These have been trying days for Peter Nygård. On the heels of Friday’s broadcast of the Canadian Broadcasting Commission’s exposé alleging mistreatment of workers and explicit sexual behavior, Nygård was under fire Wednesday for using a Jordanian factory that allegedly partakes in human trafficking.
According to a National Labor Committee report, the International British Garments factory is said to have trafficked 1,200 workers, taken their passports and has held them as indentured servants. IBG sews Nygård’s Alia, Tan Jay and Investments labels, which are sold at stores such as Dillard’s, J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart.
In a statement, Nygård International said Wednesday the allegations were “a complete surprise” and immediate action was afoot to complete its own investigation. IBG senior management has “categorically denied these charges and invites anyone to visit the factory and dormitories so they can disprove these allegations.” It also challenged the NLC for not touring the site.
IBG employs 1,200 guest workers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India — 75 percent of whom are young women forced to work 16-hour shifts, seven days a week, according to the NLC’s “Dirty Clothes” report. The report also claims workers live in “filthy” unheated dorms, with only sporadic access to water, for two to four days a week.
Charles Kernaghan, director of the NLC, planned to speak with Nygård senior executive Denis LaPointe today about what he described as “the worst factory in Jordan.” He said, “It’s like a prison camp. Nygård appears to be playing innocent. I don’t believe they just put their clothing in that factory without going there and seeing it first.”
In its Fifth Estate “Larger Than Life” program, the CBC portrayed Nygård as a hard-partying, sometimes groping dilettante who allegedly fined workers at his palatial Bahamian resort for any missteps, disregarded getting work permits for nonresidents and forbade staffers from leaving the property without his permission. In the documentary, former staffers claimed sexual harassment and workplace harassment. But the broadcast “contained defamatory, untrue and malicious statements,” according to the company. “Nygård and Nygård International are exploring legal options, including criminal action against CBC, and will vigorously defend their reputation.”
The company’s namesake also plans to spend $50 million rebuilding Nygård Cay into an Atlantis-like resort. The property was razed by fire last fall, while Nygård was in New York for the grand opening of his Times Square store. The two-year process will require hiring 200 local workers. “If it looks impressive now, it will look 10 times more impressive,” he said through a spokeswoman.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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