H&M Sold Lead-Laden Bags; ANTM Winner Books McQueen Campaign

  • As if trashgate and the news that it knowingly sold genetically-engineered cotton as "organic" weren't bad enough, now H&M is in trouble for the unsafe levels of lead in its handbags. The revelation comes courtesy of California's strict environmental laws:
  • The Center for Environmental Health tested handbags and accessories from H&M and fellow retailer NY & Co., and allegedly found lead in concentrations of up to 115 times the legal standard. Wal-Mart, American Eagle Outfitters, Aldo, French Connection, and Macy's also sold items that tested high for lead. H&M and NY & Co. have settled the lawsuits the Center brought against them, each paying a judgment of $35,000, and agreeing to take the products off the market. [StyleList]
  • Same-store sales at H&M rose 3% on last year during the month of December. The chain announced it foresees another 240 store openings in the next year. [WSJ]
  • "My dresses are for women of all different shapes and sizes. Actually, the one I tried on yesterday was the one Jennifer wore. And who'd have thought I'd be the same size as Jennifer Lopez!" — Victoria Beckham. [10 Magazine]
  • Whatever you do, don't ask RuPaul to go to fashion week. "I cannot stand the people. I think the fashion people are so nasty and so pretentious...I love fashion, love color, love texture, love all of that. But all of the people who surround that are rot-ten." [W]
  • Lara Stone was photographed kissing Baptiste Giabiconi in a Parisian cafe just after the Chanel show. (She still has the fake bangs in from the runway hairstyle.) Giabiconi and Stone are Karl Lagerfeld's top muses; are they allowed to make out with each other? Also, Stone is engaged. [Sun]
  • As suspected, Lara Stone landed one of the covers of the next Love. Janeil Williams has the other. Both women are shot nude, in the same pose — it's a different (and much better) angle than the one we kind of recoiled from a while back. [Fashionologie]
  • America's Next Top Model Cycle 13 winner Nicole Fox has landed a campaign for Alexander McQueen. Is this opposite day? [Houston Chronicle]
  • "His prison time is definitely a challenge in trying to build our brand right now." The perils of running clothing brands with rappers. [WWD]
  • Kate Moss turned up in Paris to launch her Longchamp bag line sporting some greyish streaks in her blonde hair. Obviously this is now a trend: we suspect the coming summer will be just like three years ago, when everyone was wearing cut-offs, little waistcoats, and tall boots, just because Kate did, once. [Elle UK]
  • Anna Wintour's bodyguard nearly knocked over Carine Roitfeld at the Jean-Paul Gaultier show. [FWD]
  • Rumor has it that the bankruptcy of the house of Christian Lacroix will force the company to liquidate the furniture from its salon and atelier at auction. [TDB]
  • If you've ever wondered who, exactly, buys couture, then meet Sibel Seyhan Shenkartal. She's the quatrilingual daughter of diplomats and a descendant of Turkish royalty who splits her time between Paris and Istanbul. "She wore a glorious fur coat, with jewels literally dripping from every extremity — one finger alone carried four diamond rings," writes blogger Isaac Hindin Miller. Shenkartal knows enough about couture to estimate the cost of the finale gown at Stéphane Rolland at half a million Euros. According to the model who wore it, that dress weighed 55 kg; the cost of the look works out to about $5,800 a pound. [IsaacLikes]
  • Also, yes — couture does kind of look like Pokemon. Our eyes are opened. [Textbook]
  • "Eric Brewer, a video producer in Washington, D.C., recently wore a dark denim jacket with a slightly lighter faded pair of jeans, paired with a black shirt, and plaid scarf to a party." The WSJ on Jessica Biel, Britney and Justin, and other close encounters with the Canadian Tuxedo. [WSJ]
  • Wal-Mart denim brand L.E.I. is holding a model search. The winner will get a $100,000 scholarship and an internship at Teen Vogue, in addition to being featured in the campaign. Chanel Iman, Rachel Roy, and Amy Astley will judge. [WWD]
  • "Don't diet. Ever. January is depressing enough without existing on grapefruit and eggs in a fit of penitence. Just don't eat as much. Take your resolutions, send them packing and resolve instead to eat wonderful food in the face of bitter, rain-soaked evenings." Thus spake Sophie Dahl. [Daily Express]
  • Balmain will not launch a lower-priced line. [Vogue UK]
  • But Alice Temperley has. Alice by Alice Temperley still costs $130-$820, however. [StyleList]
  • Milliner, Gap collaborator, and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award nominee Albertus Swanepoel is launching a line with Stetson. Seven to ten of Swanepoel's designs for the company will start hitting stores in the fall; they will retail at $180-$300. [WWD]
  • Tommy Ton shot Tavi Gevinson at her home in Chicago for Vogue Paris' Une Fille, Un Style section. The pictures are gorgeous and quirky. [Jak & Jil]
  • Aeropostale was named one of the best companies to work for by an industry group. It was the only apparel business to make the grade. [Crains]
  • Shiseido saw sales declines of 10.4% in 2009, but still ended the year with a 11.2% profit, thanks to tax reductions. [WWD]