Oscar de la Renta shared some more passive-aggressive words about Michelle Obama with the press. "It is a relation that began poorly and I think it will end the same way," said the designer of the First Lady. "An anonymous woman on the street is the woman who influences fashion today, not a movie star or a first lady." MObama's crime? She's never worn de la Renta's label. [AP]
Jourdan Dunn tells Net-A-Porter's magazine The Edit that — like other prominent black models — she still encounters resistance from clients because of her race:
There were times, however, when Dunn would be on her way to castings and told to turn back because the client "didn't want any more black girls". There was even one instance when a makeup artist announced on a shoot that she didn't want to make-up Dunn's face because she herself was white and Dunn was black.
Stella McCartney woke up this morning, went to Buckingham Palace, and became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.). That makes her one rung behind her dad, Sir Paul McCartney, on the ladder of British honorifics. [@StellaMcCartney]
- Women's Wear Daily reports on a disturbing trend in apparel manufacturing in China: factories that close up shop or relocate overnight, leaving behind workers and vendors who are owed wages and payments. The Chinese New Year holiday, during which many workers return home from China's coastal industrial zones to visit their families, is apparently a popular time for factory owners to pull this kind of stunt. Locally, the phenomenon is called the problem of "runaway bosses." According to WWD:
Typically, labor groups say, the factory owners move to inland provinces where labor and resources are cheaper than in the commercially saturated Pearl River Delta. Workers are increasingly left behind in factory relocations because their salaries have become too costly and factory owners want a fresh supply of low-cost labor in places like rural Henan province, where wages are low and jobs are not as plentiful.
China's central government has encouraged companies to open manufacturing plants in the rural hinterlands, but it has not addressed this potentially unintended consequence of workers being left behind in the wake.
- The online store Nasty Gal, which grew from an eBay business reselling thrift-store finds to a standalone retailer that last year counted nearly $100 million in revenue, is in talks to sell a majority stake to Urban Outfitters. [NYTimes]
- Vera Wang responds to the news that its sole boutique in China has been charging would-be customers a non-refundable $482 fee to try on wedding gowns: "We are reviewing our policy and formulating a system where all international stores will be aligned." [Refinery29]
- Pittsburgh-born model Courtney Shallcross says some funny things happened during her first runway season:
"It was weird, at Louis Vuitton, I was like, 'Why is Marc Jacobs calling me by my first name?' First-name basis, making small talk with him by the food table."
- Shallcross is studying to be an air traffic controller and has her pilot's license. Asked which is scarier, flying a plane or walking in a designer show broadcast to millions online, she is unequivocal: "Flying is worse because you could die." [WWD]
- Model Soo Joo Park, who was a sensation at the fall shows with her bleached blonde hair, is 26. Because of the pervasive age discrimination in modeling, she had been lying about her age to clients and the press by saying she was 23. Park, who was born in Seoul and grew up in the Bay Area, says clients often want "cookie cutter" models and don't care about diversity.
"Diversity is very important and to be completely honest, they just want cookie-cutters a lot — not all — but a lot of the times, they do. I can't say I expect people to be colorblind, because as long as we have eyes, we're not going to be colorblind, but I hope there comes a day when it's not just cookie-cutter models."
"In my free time, I like to do this thing we coined 'hard-core lounging,' where I just sit in my bed in my jammies and have movie marathons, and eat comfort food and spill it all over my bed."
- Older models #ftw. [The Cut]
- Tory Burch is suing a small accessories manufacturer called Bluebell for allegedly selling items bearing counterfeit Tory Burch logos. [WWD]
- Business of Fashion has an interesting profile of the brand Mango. Over the past few years, after weathering a steep decline in its profits, Mango has turned around by cutting prices by an average of 20% (bringing them in line with competitor Zara) and focusing on creating more casual clothing. [BoF]
- Cult '90s designer Miguel Adrover, who went out of business in 2004, is the subject of a new documentary titled Call it a Balance in the Unbalance. [WWD]