French police have busted a counterfeit ring that sold fake Hermès bags through a parallel distribution network in Asia, the U.S., and Europe. Two Hermès employees have been fired, and more are believed to have been involved. Police raids on the Paris workshops where the bags were apparently made — they were filled with leather and exotic skins — netted a dozen arrests. The public prosecutor put the sales realized by just one branch of the counterfeiting ring at $22 million. Wonder what Tyler Shields would make of all this? [WWD]
Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — the senator whose own Vogue profile largely concerned her hotness and weight loss — says that Anna Wintour actually likes to talk about textile tariffs on her own time. "She said, ‘You may not realize this, but the tariffs and the treaties we have in place fundamentally affect the ability to provide various goods to various markets at an affordable rate,'" the Senator tells the New York Times in a piece about the Vogue editor's political engagement. The Times describes Wintour as a "bit of a leftie," and asks, "The devil reads Pravda?" (Groan.) Wintour is a top Obama "bundler," who has raised more than $500,000 for the campaign. She has personally given nearly $100,000 to various Democratic candidates and causes since 2004. [NYTimes]
- Unrelatedly, here's an out-of-context line from an Edward Norton stop-and-chat in today's Women's Wear Daily:
"My girlfriend says I have a crush on Anna [Wintour]," he says with a laugh. "It's possible."
- The wildly popular and lucrative Alexander McQueen show that graced the Met last summer will not be traveling to London. Both the brand and the Victoria & Albert Museum, which had expressed interest, have dismissed rumors that the show would go ahead. [Vogue UK]
- As Carine Roitfeld gets closer to launching her magazine, CR, Condé Nast sent a letter to the photographers it has on contract — including Mario Testino, Craig McDean, David Sims and Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott — to gently remind them that they must shoot exclusively for Condé-owned fashion and beauty titles. "People love Carine but are more frightened of the Condé Nast machine," says a source. [P6]
- A $10 monthly makeup subscription service founded four months ago by an Ethiopian woman has attracted more than 600 customers. [WWD]
- A judge dismissed Louis Vuitton's lawsuit against the makers of The Hangover for using a knockoff bag in the film. Trademark infringement is permitted in creative works under U.S. law if it has "genuine relevance" to the work in question, for instance if it serves to advance the plot of a film. The lawsuit stemmed from a scene in which Zach Galifinakis' character Alan gets jostled while carrying a knockoff of the Diophy bag, and snaps, "Be careful, that's a Lewis [sic] Vuitton." The judge wrote:
Alan's terse remark to Teddy to '[be] [c]areful' because his bag 'is a Lewis Vuitton' comes across as snobbish only because the public signifies Louis Vuitton — to which the Diophy bag looks confusingly similar — with luxury and a high society lifestyle. His remark also comes across as funny because he mispronounces the French 'Louis' like the English 'Lewis,' and ironic because he cannot correctly pronounce the brand name of one of his expensive possessions, adding to the image of Alan as a socially inept and comically misinformed character. This scene also introduces the comedic tension between Alan and Teddy that appears throughout the Film.
- Elle Accessories is being relaunched. [NYTimes]
- And now, a moment with Tom Ford. Tom, do negative reviews still hurt?
"Of course they do. Because often a bad review is right and those hurt in a different way because you know in your heart what you're reading is right."