URBAN LEGALITY

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Drug Raid on L.A. Fashion District

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On September 10, 2014 federal agents seized $65 million worth of cash in a Los Angeles drug raid of dozens of businesses, such as QT Fashion, a clothing wholesaler that specialized in maternity clothing and Marie Ferre, in the Fashion District. This money included $140,000 of ransom money that was paid to secure the release of an American citizen, “Victim A” (whose name has not been released to the public) and drug distributor who was kidnapped, shot, electrocuted, and waterboarded while being held hostage by a Mexican cartel. The money had been paid by the hostage’s family members and friends to release him.  Victim A was originally kidnapped because U.S. Agents had intercepted 100 kilograms of cocaine that he had been responsible for selling.

L.A. has become a hub of drug laundering. The increased money laundering is believed to have started in 2010 when the Mexican government limited the size of US currency deposits at Mexican banks. This is all part of the Black Market Peso Exchange, which is a system where businesses help launder drug money for international cartels. The whole process of laundering is based on never physically moving any cash; rather there are two companies, one in U.S., and one in Mexico who work together to get what they want and “clean the money.” For example, one retailer, Q. T. Fashion Inc., accepted $140,000 cash, and then in return sent clothing to a retail business in Mexico.  

The Peso Exchange predominantly occurs in fashion businesses because there is a high turnover of products. The raid resulted in multiple arrests of multiple businesses all accused of laundering money. If the arrestees are found guilty they could face up to 30 years in prison.

~JW

A Recap of NYFW

Between Ralph Lauren’s 4D show that was projected on the water in central park, Opening Ceremony’s play, and a man walking at Misha Nanoo wearing one of her dresses and carrying and iced latte, NYFW was certainly full of surprises. Bellow are some of the notable moments; as well as my, and Jaimie Wolman’s, favorites. 

Notable Moments:

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Dustin Yellin, a Brooklyn based artist, walking at Misha Nanoo Spring 2015 collection

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Britney Spears launched her lingerie line “Yours truly, Britney.”

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Kendall Jenner solidified her model status by walking in four runway shows including Diane von Furstenberg above. 

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The Blond Salad’s Chiara Ferragani celebrated her blog’s fifth anniversary. 

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Naomi Campbell walked DVF.

My Favorites:

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Carolina Herrera 

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Oscar de la Renta

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BCBG Max Azria

Jaimie’s Picks:

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Diane von Furstenberg

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Kate Spade

Michael Kors 

~OE

Roberto Cavalli is Sued by Street Artists

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Photo via Reyes78

What used to be an underground scene, graffiti art is now becoming a lucrative mainstream career. Museums and galleries are beginning to exhibit graffiti art, and artists like Banksy are earning thousands of dollars per piece.

California Graffiti artists, Jason Williams, Victor Chapa, and Jeffrey Rubin (who actually go by Revok, Reyes and Steel, respectively), have initiated a suit in August against the Cavalli brand claiming copyright infringement and violations of the Lanham (Trademark) Act. The artists claim that major fashion brand, Cavalli, has copied their original work in Cavalli’s March “Just Cavalli” Collection

The artists’’ work in question is located in San Franscisco’s mission district.

According to the suit filed in August, “sometimes, Cavalli added what appears to be a signature, creating the false impression that Roberto Cavalli himself was the artist.” The lawsuit also added, “much of the work misappropriated by the Cavalli Defendants were Plaintiff’s stylized signatures from the Mural (literally, their names) — giving new meaning to the idea of appropriating an artist’s signature style.”

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Photo via Style Bop

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Photo via Wantering

It is not common practice for graffiti artists to use intellectual property as a means to protect their work, but with fellow graffiti artists filing law suits against the movie The Zero Theorem and singer Sara Bareilles, it seems more artists are looking at the law as a means to claim and protect their work in the legal world. 

~OE

Exclusive Barney’s New York and Deborah Lippman Collaboration Announced!

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In the midst of New York Fashion Week, Deborah Lippman has announced the launch of an exclusive collection for Barneys New York, an upscale retailer. The new line, sporting a white top instead of the signature black, will be a permanent collection for Barneys. The luxe polish line will consist of 12 new shades, all inspired by Lipmman envision of the typical Barney’s consumer. Among the 12-shade collection is an ultra-luxe, very special shade called “Gold Digger,” which is made with 24-karat gold flecks and will be priced at $50.00 per bottle. The other 11-shades will cost $24.00, which is the normal price for Lippman’s polishes.  

The collaboration is in honor of Deborah Lippman’s 15th year anniversary and will be one of several offerings that will be released this year. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Lippman’s exclusive nail collaboration with Sephora. 

~JW

Sources: http://www.beautyalmanac.com/article/Deborah-Lippmann-the-Barneys-New-York-Collection/2040

Cat-astrophic Revelations

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            Sanrio, the Japanese company and owner of Hello Kitty announced that the cartoon character is not a cat rather she is and always has been a little girl named Kitty White. While fans reeled in the shock of this announcement, Sanrio’s marketing team shared the entire back-story for the newly gendered cartoon character. Kitty White, a little girl, lives in London with her parents, twin, and pet Charmmy White. The character is a perpetual third grader, making her the only 40-year-old third grader. Sanrio has been very firm in it’s confirmation that Hello Kitty is not a cat and as evidence of this they have pointed to the fact that the character has never been depicted on all fours.

          Sanrio’s big revelation comes just in time for Hello Kitty’s 40-year anniversary. The company is trying to show the world that it doesn’t matter what Hello Kitty is, it’s whatever you want her to be, as long as she makes everyone happy.

~JW 

Sources:

http://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/how-a-revelation-about-hello-kittys-identity-blew-everyones-mind/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-damiani/meeow-what-the-hello-kitt_b_5738864.html?utm_hp_ref=media&ir=Media

The Legal Battle Between LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Hermès Has Finally Come to an End.

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For the past four years fashion mogul Bernard Arnault has been in a legal conflict with the Hermès family. Arnault, the CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has acquired nearly 25% of the shares in Hermès, one of LVMH’s smaller competitors.  Arnault was able to acquire such a large amount of Hermès shares without following stock exchange rule requiring an investor to disclose his purchase through “equity swaps.”

 The Hermès family owns nearly 75% of Hermès shares, and has held control of the company since it’s founding in 1837, fought back against Arnoult. Although Arnoult claims his acquisitions were not hostile, France’s richest man has a long history of buying out brands such as Céline, Marc Jacobs, and Fendi.

 The Commercial Court of Paris intervened between LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Hermès, and has helped them reach an agreement. According to the release, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will sell its stake in Hermès to its shareholders. Christian Dior, LVMH’s biggest shareholder, will then sell the shares it receives to it’s own shareholders, chiefly Arnault’s company, “Groupe Arnault.” This will leave Mr. Arnault with 8.5%of Hermès shares.  Both Mr. Arnault and Hermès’ chief executive, Axel Dumas released statements that they are happy with the settlement. 

 ~OE

Sources:  

http://fashionista.com/2014/09/lvmh-hermes-end-feud-over-shares

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/business/international/lvmh-and-hermes-strike-deal-to-end-shareholder-dispute.html?ref=fashion

Will Hello Kitty Start a Duel with Kate Spade?

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Kate Spade’s 17 Days to Tokyo Kitty Clutch

Kate Spade’s newest collection of Japanese themed accessories could lead to a legal battle with Sanrio, the Japanese company that owns “Hello Kitty.” The Hello Tokyo line includes items resembling Hello Kitty with two differences, the Kate Spade version of a moonfaced cat has a mouth, something that the real Hello Kitty is missing and no little pink bow, a Hello Kitty signature.

Sanrio is the Japanese company that has been selling Hello Kitty goods for 40 years. Kate Spade’s Hello Tokyo collection was inspired by 17 Days in Tokyo. Although there has been much speculation about Kate Spade’s inspiration coming from Hello Kitty, it is possible that the brand merely used Japanese culture’s love of cats to inspire their kitty creations. Kate Spade’s worldly collection themes are not a new idea, the brand’s summer collection was a Rio de Janeiro theme, inspired by the World Cup.

 Kate Spade’s use of the iconic Hello Kitty symbol without a licensing agreement with Sanrio could result in a small lawsuit against Kate Spade. Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University did not think this would result in a major lawsuit considering the minor differences in design and the small-scale production of Kate Spade’s Hello Tokyo line.

Although Kate Spade’s stock has been on an upward trend since 2011, any intellectual property lawsuits could cause investors to hesitate.  However, with a 49% boost in sales in the most recent quarters Kate Spade, COO Craig Leavitt believes consumers and investors will stay the course with this company.

 ~JW

 Sources:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-12/kate-spade-tries-hello-kitty-ish-cute-cat-fashions

http://www.psfk.com/2014/08/kate-spade-hello-tokyo-retail-campaign.html#!bMm3z7

Check out the VIVA AVIVA Pop-up Shop this Saturday and Sunday (July 13-14) from 12-7pm on 119 Grand Street, Brooklyn NY.
Our girl, and brilliant designer, Aviva Palk will be there making a special appearance! Aviva’s designs have been featured on shopbop.com and even spotted on Leandra Medine, on her Man Repeller instagram. 
For more awesome pieces, check out the VIVA AVIVA site.

Check out the VIVA AVIVA Pop-up Shop this Saturday and Sunday (July 13-14) from 12-7pm on 119 Grand Street, Brooklyn NY.

Our girl, and brilliant designer, Aviva Palk will be there making a special appearance!

Aviva’s designs have been featured on shopbop.com and even spotted on Leandra Medine, on her Man Repeller instagram. 

For more awesome pieces, check out the VIVA AVIVA site.

Homicidal Hernandez Update!

Aaron Hernandez has been charged with first degree murder of Odin Lloyd and five gun related charges including “one count of carrying a firearm without a license, two counts of possessing a large-capacity firearm and two counts of possessing a firearm without an FID card.” He has plead not guilty. If Hernandez is convicted, he could face life without parole. 

Click here for ESPN’s full account of the story!

-ABT

Homicidal Hernandez?

According to People magazine, Massachusetts state police searched New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s home in connection with the homicide of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. According to Lloyd’s family, the two men were friends and together the night that Lloyd died. Lloyd’s body was found about a mile from Hernandez’s home. 

Click here for more information about Hernandez’s previous troubles. 

-ABT 

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