You might find the allegations of worker mistreatment at the factories that produce several of the Kardashian family's numerous clothing and accessories licenses horrifying, disgusting, or even sadly unsurprising. Kris Jenner has a different word: Libelous. The Kardashians have called Star magazine's claims that child labor and forced labor are taking place at Chinese factories that make Kardashian tchotchkes baseless, and have sued the magazine. Also on the sue list is the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, which was one of Star's sources in its investigation. IGLHR director Charles Kernaghan said — on TMZ, natch — that his organization had already been investigating factories that manufacture for the Kardashian brands when Star called, but admitted that he personally had not visited the factories in question and seen the conditions first-hand. "We haven't finished our research," said Kernaghan, "but what I'm saying is that with every research campaign we have done in China, you always come up with nasty sweatshop conditions." The Kardashians claim they have people who "patrol" the factories their licensees contract with to ensure safe working conditions. [TMZ]
UPDATE: Counsel for AMI, which publishes Star, tells us that the Kardashians have not filed suit.
Ivanka Trump's footwear licensee is denying it copied a Derek Lam sandal, even though the two shoes are so identical they could be worn as a pair. Lam sent the company a cease-and-desist after learning of the existence of the knock-off, but Trump's licensee, Marc Fisher, won't be complying because it says Lam's shoe is "not iconic." They nonetheless seem to have found it "iconic" enough to copy stitch for stitch. [ WWD]
2011 really was a good year for animals guest-starring on fashion covers. [ Fashionista]
Andrej Pejic is on the cover of Fashion. [ DS]
Saskia De Brauw — who is everywhere right now! — is also on the cover of Figaro Madame. [ DS]
S Christian Louboutin shows what a lifetime of practicing yoga can do for you. [ Elle Decor]
S Daphne Guinness Tweeted, and then took down, this photo of herself with her boyfriend, French writer Bernard-Henri Lévy. Lévy is married to actress Arielle Dombasle. [@ TheRealDaphne]
- Environmentalists are eye-rolling at Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady's supposedly "green" new mansion. Still under construction, the five-storey castle is 22,000 square feet and boasts eight bedrooms, a six-car garage, a nursery, a wine cellar, an elevator, numerous water features, and an indoor bridge connecting the two wings of the home that is reportedly modeled on the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. It's taken 18 months to build and it's not even finished yet. Oh, but they put some solar panels on the roof, so it's totally green. [MNN]
- Twilight actor Ashley Greene rode a double-decker bus to Times Square to personally unveil her first DKNY Jeans billboard. She says she's happy to be the face of a brand that "provide[s] a positive message of empowerment for women." [WWD]
- Richard Avedon's model, muse, and wife (for five years), Doe Avedon has died. She was 86. Doe Avedon's reluctant transformation into a model inspired the film Funny Face. [NYTimes]
- Lacoste is facing criticism for allegedly trying to censor the work of a Palestinian artist. Lacoste sponsors the prestigious Elysée art prize, but withdrew its sponsorship this year after the Musée de L'Elysée named the Jerusalem-based artist Larissa Sansour a finalist. Lacoste said Sansour's work, "a multimedia project titled Nation Estate which the artist says imagines a 'Palestinian state rising from the ashes of the peace process,'" didn't fit the theme of the competition and didn't want Sansour's work to be exhibited; the museum stood by the artist. [Guardian]
- John Varvatos is reportedly on the market. VF Corp, which also owns Lee and Wrangler, is looking to unload the brand for around $80 million, and the brand is reportedly happy to be shot of VF Corp. Lion Capital and Ron Burkle are said to be among the potential buyers, which is interesting, because both Lion Capital and Ron Burkle are major investors in American Apparel, and have been jockeying each other for position at that troubled company. Burkle was recently out-maneuvered by Lion in an attempt to become AA's senior creditor, so perhaps the John Varvatos bid is just a little fuck-you to Lion for that. [NYPost]
- Louis Vuitton is suing The Hangover II because at one point in the movie, Zach Galifianakis' character carries a bag that appears to be covered in LV monogram canvas, and he tells another character, "Careful — that's a Louis Vuitton," but it is not in fact a Louis Vuitton. [THR]
- Speaking of counterfeiting, a six-week sting operation has resulted in the seizure of some $76 million worth of fake products, largely apparel and accessories. A multi-agency task-force in Mexico, the U.S., and South Korea monitored ports and retail outlets and turned up fake merchandise purported to be from such brands as Burberry, Coach, Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton and True Religion. [WWD]
- Patrice Lataillade, the former Marc Jacobs executive who sued the company for sexual harassment after he was let go, and who was himself counter-sued by Jacobs parent company LVMH for allegedly perpetrating a $20 million fraud, has settled both lawsuits. The confidential settlement is "to the satisfaction of both parties." [HuffPo]
- Forever 21 plans to open its first store in France on January 28. [WWD]
- Project Accessory named a winner:
Nina Cortessomeone else named Brian Burkhardt. [HuffPo]
- And now, a moment with Carine Roitfeld. Carine, how do you feel about Emmanuelle Alt, the former colleague and dear friend who pushed you out at Vogue Paris and took your job?
"Maybe this was not supposed to be a friendship," Ms. Roitfeld said. "If I look at the balance, maybe I lost some people I thought were my friends, but I made so many new friends. I am very happy, in the end, because I am the winner."
Sorry? That French accent can be tough. Did you say ... ?
"I am the winner," she repeated. "At the end of the day."