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Will Hello Kitty Start a Duel with Kate Spade?

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.

 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 

If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May flowers bring?

Well this year it seems that May flowers bring June celebrity divorces! See below for all of the details!

CONGRATS to Kim K on finalizing her divorce from Kris Humphries! It’s about time! Also, CONGRATS on the birth of baby KIMYE!

CONGRATS to Jennie Garth on finalizing her divorce from Peter Facinelli! Divorce definitely agrees with her because these days she look amazing!

Condolences to Jane Lynch on announcing her split from wife of three years, Dr. Lara Embry. Looking forward to seeing you on Glee in the fall!

Condolences to Miley Cyrus’ parents, Tish and Billy Rae Cyrus on announcing their split after 19 years of marriage. 

And finally, condolences to Robert Murdoch and Wendy Deng on the announcement of their split after 14 years of marriage. 

Let’s hope that this is all for awhile!

In other news, CONGRATS to Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler on their wedding! Fingers crossed for a few more summer star-studded celebrity weddings (cough cough Jen Aniston!) 

-ABT 

Congratulations to all of the hard work of our very own urbanleGAL, Alexandra Simmerson and the rest of the Model Alliance team who fought relentlessly for the drafting and enactment of a NY law that would protect child models. The bill was passed by the NY State Senate and Assembly and on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. According to the ModelAlliance.org, the bill was proposed by Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, State Senate Labor Committee Chairwoman Diane Savino and Assemblyman Steven Otis, and “is the culmination, in part, of the Model Alliance’s efforts to improve the working conditions within the modeling industry.” This Wednesday marked a great day for the laborers and faces of our fashion industry!

-FMM

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? 

-FMM