This is one of the most bizarre fashion stories that I’ve ever had to write. I’ll be honest. Most of fashion writing is about the good stuff. Unless of course it’s the stuff that I’m making fun of. I invented the Fashion Turkey Awards and I think I’m in the fifth year of proclaiming the year’s worst trends, but really, it’s usually all positive. I love introducing people to fashion high, low or avant guard, anything but blah is my aim.
But every so often I have to weigh in on a white-models-in-black-face fashion shoot, the furor over naked plus-sized models, the racial slur of a top designer or some questionable controversy, but it rarely pits earnest fashion enterprises against each other. Right now, we’re dealing with competing fashion weeks in St. Louis. At first, I was sure this would be easily resolved, but alas, no.
St. Louis Fashion Week is the seven-year veteran and an upstart new Missouri Fashion Week, established in St. Louis, plans to present its first showing in late summer. St. Louis Fashion Week is not pleased. A cease and desist letter was issued, followed by a restraining order, a preliminary court date and now a formal hearing will take place next month.
The issue: Is Missouri Fashion Week infringing on St. Louis Fashion Week’s trademark.
The clips of my story from the news pages above on the right are below (click them twice to enlarge). You can also read the entire story on a single page here: Good news, bad news for St. Louis fashion fans.
My original front page story is below or here: Competing Fashion Weeks Battle in St. Louis.
St. Louis Fashion Week began seven years ago with high hopes and much support. At the time, Attilio D’Agostino, the co-founder of Alive Magazine and instigator of St. Louis Fashion Week, said, “Critical mass is the key; so much of this is like a thermonuclear reaction.” He wanted to get people excited about what the Midwest has to offer. He developed the city’s first regional fashion week as an homage to the city’s Garment District past.
Mayor Francis Slay, who was fresh from style recognition as a best-dressed politician in an Esquire magazine spread, announced the first season at City Hall. To commemorate the event, he strolled out for a press conference flanked by two lanky models. He said St. Louis Fashion Week could be a boon for the city’s image and a boost to the retail community.