LOS ANGELES — One of the city’s busiest intersections is now ringside for the boxing match between Sweatshop Watch and Forever 21.
On Friday afternoon, Sweatshop Watch, a labor coalition, delivered the latest blow by unveiling a 45-foot billboard claiming the junior retailer uses sweatshops to produce its clothes. The billboard shows a crewneck shirt collar bearing the label, "Forever 21 Sweatshop Made."
The billboard, sponsored by an anonymous donor, sits directly across the street from the Beverly Center mall on the northeast corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevards. There is a Forever 21 flagship inside that mall.
The sign will stay up through the end of the month.
At a news conference, held at the unveiling, cars honked their horns as about25 demonstrators and representatives of the Garment Worker Center carried signs stating, "Boycott Forever 21" and chanted, "We demand fair wages."
"Misery is not a bargain, it’s a burden," said Mimi Kennedy, an actress on ABC’s "Dharma & Greg," who turned out for the event.
"Forever 21 has always believed that in order to be successful, it is imperative to adhere to all laws and regulations," Lawrence Meyer, the retailer’s chief financial officer, told WWD Monday. "Forever 21 does not and will not use, condone or perpetuate sweatshop labor."
Sweatshop Watch has been involved in a boycott campaign against Forever 21 for nearly a year. It began last September when 19 garment workers filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming unpaid wages and bad conditions at the contracting shops where they sewed the Forever 21 label.
In March, most of the claims in the lawsuit were dismissed by a federal judge, but some allegations remain unresolved. That same month, Forever 21 filed a defamation lawsuit against the Garment Worker Center, Sweatshop Watch and the 19 garment workers. That lawsuit is still pending in state court., and the billboard will be added to it.
"We clearly see this as something that defames us," said Meyer.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
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With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)