David Revealed; Supermodel To Design Spring Line

  • Before digesting the latest round of layoffs, garment worker intimidation, stupidly expensive luxury crap, and magazine turmoil, say a hearty Good mornin' to David Beckham in his fancy new Armani underwear ad. Hello David. [People]
  • Fans crowded Oxford St. in London to get a glimpse of Beckham. He was making a promotional appearance at Selfridges to unveil a billboard of the new ad. [Sky]
  • Glenn O'Brien, who recently left the troubled Interview magazine, says he just couldn't take it anymore. "It's like a Greek tragedy. Like watching a company going insane, instead of a person," said the media veteran. He also admitted he's not even on speaking terms with his former editorial co-director, Fabien Baron. When Baron was fired five months ago, O'Brien took over his job. And now that O'Brien is gone, Baron is back in. Meanwhile, Brant Publications owes freelancers and photographers (including such names as Inez & Vinoodh) for work dating back to last August. [FWD]
  • Unions say the economy is making conditions worse for garment workers worldwide. Workers face unfair dismissal, the threat of relocation, abuse, long hours, and even worse pay. In the countries with the largest apparel industries, like China and Bangladesh, workers do not have the right to unionize or strike for better conditions. Seventy-six trade unionists were killed around the world last year, and 49 of those were in Columbia. [WWD]
  • Lauren Bush has a new "FEED" bag in aid of the UN's World Food Program. This one is hand-beaded over the course of a day and a half by women from a Kenyan school for the deaf. In exchange, $100 of the $195 purchase price goes to feed two Kenyan school children for a year. [WWD]
  • In other expensive bag news, Takashi Murakami released an updated version of his 2003 Louis Vuitton ad. The little girl he animated back then is all grown up, and, get this, still loves Louis Vuitton! [Racked]
  • For the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards on Monday, host Tracey Ullman will wear: a dress by Claire McCardell, a dress by Donna Karan (whom she recently lampooned), and a dress by Doo-Ri Chung, who wrote her Parsons thesis on McCardell. And the ouroboros of fashion is complete. [WWD]
  • Natalia Vodianova will be the guest designer for Lutz & Patmos' pre-Spring line. [WWD]
  • Ben Sherman is discontinuing its children's line, because, said chairman J. Hicks Lanier, "In this environment, we didn't have the luxury of ‘fun and cute' without the financial reward." It's a cold, cold economic reality that separates a child from his stripy t-shirt and mini suspenders. Also gone will be the men's and women's footwear lines. [WWD]
  • Remember how Sean John went online looking for regular guys to model in its fall campaign? They found two hot dudes, and bookended them around a male model anyway. [WWD]
  • Some luxury companies are pulling out all the stops to reach that tiny slice of the population that can still afford their wares. Hermès, whose overall sales rose 3.2%, to $603 million, and whose leather goods division grew 21.7% in the first quarter of this year, is increasing its annual marketing budget by nearly 10%, but two thirds of that $141 million will not be spent on advertising. Instead, the brand is pushing marketing events that garner publicity and make its best customers feel special — like extra trunk shows and store opening parties. Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy says its putting more of its marketing budget online, which explains the online-only Marion Cotillard series of film clips for Dior. [Reuters]
  • The above moves aside, most experts are not expecting the high-end retail market to make its recovery any time soon. May same-store sales were typically dismal across most stores — Saks Fifth Avenue was down 26.2%, Nordstrom fell 13.1% — and luxury spending is falling faster than other retail spending. Some analysts say a full recovery may not happen until 2012. [TS]
  • The C.E.O. of Liz Claiborne said the words "the new normal." [Reuters]
  • Frederick's of Hollywood isn't doing so well, either. Maybe offerings like this are part of the problem? [WWD]
  • Gap is also investing in online retail — it's adding 50 labels to Piperlime. Fifty Old Navy stores across the country are also due for a redesign, presumably to make them less like dingy warehouses. Old Navy has seen an increase in custom because of the recession. Its same-store sales for the first quarter of this year were only down 3%, compared with 18% a year ago. Still a ways to go, then. [TS]
  • The judge overseeing the Filene's Basement bankruptcy has ordered that the auction for the company be re-opened. An affiliate of Men's Wearhouse won the nine-hour auction, bidding $67 million for Filene's trading name, inventory, 17-20 stores, and an all-important super-cheap 15-year lease for its downtown Boston flagship — but two other bidders complained that the proceedings were "a sham" because Men's Wearhouse didn't follow court-ordered auction procedures. The judge agreed, and there is to be a new auction today. [BH]