NEW YORK — Judge Jeffrey Oing’s courtroom was considerably less hectic Wednesday following Martha Stewart’s testimony a day earlier.
With just a handful of reporters and fewer lawyers, Oing made an effort to speed up proceedings, as he addressed scheduling and housekeeping matters concerning the extension of the preliminary injunction, which he granted to Macy’s over the summer. The injunction keeps J.C. Penney Co. Inc. from selling Martha Stewart-branded goods in its stores for the time being. Earlier in the week, the judge hinted at the larger question regarding whether Penney’s should be able to sell goods designed by Stewart that have been re-branded with either the “JCP Everyday” trademark or a “double-house” logo. Those goods are part of exclusive product categories that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. agreed to design for Macy’s Inc. under their 2006 contract. A decision on the extension will likely indicate how the judge is leaning in the overall case.
“You will know perhaps where I’m going to go,” the judge said, referring to the extension. “I’ve been thinking about this case. I may throw something in there that will put a spin on this...and have people scratching their heads.” RELATED STORY: Martha's Moment on the Stand >>
Those ominous words hung over the courtroom as the lawyers scrambled to communicate their thoughts before they formally give their arguments Friday afternoon. MSLO’s lawyer, Eric Seiler, argued that Macy’s violated its contract with MSLO because it “failed to maximize net sales” of its Martha Stewart Collection for Macy’s. Therefore Macy’s extension of its contract with MSLO, which took place in January 2012, is invalid. It couldn’t extend a contract that was violated, he said.
Mark Epstein, Penney’s lawyer, explained that his client owns the re-branded JCP Everyday and double-house branded goods and “has the right to sell them.” For Macy’s, Robert Faxon, of Jones Day, who was standing in for Theodore Grossman, argued that the original violation took place when MSLO inked the deal with Penney’s in December 2011. Faxon didn’t want to get into his client’s position, as Grossman is the lead attorney on the case.
“You’re smart, you’re from a big firm,” Seiler said, goading Faxon on to continue unpacking Macy’s argument.
The judge tabled the discussion and turned to witnesses. With ex-MSLO chairman Charles Koppelman set to appear today, Stewart’s legal team agreed it would bring up one of its witnesses for expediency’s sake, even though Macy’s hasn’t rested its case.
Chanel Riley, a luxury bedding designer for MSLO, was called to the stand, in order to clarify the design process at her company. While she confirmed that MSLO designers do not normally work on both Macy’s and Penney’s accounts simultaneously, the Macy’s legal team brought to light that some designers had worked on one account before switching to the other.
Earlier in the day, Macy’s called Regina Corso, a survey expert from The Harris Poll. Corso administered an online survey to 401 people to determine whether Macy’s shoppers who bought Martha Stewart home goods would prefer to buy those goods at Penney’s. While her results claimed they would opt for Penney’s, the lawyers from MSLO and Penney’s poked many holes in Corso’s methodology. Oing appeared unconvinced that the survey was reliable, as it did not take into account specific home goods by category. He also noted that Stewart products have yet to be sold in Penney’s stores and asked her if the poll should be retaken should those products be available in stores.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion