Today’s Fashion Headlines: December 5, 2012

The Burches continue to fight, mediators to step in at L.A. strike and Cushnie et Ochs to feature in Playboy

The Burch Battle Rages On 

The Burches are back at it. As part of their ongoing legal battle, Tory Burch has accused her ex-husband Christopher Burch of withholding documents pertinent to the case. In doing so, the designer has peeled back another layer of her legal argument, namely that Chris Burch used his role as director of her namesake brand to source and develop “copycat” products and store furnishings for his nascent brand, C. Wonder, which he launched last year. She also speculated that he used her company’s inside financial data to attract investors for his other business ventures.

The most recent filing by Tory Burch late Monday provided another kernel of insight into her argument. In essence, Tory Burch alleges that her ex-­husband, who was paid $11 million as a consultant for the brand as a director, used the experience to do research for his own retail concept. Tory Burch claims that Chris Burch’s attorneys are intentionally delaying the release of “pertinent” travel documents that will shed light on his extensive business travels and motives. This is part of Tory Burch’s larger narrative, which alleges that Chris Burch is omitting a host of critical files that are central to the case, including documents that back up Chris Burch’s argument that Tory Burch and board members thwarted the sale process of his shares in the company.

According to lawyers for Tory Burch, all relevant case documents were supposed to be produced by Nov. 30. Of the 10,000 files turned over by Chris Burch, 3,000 were “makeweight,” consisting of mass e-mails to all corporate employees or public news dispatches — nothing very substantive, claimed Tory Burch’s legal team, adding it had turned over more than 2,000 top-level e-mails between Chris Burch and Tory Burch executives.

Federal Mediators Seek Resolution in Strike

Federal mediators have been brought in to try to resolve the eight-day strike that has crippled the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, stranding goods at the apparel industry’s busiest point of entry for imports. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday that the 800-member International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the Harbor Employers Association have agreed to federal mediation of their contract dispute. George Cohen, head of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, was expected to arrive on Tuesday, but the strike will continue until an agreement has been reached.

The mayor, noting that 44 percent of seaborne container goods that enter the U.S. come through the twin ports, said it was important to get them operating again in order to compete with Panama, which is near completion of a major expansion. Currently, 10 of the 14 container terminals at both ports have been closed and ships are either idling outside the docks or being diverted to Oakland, Calif., Mexico or Panama. “It is clear to me the parties need a mediator to help them…come up with a creative solution that will get us back to work,” Villaraigosa said at a press conference “We are looking at almost 20,000 people impacted by this, from the truckers and longshoremen and related businesses.”

Playboy Snags Cushnie et Ochs?

It’s not what you think… Playboy is getting into the high-fashion game, launching a series of designer collaborations beginning with Cushnie et Ochs. Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs were approached by the magazine to design a limited-edition piece: a harnesslike leather bra that will retail for $695 exclusively on playboystore.com. “Playboy is such a quintessential brand,” said Cushnie of the proposition. “They told us where they’re heading and the sort of people they had been working with, like Jenne Lombardo and Neville Wakefield, and we thought we could do something really cool and edgy and special.”

To launch the collaboration, the designers will host a pop-up lounge today at the Playboy A$AP concert during Art Basel Miami at the Delano Hotel, where Playmates will be on hand to model the goods, although they will not be available for purchase at the party.

- Taneisha Jordan

Source & Photo: WWD

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