFauxReal.com purports to sell fake luxury goods - but it’s actually a fake (counterfeit site) itself.
Designed by ad agency KraftWorks for some of the big players in the anti-counterfeiting game - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) - the website works as a way to redirect potential purchasers away from actual counterfeit sites. The site “is completely fake and made to both scare and amuse people,” says Neil Kraft of KraftWorks. Kraft bought up Google ad keywords, a move commonly made by actual counterfeiters to divert traffic away from legitimate e-commerce sites, so when a consumer types “fake [brand name] handbags” into the search engine, DesignsFauxReal.com should show up. Additionally, when brands succeed in lawsuits brought against counterfeit sites, domains seized by the court may redirect to DesignsFauxReal.com (at least that’s the idea).
DesignsFauxReal.com is certainly worth checking out - Banners scrolling across the top of the website read “Clearance On Your Bank Account,” “Free Identity Theft With Every Purchase,” and “Complimentary Credit Card Debt”; product descriptions address what you really get when purchasing counterfeits, “Look! Temporarily attached fake logos and unlikely to be leather trim!” and “Special Item - Now comes with free destroyed credit rating.” My personal favorite is a listing for a Lacoste shirt: “Look! Low quality counterfeit product. On closer inspection, alligator may resemble a tadpole.”
While the project may seem to exaggerate all that comes with buying a fake bag or pair of shoes, it’s message is not to be taken lightly. Counterfeiting, especially that of luxury goods, is often viewed as a victimless crime, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Big fashion companies can afford to lose a few dollars in lost sales here and there, so no harm is done, right? Not exactly…
Brands are not the only victims of counterfeiting (a multiBILLION dollar industry, by the way). Significant risks are posed to consumers that purchase counterfeits, including credit card fraud and identity theft. Additionally, counterfeit goods are not subject to safety standards or testing and can consequentially pose significant health risks (better think again about spraying that counterfeit perfume on your skin). Governments, both local and federal, are deprived of tax revenues from the sale of counterfeit goods, and they expend substantial sums of money fighting fakes. Further, human rights violations, child and slave labor are often part of the counterfeit production process, and revenues stemming from counterfeit sales have been conclusively linked to the funding of organized crime and terrorist groups. Often unrealized, these are the realities of the counterfeiting business and have every reason to be taken seriously.
Publicly acknowledging the dangerous realities of counterfeits through projects like DesignsFauxReal.com will hopefully drive down consumer demand for counterfeits by drawing attention to all that comes with that “good deal” you get when you buy a fake. It should be noted, though, that even if consumers do change their behavior and don’t buy products that are outright labeled as “fakes” or “replicas,” many may still be duped into purchasing counterfeits, especially those sold over the Internet. Counterfeiters are becoming increasingly more precise in imitating brand websites, and counterfeit “rogue” sites often look identical to the real things. Consumers may truly believe they are purchasing authentic goods, especially if the counterfeit site purports to be the brand’s real website and uses the brand’s own images of genuine merchandise. These sites can be such close imitations that consumers are understandably confused to think they’re buying real goods. When a low-quality handbag shows up at their door (if it is shipped at all), brand reputations are undeniably damaged.
The counterfeiting problem certainly isn’t getting any easier to manage, especially with improvements in technology. In conjunction with the efforts currently made by brands and the government, though, maybe campaigns like DesignsFauxReal.com will finally slow down the game of “whac-a-mole” that is the battle of rogue websites.