Derek Lam has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ivanka Trump after discovering her footwear line is selling a $150 sandal that is virtually identical to one the designer made for $780. We haven't seen a knock-off this good in a long time: we're struggling to identify any noticeable differences in the stitching, the number of snakeskin straps on the heel, the arrangement of the leather straps over the toe, the shape of the wedge heel, or any other detail of the design. They even copied the "seam" in the wood-grain print. The company C.E.O. calls it a "perfect copy." It was discovered when a Derek Lam designer was shopping online, and stumbled upon the Ivanka Trump shoe. "It's such an investment to make a shoe," explained the C.E.O. "We had to protest this." Ivanka Trump and the footwear licensee, Marc Fisher, had no comment. [WWD]
Dolce & Gabbana
- The press kit for Madonna's Truth or Dare perfume is given a breathless once-over by ONTD. You guys, it's a press kit. There's like a DVD and some papers and a sample of the scent? You don't say. The campaign for the as-yet unreleased perfume includes some images of Madonna shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Interview in 2010. [ONTD]
- Kate Moss has reportedly signed on to produce a collection for the U.K. mass retailer Debenhams. The supermodel and her 9-year-old daughter Lila Grace will be the faces of a "tweenage" collection — kind of like Madonna and Lourdes are the mother-daughter faces of Material Girl, the Macy's line. Lila, as befits a pre-teen with excellent taste, "doesn't want to produce chavvy clothes," says a "friend." As Lila herself always says, "Make no chavvy clothes. They have no aesthetic grace to stir women's blood and probably will not themselves be worn." Moss will be paid a reported £400,000. She previously had a collection for Topshop that was not renewed in 2010. [ToI]
- Professional retouchers who spoke anonymously to Fashionista admit to altering models' and celebrities' bodies in significant ways, like lifting breasts, smoothing butts, slimming thighs, and repositioning limbs. In close-up, they smooth wrinkles and blemishes, and reshape facial features. And then there's this:
One of the retouchers I spoke with worked on an image of Rihanna for a cosmetics ad and by the end he said it looked like an "illustration," even though the clients started out saying they wanted a "natural" look.
Which sounds like it must be referring to Rihanna's CoverGirl ads, which have that gleaming, Unheimliche smoothness. But the retouchers say they are not responsible for disasters. They say they often have to try to reign in art directors and editors who want to change images in ways that would make them look really weird. And the attitude that everything can be fixed in post-production, retouchers say, has led to a certain lassitude on set, for instance stylists sometimes don't steam a garment, assuming wrinkles can be smoothed in post. [Fashionista]
- Barneys New York is really, really sorry, but that thing you ordered online the other week, that thing you bought for the holidays and were going to give to that person? Yeah, that thing? Barneys will no longer be able to ship it to you. It sent out a mass email to recent online customers yesterday afternoon canceling its Christmas orders due to a technical glitch with their order fulfillment software. That's like the online shopping equivalent of getting a big, fat lump of coal. [Racked]
- "Remember when dates were what you wanted on Saturday nights?" Oh boy. Bridget Foley's column sometimes really is to Women's Wear Daily as Bill Keller's is to the New York Times. With that groaner of a lede begins a discourse on the September show dates brouhaha. For those dutiful enough to read a hundred and nine paragraphs on that topic, then comes an unrelated coda, which may make you cry:
The holidays are one time when customers most appreciate great service at retail. There are others.
My dear friend Susan Kalafut lost her husband to a heart attack a few weeks ago. While taking care of some of the essential business that accompanies death, Susan passed Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany and decided to stop in at Chico's to look for funeral clothes. Though a fan of the retailer, she wasn't a regular enough shopper to know her sales associate's name, Jen, until that day. When Jen posed a cheerful, "Hi! How are you?" Sue shared her sad news and broke down. Jen and a colleague "leapt into action," Susan e-mailed. "They were so incredibly compassionate — not to mention professional — and for a few brief moments, I felt as if I had my own stylists." They outfitted Susan perfectly, accessories included, made liberal use of discounts and later sent a condolence card. "I cannot get over it," Sue wrote. "I don't know if you have any contact (at the corporate level), but if you do, please let them know there is a middle-aged widow in upstate N.Y. who will never, ever forget them."