Dutch model Ananda Marchildon has won her lawsuit against her former agency, Elite. Marchildon, who won Holland's Next Top Model and a €75,000 contract with Elite, was dropped by the agency after only having earned €10,000 in two years of working, and sued for the remaining value of her contract. Elite will now have to pay her €65,000. Another winner of the show who says she experienced similar treatment is said to also be mulling a lawsuit to recoup her losses. Elite's counter-argument — that it dropped Marchildon for gaining 2cm on her hips over the course of the contract — and its lawyer's public statement that modeling "not for everybody" evidently weren't persuasive to the judge. Agencies tend to flout minimum guaranteed earnings provisions in modeling contracts — when such guarantees are offered, which is rarely — because the risk of a teenage girl from Siberia (or wherever) who hasn't been earning any money actually filing suit is pretty slim. [Dutch News]
- Alexander Wang has responded to the allegations of labor law violations contained in a new lawsuit brought by a group of employees, even though the company has not yet viewed the lawsuit:
"The company takes its obligations to comply with the law very seriously, including the relevant wage and hour regulations, the payment of overtime to eligible employees and having a safe working environment for all of our employees. We will vehemently defend any allegations to the contrary."
The plaintiffs — which include at least one employee who alleges he was fired in retaliation for complaining about the alleged illegal treatment — say they were forced to work up to 84 hours per week, without being paid legal overtime or given legally mandated breaks. In certain cases, they claim they suffered injuries on the job and were denied worker's compensation. [WWD]
- So: Hedi Slimane, the acclaimed former Dior Homme designer who got everyone and his sister in stovepipe pants in the early 2000s, the designer for whom Karl Lagerfeld lost 60 pounds, the man who can place a dart and make women weak at the knees, has been confirmed as the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. Thank you, Stefano Pilati, the exit's to the left. Women's Wear Daily's lede: "Get ready for more Hedi times at Yves Saint Laurent." [WWD]
- The Guardian calls Slimane a "perfectionist" and a "cult figure" whose appointment shows that YSL and its owners, PPR, are "prepared to take risks." It also says that "exploratory talks last year about a possible return to the Dior post vacated by John Galliano were stalled by Slimane's insistence on an expensive refit of all boutiques." [Guardian]
- "He has never designed women's fashion on a commercial basis," points out Cathy Horyn, tersely. Charlotte Rampling, Madonna, and Nicole Kidman are among the female celebrities who wore his men's clothes. [NYTimes]
- The company that makes the Brazilian Blow-out keratin hair treatment — and which lied when it marketed its formaldehyde-laced products as "formaldehyde-free" — has agreed to a $4.5 million legal settlement. The company can no longer lie about the formaldehyde content of its products, and "consumers who contend they were harmed by the product would receive a $35 payment for each treatment, up to three total, and stylists would receive $75 for each bottle of the product they bought." $105 should totally cover everybody's treatment for the cancer they'll be getting from all that carcinogenic formaldehyde exposure, right? [NYTimes]
- A total idiot asshole was arrested for painting her fingernails on a Southwest flight. She broke out the varnish while the plane was still on the runway, and was quickly asked to stop by a flight attendant. She complied and got off with a warning — but later in the flight, says the passenger, "I discovered I only had two nails left to paint, so I thought if I went in the bathroom and did it, I wouldn't offend anyone." First: the bathroom? Seriously? Second: "discovered"? [Refinery29]
- A survey of American shoppers came to some conclusions that Women's Wear Daily calls "startling":
• 52 percent of Americans are struggling to afford the necessities.
• 67 percent of women agreed that trusted brand names are not worth paying more for. Twenty-six percent of the women said they previously bought brands they could not afford, but no longer indulge.
• 75 percent of women said it's important to get the lowest price on everything.
• 45 percent only buy on sale.
• 43 percent of women search online for discounts before they shop.
• 14 percent use mobile phones in stores attempting to find lower prices elsewhere.
Forgive us, but these findings are so non-shocking they are not even mildly surprising. Why on earth would anyone who's not a Romney ever pay full price? In this economy? With this Internet? [WWD]
- A gossip site that was clearly, well, reaching published some photos of Alicia Keys at the Givenchy show, where she sort of limply grasped the hand of W fashion director Edward Enninful — whom the site ID'd as "this dude." As in, "UMMMMM . . . This Could Be NOTHING . . . But . . Why Is R&B Singer ALICIA KEYS Holding Hands With THIS DUDE?????" Ummmmm, because they're friends? And he's gay? Enninful Tweeted the link with a "THIS DUDE? Haha." [@EdwardEnninful]
- Earnings for the quarter ended January 28 fell by 41% at American Eagle, to $51.3 million. But same-store sales actually rose a very healthy 10% at the chain. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton, who says she "wasn't the trendiest girl" at her university and that putting together the blockbuster McQueen show at the Met last year was hard because "when we looked at the pieces, there was such sorrow." Sarah, what was amazing about Lee McQueen?
"What was amazing about Lee was that he created this process where it was never really about fashion. It was always about a feeling and telling a story. And I think he sort of trained us all — trained me — to try to tell a story and to find a world that doesn't necessarily relate to what everybody else is doing and to believe in your own instincts. And that went for everything. Lee really did believe in creating things that were unique to him and very special to the house. A lot of the prints and embroideries and jacquards are specifically designed not just for the collection, but for each garment."