Forget Fast Fashion, A Look at the Ramifications of Fast Media
Digital media is an interesting thing. While most mainstream sites do not actively partake in the facilitation of fake news, a term with a very specific definition (i.e., entirely fabricated stories put forth for political or monetary gain), that is not to say that the information put forth by some of our "trusted" media sources is accurate. If ex-FBI Director James Comey’s recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee is correct, even some of the country’s esteemed publications are not always putting forth entirelyaccurate info – at least not when it comes to classified information.
Kylie v. Kylie
With this in mind, this past winter, a widely-reported story involving Kylie Jenner and Kylie Minogue recently garnered widespread attention in connection with a bitter trademark war involving their names. “Kylie Minogue Wins Legal War with Kylie Jenner Over Name Trademark” read an array of headlines coming from mainstream media outlets after legal counsel for Kylie Jenner, the 19-year old reality television star and budding cosmetics mogul, filed to appeal an unfavorable trademark ruling in connection with her name.
The reporting surrounding the like-named stars’ legal debacle was arguably quite indicative of the state of media and reporting in the digital space.
Some background: The trademark proceeding between Jenner and Minogue got its start in the spring of 2015 when Jenner filed to federally register her full name, as well as variations of it, including “Kylie” and “Kylie Cosmetics,” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) in a number of classes of goods and services. While federal registration is not required to claim rights in a trademark, a registration – if granted – gives its owner the exclusive right to use the mark on a nationwide basis in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration and accordingly, to prevent others from using confusingly similar marks.
Before a mark is registered, any party who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark may file an opposition, which is exactly what Minogue did. In February 2016, the Australian pop star, who already holds an array of federally registered marks in the U.S., initiated oppositions with the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB”), a USPTO administrative tribunal, arguing that Jenner’s “Kylie” and “Kylie Cosmetics” marks were too similar to her own already-registered marks and were likely to confuse consumers and damage her brand if registered.
The stars were able to settle the matter between themselves, and as a result, the matter was dismissed in January, and Jenner’s trademark applications were left intact.
In the meantime, Jenner was embroiled in an unrelated matter involving an application for one of her “Kylie Jenner” trademarks in the class of goods that covers clothing and accessories. She was, until recently, in the midst of a back-and-forth with the USPTO over the registrability of that mark, which the USPTO ultimately held was too similar to existing marks to be registered.
The USPTO, which examines every application for registration, initially refused to register Jenner’s “Kylie Jenner” mark in December 2015, stating that it is too similar to California-based Mimo Clothing's registration for “Kylee” in the same class of goods. The USPTO also held that the “Kylie Jenner” mark clashed with the “Kendall and Kylie” registration that Jenner also holds.
Jenner’s counsel was able to convince the USPTO that there was not a likelihood of confusion between Jenner’s proposed mark and the “Kendall and Kylie” mark due to her joint ownership of the two marks. However, the USPTO issued a subsequent decision in July 2016, stating that Jenner’s proposed mark is, in fact, likely to cause confusion in connection with Mimo Clothing's 2012 registration for “Kylee.”
Jenner’s legal team filed to appeal the USPTO’s finding, and when the international media moved to quickly cover the news, an interesting narrative emerged. A flurry of reports was led by the Daily Mail, a British publication, which published an article on February 4th, entitled, “Trademark our shared name? You should be so lucky, Kylie Minogue tells Kylie Jenner.”
Formulating a mix of the two separate trademark matters, the article read: “She may have lost her man but devastated pop princess Kylie Minogue has one small consolation – she has hung on to something else close to her heart, her name.” The article continued on to state that in connection with the Minogue vs. Jenner trademark battle, “The Patent Office rejected Ms. Jenner’s application [and] Jenner, who wants the name for her clothing and beauty empire, has lodged an appeal.”
The race to publish what Slate has characterized as one of the most “contentious … trademark dispute[s] in recent memory,” led well-known media outlets, ranging from People and Mashable to Forbes, Fox, and CNBC, to quickly parlay the Daily Mail’s flawed account of the trademark matter into articles of their own.
In addition to entangling the two distinct legal matters, most publications uniformly opted to highlight one of the more scandalous excerpts from Minogue’s February 2016 opposition. In arguing that registration of Jenner’s “confusingly similar” marks would damage her brand, Minogue asserted: “Jenner is a ‘secondary reality television personality,’ who has received criticism from disability rights groups and African-American communities” and is best known for her "photographic exhibitionism and controversial posts” on social media.
Such striking excerpts coupled with bait-y titles turned what could have otherwise been considered a run of the mill trademark matter into widely reported media fodder. W Magazine’s Kyle Munzenrieder, who penned an article on the matter on February 6th, noted in successfully distinguishing the two matters: “The reality is slightly more boring … Once you get beyond the tabloid-baiting drama angle, the details are excruciatingly boring and technical.”
The fashion magazine’s digital news editor appears to have done a bit of research before publishing his article, entitled, “Kylie Minogue and Kylie Jenner's Trademark Dispute Is Almost Over, Thank God.” Most notably, journalists for the BBC reviewed the official documents in connection with the trademark proceedings at issue, all of which are publicly available on USPTO’s website.
Samanthi Dissanayake, the Asia editor of the BBC News website, who oversaw the publication’s report, which was published on February 7th, said: “We found the whole story very interesting but while reading, we quickly realized that the reports seemed rather misleading. We noticed that all of the articles cited a single media report, which did not cite its source.”
As for whether she feared losing the first-on-the-scene advantage by devoting time to doing additional research, including reaching out to the parties involved, she noted: “We didn’t worry that we would be later. We wanted to provide the most accurate account that we could, given all of the publicly available information.”
Young designers take spotlight during fashion week
A fresh breeze buffeted Italy’s fashion capital during the second day of Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, both literally, bringing relief from the June heat, and figuratively, as young designers took the spotlight.
They brought with them fresh silhouettes with new proportions and reinterpretations of old summertime favorites from linens to stripes.
Here are highlights from menswear previews Sunday in Milan for next spring and summer:
TEXTURES AT FERRAGAMO
Guillaume Meilland’s second collection for Ferragamo is inspired by the Mediterranean coastline shared by his native France and adopted Italy.
The looks are defined by texture: cable-knit fishermen’s sweaters, velvety shorts, corduroy trousers and suede laser cut tops, all hearty fare for wind-swept seaside strolls. The designer also added touches of whimsy like sea horse prints and coral key chains.
“Yes I like the idea of having, for me, something very Italian, something very much linked to the idea of the holidays and the seaside,” Meilland said backstage. “Textures, colors, we are trying combine soft velvet, English fabrics and heavy linens ... The fluid and something more rough.”
The looks combined for an effortless silhouette that Meilland said was inspired by the 1960 French film “Purple Noon,” based on the Patricia Highsmith’s “Ripley” novels.
Ferragamo’s footwear included penny loafers or slip on moccasins with rubber soles adorned with the trademark buckle for the city or rope accents for the seaside.
Italian rapper Ghali honed in on a pair of velvety shorts with a sea horse print on a golden background from the front row of Ferragamo’s show for next spring and summer.
“I really like the collection. I love lots of the textures that I saw,” said Ghali, a Milan native whose new album, titled “Album,” is being promoted with an ad on the Duomo cathedral.
Converse Sneakers Got a Slick Makeover By J.W. Anderson at Pitti Uomo
The sneaker scene just landed itself another collaboration. J.W. Anderson debuted a sneaker partnership with Converse during Pitti Uomo today. Shown at the Villa La Pietra in Florence, designer Jonathan Anderson’s spring ’18 men’s collection features his take on Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylor high-top and Thunderbolt low-top styles.
The collaboration sneakers include a variety of finishes. The most extreme sneaker shown is a metallic silver Chuck Taylor, which has a higher silhouette than usual (it’s cut at the calf). The Chuck Taylors also come in two-toned gradient colorways. Meanwhile, the low-top Thunderbolt styles appear in denim or beige suede.
The sneaker styles will be available for purchase in the fall. Elsewhere in the collection, Anderson also showed grommeted flip-flops in black or nude.
This isn’t the first time Converse has partnered with a luxury label. In a move to tap the burgeoning sneaker craze, it has teamed up with hyped labels such as Missoni, Comme des Garcons, John Varvatos and Maison Margiela.
Anderson is one of a handful of guest designers showing at Pitti Uomo this season. Yesterday, Christian Louboutin staged a polo bike tournament to showcase his new sneaker styles. Off-White’s Virgil Abloh will debut his new collection tomorrow.
In the fourth annual LVMH Prize, finalists from Japan, Europe and USA will battle it out for €300,000 (Dh1.2 million) winnings and a year-long mentorship.
A record-breaking 1,200 people applied from all over the world.
Cecilie Bahnsen, who takes inspiration from traditional craft techniques like quilting, patchwork and embroidery, is the first Danish designer to make the final.
She was shortlisted by a panel of 45 experts – including designers, buyers, editors, photographers and models Karlie Kloss and Kendall Jenner – at a showcase during Paris Fashion Week.
"This was a really important moment, and putting together that presentation was a bit of a labour of love," says Bahnsen. "I especially enjoyed the conversation I had with Nicolas Ghesquière [of Louis Vuitton]."
Looking ahead to the final, she says is nervous, but also excited.
"Being part of this process has been really eye opening and really positive," she says.
Other finalists include Yoon Ahn – a Korean-American designer based in Tokyo who designs unisex collections under the name of Ambush; Kozaburo Akasaka – a Japanese menswear designer in New York; two French womenswear designers, Antonin Tron (fashion label Atlein) and Marine Serre.
Russia’s Maria Kazakova, who runs her Jahnkoy menswear label in New York, had to talk the panel through her collection via Skype on an iPad as her lawyer had advised her not to leave the United States because of visa issues.
The UK’s Molly Goddard, known for her voluminous tulle dresses, meanwhile, submitted footage from her London fashion show – a dinner party setting for her models – to show off her clothes.
She says the process of elimination to get to the finals has proven very valuable.
"Getting constructive feedback really made me think about my aims and achievements in a new and challenging way," she says.
"I am very nervous about the big finale. I get nervous when public speaking so I’m hoping I don’t mess up."
Christie Brinkley, Jonathan Groff and Yara Shahidi on Being Genuine
If there was ever a time to try and celebrate the sense of American optimism that our nation was built on, that moment would be now. Sure, it might be difficult to conjure up a sense of patriotism in the face of a government that appears to be abandoning and neglecting undeserving individuals and communities, but that doesn’t take away from the historical events that shaped our culture. It would be a shame not to recognize the inspiring individuals that sacrificed everything for the sake of positive advancements of all sorts.
Remarkably, that happens to be the theme of Gap’s latest campaign, a concept dreamed up by Edward Enninful. Titled “Bridging the Gap,” the video from the all-American retailer features stars such as Priyanka Chopra, Wiz Khalifa, Yara Shahidi, Adwoa Aboah and Alek Wek singing and dancing to Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny,” all dressed in white shirts and jeans. According to Enninful, the incoming editor-in-chief of British Vogue, that particular outfit is a blank canvas upon which his chosen talent could express who they truly were. That was done by adding flair, like a nameplate necklace, a simple belt or a peek-a-boo pair of boxer shorts. The various models, actors and activists were selected for this modeling gig due to their various takes on being an American, so it only makes sense that they should be able to express that.
“Growing up, I loved the imagery I saw from America as it celebrated being the land of the free and home of the brave. This project is about authenticity and people living their truths,” said Enninful. In that vein, the Observer asked the stars of the campaign to describe the moment when they can be their most authentic self. From the shores of Christie Brinkley’s favorite island destination to model Maria Borges’ favorite people, these answers offer an intimate peek into the personalities of your favorite stars.
How Amazon is knitting together a tale of fashion domination in India
Amazon has one goal in India – absolute e-tail domination. To achieve that it needs to first win the fashion category. The powers that be in the global e-commerce major know this well and have been working hard to make Amazon very fashionable indeed.
Why is that, you ask? It is because of an illuminating statistic – one out of almost three new customers come to Amazon’s India site to buy fashion. No wonder, then, that Amazon considers it a magnet category. In fact, during the recently concluded ‘Great Indian Sale’ apparel was the single largest category on the platform, ahead of mobile phones, the traditional top seller. And fashion was the second largest category for new customer acquisition during the sale. That is big news in e-commerce as mobile phones continue to be the biggest category for the industry. In 2016, the share of mobile phones was at around 48 percent of gross online retail sales, while fashion accounted for around 20-22 percent, according to research and consulting firm Red Seer.
Fashion is also a high-margin, high repeat purchase rate category, unlike mobile phones, which offer low margins, and customers replace their phone only after around a year. Amazon in the US had a late start in fashion, launching the category only in 2006. “There is a big difference in the way we look at fashion in India compared to how we do it in the US where we were first selling only books and then slowly started adding other categories,” says Arun Sirdeshmukh, Head of Fashion, Amazon India.
This focus right from when Amazon launched in India in 2013 has shown results. According to data from Counterpoint Research, fashion was Amazon India’s fastest growing category, with 78 percent growth in 2016 over the previous year, while Flipkart’s growth in this category stood at 15 percent. However, Flipkart has had a headstart over Amazon in this category, with the homegrown e-commerce major selling fashion products on its own platform and through subsidiaries—Myntra and Jabong. Flipkart, together with Myntra and Jabong, claims to have a 75 percent share in online fashion retail. Amazon disputes that, but has declined to share absolute numbers.
Leo DiCaprio Vapes, Rita Ora Nearly Pops Out of Her Dress at De Grisogono Party
This year's theme for De Grisogono's splashy Cannes party was Love on the Rocks, fitting for the gala fashion show, party and concert held at Eden Roc, the Hotel du Cap's cliffside restaurant.
The jewelry brand held its annual fete Tuesday night with Naomi Campbell, Rita Ora and Hailey Baldwin turning out to celebrate.
Ora was dressed in a tight, plunging blue dress from Parisian designer Ulyana Sergeenko's spring couture collection, topped with a diamond choker.
"My dress is so tight I feel like it might pop open and then I'd be really f--ked," joked the pop star after eating some of the goat cheese tarts being passed around. The dress was shown on the runway with a longer skirt, but Ora wanted it a bit shorter. "I didn’t really want to wear a gown because it’s a party, isn't it? I just wanted to let it out tonight."
Ora has a busy week. She'll be singing at a private De Grisogono dinner Wednesday and at the amfAR gala Thursday, and her new single dropping Friday. She declared Cannes "the time to be chic."
The brand held its own fashion show, with models on stage showing the latest collection of fine jewelry, as well as virtual models displayed on a large screen set up behind the stage before a massive fireworks display lit up over the Antibes bay.
The show was followed by a gala dinner overlooking the sea that ran on Cannes time, starting close to midnight with plenty of rose, (alas, they ran out of butter), before guests including Naomi Campbell made their way out to the poolside stage for a performance by British pop star Jessie J. The singer started her set by saying she was going to sing "a few songs," which by typical party standards would be a set of three, but she kept the show going for nearly an hour with her hits to the delight of the crowd.
The crush dancing along in front of the stage included Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson, who were later spotted sneaking into the men's room when the line for the women's was deemed too long.
Leo DiCaprio made his entrance during Jessie's set, and quickly made his way to the corner of the garden where he held court wearing his now-signature cap and vaping.
Beyonce, Rihanna, Charlize Theron, Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez and Dakota Johnson. Those are just a few of the A-list stars who have worn fine jewelry designed by Valerie Messika in recent years but there are two names that matter most when it comes to Cannes: Kristen Stewart and Eva Longoria.
Both actresses made high-profile appearances on the red carpet-laden steps of the Palais in 2016, showings that led Paris-based Messika to come back this year in a major way.
For the first time ever, Messika, the daughter of a prominent diamond dealer, has set up shop in a suite at Hotel Martinez — a notable move that makes major brands like Chopard and L'Oreal her festival neighbors. Proximity aside, it's also a sign that Messika and her company, which stands out for specializing in white diamonds cast in modern, often fluid designs, is serious about competing with the heavyweights — and she knows it.
"I won't lie to you — it comes with a little stress," she laughs during a telephone interview from Paris where, at that particular moment, she's running a company and keeping a watchful eye on her two young daughters due to a sick nanny. "When you're in front of these other big brands like Chopard or Tiffany — these people are so strong and they have their traditions. For me, I'm the outsider."
Because of that, Messika admits the appearance is a "test" to see if it's a good fit and if her brand can find a place in the ever-competitive Cannes ecosystem. In doing so, she brings 60 pieces of her High Jewelry collection, nearly 10 Messika staffers and their own private security. (Martinez does not provide security for each suite.)
Launched in 2005, Messika has seen her diamonds worn by other starlets and fashionistas in Cannes though none as high-profile as 2016. Messika says she was surprised when Personal Shopper star Stewart showed up to the premiere of the Olivier Assayas-directed film on May 17, 2016, wearing the Calypso ear cuff and the Gloria double ring to go with her white Chanel mini dress. "I think she loved it because (the ear cuffs) looked so cool with her new haircut," she says. "Kristen is not too much a jewelry person; she's quite rock and roll."