US Consumers Could See A Sharp Price Drop in Shoe Prices

Eliminating Shoe Tax Could Save Companies and Consumers

By Rob Hotakainen and Scott Canon

June 11, 2011


There has always been a slightly high import tax on foreign shoes, this like most import taxes was implemented to protect domestic companies and promote buying within our countries boarders. The argument now though is that the US does not have a large market producing shoes so there is no one to protect anymore and the high import taxes are unfair. There is a bill trying to be passed to remove almost half of the import taxes on shoes but to keep tarriffs on the few shoes still made in the US. Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial and labor relations at Clark University states, “It is waving the white flag. The shoes industry is gone. Labor isn’t making this fight anymore.” What he means by this is that no ones job needs to be protected in the US shoe labor industry because the US just simpky isn’t making shoes, most is made overseas. Currently the texes on imported shoes can be 67.5% for canvas and rubber shoes and 7.5% for high-end leather footwear. Matthew Rudel, the Payless ShoeSource chain president and chief executive says the new bill could bring their retail prices 15 to 20 percent down.


I think that this bill is a very good idea. The taxes on shoe imports were very important at a time but as the industry changes so should the laws around the industry. With hardly any shoes being made in the US the large taxes are unnecessary. Although, it is good that the bill doesn’t completely take the import taxes away and that it keeps the tariffs in place.

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Tom Ford’s Scandalous New Window Display

Tom Ford’s advertisements for his new Neroli Portofino-scented bath products for a while now but have recently caused a stir. The ad (show in the link to the video above), featuring two models naked in the shower was chose by British department store Selfridges to be made into a window display. The display, consisting of a oversized version of the ad and a waterworks/aquarium effect has attracted much attention. 

I think the ad is racy but not out of bad taste. Ford is smart with his advertising and this definitely grabs your attention without being vulgar or too in-your-face. I always look forward to seeing Ford;s new advertising techniques, this being one of them.

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Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Perfume Bottle Recognized as 3-D Trademark

The Mainichi Daily News

April 22, 2011

Jean-Paul’s original perfume bottle shape of a woman’s stomach and breast area was created in 1994. Gaultier first filed for a trademark application in Japan for the bottles shape in 2006 which was turned down. Gaulier “lodged a suit with the court”, still believing he deserved a 3-D trademark. The courts argument was that the perfume has been so widely known in Japan for the past 15 years that there is unlikely consumer would confuse the bottle for another similar looking brand.

On April 21st 2011 Japan’s intellectual property court repealled Japan’s patent office’s rejection of Gauliter’s request for a patent. In fact, they endorsed the fact that the shape of Gaultier’s bottle is its three dimentional trademark.

I believe that Gaultier should be granted his trademark. His design is so unique for a perfume bottle that anything similar would be an obvious copy. The shape of his bottle his truly unique to his brand and should be able to stay this way. It is just the same as someone trademarking a logo, this one just happens to be in a 3-D form.

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Karl Lagerfeld Designs New Diet Coke Bottles

April 10, 2011

Chanel’s creative dircector Karl Lagerfeld is collaborating with Coca Cola to design a new Diet Coke bottle. The Bottles are limited edition featuring a silouette of Lagerfeld and a pink, black, white, and silver color scheme. The will be available to order later this year as single bottles or as a set Largerfeld has collaboarted with coke before designing a bottle for Coca Cola Light in 2010. Lagerfeld is a fan of Diet Coke and is “delighted about this collaboration”

I would not have expected Karl Lagerfeld to collaborate with Coca Cola. Reading about his confession of being a massive fan of Diet Coke makes more sense and it is fun to see him use his design esthetic in other areas he feels strongly about. The bottles we able to capture both the image of Coca Cola and Karl, the posses a whimsy as well as a cool sophistication, a refection of both parties. Something like this would be a great gift for Coke or fashion fans alike.

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Cambodian Apparel Industry Workers Fired Over Strike

In an article written December 3, 2010 by Prank Chan Thul he reports on a recent firing of 799 employees for paryicipating in a nationwide strike in Cambodia. The workers were requesting better working conditions and a pay increase from $56 a month to $93 a month. The factories that dismissed the workers produce clothing for companies including Marks and Spencer Group PLC, Tesco PLC, H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Puma, Next PLC and Inditex (owner of Zara). Unions are issuing demands to reinstate the workers by Dec. 15th or they will be pressing charges. Penh speculates that “Worker disputes this year in China, mostly at foreign-owned factories, have raised questions over whether other low-cost Asian manufacturing centres would also have to pay higher wages as their workers became more assertive.”

It saddens me that this kind of thing is still happening today. We as consumers need to be more aware about where our clothing comes from and the rights of those who make it. It is comforting though to know that workers in Asian countries do have more rights than before and are asserting them.

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Nutria-A Guilt Free Fur?
“Adorning the bodies of waifish models as they strut the catwalks of a New York City fashion show this week will be a pest in the eyes of many Louisianans: the nutria.
Known locally as a destroyer of levees, the pesky rodent is the centerpiece of a fashion show in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
While the fashion industry has been squeamish about using fur, the nutria is being marketed by Louisianans as a fur worth wearing, since it is so destructive locally.
New York Times fashion reporter Anne Jane Grossman writes:
“But unlike other soft and furry animals, nutria is being rebranded as a socially acceptable and environmentally friendly alternative way to wear fur. The effort culminates this Sunday, when Ms. Melancon and about 20 designers take part in a “righteous fur” fashion show at the House of Yes, an art space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“Fluffy hats, muffs, leg warmers and even a wedding dress will be paraded down the runway, in a show expected to draw about 150 people. Don’t look for any celebrities in the front row. A reporter from National Geographic and someone who works at Marc Jacobs are among the expected V.I.P.’s.
“But Nutria-palooza, as the show is being called, is not just about fashion. The main sponsor is the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group in Thibodaux, La., that works to preserve the 4.2-million-acre swamp in southern Louisiana that is being threatened by the furry critter.”

I have mixed feelings about this fur option. Yes, it is probably a better alternative than any other furs but I think I would still feel squeamish about wearing an animal. If though designers feel as if they need fur in their lines then this is probably a better alternative. I still would like to know though exactly how the animals are killed and if it is humane. The upside is that my taking there animals out the environment we are saving other species and their eco system.

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“Monique Lhuillier Bride’s Fanciful Flowers”

Renata Espinosa

October 18

New York – Monique Lhuillier left no surface untouched in her Fall 2011 bridal collection, shown on Sunday, Oct. 17 in New York, which featured gowns that celebrated lavish textures inspired by flowers.

“Romance and extravagance are back,” Lhuillier said in her program notes, no small statement during a time when the number of marriages in the U.S. is seeing a steady decline.

Only 45 percent of unmarried adults ages 25 to 34 are married, the U.S. Census Bureau reported in September, versus 55 percent a decade ago.

Nonetheless, for those women (or celebrities, as the case may be – Lhuillier is best known for dressing famous brides, from America Ferrara to singer Pink) who decide to get married and can afford one of Lhuillier’s deluxe four-figure gowns, they will have a bevy of fanciful dresses to choose from.

Petals and leaves in organza, rosebuds, elaborately embellished corsets, exquisite layers of lace and stardust sprays of crystals were the decorative focal points of Lhuillier’s “Floral Fantasy” collection.

Opening looks in mid-calf “tea” length full skirts called to mind ’50s-era dresses, while a short body-conscious mini-skirt length floral organza dress with a keyhole bustier – the keyhole was a major detail in many of this season’s dresses – wouldn’t be out of place in an ’80s Robert Palmer video.

But Lhuillier didn’t skimp on her signatures, either. Asymmetrically draped organza, resembling a floating cloud, is one of Lhuillier’s best fantasy bride looks, here accented with three-dimensional flowers revealed under the folds of organza.

The bridal party hasn’t been neglected, either. Lhuillier announced two new bridesmaid collections earlier this year, a higher-end Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids, now available for sale on her Web site, and the more affordable ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids, available exclusively at Nordstrom.
Monique Lhuillier’s new collection focuses strongly on texture. Her bridal collection includes dresses heavily adorned with, flowers and eave in organza, rosebuds, lace, crystal corsets. The line is entitled “floral fantasy”. Her line also has a strong emphasis on asymmetrical lines.
In a time where romance seems dead and 50% of marriages end in divorce, it’s  nice to see someone bringing back the soft ornate romantic style of wedding gowns. The use of texture is especially nice with the gowns. Those who are fashion forward and getting married want something to add interest to a plain white gown and  the wayto do that without adding color is with line, texture, and shape. She does a great job of using the principle and elements of design in her collection.

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“Originality v. Piracy: A Designer’s Perspective”

Originality v. Piracy: A Designer’s Perspective

by Andraé Gonzalo

September 30, 2010

Originality v. Piracy A Designers Perspective

The 10 Worst Things About the New Design Piracy Bill

This article by Andrae Gonzalo (most recognized from the show Project Runway) is about Senate Bill 3728. This bill is said to “protect those designs which are so original  as to approach art rather than utilitarian fashion and to do so in a way that limits any collateral costs such as frivolous litigation”. Basicaly as Andrae puts it the bill would make it, “illegal to plagiarize the work of another designer until three years after the date that they made their designs public.” Andrae’s take on the bill is positive, saying that plagiarism should not be allowed in the fashion industry. He also says that because the bill only makes it illegal to not copy work from the last three years that someone should be creative enough to find inspiration from all of history before that.

I agree with Andrae to a certain extent; yes it is wrong to steal other’s work but who is to determine who thought of what first? Like Tom Ford was saying in his interview, the hints to what is going to be big next in fashion are all around us and many pick up on these clues at once, which is why designers tend to have similar ideas at similar times. It would be much too difficult to decide who owned what, especially because this bill does not require the designer to submit a formal copy write. I believe that overt plagiarism should not be o.k. but the lines of “who thought of what” are too blurry to slap a bill on the issue.

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Week 1 Current Event:,0,5473907.story

The article titled “Islamic Head Scarves Take Fashion Cues”, written by Raja Abdulrahim on October 7th, 2010 in the LA Times, speaks of how the younger generation of Muslims is seeking a new fashionable update on the traditional Islamic head scarf, also know as a hijab. Atik, a young Muslim woman, has started her her own line of updated hijabs that are adorned with things such as zippers and gold clasps. She even has a Gossip Girl inspired scarf entitled the “Blair” that is adorned with a large bow. Her line is sold under the label “Vela”, which is Latin for veil. The controversy surrounding these new head scarves is whether it defeats the purpose of the hijab in the first place, which is supposed to be a statement of modesty. Others argue that these new fashionable head scarves have all of the coverage of the old ones, just in an updated and more fashion forward style.

I feel as though this debate is one we have seen in just about every decade. Our younger generations are always looking for ways to break out of the mold and differentiate themselves from their parents as the older generations try to rein in this expression of rebellion and change. A great example of this is the 1920’s when young girls wanted to throw everything about their mothers’ generation out the window. Out went the hour glass figures, the long hair, and the modest gowns. Young women wore short boxy dresses, dropped waistlines and cropped hair. I believe that these young Muslim women are just trying to find a way to express their generation, while their parents are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. It is important to be able to express who you are and feel good about what you are wearing while still being true to your beliefs and morals. I believe that Atik has accomplished this with her full coverage yet fashion forward head scarves and that her creativity and boldness should be applauded for opening up doors for young fashionable Muslim women everywhere.

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