- TIME magazine invited Donatella Versace to the annual White House Correspondents dinner, and she thought the invitations said white lines so she RSVPed. No actually she thought they said "Winehouse" Correspondents dinner. [NY Mag]
- And speaking of cocaine! George W. Bush's cousin Lauren may be a handbag designing ex-model but that doesn't mean she's completely reprehensible. [NY Mag]
- Sophie Dahl: the grandspawn of Roald Dahl who used to be an on-the-thick-side-for-a-model model until she stopped doing drugs and modeling and got skinny, has written a novel called Playing With The Grown-Ups. It's excerpted in...of all places...USA Today. Bored? Here. It features a dog named Ibsen, and would obviously be a lot better if he was the narrator. [USA Today]
- Jordin Sparks: the daughter of an Avon lady, she herself became an Avon lady a mere five years ago, at the tender age of fourteen, and then she became an American Idol, and as if this story could get any more inspiring — wait, it can! — she was yesterday named Avon's Chief Inspirational Officer. [WWD]
- H&M has been named Europe's "most valuable brand" by a brand consulting firm called Interbrand, which is especially interesting considering H&M is not really a "brand," but leave it to the brand consultants to brand it that way. [FT]
- Some legal battle brewing between Juicy Couture and website JuicyCampus. If there was a trademark more unworthy of infringement it is probably Juicy. [Radar]
- Gucci and Louis Vuitton are in the designer gas mask business now. Do kids still make time capsules? Because those sort of belong in there, along with a knockoff Louis Vuitton SARS mask and a MacBook permanently frozen on an image of Britney Spears' period panties. [Complex]
- Estee Lauder is silently bleeding to death and you all are too busy trying on cheek stain at Sephora to care. [Crains]
H&M is a brand like Saks is a brand—more like a house of brands (albeit multiple manufacturers under one "label")—ergo, a retail brand. Plenty of arguments exist as to whether these espouse all the elements that comprise a brand, including the supposed emotional resonance one would have with the consumer.
Interbrand, in its continuing struggle to remain relevant trumpets this revelation, but doesn't convince us re where within the retail brand hierarchy it might sit—that would subjective from country to country within Europe, non?
It's Europe's most profitable fashion retailer at present, but given mass- and acceptable obsolescence merchandising, I doubt that they even think of themselves as a brand, with all the values that would imply.