The Nouvel Observateur and Cathy Horyn at the New York Times are reporting that Alexander Wang is a leading candidate to take over the creative directorship of Balenciaga. Horyn reports that "an announcement of his appointment could be made as early as next week, a Paris source with knowledge of the discussions said on Wednesday night." This has to be some kind of a joke, right? [NouvelObs, NYTimes]
Meanwhile, that was quick: just days after Christopher Kane and Donatella Versace announced the young, London-based designer would no longer be co-creative director of the Versus brand (an event that coincided with Kane's rumored status as a front-runner for the Balenciaga gig), Versace has announced it got itself another young, London-based designer to work on Versus. J.W. Anderson will be collaborating with Donatella Versace on a collection for the brand. [WWD]
Improv Everywhere staged a fake Black Friday line, replete with volunteers in tents and sleeping bags, outside a randomly selected Manhattan dollar store. When the owner arrived to open the store, they crowded in and bought lots of stuff. [YouTube ]
- Miranda Kerr was asked about Victoria's Secret's use of toxic chemicals in its products, which was recently uncovered in testing performed by Greenpeace for a new report. Kerr is well-known for her advocacy of organic and "natural" products and environmental sustainability; she even owns her own organic skincare line, Kora Organics. When asked about the scandal, Kerr said, "I'm actually not going to comment on that." What a pity. [Fashionista]
- Selita Ebanks, meanwhile, is planning to retire from Victoria's Secret. The Angel says she thinks it's time to hang up her wings. "I've done, what, five, six shows?" she says. "I've experienced my V.S. days." [The Cut]
- Victoria Beckham has been on a kind of tour, making appearances for small groups of top customers at Neiman Marcus stores across the Southwest. "I'm very proud of my past, but these women are not Spice Girl fans," says Beckham of her customers. "These are women who love fashion. They appreciate quality." [WWD]
- Cyber Monday apparently registered $1.46 billion in sales, a new record. 'Fess up: who shopped? [WWD]
- Authorities in Bangladesh have arrested three former supervisors at the factory where a fire killed 111 workers this weekend. (Previous reports had put the death toll at 119 or 124, but the latest confirmed figure is 111.) The three men reportedly padlocked shut the factory gates when the blaze broke out, trapping many workers who then burned to death. According to eyewitness accounts from workers, the factory's production manager forced them to continue working even as the building caught fire and they pleaded to escape. The Bangladeshi government has called the fire an act of arson; labor-rights groups argue it was an accident caused by criminal negligence. [WWD]
- Dolly Parton on her beauty routine while she was growing up:
"Until I was a teenager, I used red pokeberries for lipstick and a burnt matchstick for eyeliner. I used honeysuckle for perfume. We were raised in the Pentecostal Church of God and they believed that wearing makeup was sinful. My Grandpa Jake, my Mama's dad, was a preacher. So I had to sneak around and make myself look all pretty but then wash it off before they caught me."
- The judging panel for this year's International Woolmark prize, which has been a launching pad for fashion talent since Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent were emerging designers, has been announced. The judges are Diane von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace, Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani, her gallerist and retailer sister, Carla Sozzani, Style.com's Tim Blanks, Lane Crawford's Andrew Keith, Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo, and Harvey Nichols' Paula Reed. [WWD]
- Alexa Chung says her forthcoming book is "not reeeally a style book." She continues:
"See, I think maybe it should be a style book because everyone presumes that it is so I'm missing a trick. I can't really talk about it because...I don't want to talk about it! It's too much pressure. It's like handing in the world's homework and I'm like, 'Oh God, I can't write!'"
- J. Crew has signed a lease for its first London store — which is also its first store anywhere overseas. [WWD]
- Guess Inc. is reporting that its net income during the quarter just ended fell year-on-year by 44%, to $37.5 million. Same-store sales in North America dropped by 6%. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Tavi Gevinson. The Rookie founder gave a long interview to Collector's Weekly in which she discussed fashion and feminism:
"When I started Rookie, there were a lot of girls like me who had fashion blogs and loved getting dressed up and thinking about appearance, not in a stressful women's magazine way, but in a creative way. I can understand how some feminists who've fought against things like style or beauty defining all women might feel confused about how we can discuss self-esteem and being your own person but also write so much about fashion. But for Rookie, fashion is about personal expression and creativity. And I want there to be a place where women can do that, where you can care about fashion, and even be super girly, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you're not also smart or confident or strong."