As you probably know, Versace designed a collection for H&M which goes on sale later this week. Now, one might assume that this commercial gesture might mean that Versace is fine with, or at least resigned to, the reality that non-millionaires will soon be wearing clothing that at some point in the designing process crossed the drafting desk of someone in its atelier. You know: "real people," the traditional outcasts of the high-fashion fold. The folks who are prevented by dint of economics, body size, personal unwillingness to clad themselves in strange, sequined things with peplums, and/or all of the above, from ever darkening fashion's door. But H&M! H&M is for "real people." H&M is for everyone! H&M is bright and cheery and, at least relatively speaking, cheap. But apparently even when working with H&M, Versace has standards. The company nixed the idea of the New York Daily News photographing its H&M line on "real" New Yorkers — whom, the paper points out, were "all recent college graduates who work in the city" — and cancelled the shoot. A publicist for the clothing chain deemed only one of the Daily News's prospective real-people models acceptable. This made the Daily News angry. So rather than writing a nice story about Versace for H&M, full of nice photographs of presumably photogenic non-professional-models wearing it, it ran this bit of well-earned snark instead:
Apparently, "real" doesn't work for the 56-year-old bottle-blond designer with the bee-stung lips.
The H&M publicist initially explained by email that the "Model New Yorkers" photo feature could probably not go forward because Versace had to approve "anyone who wears the collection for press" — and, she added, "Donatella will likely not approve shooting the collection on real women." [...]
Versace previewed her limited-edition H&M line at a party and fashion show at Pier 57 on Nov. 8. Although she used the kind of stick-thin models who don't resemble typical NYC consumers, the designer told CBSNews.com that she understood the H&M consumer.
"I know this customer," she said. "I know what they want."
Now if only she didn't mind them actually wearing her clothing.
- Last night, Joseph Altuzarra was awarded this year's Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund award, which brings with it a $300,000 purse and a business mentorship. The runners-up were Creatures of the Wind's Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, and Pamela Love, who each won $100,000. Congratulations to them and to their fellow finalists: Suno's Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, Antonio Azzuolo, Cushnie et Ochs' Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, Ohne Titel's Alexa Adams and Flora Gill, Fenton/Fallon's Dana Lorenz, and Finn Jewelry's Soraya Silchenstedt. [WWD]
- Skechers is expecting to have to pay a stiff penalty for lying to consumers about its bullshit "toning" shoes. (Magical shoes don't "tone" your muscles. Exercise does.) Reebok was recently fined $25 million by the Federal Trade Commission for its misleading "toning" shoe ads, and Skechers said in a regulatory filing that it expects a similar penalty. [WWD]
- Daphne Guinness was interviewed on NPR this weekend. "I don't tell anybody else what to wear," she says. "I would never dream of it." [NPR]
- That was quick: Tamara Mellon, whose departure from Jimmy Choo was announced just yesterday, is said to be starting her own "lifestyle" brand. Like Tory Burch, or Tom Ford, according to this story. (Um, what, exactly, do Tory Burch and Tom Ford have in common, other than having turned their given names into brands?) [WWD]
- Absurd professional dieter Adriana Lima says, "Those teenagers out there, don't go starving yourself or only drinking liquids," like she does for the Victoria's Secret show. "Don't do that please." [NYDN]
- Meanwhile, Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg is really into cookies. Really, really into cookies. [LATimes]
- Karl Lagerfeld has an idea on how to fix the economy: "I think they should make a tax so that when you earn a certain amount of money, you have to spend a certain amount on shopping." Meanwhile, Hussein Chalayan goes all 99%: "In a way, the crisis always comes from the Western world because we all live beyond our means, as in houses we can't afford. And all those wars that have cost billions. Imagine if that money was funneled into building infrastructure? You could reconfigure Africa. A lot of young people don't know the value of money. Maybe we need to be more independent from a young age. We are generally a bit too materialistic. It's the opposite of what a designer should tell you. Designers always try to sell more, but I think there's something to be said for timelessness. The idea that we define our identity through what we own is an old-fashioned way of thinking." [WWD]
- H&M would like next to launch a designer collaboration with Tom Ford. That sound you just heard was Tom Ford slipping on his hand-made $15,000 slink leather gloves, adjusting his $30,000 14K gold monogrammed cufflinks, massaging the fillers in his face until he can smile again, and having a really good laugh. A spokesperson for Tom Ford declined to comment really says it all. [BW]
- Bar Refaeli is launching an innerwear line under the brand Undeez. [WWD]
- Today in financial results, same-store sales at Saks Fifth Avenue rose 5.8% year-on-year during the third quarter. But Saks' net income still fell from $36.3 million last year to $17.8 million this year. [WWD]
- Burberry has announced that its profits rose 26% during the first six months of the year, to $187.8 million. [WWD]
- Same-store sales at H&M fell 2% in October, following a 7% decline in September. [WWD]
- Same-store sales at Urban Outfitters' chains together fell 7% during the quarter just ended. Net income at the company fell 31%, to $50.7 million. This is the fourth quarter in a row that Urban Outfitters has experienced year-over-year declines in net income. [WWD]
- Pringle of Scotland lost £7.25 million last year. It is the fifth successive year of heavy losses for the company, of which Tilda Swinton is the face. The brand has been bailed out by its owners. [Telegraph]
- And now, a moment with Marina Abramovic. The gala for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which the performance artist directed, went as follows, according to Women's Wear Daily:
What awaited guests inside rendered even the most jaded event goers momentarily speechless, a reaction savored by both Abramovic and MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who told her it was "amazing." Female models lay naked on rotating circles set in the middle of round dinner tables, draped in anatomy-class skeletons, a version of Abramovic's 2002 work "Nude With Skeleton." At the long tables, living models' heads were positioned every few feet, alternating with the floral centerpieces. These models were also apparently also nude and kneeling on lazy Susans under the covered tables.
A card placed on each plate, admonishing "Look But Don't Touch," outlined rules for interaction with the "centerpieces," including "No touching, feeding, offering drink or disrespecting." Speaking to the models was also forbidden.
"There is a time and place for everything, and this isn't it," said Mario Grauso as he tried to eat his salad while a centerpiece gazed at him from inches away.
"I'm kind of into it. I like that everyone is sort of uncomfortable," said a Rodarte-clad Tavi Gevinson, who was seated at Dasha Zhukova's table along with Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Hedi Slimane, Doug Aitken and Gwen Stefani. Luckily for the teen, she was at one of the PG-13 long tables. "I'm having a staring contest with him," Gevinson said of the stoic male model stationed near her dinner plate.
Abramovic explained that the museum prevented her from using nude men. As for the controversy over the performers' compensation for the three-hour dinner — $150 and a year's membership at MOCA — performers who spoke to the Los Angeles Times said they didn't feel exploited. Attendee Rosson Crow, an artist, however said she felt exploited — by Abramovic's insistence that all guests wear white lab coats to the dinner. [WWD, LATimes]