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DKNY Owns Up to (Inadvertently) Stealing Photos From Popular Blog ‘Humans of New York’

Even if you don't follow Humans of New York (HONY) on Tumblr, you've likely seen images from the street photography blog in your Facebook newsfeed, on Pinterest or featured in various publications. HONY was started in 2010 by a former Chicago bond trader, Brandon Stanton, who quit his job to move to New York City and take photos all day. The work he's been posting found a large audience: on Facebook, the street photography blog has 561k followers (in comparison, Scott Schuman's The Sartorialist has "only" 154k). Presumably, some of these many thousands of followers contributed to Stanton's Hurricane Sandy relief IndieGogo campaign, which raised $318,000 — well above its $100,000 goal.

This is all to say: Humans of New York is compelling and has a proven track record of engaging and mobilizing a large fanbase. 

So it's no surprise that big fancy brand DKNY was interested in acquiring some of Stanton's photos for marketing purposes. From a post which went up on Tumblr today [via Gawker]:

"Several months ago, I was approached by a representative of DKNY who asked to purchase 300 of my photos to hang in their store windows 'around the world.' They offered me $15,000. A friend in the industry told me that $50 per photo was not nearly enough to receive from a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So I asked for more money. They said 'no.' 

Today, a fan sent me a photo from a DKNY store in Bangkok. The window is full of my photos. These photos were used without my knowledge, and without compensation."

You can see the photo above. 

Stanton says he doesn't "want any money" and is asking DKNY to donate $100,000 to the YMCA in Bed-Stuy (an underserved neighborhood in Brooklyn) on his behalf.

DKNY PR Girl quickly posted a statement to Tumblr which owned up to using Stanton's images, but claimed it was a mistake: 

"It appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used. 

DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton's name." 

It's commendable that DKNY moved to respond to the charges so quickly, but this is less apology, more equivocation. Most detail-oriented luxury brands don't commonly mistake internal mock-ups for the final product, and it seems miserly for a major label like DKNY, which is owned by LVMH, one of the biggest companies in the world, to donate only a quarter of the $100,000 Stanton requested to the Bed-Stuy YMCA, where it'll do a lot of good. 

But Stanton says he's happy with DKNY's pledge: "$25k will help a lot of kids at the YMCA. I know a lot of you would like to have seen the full $100k, but we are going to take them at their word that it was a mistake, and be happy that this one had a happy ending."

For DKNY, this is less "happy ending," more big blue bruise:

Got that? If you want to keep being a "guest" at DKNY shows, don't say things that'll tar the brand's image in the public eye. Even if they're true. 

[UPDATE: As of 5:50 PM on Monday, February 25, DKNY's Twitter no longer displays the tweet embedded above.]

Image via Humans of New York

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Ginger & Smart’s New Diffusion Line Makes Being Young and Broke a Lot Less Sucky

Anyone who had to pay their way through university after mid-2008 will tell you it’s a sucky time financially to be young. But being light of wallet and bereft of a steady income doesn’t have to mean filling your closet with boring staples – especially when designers do nice things like making diffusion lines that don't suck.

Dion Lee’s tailoring-focused diffusion Line II has already proved a wild success, and camilla and marc celebrated its 10th anniversary last year with a youthful, accessible spin on its luxe mainline. Now, Ginger & Smart has joined in the game with ‘Akin’ aimed at girls over 18 and under 30. Just like Dion Lee and the C&M siblings, they’ve taken the hallmarks of their brand — here it’s eyeball-piercing prints and smooth, billowing silks — and channeled them into pieces with price tags that still make it possible to drop half your weekly paycheque on sashimi and cocktails. Hey, you need somewhere to wear this stuff right?

Akin’s first outing is a fun yet polished approached to dressing up. Fun comes in the requisite prints (here, heavily pixilated florals and monochrome shapes) and polish in the refined silhouettes that pervade the mainline. Party dresses are short yet structured, and the trousers are begging to be taken out on the town with a simple pair of stilettos.

All pieces are priced between $129 and $339 and are available on Ginger and Smart’s e-boutique

Image: Ginger & Smart's Facebook.

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Rejoice! Zara Finally Offers Online Shopping to Canada

Good news public transit users and slaves to their 70-hour jobs! If you've ever had trouble reaching your nearest Zara store, then the fast fashion retailer is finally joining the web revolution and opening an online boutique. What was once a pipedream and still is for many — here's looking at you H&M — Zara will offer online shopping in Canada starting March 6.

Being a loyal European, Zara is one of my favourite ready-to-wear brands, especially when it comes to easy, breezy, beautiful workwear. In that vein, and in honour of this momentous Internet launch, let's take a look at the company's new February 2013 Lookbook.

This season features an eclectic mix of colourblocks, animal prints and loose-fitting knits and pants, all with a subtle element of androgyny. It offers a modern twist on everyday essentials that are easily adaptable for work, play or stay-at-home Saturdays. Choice pieces include the animal print shirt-trouser combo and blazer with gold buttons. If there's one thing Zara knows how to do well, it's a crisp blazer, but don't let me be the one to preach panache, judge for yourselves…

Left model wears blazer with gold buttons and shirt with concealed button closure. Right model wears balloon sleeved top.

Left model wears flowing trench coat, cropped t-shirt and wide crossover trousers. Right model wears thermofix sweater.


Left model wears loose cropped sweater and short studio trousers. Right model wears printed shirt, animal print trousers and colour block clutch bag.


Left model wears plain poplin shirt and two-tone combination jeans. Right model wears a studio dress.

Images via Zara

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Link Buzz: Isabeli Fontana for Vogue Mexico; Has Vittorio Missoni’s Missing Plane Been Found?

  • I do not like thinking about how non-bitterly cold and windy it is in other parts of the world right now, but I do like this Isabeli Fontana x Vogue Mexico cover so you can see how posting it was a big dilemma. [DesignScene]
  • The best Oscars beauty looks of all time — what a way to spend a Friday. [BellaSugar]
  • Milan Fashion Week show-goers are probably the best-accessorized group of people alive. [FabSugar]
  • If you've been following the sad story of Vittorio Missoni's missing plane, investigators have possibly discovered it in Curacao. [Fashionologie]
  • Hailee Steinfeld will recieve the Women in Film MaxMara Face of the Future Award which is weird because I thought the only "Face of the Future" MaxMara was interested in is the one that resides in Kate Middleton's womb. [StyleBakeryTeen]

Image via DesignScene

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Leandra Medine Finished That Book of Essays

A few hours ago, Leandra Medine Instagrammed a shot of her computer screen open to the Word doc title page of her upcoming book of essays, which is apparently called Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.

The picture was captioned, "It's done! It's done! It's done! It's done! It's done!" Medine was not, I believe, talking about a cake. 

In July 2012, The Business of Fashion reported that the blogger behind the popular site, Man Repeller, was working on a book that would be published in September 2013 by Grand Central Publishing. “It’s based on the notion that the female memory is so driven by fashion," she said at the time. "I can tell you exactly what I was wearing when I met my husband, when he first broke up with me, when we got back together.”

Medine has broad fashion industry support, a passionate fanbase and a sick title. And now, thanks to my mad Photoshop skillz (above), she also has a killer cover for her book. That thing is gonna fly off the shelves. 

Images via Instagram, WENN

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Is Apple Bringing Back the Snap Bracelet?

Even though fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg got gimmicky with Google Goggles at her Spring 2013 runway show (according to recent news, the tech company has since tapped eyewear brand Warby Parker to chic up the futuristic glasses) and designer Vivienne Tam partnered with HP in 2008 on a special-edition notebook meant to appeal to the fashion conscious, if there's a single company which effectively straddles the line between high tech and luxury brand, it's definitely Apple.

Vogue is such an Apple fanboy that this month's issue even has an iPad Mini-themed editorial — you can see a shot from the spread on the right — and it's crazy effective. The iPad Mini retails for less than the iPad 4 (compare $329 to $499 for the most basic versions), making the Apple tablet accessible to a broader swath of consumers. This is, of course, good news for Vogue and its parent company Condé Nast, which hopes to preserve its magazine products in the digital age by migrating to tablet-based sales.

What I'm saying is: it's no secret that editor Anna Wintour lets advertising and editorial cross-pollinate, but Vogue has plenty of incentives to feature the iPad Mini with or without an Apple advertising relationship — the fashion glossy wants people to buy the tablet, download their app, get a digital subscription, all so that the Vogue brand can live in perpetuity. Everything about the above photo works on me: the shot features a girl with bangs sitting at a coffeeshop, wearing a million rings ("Ring parties are the new arm parties," Fashionista's Lauren Sherman declared earlier this month) and reading something (Elle, surely) on an iPad Mini. I saw this, and had an immediate gut reaction: Must get bangs, must buy rings. I haven't acted on either impulse — am currently showing lots of forehead and typing with bare, unmanicured fingers — but a couple days later, I did finally download Vogue's app onto my iPad Mini (I'd been resisting). 

If Apple products are already treated like accessories by an authority like Vogue, I can only imagine the fashion spreads we'll get if and when the tech company releases an actual accessory. According to PatentlyApple, yesterday the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple "that reveals an advanced wearable computer in the form of a bracelet that could double as a watch." It's a snap bracelet, which light of my life, fire of my loins — snap bracelets deserve a comeback like nothing else. The so-called iWatch will allow the wearer to adjust a playlist, review call history, respond to a text message with a virtual keyboard and most importantly, feel like the singularity really is near.

Image via the TFS Forums


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