One of the nation's toughest anticounterfeiting bills was introduced Thursday in the Florida legislature, targeting manufacturers, distributors and vendors of fake goods.
State Attorney General Bill McCollum said during a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla., that counterfeits "are not just inexpensive handbags or pirated DVDs....Not only do these goods damage our economy, they can devastate our citizens' health and well-being."
Officials acknowledged that Florida has become a major entry point for counterfeit goods, and McCollum, backed by legislators and business groups, wants to establish a zero-tolerance policy.
The bill would create a tiered penalty system based on the quantity of counterfeit product involved, impose tougher sanctions on repeat offenders and increase penalties for products that threaten consumer safety.
Counterfeiters convicted in bodily injury or death cases would face five to 30 years in prison. Individuals convicted of involvement with more than 1,000 fake items, or with a retail value in excess of $20,000, would face as much as 15 years in prison.
Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center, International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition and the Florida Chamber of Commerce have joined with elected officials to push for the legislation.
Other states that have introduced new anticounterfeiting measures include New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said Travis Johnson, vice president and director of legislative affairs and policy at the IACC. On the federal level, legislation has stalled in Congressional committee.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast