A consumer group called Que Choisir — basically the European Consumer Reports — commissioned and published a study that found elevated concentrations of endocrine disruptors in 66 common personal-care products. Endocrine disruptors affect the body's regulation, production, and absorption of hormones and some endocrine disruptors can cause cancer, birth defects, and reduced cognitive function. Thanks to biomagnification, certain endocrine disruptors also cause birth defects and cancer in animals throughout the ecosystem, Silent Spring-style. Others, like bisphenol A, the scientific jury is kindasorta still out on. It's a complicated issue; scientists say because of the tendency of endocrine disruptors to persist in the body for long periods of time, exposure to multiple products, each containing concentrations that would be of little or no risk alone, may pose health risks. The European Commission is currently weighing scientific evidence in order to formulate a strategy for regulating endocrine disruptors, to be published in May. The endocrine disruptors Que Choisir found include triclosan, an antibacterial agent (which the F.D.A. is currently reviewing) and propylparaben, a preservative. Affected products include moisturizers, body washes, toothpastes, and deodorants by Nivea, Colgate, Neutrogena, and other brands. In the U.S., personal-care products are only lightly regulated for health and safety. [Que Choisir, Metro, WWD]
- Nicola Formichetti, whose departure from Mugler was announced yesterday, is expected to announce a major collaboration with (or possibly a creative director position at — accounts differ) Diesel. The Post has the stylist "palling around" with Diesel founder Renzo Rosso at Paris Fashion Week and says Formichetti is expected to be named creative director of the brand shortly. Women's Wear Daily says Formichetti is working on "a major collaboration" with Diesel. For the record, Diesel's designer line, Diesel Black Gold, has a creative director — Andreas Melbostad. [P6, WWD]
- Shazam is designing a new app that will identify by brand clothing seen on television or in photographs. [Guardian]
- Angelina Jolie says sales of her fantastically expensive fine jewelry collection with Robert Procop have funded a school in Afghanistan that educates 200-300 girls. The school, which is located outside Kabul, opened last November. [Reuters]
- Business of Fashion has a fantastic, thoroughly reported article on one of fashion's most taboo topics: getting paid. According to designers, many retailers, from department stores to boutiques and concept stores, are bad payers. According to stores, many designers (especially emerging brands) are bad at meeting delivery deadlines and can have inconsistent quality control. Unfortunately, it is emerging brands that are most likely to be crippled by late payments:
"At the beginning, you are in an awkward position," recalled Peter Pilotto, one half of the eponymous London-based brand that has quickly built a business of substantial scale. Still, Mr Pilotto remembers these kinds of problems from the early days of his business all too well, saying he has been forced to stop working with several "prestigious accounts" due to very slow payments. He declined to name the offending stores on the record.
"On the one hand, you are so happy that they have placed an order, but then they don't pay you, which creates a chain reaction because you have promised your manufacturers that you will pay them when the stores have paid," he said. "It's a terrible situation."
The boutiques called out by name for poor payment records include London's LN-CC and Milan's Corso Como (which is owned by Carla Sozzani, the sister of Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani). [BoF]
- After J.C. Penney lost almost one billion dollars last year, C.E.O. Ron Johnson's compensation was slashed from $53.3 million to $1.9 million. The earlier figure was heavily inflated by the stock options that Penney offered to induce Johnson to take the job in 2011, and those stock awards may not ultimately be realized because under Johnson's watch the company's share price, like its sales, has so far sunk. [WWD]
- Meanwhile Urban Outfitters C.E.O. and founder Richard Hayne again drew a $1 salary last year. His total compensation of $33,000 otherwise comprised a $5,000 holiday bonus and life and health insurance premiums paid by the company. Urban Outfitters fell slightly short of the financial performance standards that would have entitled Hayne to a larger cash bonus, like the $420,000 bonus he received in 2010. Despite his salary, Hayne is still a very rich man: his 18% stake in Urban Outfitters is worth around $1.1 billion. [WWD]
- Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine has launched a small jewelry collection. It's for sale in a Flotique, of course. [Refinery29]
- Jimmy Choo's Tamara Mellon has written a memoir titled In My Shoes (not to be confused with the Jennifer Weiner novel In Her Shoes). It comes out in October. [The Cut]
- British retailers including ASOS, Boden, and Topshop are eyeing the U.S. for growth. [BoF]
- Oscar de la Renta is going to be interviewed by Fern Mallis live at the 92Y on June 6. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with designer Lie Sang Bong. Sang Bong, how has the viral video "Gangnam Style" impacted your business?
When asked how Psy's success has changed the fashion landscape in Korea, Lie San Bong says, "A couple of months ago [the actor and Les Miserables star] Hugh Jackman was trying on a jacket that I gave him and asked, ‘Is this Gangnam style?' Gangnam Style was a great advertisement of Gangnam in Korea."
Lede photo via Daria Minaeva/Shutterstock