Posts tagged ‘news’

June 23, 2011

John Galliano Trial Report

John Galliano trial was held yesterday, June 22 in Paris. Following the incident in the Paris café on February 28, 2011 after which flamboyant designer has been arrested he was accused for anti-Semitism and racism. John was also fired by house of Dior the next day after the arrest. To date, John Galliano scandal is the loudest in the history of fashion.

First reports regarding the pace of the trial has appeared in press.

John appeared in court with the team of his lawyers and an interpreter. It was reported that he was dressed in rather reserved outfit if compared to his usual wear, however one could still say this was a man of fashion and art by his tie over the bare skin and long hair.

All witnesses spoke out in details describing Galliano behaviour and singling out offensive words he said under the influence of alcohol. What exactly he said, please read and watch here.

Galliano was given time to speak out his testimony. To our biggest surprise, all his testimony was directed towards turning jury into pity. He talked about his story with alcohol that began in 2007 and turned into addiction after tragic death of his best friend Steven Robinson. He testified that he is battling a “triple addition” to alcohol, Valium and sleeping pills. After a decade of his Dior tenure Galliano faced an immense pressure from corporation to not only produce several collections a year for both Dior and John Galliano label, but also promote it actively in the wake of financial crisis. In fact the pressure was so high that following his father death in 2005 he had to go back to work straight from the crematorium. His scandalistic behaviour in public places was not rare and knowing that he is famous, basically iconic figure, he was often provoked to say things he didn’t really mean. It is an undeniable fact that his love of Hitler came out in such public encounters with strangers several times. There are testimonies from direct plaintiffs and there is a video confirming the fact.

His lawyer Aurélien Hamelle argued that the video should be left out as evidence as Galliano spoke quietly and it should not be considered “public” speech.

The biggest surprise in all this trial is the lawyer team took defensive approach. Galliano has never apologized and now when lawyers are arguing against the video it is clear that apology will not come during the trial. If only Galliano would do what other celebrities did in similar cases, the whole trial would not be as public. If convicted all he will be facing is maximum $30,000 fine and six months in prison. Prison term is unlikely.

In a course of this defensive approach Galliano lost his job at Dior, was cut from the creative team of his own John Galliano label, faced the most negative press coverage by all national publications and even fashion press. All of this could have been minimized by a simple, public apology. Is it a matter of principle or a matter of a few thousand dollar fine? Is it worth a career?

The verdict is to be decided by September 8, 2011.




June 22, 2011

A Real Cost of Canada Post Strike

Canada Post, a Crown Corporation has been on strike for over 2 weeks. First rumors about possibility of strike appeared last year. Situation heated up by May of this year and on June 2, 2011 strikes began starting from Windsor, London and by mid last week, entire union was on strike.

While there is a lot of speculation on the fact that mail is declining business and no one needs flyers any more, national postal service is a basic necessity.

  • Many people felt the real inconvenience when their pay checks didn’t arrive in the mail putting their mortgage payments at risk or incurring interest for overdue bills.
  • Businesses suffered the most. Much buzzed story about bumble bee queens that were stuck at the warehouse facing imminent death.  Many other animals were stranded in dark rooms without food or water and limited air. Large shipments of live fish were delayed – both exotic and feeder fish that is used to feed another aquarium fish, leaving some again, with no food.
  • Online retailers were forced to look for alternative ways to deliver mail that in many cases are more expensive, thus losing revenues.
  • Lost sales tax due to lost retail opportunities would add up to the list of overall losses.
  • Some business, such as honey production may even need to lay off their own workers as they now are facing production deficit.

In our own calculation the real cost of the Canada Post strike is close $1 billion not including the losses of the Crown corporation.
According to Globe and Mail, Canada Post corporation alone lost close to $100 million in revenues due to cancelled contracts. I am sure that class action law suits to follow from businesses around the country.

While public opinion divide and some people support the strike idea citing to the fight for the general standard of living, others disagree referring to the fact that a country with true capitalistic system has no place for unions. Obviously in Canada human rights law is one of the most extensive in the world. There are laws protecting workforce from abuse, mis-pay and setting one of the highest in the world standard of working conditions. Minimum wage in Ontario is $10.25 per hour.

According to Toronto Star, the government had threatened back to work legislation if strike continues. The legislation assumes penalties for the union including up to $50,000 a day for union or company official, and up to $100,000 a day for the company or union. Individuals could face up to $1,000 a day. Whether the legislation would be effective we shall see, until now UPS is our only option.

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June 21, 2011

Donatella Versace to Design a Collection for H&M

H&M lovers have been waiting for this moment way too long. And here it comes: H&M announced today a collaboration with the house of Versace.

H&M is a trendy Swedish company that caters to young people. Label made a name retailing low priced, high quality and trendy fashion. Currently 2200 stores worldwide offer a huge selection of clothing, shoes, lingerie and accessories. H&M earned reputation for showing off the low price, $19.99 for a pair of jeans or $49.99 for a trendy coat at their super model ads. While company has been growing organically since its foundation in 1947, collaborations with premium brand designers have brought the H&M label to a completely new level.

First collaboration was in 2004 with Karl Lagerfeld. While it was a huge success with lineups stretching around the block and the collection selling within days, Karl criticized the organizers for underestimating the demand. His idea of the collaboration was that people would get a bit of Chanel experience when they can come to stores at the relaxed pace and try the clothing with no restrictions. He feared that H&M collection will cheapenize his lables’ luxurious image.

Since then H&M released close to 10 guest designer collections, most notable being Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf and most recent Lanvin. All designers have expressed appreciation to participate and were happy with PR outcomes. Many low priced retail companies followed the idea and launched their own partner collections. For example Target had collections done by Alexandr McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Milla Jovovich. Issac Mizrahi made collections for  Target in 2002 and Fairweather.

Versace collaboration news have already exploded the press. Bloggers and fashion journalists are very excited about an upcoming H&M – Versace release that is scheduled for late November, 2011. Donatella shared her vision for the collection: “The collection for H&M will be “quintessentially Versace,” inspired by the archives, and including clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry for men and for women.” Apart from clothing pieces collection will also include home pieces such as Versace for H&M pillows and a bedspread.