Betsey Johnson has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Johnson's company was given a temporary reprieve from bankruptcy in 2010 by Steve Madden, the shoe maker and convicted felon, after it defaulted on a nearly $50 million loan. Madden's company paid the debt, taking as collateral all of Betsey Johnson's intellectual property, and began the process of restructuring the company and pumping out more licensed goods — but the restructuring didn't really take, and retail sales are down by more than 20% since 2007. As a result of the bankruptcy filing, about 350 people will lose their jobs, and the majority of the chain's 63 stores will be shuttered. Johnson, who got her start as a costume designer on Andy Warhol's films (and who was once married to John Cale), says that the company will reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy, she will remain the creative director, and that she will have a runway show in September. [WWD, WSJ]
SLinda Evangelista stars in a dancing-themed cover editorial in the new Vogue Italia. The magazine uploaded to preview GIFs to its Web site. [Vogue Italia]
SElle has a history of the two-piece women's swimsuit up on its site, including Frenchmen Jacques Heim's 1946 "Atome" swimsuit and Louis Réard's 1947 "Bikini." The 1944 photo of four Mexican women bathing in a stream, one of whom is wearing something that looks very much like a two-piece swimsuit, which was unearthed last year by fashion history blog Of Another Fashion is not included; in fact, all of the bikini-wearing women in Elle's history appear to be white. [Elle, Of Another Fashion]
SThis photo of two models posing as a gay couple in 1942 is part of a new Ray-Ban campaign intended to glorify "rebels" throughout history. [Fast Company]
Yeah, maybe it's not such a good idea to call one colorway of your stupid manicure-with-lumps-in-it nail polish set "Ghetto Fabulous." That's shading into "Juarez" territory. [Sephora]
- Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president and brutal warlord, has been convicted of war crimes in the Hague. Taylor was found to have financed the activities of the paramilitary group the Revolutionary United Front — which used child soldiers, paid and armed with the proceeds of slave-mined blood diamonds, to rape, murder, maim, and otherwise terrorize the people of Sierra Leone during that country's 11-year civil war. Naomi Campbell was compelled by prosecutors to testify at Taylor's trial about some uncut blood diamonds (or in her words, "dirty-looking stones") that the African leader gave her at a dinner in South Africa in 1997. Throughout the trial, Campbell acted as if Taylor's activities were no big deal — she memorably told the court that testifying was "a big inconvenience for me" and contradicted the testimony of two other witnesses in ways that minimized her own role in receiving the diamonds — and persistently dodged questions about the diamonds and how she disposed of them. Later, Campbell hinted that her reticence wasn't indicative of any lack of compassion for the many victims of Taylor's crimes, but was rather because she was afraid of him. Luckily for — and no thanks to — Naomi Campbell, it looks like Charles Taylor will be going to prison for a very long time. [Independent]
- And this just in from Die Antwoord, who really, really like Alexander Wang's t-shirts:
"His T-shirts have turned me into a wimp," declares Ninja, the front man of South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord. The haphazardly tattooed musician is in the process of ironing his Fu Manchu mustache in the mirror and generally preparing himself and his spritelike bandmate, Yo-Landi Vi$$er, for an ELLE photo shoot with Alexander Wang — maker of the supersoft tees currently under discussion. "The fuckin' material he uses!" adds Yo-Landi, whose petite frame, blond mullet, and black contact lenses evoke an albino Lisbeth Salander (David Fincher actually considered her for the Dragon Tattoo role). "They look super ordinary, but they're subtly flattering. You can't wear another T-shirt after it; his feel so expensive."
Die Antwoord was featured in one of the brand's ad campaigns last year. [Elle]
- All 23 of the vintage hats made by legendary Times street-style photographer Bill Cunningham that came up for auction were sold to the same anonymous buyer. The selling price was over $20,000, and the buyer is understood to be a friend of Cunningham's who intends to donate the hats in his name to a New York City museum. Before he turned to photography, Cunningham was in the army and then owned his own small millinery company under the brand William J. [WWD]
- Calvin Klein sent his recently arrested on-again-off-again porn-star boyfriend, Nick Gruber, to rehab on his private plane. "There was a fear that if Nick flew commercial, he might go to the bar first. He had to be delivered there," says "a source." Gruber was arrested for misdemeanor assault earlier this week; a police search turned up cocaine on his person. [P6]
- J.Crew — which first said it was working on a "collaboration" with Manolo Blahnik for fall, then clarified when Blahnik expressed his surprise that it was merely going to be selling some Manolo pumps in exclusive prints and colorways — has confirmed that even that will not go forward. [The Cut]
- Kim Kardashian and Kanye West turned up to a Chanel party at the Tribeca Film Festival. Kardashian talked to the press about signing on for three more seasons of her family's reality show. West did not talk to the press at all, as is his wont. [WWD]
- In other news of the "real," America's Next Top Model winner Eva Pigford (who goes by Eva Marcille now) says that Tyra Banks' plan to replace Nigel Barker, Miss J., and Mr. Jay with judges who have more Internet cred is a bad one. Bloggers, she says, "are just people with opinions that don't do this business. It's like, me giving you an opinion about your blog. I don't have a blog. So who am I to tell you about your blog?...I'm sorry, three months as a blogger is not gonna prepare you for what this world is." Let this be a warning to all bloggers that three months as a blogger does not qualify one to evaluate menstrual-cramp poses and Benny Ninja and the bootie tooch. [Fashionista]
- Profits at Shiseido during the last fiscal year rose 13.5% over the previous year, to $183.91 million. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with model Sojourner Morrell. Morell grew up on a farm where she "could ride before I could walk. I rode donkeys, goats, everything." (Goats are not so easy to ride, she says.) After spending summers working on a horse farm in Germany, instead of completing her senior year of high school she opted to become the first ever female student of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
"It was very tough and intense being the only girl; they didn't exactly want me there. I [woke up] at four in the morning and was down feeding the horses by 6 a.m. If you were five minutes late, they'd be like, 'Where were you?!' We would work all day until 3 p.m. — and we did this six to seven days a week. I was the only foreigner, too, [as] they all came from Vienna; so here came some American girl with some liberal education, and they're like, 'What are you doing [here]?'"
Morrell says American politics scares her. "In TV and media, just the politics that come out of Middle America … the Sarah Palins, the Mitt Romneys. Mitt Romney is okay, but still. Newt Gingrich — what? Really? These people have real power. It's scary." [The Cut]