Tory Burch is now countersuing her ex-husband and former business partner, Chris Burch. The Burches still each own 28.3% of the Tory Burch company, and the alleged similarities between that brand and Chris Burch's more recent retail venture, C. Wonder, are the focus of the dispute.
Chris Burch sued Tory Burch last month for tortious interference with his business and breach of contract, alleging that his ex-wife had tried to hamper his relationships with suppliers.
In her just-filed countersuit, Tory Burch is alleging that Chris Burch violated his fiduciary duty to the Tory Burch company and that for a period of over two years prior to announcing his plans to launch C. Wonder, Chris Burch "repeatedly asked for and was given full complete access to competitively sensitive information about the company and its best-selling products." She argues that C. Wonder copied not only Tory Burch's designs and aesthetic, but store architecture and interior design, down to the rugs and wall treatments. Developing. [WWD]
The judge in the case, Leo Strine, seems to fancy himself a comedian. Here are some things he said about the scheduling of the trial, John Cheever, and the WASP-iness (or otherwise) of the participants:
"I didn't see any reason to burden anyone's Hanukkah, New Year's, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus with this preppy clothing dispute."
"Real WASPs actually don't go and pay full Polo price. They don't pay full Polo price at Macy's. No way. They actually will find a bargain. That's how they got to be, you know, WASPs. When Tory Burch became popular, no one said, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is the newest thing that ever happened.'"
"I've been deep in it, in an autumnal Cheever phase. I've been reading all kinds of Cheever. I'll have to just keep that up through the — through the case. Have you read your Cheever lately? You know who he is? I mean, it's — you know, and ‘Mad Men' will be coming back at some point in time. I think if you read Cheever, go see the new Virginia Woolf revival and watch ‘Mad Men.' We'll be all geared up and in the mood for this sort of drunken WASP fest. Are they WASPs? Are the Burches WASPs? Do we know?"
Basically, Leo Strine is Fran Lebowitz on Law & Order. Which was actually a documentary. [WWD]
- Some of Lady Gaga's costumes are to be auctioned off, so if you want to buy that metal mask she wore in the video for "Bad Romance," now's your chance. [Vogue UK]
- Costume designer Jacqueline Durran studied 19th Century couture dresses by Charles Frederick Worth and 1950s garments by Jacques Fath and Cristóbal Balenciaga at the Met's Costume Institute while working on Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley. Durran and the director didn't want the movie to be a straight period piece, so she combined 1870s skirt silhouettes with some elements of 1950s bodices. [WWD]
- Brooke Shields' mother and longtime manager, Teri Shields, has died. She was 79. [NYTimes]
- Carine Roitfeld said at a public interview with PS1 museum's Klaus Biesenbach that if she could choose any name for her profession, it would be "dreamer." Joked the former editor of Vogue Paris, "It's very difficult when I fill out immigration papers and they say, ‘What is your job?'" She also said that she hopes Balenciaga picks a designer who is as "young and fresh" as Nicolas Ghesquière was when he joined the house as an associate in the mid-90s, rising to creative director in 1997. [WWD]
- Roitfeld also clarified her new role as an editor for Harper's Bazaar. She will not report to Glenda Bailey, or any other editor-in-chief, but instead will work to come up with fashion editorials independently, and then they'll be offered to all international editions of the magazine. Hearst pursued her for over a year before she agreed to take on the at-large role. "I'm always independent. No boss," said Roitfeld. [WWD]
- European Union scientists want 100 allergens added to the list of ingredients cosmetics and perfume manufacturers must disclose on their packaging, and want 12 substances banned outright. Perfumes that currently include some of those allergens include Chanel No. 5, Angel by Thierry Mugler, and Shalimar by Guerlain. Cosmetics companies are obviously fighting the proposed measure. [Telegraph]
- Snooki, eager as ever to exploit the window of fame that is swiftly closing with the cancellation of Jersey Shore, is selling a bunch of crap with her name on it on HSN. There's a perfume called Snooki Couture, but sadly none named Where Did We Go So Wrong As A Culture? [WWD]
- Rumor has it Erdem Moraglioglu is under consideration to be the creative director at Schiaparelli when it relaunches next year. [Grazia]
- Derek Lam and his business co-founder Jan-Hendrik Schlottman just bought their company back from Labelux, which took a majority stake in 2008. The deal's price tag was not disclosed. [WWD]
- Meanwhile, the family that owns 28% of Lacoste is considering selling its stake to the Swiss concern Maus Frères. Maus says the deal would value the company at around $1.3-$1.6 billion. [WWD]
- Racked asks the obvious question in the wake of the news that Iman cosmetics is launching a BB cream for women of color: why the fuck aren't other cosmetics brands doing the same? Bobbi Brown, Stila, Smashbox, Garnier, and Too Faced have all brought BB creams to market — and heavily promoted them as magical miracle wonder-products — but don't have any shades for dark-skinned women. [Racked]
- Nordstrom will offer selected merchandise from all ten finalists in this year's Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund competition as part of a new Fashion Fund Shops thingamajig. [WWD]
- Vogue Hommes Japan is folding after four years of publication. Condé Nast is instead putting its resources into GQ Style Japan. [Nicola Formichetti]
- Dominican apparel manufacturer Grupo M is expanding its operations across the border in Haiti to take advantage of advantageous economic opportunities (like an expanded free-trade program) in the wake of the earthquake. It currently employs around 9,500 Haitians, mostly making jeans and t-shirts for brands including Banana Republic, Old Navy, Hanes, Lucky Brand, and Donna Karan. The company also says that it is the only apparel factory in Haiti that is unionized. [WWD]
- M.I.A. spoke at PS1 in New York City and used her laptop, revealing her desktop to the world. There were several folders labeled "Versace Prints," "Bootleg Versace," and "Versace Outlines," and the singer confirmed she is working on a collaboration with the brand. [Spin]
- Sales across all brands at L'Oréal rose year-on-year by 11.8% during the quarter just ended. Revenue was up by 4.6%, to $6.91 billion. [WWD]
- Macy's net income rose year-on-year by 4.3% during the quarter, to $145 million. [WWD]
- Burberry posted a 27.5% year-on-year drop in its profits during the last six months, to $134.3 million. But revenues rose by 6.4%. The decline was due to costs associated with one-offs, like the fees paid to terminate its perfume license agreement early and bring the fragrance division in-house. Excluding those items, pre-tax profits actually rose 7.3%, to $274 million, beating analysts' expectations. [WWD]