Sidney Gittler was the world's largest buyer of Haute Couture at a time when line for line copies were cool. I know; my mother oohed at some and others that did not meet her standards reduced her to a haughty churlish glare, flaring nostrils and tightened cherries-and-snow lips. Well, that was a long time ago. Yves Saint Laurent sued Ralph Lauren over copying the iconic YSL tuxedo dress he first showed in '66 and again during the fall '91 Haute Couture collection, collecting 395,000.00 for the finding of "counterfeiting and disloyal competition." Azzedine Alaia flew to Los Angeles to sue a local manufacturer for outrageous copies of his things purchased from the Alaia chez Gallay boutique on Rodeo, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga both sued Steve Madden, and Louis Vuitton even goes after artists incorporating its iconic LV's.
I like Alan Schwartz. He's urbane and handsome and charming. I first met him at Helena's the night I met Eddie The Hat, the best "bad boyfriend" ever. I remember a Thanksgiving at his house crawling with football stars. His things were of fashion and affordable. I bought a few things for my shop, and they sold as well as the spendy, edgy European designers on the racks.
Sidney Gittler paid a caution, a fee to attend the Haute Couture shows with a commitment to buy a guaranteed amount of models, to be able to produce line for line copies. It's arguable whether copies impact designer goods. Certainly there are wealthy customers who are proud to have an Hermes Birkin for 199.00 .. but each year, even in the dark shameful days of the recession, business at Hermes thrived. The Balenciaga motorcycle bag was copied even down to the under 20.00 level sold at Target; soulless, ugly things unlike the original.
Princess Kate seems very cool and unlikely to be riled up by the silliness and commercialization surrounding the Royal Wedding.
I wish Alan had resisted this time.