Kering Sues Over Counterfeits

Gucci spring/summer 2015
Picture credit: Indigital
Balenciaga autumn/winter 2015
Picture credit: Indigital

“Kering and its brands dedicate a great amount of creative energy, craftsmen’s know-how and monetary investments to develop products that speak to consumers and fulfil their needs,” said a spokesperson for Kering. “This lawsuit is a part of Kering’s ongoing global effort to maintain its customers’ trust in its genuine products and to continue to develop the creative works and talents in its brands.”

Kering first sued Alibaba last year over similar claims, although the case was dropped after two weeks. In January of this year, following a run-in with China’s main corporate regulator over unlicensed vendors selling illegal replicas on its sites, Alibaba said it would increase its staff to monitor its shopping sites more closely.

“We continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help them protect their intellectual property and we have a strong track record in doing so,” said a spokesperson for Alibaba. “Unfortunately, the Kering Group has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive cooperation. We believe this complaint has no bases and we will fight it vigorously.”

In 2012, the Office of the United States Trade Representative removed one of Alibaba’s most successful e-commerce sites, Taobao, from its “notorious markets” list, following the brand’s progress in cleaning up the calibre of its vendors and product sold.

Copying Controversy Over Taylor’s Jumpsuit

Taylor Swift at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night wearing Balmain
Picture credit: Getty
The jumpsuit on the Balmain spring/summer 2015 catwalk
Picture credit: Indigital
HIGH-STREET labels get inspiration from, and in some cases even copy, designer labels – this we know – but internet sensation Nasty Gal’s latest effort has landed the brand in hot water. The fast-fashion retailer posted a picture of Taylor Swift at Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards on itssocial media accounts proclaiming that she was wearing its own-label Frisco Inferno jumpsuit, only she wasn’t. Swift, like many starlets at the event, was wearing Balmain.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen and more were wearing Balmain at the ceremony, where Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing unveiled the house’s forthcoming collaboration with H&M. Swift’s one-piece debuted on the catwalk during the spring/summer 2015 show, after which Nasty Gal – which was founded by retail entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, author of Girl Boss – released its own lookalike style.

“So, what are we to make of this?” legal commentator The Fashion Lawasked today. “We can certainly conclude one of two things. Either Nasty Gal is so good at copying other brands’ garments stitch-for-stitch that even its employees cannot tell the difference between the real thing and the copy, or Nasty Gal knew that Swift was wearing Balmain and was using this opportunity to sell one of its near exact copies.”

Explanations aside, the post was deleted by the LA-based company shortly after, but not until the white jumpsuit had sold out. It’s unlikely that Rousteing will be too distressed, however, since he’s made it clear that he considers such imitation the sincerest form of flattery – and since it may just inspire him to include the said jumpsuit in his new H&M range, giving Balmain fans access to something that actually does bear the Balmain label when the range launches in November.

Donatella Versace on Britpop, Instagram and why elitist fashion is over

Donatella Versace with creative director A Vaccarello.
My meeting with Donatella Versace begins with a misunderstanding worthy of a sitcom. I’ve been told by Anthony Vaccarello, creative director of Versus, Versace’s diffusion label, that the new collection launching in Shoreditch tonight is inspired by Brett Anderson and 1990s Britpop. So, seated next to her on a sofa in a Claridge’s suite, I ask if she is a fan of Suede. She drags on her e-cigarette and widens her dark-lidded eyes. “Oh, I love it,” she says, sounding as if she is eating something really delicious. “Right,” I say, surprised, but going with it. “What’s your favourite Suede song?” She stops, stares and then laughs – properly laughs – and slaps the sofa. “Oh, the band! I was like, ‘What is she talking about?’” she says, miming an is-she-mad face.

Donatella Versace in New York last year.

Donatella Versace in New York last year.
Donatella Versace in New York last year. Photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon
Some uptight designers might be embarrassed or annoyed about the mix-up, but not Donatella Versace. For a start, she is used to it. Her staff have told me that she sometimes talks to them in her heavy Milanese accent, knowing full well that they haven’t understood her but are too scared to let on, and this tickles her. Second, for all her dramatic monochrome look, massive jewels and impossibly tiny frame – which has something of the terrier about it – Donatella is real. Funny, honest, a little lawless (in her conversation, at least – she’s been sober for years), with an inability to stop teasing people and making joking asides under her breath. But she doesn’t like Suede. She’s more into commercial pop: Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money is a current favourite, as is, predictably, Lady Gaga’s Donatella; or else she listens to what she calls her “roots” – a mix of Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin and Depeche Mode.

It doesn’t matter that Versace herself isn’t much into the Versus campaign’s inspiration because, although she remains head honcho in the capacity of artistic director for the label, she no longer designs for the line. After a few capsule collections designed by acclaimed British designers Christopher Kane and JW Anderson, the task now falls to Vaccarello, a 32-year-old Belgian-Italian designer who has worked with Versus before, but was only installed as permanent creative director earlier in the year. Vaccarello came to fashion’s attention by designing model Anja Rubik’s infamous hipbone dress for the Met Ball in 2012, and his love of the almost-too-sexy makes him an excellent fit for the brand.

Was it hard for Versace to let go of the label that is often considered her baby? “Yes. But I understand it is the right moment to give it up. I’m not 25, and going out every night. You need to be able to see what is going on, to listen to their language and to go where they are. I cannot do that, even though I would love to. If I do, it’s not going to be radical. Anthony can do that. His sensibility is similar to the DNA of Versace, but he has a fresh eye.”
Donatella’s fashion empire is unquestionably on the rise. In March, the company announced that profits had leapt by 27% in the past 12 months to €26.3 m. A public floatation is regularly said to be imminent. Crucially, the billion-euro brand is seen as outward-looking and engaged in a way that some of its Milanese competitors are not.


In recent years, Donatella seems to have been actively seeking a role as a weathy patron within the fashion world. Evidence of her modern-day de Medici vibes aren’t hard to find. She famously loaned Christopher Kane shoes for his graduate show and later had him on the payroll at Versus (“It was love at first sight with Christopher. He is a special talent with an explosion of ideas”). The “super-talented” JW Anderson has also benefited from some Versus patronage. But, most recently, it was announced that Donatella herself is to star in the upcoming Givenchy campaign. The announcement was made via Instagram with a picture of Donatella’s platinum profile in front of the face of Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci. To lend her image and approval to what could be seen as a rival label was an unusual move, suggesting that Donatella is beyond any tawdry fashion cattiness. Tisci, she tells me, sent her an email that began: “I know you will never agree, but …” Donatella couldn’t resist the chance to surprise, and three days later the campaign was shot.

Versus has put social media at the heart of its new collection’s launch. Unlike most other autumn/winter lines – which were shown back in February and land in the shops months later – these clothes will go on sale immediately. There won’t be a catwalk, merely this launch event. The collection, featuring saucy asymmetrical kilts, heaps of black, and giant silver Versace lion-head buttons, is built to appeal to a younger crowd.

A model on the Versus Versace Spring 2015 catwalk

A model on the Versus Versace Spring 2015 catwalk Facebook Twitter Pinterest
A model on the Versus Versace Spring 2015 catwalk Photograph: JP Yim/Getty Images
This instantaneous approach is crucial, according to Donatella. Despite not being on Instagram herself (“I need someone next to me, who understands me immediately, who I can prod to post for me”), the designer understands well that social media has changed fashion. “Before that, we were in a little enclosed circle – fashion designers and fashion journalists. But fashion is not an elite any more: it is a democracy. The real new things are things you see on the street.” In a week where commercial giant Net-a-Porter is launching the Net Set – a shopable social-media platform aimed directly at the consumer-cum-designer – this attitude seems bang on the money.

Versace’s love affair with London is set to last. The brand will be back to show the next Versus collection on the catwalk at London fashion week in September. So, what is it about the capital that appeals right now? “I find London very exciting: it’s full of subcultures talking together and I love that. It wasn’t like that for a while, but now I feel a lot of energy.” When I ask her why she thinks that might be, her answer is surprising. “I don’t know whether it’s because of the royal family reinterpreting themselves with Prince William. I think that has an influence, I don’t know. When you see Prince Harry, he is one of us.” She motions to a preview video of the Versus collection and laughs, “He could be in that.”

How Fashion Fell For Dad

Gap's 'dad' shorts
Gap’s ‘dad’ shorts. Photograph: Gap

One unexpected feature of my wife’s recent pregnancy was that I began to gain weight. Some would call it: an empathy belly that was indicative of the healthy co-parenting that was to come. Others would call it: a massive tum caused by watching The Good Wife while eating Ben & Jerry’s straight out of the tub, you fat bastard. The internet has decided to term my body type (essentially, a pear with eyes) a “dad bod”. Writer Mackenzie Pearson defined it as someone who goes to the gym occasionally, but also “drinks heavily on the weekends and enjoys eating eight slices of pizza at a time”. New York Magazinenamed Jason Segel its ultimate ambassador.

Although this sounds alarmingly close to just being in your 20s, the prefix “dad” has gradually crept into popular culture, in a decidedly non-hip way. In fashion terms, Gap introduced the unofficially named “dad shorts”, which looked suspiciously like the denim cutoffs your brother wore in the 90s. Much better wasGolf Wang’s recent reappropriation of the T-shirt tucked into jeans look. Suffice to say the whole normcore movement is based around dressing like your dad.

Unofficial posterboy for the dad bod, Jason Segel.

Unofficial posterboy for the dad bod, Jason Segel. Photograph: Snap Stills/Rex_Shutterstock

The “dad” trend, of course, mirrors the “mom” prefix that lingered around pop culture for a while. There were mom jeans (high waist, slightly cropped, very 1993), soccer moms (Sarah Palin in a baseball cap looking terrifying) and tiger moms (Joan Crawford brandishing a coathanger while reading her daughter’s French GCSE coursework). These all put moms/mums/mothers in the worst light possible. They were basically emotionally manipulative control freaks who may or may not have been members of Wilson Phillips.

Simon Cowell (in his dad jeans) with Sinitta and Louis Walsh in 2005.

Simon Cowell (in his dad jeans) with Sinitta and Louis Walsh in 2005. Photograph: Tom Wargacki

Similarly, in the lexicon of youth-oriented, ever-changing pop-culture worlds, the “dad” prefix has come to denote the death of vitality and relevance. The dad thing popped up first with Simon Cowell. During the first season of The X Factor in 2004, his dad jeans were a gravity-defying, nipple-high marvel. Tucking his shirts tightly into his trousers, this was an all-black look that said to the world: “I’m a mime in Covent Garden at the weekends.”

You could say he set the dad template for the decade to come. In 2007, Pitchfork eviscerated Wilco in a review of Sky Blue Sky with the description of their music as “dad rock”. Similarly, the Mirror singled out Robbie Williams’s “dad dancing” after his strange performance on The X Factor in 2009. While, in 2013, Urban Dictionary defined a “dad crack” as: “an attempt at humour … usually made by a dad or out of touch 40+-year-old”.

David Gandy modelling his Autograph range (and non-dad bod body).

David Gandy modelling his Autograph range (and non-dad bod body). Photograph: M S/Rex Shutterstock

Unsurprisingly then, the dad bod is the tragic opposite of the current male body type. In this brave new world, if you don’t look like Michelangelo’s David (see Poldark and David Gandy’s new line for Marks & Spencer), you have failed. The knock-on effect on the high street means that you can’t go far without meeting a bro wearing an ill-fitting deep V, whose body looks like the Hulk, mid-morph. In contrast, dad bod is its soft, more undisciplined cousin. It’s a torso that says: “I am having chips with my pint. You hear that gym bunnies? I CAN HAVE IT ALL!”, then wheezes when it has to run for the night bus. New York Magazine went on to provide a three-day diet involving orange Gatorade, buffalo wings and white bread.

The truth is that the narrative of the dad bod is not couched in shame and even has a whiff of arrogant privilege about it. As Time and Lindy West both noted, an equivalent “mom bod” would never be accepted by the mainstream. At the same time, in the context of wall-to-wall six packs, the existence of the dad bod feels like a bit of a victory for body positivity – and those of us with a close attachment to ice-cream.

Little Black Book: Wilma Mae Basta

Wilma Mae Basta, who is the founder of luxury vintage fashion studio The Gathering Goddess, reveals her secret addresses.


Founder of The Gathering Goddess Wilma Mae Basta

Founder of The Gathering Goddess Wilma Mae Basta

Jim’s Steaks, Philadelphia

I am a Philly girl, and this is the spiritual home of the world-famous cheese steaks – an Amoroso roll with chipped beef, fried onions and hot, melting cheese. Delicious.

Sarah Stocking Fine Antique Posters, San Francisco

Sarah has an amazing collection of posters from the 20th century – she is one of the top dealers. A favourite of mine is an original for King Vidor’s 1932 film Bird of Paradise, starring Dolores del Rio.

Massage Therapy by Jill Daamen London

One of my best-kept secrets: Jill’s client list is pretty much every major Hollywood star, and she often travels with them. She can be emailed at

Charlotte Mensah of Hair Lounge, London W10

Charlotte Mensah, the award-winning founder of Hair Lounge, has a knack for understanding the huge variety of black hair types, and you always feel beautiful when you leave.

Swanky Lash & Brow Bar, London W10

My life is too busy for luxuries such as spas, but I always make time to go to Swanky. The sisters who own this place make it so personal and fun it feels like a little private club.

Chapel Books Saxmundham, Suffolk

I collect old fashion and cookery books, and this bookshop is where I find my best little treasures.

J Sheekey, London WC2

I have been going to this classic British restaurant for special occasions for almost 25 years. Wood-panelled walls and an art-deco oyster bar make it a true gem.

Wilma Mae Basta’s studio is based in Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove and is by appointment only. It is online at The Gathering Goddess and Sneak Peekers

Cannes Film Festival fashion


Mad Max’ star Charlize Theron is joined by Julianne Moore and Naomi Watts at the Cannes premiere of the new Hollywood blockbuster. It takes a brave woman to wear yellow on the red carpet; Charlize Theron, we salute your Dior!


Jury member Sophie Marceau was the epitome of understated elegance in Alexandre Vauthier at the ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ premiere


Julianne Moore’s custom-made, blood red Givenchy gown gave the younger stars on the ‘Mad Max’ red carpet a run for their money


Salma Hayek brought a little flamenco spirit to the Cannes scene, by way of Alexander McQueen’s Resort 2013 ruffled skirts


‘Mad Max’ star Zoe Kravitz chose ethereal Valentino Haute Couture for her moment on the Cannes red carpet


For her second night at the prestigious film festival,Naomi Watts ravished in a classic by Ralph Lauren


Almost bridal in Marchesa’s grey tulle gown with billowing sleeves and floral adornment, Fan Bingbing positively bloomed at the ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ premiere


Naomi Watts always gives good red carpet game. For the opening night the actress plucked a feathered confection from Elie Saab’s spring 2015 Haute Couture collection

Lookbook Natsha Baco’s Muse collection is an Ankara dream

Paris based designer, Natacha Baco has revealed the lookbook for its Muse collection and its a totally dream come true for Ankara lovers.

Natacha Baco muse collection

Paris based designer, Natacha Baco has revealed the lookbook for its Muse collection and its a totally dream come true forAnkara lovers.

The trendy urban and feminine line is beautifully tailored using beautiful African fabrics also known as Ankara.

The models featured in the collection show off the pieces against the background of little slices of the city, sporting Afros.

The collection features chic little dresses with sexy cut outs, jumpsuits, skinny pants and matching sets with fun, playful details like peplums and shorts.

It is chic and beautiful, casual enough for about any kind of outing.

What do you think of the pieces?

See pieces from the collection in gallery.

Christy Turlington Burns, Citizens of Humanity Toast Maternity Denim

hristy Turlington Burns, Amy Williams , Elle Strauss

Christy Turlington Burns, Amy Williams of Citizens of Humanity and Elle Strauss of Shopbop.

MOM JEANS: It was gloomy skies on Abbot Kinney Wednesday morning as guests gathered on the second floor of trendy Abbot Kinney restaurant Gjelina.

They celebrated, over a spread of fresh fruit and frittatas, the launch of Christy Turlington Burns’ and Citizens of Humanity’s second maternity denim collection.

The two first paired last year on a small collection sold at A Pea in the Pod. This time around the collection of four styles is being sold exclusively at online retailer beginning today.

A portion of the price on every pair of jeans — $40 — goes to Turlington Burns’ Every Mother Counts nonprofit.

“When we looked at partners, it’s not just to raise money,” said Turlington Burns, who screened her new documentary “Every Mile, Every Mother” the evening before. “It’s a larger platform to educate people on maternal health.”

This second iteration of the collaboration is more contemporary to fit the Shopbop customer with flare-leg jeans and shorts, said Citizens of Humanity president Amy Williams.

“They’re all great,” Turlington Burns said of the pieces in the collection. “The last time I was pregnant, I pretty much sized up on all of the clothes I had. There’s just so many options now.”

Maternity is a growing segment for Shopbop, according to fashion director Elle Strauss, who is based out of the company’s New York office.

The retailer carries between 10 and 15 maternity brands, according to Strauss.

“It’s something that we’re very selective around,” she said of the maternity brands it works with. “It’s one of those markets that’s still developing.”

Glam Instagram stylish photos of the week – 17

Celebrities post some of their best photos on Instagram that has become a hub of all stylish sorts, we take a look and choose the best from the lot, check out this week’s…

Toke Makinwa 

Stephanie Coker 

Rukky Sanda 

Fade Ogunro 

Rita Dominic 

The ‘gram is about the coolest hangout for all kinds of style inspiration and there is no getting over it just yet.

It’s Thursday and #GlamInstagram is back! The revered hub for style inspiration is one everyone is not over yet, it gets fashionably better.

From Toke Makinwa‘s flirty/girly dress, Rukky Sanda in neon dress with matching purse,Stephanie Coker in a dress by Ituen Basi,Fade Ogunro in jumpsuit serving a fierce pose,Funke Akindele owning chic in distressed denim.

Mercy Aigbe takes on a slouchy jumpsuit, Noble Igwe in a slim fit all black look over vibrant kicks, Rita Dominic in white and black, Veronica Odeka in a flattering floor length dress andStella Damasus in bold graphic top all make up the fab#GlamInstagram for this week.

Take a look at the round off in the gallery above.