Archives: Fashion & accessories

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Brands look to adapt as austerity drive hits luxury goods sector in China

Increased scrutiny in China of the consumption of luxury goods appears to be contributing to slowing demand in certain sectors.  As previously reported, the case of Yang Dacai, a Chinese official who became the subject of an internet campaign focused on the many luxury watches he owned, led to public outrage and an investigation by … Continue Reading

Fashion label fined after TV broadcast alleges resale price maintenance – yet another RPM case from Denmark

So far this year Miele, SH White Goods and Unilever have fallen foul of Denmark’s Competition and Consumer Authority’s (“DCCA”) enforcement efforts against retail price maintenance (RPM).  On October 30, 2013, fashion brand Vila joined them.  Vila and the DCCA reached a DKK 1.6 million settlement after finding that Vila infringed Section 6 of the Danish … Continue Reading

Andy Rosen and the CFDA launch new initiative to revitalize New York City manufacturing

Andy Rosen, founder of the designer brand Theory, along with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (“CFDA”) and the New York City Economic Development Cooperation are launching the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative to raise funds for New York city factories that are at least two-years-old.  By encouraging American designers to manufacture domestically, this initiative is … Continue Reading

Spanx v. Yummie Tummie design patent lawsuit — the battle lines are drawn

Launched by Sara Blakely in 2000, Spanx is a well-established women’s shapewear brand with worldwide brand recognition.  Since Spanx’s launch, numerous competitors have flooded the market.  Among them is Yummie Tummie, which was founded by reality TV personality Heather Thomson in 2008.  Yummie Tummie and Spanx are now embroiled in a design patent dispute in … Continue Reading

Luxury in Lagos: Nigeria embraces extravagance

Nigeria is often said to be the African country with the highest growth potential along with Angola.  It is the continent’s most populous country (with over 168 million people) and, despite 50% of the population living in poverty, there are still over 60 million who are upwardly mobile in society — a number that exceeds … Continue Reading

New simplified UK visa rules may mean increased luxury spending by Chinese tourists

While in China earlier this month, George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a new pilot scheme to simplify the process by which Chinese citizens apply for UK tourist visas. The current, burdensome requirements for Chinese citizens to apply for a UK visa include supplying biometric information, fees of up to £200 (higher … Continue Reading

New York toughens its child labor laws to protect young models

In August we explored the move in New York to extend the protection of certain child labor laws to child models (under the age of 18).  You can read more here.  This week, the bill (S.5486) was signed by Governor Cuomo and has passed into law with significant impact for the fashion industry, particularly in … Continue Reading

Key terms for celebrity endorsement contracts

Celebrity endorsement is a well-established method of brand promotion and can significantly bolster a brand owner’s bottom line when successful (e.g. Michael Jordan’s signature shoe for Nike).  However, there are a range of commercial and legal issues which a brand owner must navigate when incorporating a celebrity into its brand’s image.  Of course determining which … Continue Reading

Biocidal products subject to new EU approval, labelling and disclosure requirements

The EU Biocidal Products Regulation, which came into effect as of September 1, 2013, will apply to a wide variety of consumer goods manufactured in, or imported into, the European Union and European Economic Area (“EU/EEA”), such as leather products (e.g. shoes, handbags or jackets) and other fabrics or textiles, electronic equipment, furniture and other … Continue Reading

Companies flouting National Minimum Wage laws to be publicly named and shamed

Since our blog post on the UK Government’s crackdown on the use of un-paid interns, there have been further developments regarding the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) scheme. In October 2013, restrictions will be stripped back making it easier for an employer who breaks NMW law to be publicly named and shamed. Under the current scheme, the Pay … Continue Reading

The Jewelry Cartel – An illustration of China’s Activism against Resale Price Maintenance

In August 2013, China’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), fined five domestic jewelers and a trade association after finding that they had fixed prices for their gold and platinum products. According to the NDRC, the Shanghai Gold and Jewelry Trade Association (“the Trade Association”) and some of its main members … Continue Reading

Image rights versus the First Amendment: athlete cases tee up issue for courts across the U.S.

The rights of celebrities to control the commercial use of their images has been a hot topic in both the UK and the US for some time now.  You may recall, CovBrands reported on the issue before in connection with a lawsuit by Rihanna against Topshop for selling a t-shirt bearing her image without her … Continue Reading

Abercrombie and Fitch under investigation in France over potentially discriminatory recruitment policies

Abercrombie and Fitch – renowned for its attractive shirtless model hosts greeting customers at store entrances – is currently under investigation by the French human rights watchdog (Defenseur des Droits) over claims that it hires employees based solely on their good looks. The watchdog is concerned that Abercrombie’s recruitment methods are based on discriminatory criteria … Continue Reading

Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy technology — a new tool to combat counterfeiting?

Counterfeiters are constantly coming up with new and clever ways to produce high quality copies of fashion and luxury products.  Many copies can’t be distinguished from the original products without authentication features.  Brands are increasingly using RFID tags and other ways to help consumers and customs officials identify what’s real and what’s fake.  The latest … Continue Reading

Retail pricing of luxury goods remains a fashionable target for EU competition regulators

As previously reported, scrutiny of retail pricing in the luxury industry continues to be a priority for European competition authorities.  In addition to ongoing investigations of retail pricing of sportswear apparel in Denmark and luxury watches in Poland, the German competition authority (FCO) recently imposed  €6.5 million fines on natural cosmetics maker WALA and two … Continue Reading

Model working conditions? UK retailers sign up to Equity’s 10 point code for the treatment of models

Earlier this week, CovBrands blogged about prospective changes to New York law, which would give increased protection to models under the age of 18. In the UK, young models are protected by regulations that apply to child performers under age 16. The regulations require a special licence to hire a child to participate in any … Continue Reading

New York moves to extend child labor laws to models under 18

As a global fashion center, New York attracts hordes of aspiring young models each year.  Soon, a new law could require designers, advertisers and fashion publications to meet strict requirements if they wish to employ models under the age of 18. Historically, child models have been exempt from the legal protections that New York law … Continue Reading

IP rights enforcement at the EU border: Customs detained €1 billion worth of fake goods in 2012

The import of counterfeit goods into Europe continues to be a major concern for both brands and consumers. The EU Commission’s annual report on customs actions to enforce IP rights states that EU Customs detained almost 40 million products suspected of violating IP rights in 2012. The figure is lower than in 2011, but the … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Rihanna successfully sues Topshop for using her image on t-shirts

You may remember that, back in May, CovBrands reported that Rihanna was suing Topshop for selling a t-shirt, which bore her image, without her consent.  The judgment is in and the High Court has ruled that Topshop is liable on the grounds of passing off. However, the court did not take the opportunity to introduce … Continue Reading

Luxury watch pricing under Polish antitrust watchdog’s microscope

Scrutiny of retail pricing of luxury goods appears to continue to be a priority of European competition authorities.  The latest example is the Polish Competition Authority’s ongoing probe into the luxury watch sector. The probe became public through dawn raids, and targets three Polish importers of branded watches: The Swatch Group Poland; Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowo–Usługowe Jubiler; … Continue Reading

Juicy Couture founders want to buy back their brand from Fifth & Pacific

After selling Juicy Couture in 2010, founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor have been reaching out to private equity firms in search of an investor to help them buy back their brand.  Experts believe that the return of the founders may be just what the brand needs to regain its importance and strength.  In light … Continue Reading

The kids are alright: luxury brands embrace children’s apparel lines

Suri Cruise, Harper and Romeo Beckham, and Apple and Moses Martin are just some of the names on Vanity Fair’s latest top ten best dressed list.  If you have not heard these names, you have likely heard of their famous parents (Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Victoria and David Beckham, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris … Continue Reading

The dawn of the “wearable technology” era

As news breaks around the world that Apple has applied in multiple jurisdictions for an iWatch trademark, this seems to signal the start of a new era of the “wearable technology” brand. Consumers are accustomed to high-end and luxury lifestyle brands selling wearable accessories — from perfume and sunglasses to handbags and shoes — but … Continue Reading

Adidas v. Christian Faith Fellowship Church: an object lesson in the pitfalls of aggressive trademark enforcement

A David and Goliath matchup currently before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeals Board shows that aggressive, adversarial trademark enforcement may not always be the best approach. The dispute pits global sportswear powerhouse Adidas AG against the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, a small-town congregation located outside of Chicago, Illinois. Adidas applied in 2009 to … Continue Reading