NEW YORK — Macy’s Inc.’s trial against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. continued Tuesday with testimony from expert witnesses for the defendants.
Called “hired guns” at one point during the trial by presiding Judge Jeffrey Oing, the witnesses called by the defense sought to prove that in selling Martha Stewart wares at Penney’s, Macy’s would not be harmed. Typically, expert witnesses conduct surveys or examine data research to refute a claim made by opposing counsel.
For MSLO, Erich Joachimsthaler, founder and chief executive officer of Vivaldi Partners Group, a global strategy, innovation and marketing firm, maintained that Macy’s would not be injured should Penney’s be permitted to sell either branded or unbranded Stewart products.
Although Stewart’s brand is recognized by consumers and has a strong reputation, its brand identity is not clear to consumers. He noted that many consumers surveyed were confused as to where to buy Stewart wares, and that many still believed they could be purchased at Kmart, which no longer sells the goods.
“A brand is like a box in someone’s head. It’s like a name or like a label,” Joachimsthaler said, noting that Stewart’s brand has “ample room to grow” in the home goods market. He also offered that a shopper usually thinks of need first over brand, and not the contrary, which Macy’s has claimed.
“People don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to buy Martha Stewart,’” he said. “They wake up and say, ‘I want to buy a new pillow case.’”
The executive’s testimony spoke to whether any injury had been suffered by Macy’s. Once that is established, then the retailer can seek relief, MSLO lawyer Eric Seiler said, emphasizing that “no injury” has been sustained to date, as branded Stewart product has yet to be sold.
But Macy’s attorney Theodore Grossman read a passage from a book Joachimsthaler wrote in which the marketer said a brand would be “damaged” if it opened up lower-tier distribution.
“It’s correct, generally,” Joachimsthaler said.
Macy’s has argued that by selling to Penney’s, the Stewart brand is being weakened. Macy’s has said during the trial that it has spent years elevating the home goods brand after Stewart’s deal with Kmart expired in 2009.
When asked how he could know, with the absence of sales data, if Macy’s wouldn’t be harmed by Penney’s sale of Stewart’s goods, the witness backpedaled. “It’s better to have actual sales,” he said, but “there’s a lot” of data on consumer behavior and “in this case it’s overwhelming.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)