ABC executives demanded that this 30-second ad for Madonna's soon-to-be-released perfume be digitally edited to cover more of her boobies. The suits didn't like Madge's cleavage, and told the singer's people that even after the Photoshop modesty girdle had been added, the ad could be broadcast only after 9 p.m. — or, curiously, during The View. [P6]
A Ugandan newspaper published a story referring to Franca Sozzani as the wife of Ugandan oil millionaire Charles Mbire. The paper also ran photographs of Mbire's lavish birthday party for the editor and spelled her name "Suzani." Sozzani laughed off the coverage, saying she is single. [ Vogue.it]
Vogue Italia's April cover is out, and it has a prom theme. With masks, as noted previously. [ Vogue.it]
In the age-old quest of school administrators to kill any incipient student joy, slutty prom dresses are a flash point. As ever. [ WSJ]
Prabal Gurung released two nail wrap designs with Sally Hansen. Both are based on the digital prints used in his spring collection. [ BH]
- Designer Tracy Reese — like most people who are not racist — is appalled by the killing of Trayvon Martin. "The whole thing is just so sad, and the excuses are so lame," says Reese. "Young men of color can't be targets...It's so sad that people want to be in fear of you just because you're a young man of color." [HuffPo]
- Garment workers in Cambodia who attempted to march from a factory that produces clothing for J.C. Penney to the Ministry of Labor were attacked and beaten, reportedly by police and security personnel. Three women were injured, one seriously. J.C. Penney had no comment. Workers say they are in favor of unionizing at the factory and organized the non-violent demonstration to protest management stalling tactics. [WWD]
- The story of Jackie Kennedy's blood-stained pink bouclé suit is, it turns out, a complex one. Countless news articles repeat the claim that the suit was by Chanel — a story which is bolstered every time a prominent fashion figure mentions something about the iconic outfit being Chanel, as Carine Roitfeld did when she recently told a magazine that the assassination-day suit was "the first Chanel jacket that I saw that I knew was Chanel." But Karl Lagerfeld says, "It was a fake, a line-by-line copy by [Oleg] Cassini. She did have real Chanels, her sister ordered them. We have all the proof." Oleg Cassini, who frequently dressed the First Lady, has long been the object of barbs about his reliance on European designers for "inspiration." (Kennedy had to have plenty of American labels in her closet for political reasons, but at the time Paris was still the undisputed capitol of global fashion.) But Lagerfeld is apparently wrong about Cassini, who had nothing to do with the infamous pink suit. If in fact it wasn't Chanel,
The other theory about the dress is that it came from the Chez Ninon dress shop in New York (in this Bill Cunningham piece in the Times he confirms that Jackie was a client) where it was created using the "line-for-line" system (Karl's words almost exactly).
According to Justine Picardie's authorized biography of Coco Chanel, Chanel, Her Life, Jackie Kennedy was a Chanel client starting in the 1950s. But after she was slammed in the press for a reported $30,000 Paris spending spree during her husband's Presidential campaign, Mrs. Kennedy couldn't afford to buy Chanel from Chanel and risk more bad press, especially not as First Lady. Too foreign, too spendy...To avoid another gaffe, Picardie says that Mrs. Kennedy "was able to acquire Chanel outfits sewn for her in New York by a dressmaking establishment called Chez Ninon. The garments were not fake or pirated, but made to order using materials supplied by Chanel in Paris."
"Thus it was," Picardie concludes, "that she came to be wearing a vivid pink Chanel suit (complete with fabric, trim and buttons from 31 Rue Cambon, but fitted at Chez Ninon) on 22nd November 1963, accompanying her husband to Dallas."
So it wasn't a "fake," as Lagerfeld says, but a licensed Chanel copy made to order with the consent of the house. [Fashionista]
- Related: the Caro piece from this week's New Yorker on the events of November 22, 1963, and the accession of Lyndon B. Johnson is detailed, fascinating, and kind of insanely great. Jackie Kennedy kept that blood-stained suit on during Johnson's swearing-in and for the flight back to D.C. with her husband's body. [New Yorker]
- Mr. Prada, Patrizio Bertelli, does not understand the writing of Naomi Klein very well. "In 2003 or 2004, nobody thought that luxury goods would grow so much," he said, citing Klein's book No Logo. "Had she lived in the 14th century, she'd end up burned like a witch because of all these silly things she wrote. I mean, she was hugely popular with the book and then everything that happened was the opposite." Prada made over $600 million last year. [WWD]
- There's a long, thorough piece on Andrew Rosen in the new WSJ. Rosen, who co-founded Theory, is the son of an old-school Seventh Avenue garmento and an investor in such businesses as Rag & Bone, Alice + Olivia, and Proenza Schouler. Anna Wintour compares him to an American Gucci Group or Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.
Word got around that Rosen was some kind of fashion-biz guru who would freely dispense the lost wisdom of Seventh Avenue and would nudge his design partners back in line only if he felt they had strayed from their own path. Not surprisingly, designers like this idea a lot. In a notable coup, Rosen led a group of investors in buying a 50 percent interest in Proenza Schouler last summer. "We met with a lot of ballbreaker business guys with money, but Andrew let us keep control, and he felt like a friend," says the label's Lazaro Hernandez. "I mean, we hang out. If we wanted to be employees, we would have gone to one of the big vacant houses of Europe."
Burn. Interestingly, Rosen doesn't own controlling stakes in any of the brands he invests in. One more anecdote from Alice + Olivia's Stacey Bendet:
"He said, 'I want to be your partner,' and I was 24, and I'm like, 'Um, I'm just making my fun pants,'" says Bendet. She and Rosen talk every morning now. "He's never tried to change anything I've done-he just makes it more efficient. He's on his way to the acupuncturist, and it's like — boom! — 'Stacey, I passed this store on 65th and Madison and it's perfect for Alice + Olivia!' And I'm like, 'Andrew, I'm having a C-section at the moment,' and he says, 'Oh, don't worry, we can get it opened by the end of the month.'"
- Looking for another reason to mock those damnably smug types who inflict the antisocial offense of their rubberized articulated toes on the general public? The one argument wearers of the world's most aesthetically indefensible footwear always fall back on is that the "five finger" shoes are somehow "better" for their feet, because science. But there is no scientific consensus on the superiority or even the suitability of barefoot-style shoes. Says the American Podiatric Medical Association:
Research has not yet adequately shed light on the immediate and long-term effects of this practice. Barefoot running has been touted as improving strength and balance, while promoting a more natural running style. However, risks of barefoot running include a lack of protection — which may lead to injuries such as puncture wounds — and increased stress on the lower extremities.
It's like anything; there are risks, there are rewards, and there are hideous fucking shoes. The problem is that Vibram, the biggest company in the toe-shoe game, has been claiming in its ads that "scientific research" proves that its shoes provide "health benefits" that traditional running shoes don't. A Vibram customer in Florida — God bless her — has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the ads are misleading. Last year's "scientific" fad shoe, those dumb "toning" running shoes, was the subject of similar lawsuits, including one that ended in Reebok refunding customers $25 million and striking all misleading scientific claims from its ads. [WWD]
- Speaking of shoes, Cathy Horyn worries a lot about your platforms.
Spring weather usually tosses a lot of bad fashion trends onto the city's sidewalks. But this year, with our strangely early spring, the journey between my house and Bergdorf's is absolutely perilous. I worry — I do! — about those late-middle-aged women in super-high platforms and skinny J Brand jeans. A ballerina in toe shoes would have more contact with the pavement than these babes do.
The Times fashion critic compares walking in the spring crop of designer shoes to walking with "a giant Idaho potato wedged under the ball of your foot." [On The Runway]
- British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has published a debut novel, Can We Still Be Friends. It's set in London in the '80s and follows three university friends after graduation. Shulman says she admires writers including Jennifer Egan and John Lanchester. [Vogue UK]
- CVS is ending its foray into the more-expensive sector of the cosmetics market. The drugstore chain will close all 25 of its Beauty 360 stores-within-stores, which offered higher-priced brands but never attracted a big-name anchor tenant along the lines of an Estée Lauder. Duane Reade's similar Look Boutique concept, meanwhile, lives on. [WWD]
- Chris Burch, who recently had to resign as co-chairman of his ex-wife Tory Burch's company following the revelation that he was plotting the launch of his own competing fashion lifestyle brand, has apparently abandoned the name C. Wonder. Instead, rumor has it that he'll be calling the venture Trademark. Interesting choice for one who was recently publicly accused of trade dress infringement. [Fashionista]
- True Religion jeans won a historic $863 million default judgment against over 100 Chinese-registered Web sites that dealt in counterfeited versions of its goods — but it will likely not recover a dime over what was in those businesses' respective PayPal accounts, because duh, they are Chinese-registered counterfeit Web sites. [WWD]
- ShoeDazzle is ditching the monthly-subscription shoe-delivery business model. Maybe because nobody actually needs a new pair of shoes every month? [Fast Company]
- Russell Simmons wants to launch a yoga brand called Tantris. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with model Ava Smith:
"When you're on a set and you're a model, you are pretty much the center of attention. Whether you like it or not, everyone — the hairstylist is paying attention to you, the makeup is paying attention to you, the stylist, the photographer — you become the center of this small earth. I think it's easy for it to go to your head. So now when you walk down the street, you think you're beautiful, and you might think everybody's looking at you, so you think, 'Oh, I must be really important and really special!' But you're not."