Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, he of the Jersey Shore phenomenon, is suing clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch for $4 million, claiming they used his catchphrases on their t-shirts. This is following a bizarre publicity stunt by the company earlier this year where they claimed they would pay Sorrentino to not wear Abercrombie clothing on his television show. That was all fun and games at the time, but now The Situation looks set on taking the jock-approved clothing company for a bunch of money. Maybe Snookie was right.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sorrentino has a valid point, in that Abercrombie did use his catchphrase, "GTL" (Gym, Tan, Laundry). and, somewhat heinously, "The Fitchuation", without his permission. We’re not sure who to root for here, so we’ll go with whoever has the nicer abs.
● Abercrombie & Fitch is offering to pay Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino to not wear their merchandise. “We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans,” said the company of their proposed “Win-Win Situation.” [Speakeasy/WSJ] ● Television shrink Dr. Phil has won the sure-to-be-teary first interview with Casey Anthony’s parents. [Washington Post] ● Taylor Momsen has officially quit acting in order to make more time for her music, which is “pretty much all [she wants] to do” anyways. [Elle]
● Kim Kardashian’s bridesmaids will wear green, a color that’s calming, easy on the eyes. and symbolizes nature and . Also: jealousy. [People] ● Gerard Depardieu, one of France’s most celebrated actors, dropped trousers and urinated in front of an airplane full of passengers when the cabin crew refused to let him use the bathroom before takeoff. “Je veux pisser, je veux pisser,” he had warned. [NYP] ● 11-year-old “mayor for a day” Caroline Gonzalez made sure her first order of business was an important one: Renaming part of Forney, Texas’ Main St. after the important historical figure Justin Bieber. [E!] ● Drew Carey was forced — forced! — to cancel yesterday’s taping of The Price Is Right after he broke his collarbone during a morning run. He’s got the x-rays to prove it. [TMZ]
● Feast your eyes on the complete lookbook for the 400-piece Missoni for Target collection. Fashionologie] ● Behold the world’s most expensive flip-flop ($18,000), created by Chipkos LA artist David Palmer for charity. [Accessories Magazine] ● Yesterday’s Bean Pole x Kim Jones at Opening Ceremony Block Party was all kinds of cool. Take a look at Black Frame’s photo diary for evidence. [Tumblr] ● Neiman Marcus has curated six exclusive Kate Spade New York looks that only their Facebook fans have access to shop now before they officially launch to the public on August 19. [Facebook]
● Abercrombie & Fitch literally bans customers from shopping too much at their stores. Wait – frequent A&F customers exist? [Styleite] ● Urban Outfitters held a Project Runway-style competition for Pratt Institute students where they asked competitors to design a jersey dress that will be sold in UO stores this fall. Here are the three winning designs. [UO] ● Peep the brands that former Neimans and Bergdorfs fashion director Nick Wooster tapped for his stint as the men’s collections creative adviser at PROJECT Las Vegas. [Project]
American Apparel cannot catch a break. First, the retailer’s extremist employee dress code stipulations were called into question thanks to Gawker getting its hands on internal memos. Then, of course, there was the immigration raid that led to American Apparel’s LA factories losing roughly 20% of their workforce. With sales down and finances in the shitter, various outlets have been awaiting an announcement of bankruptcy from the clothing engine that, at one time, seemed to always be on the up and up. With the company now reporting that its first-half of the year losses have been “substantial,” according to Women’s Wear Daily (the first quarter alone saw drops in profits from $5-$7 million), and, subsequently, perhaps on the precipice of having major trouble getting financing, things are looking grim. “Based on this, and trends occurring in the company’s business after the second quarter and projected for the remainder of 2010, the company may not have sufficient liquidity necessary to sustain operations for the next twelve months,” American Apparel told WWD. Meaning, this may very well be the end.
Operations over at Abercrombie & Fitch HQ aren’t looking to sunny either. Bed bug invasions aside, the chain retailer has been suffering similarly staggering losses in the past year. Profits may be up but extreme discounts are to blame for a drop in earnings. “Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. sank just over 9 percent to $34.24 in mid-morning trading Tuesday, after the teen retailer said it would shutter 60 domestic stores in the year,” adds WWD. While the company is by no means in the same position as American Apparel, with cutbacks like these A&F will have to look to a lot more than a risque quarterly to get back on its feet.
Abercrombie & Fitch is resuscitating the A&F Quarterly, the controversial soft core catalog with which the company was once synonymous. What began as mere flesh-baring spreads shot by iconic photographer Bruce Weber soon turned into a phenomenon; the catalogs, which included content like articles on sex and cocktail recipes were, not surprisingly, coveted by pubescent youths. Religious groups and parents organized to put an end to the titillating content, managing to successfully end the publication’s 6-year reign in 2003, but, according to Portfolio, the quarterly is making a comeback. For $10, customers can procure a copy of the new title, which hits stores July 17.
Why the resurrection? Portfolio hypothesizes it has to do with financial stress. “It’s not a wonder that coming off a year where sales slumped 23 percent, the company felt it needed to shake things up. Economic pressure[s have led to store closings, the shuttering of it’s higher-end Ruehl stores, and massive markdowns which took a toll on the company’s balance sheet.” Executives at A&F seem to thinking the same thing, which is to say: sex sells. And what’s better than shirtless models greeting you at your local A&F outpost? Salacious reading material that for just a bit more than your average magazine, you can read in the privacy of your home. Portfolio adds, “last year, Abercrombie announced it would bring back the quarterly to London, saying that the Brits were more open-minded. The experiment must have worked.”
Abercrombie & Fitch store earnings may be down a 4% splinter, but company execs are reportedly upbeat since overall net is up 5% to $845.8 million (ch-ching!). And they have a full slate of flagship store openings for 2009: Milan, New York, Copenhagen, and Tokyo. I don’t remember the last time A&F was cool outside of a college campus, but I just finished A.E. Hotchner’s outstanding memoir on Ernest Hemingway, and I was reminded how awesomely outdoorsy the brand once was before they got into softcore beefcake porn.
Sure, Papa Hemingway was published more than 40 years ago, and the ending’s the still the same — he shoots himself. But there were some things I didn’t know. For instance, in his last paranoid days shuttling between shock therapy at the Mayo Clinic and his home in Ketchum, Idaho, the physically failing writer tried to throw himself into a whirling plane prop, then tried jumping out of a plane high above the Rockies. Not the best of times. He couldn’t write, travel, or hunt. The thrill was gone. But there was one thing he did get excited about: his seasonal purchases from Abercrombie & Fitch (white tennis visors, hunting vests, socks, chinos, and a few shirts which he always paired with a leather belt and oversized buckle lifted from a dead Nazi that read “Gott Mit Uns” (God With Us). Because nothing says suicide prevention like wool socks and tennis visors. That is until you hear the final click.