Lacroix Seeks Court Protection From Creditors

Squeezed by the economic crisis and a costly upscaling drive, Christian Lacroix SNC sought court protection from its creditors. The Paris-based fashion house filed a petition with the commercial court, reflecting the vulnerability of wholesale-dependent brands amid the sharp downturn in luxury spending. (Click to see some recent runway looks.) In a WWD blog, a reporter reflects on how it’s disheartening to see a wildly creative designer such as Lacroix run up against a wall. Also, Veronique Branquinho, one of Antwerp’s next generation of fashion stars, has succumbed to the recession and will close her 11-year-old fashion house.

Mistrial in Trovata, Forever 21 Copying Case

A mistrial was declared in Trovata’s lawsuit alleging Forever 21 knowingly copied its designs. U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna dismissed the jury of six men and two women after they were unable to reach a decision, apparently because of one holdout. Attorneys for Trovata said the Newport Beach, Calif.-based sportswear company will seek a new trial. Jurors speak out on the case in a WWD blog.

Burberry Unveils New York Headquarters

Burberry is ready to take Manhattan. The British brand officially unveiled its new Madison Avenue headquarters, revealed plans to double its retail presence in the city and channeled $500,000 into local youth projects via the newly established Burberry Foundation. Mayor Michael Bloomberg even declared Thursday as Burberry Day in New York City. Thursday evening, a mix of fashion editors, designers and celebrities ignored cold, misty rain and ascended to the New York Palace Hotel’s rooftop to help Burberry celebrate the event. (Click to see photos of such party guests as Blake Lively, Orlando Bloom and Rose McGowan.)

2009 FiFi Award Winners Announced

Queen Latifah, Marc Jacobs, Mary J Blige, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dustin Hoffman, Ernest Borgnine, Paris Hilton, Hilary Rhoda, Kate Walsh — it sounds like a red-carpet roll call for a showbiz event. But it was the Fragrance Foundation’s 37th annual ritual of handing out industry awards. Hollywood clearly has discovered the FiFi’s. (Click to see exclusive video and photos of the event.)

Vuitton’s Hong Kong Exhibit Shows Designs on Asia

“China will be the number-one economic power in the world within 30 years, and Louis Vuitton is the number-one luxury brand in the world, so there is a lot of potential in the region,” said Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Arnault was explaining the reason Louis Vuitton was participating in the city’s annual Le French May arts festival. He said the decision was “both simple and logical” given Hong Kong’s position as the gateway for an ever-powerful region. To illustrate the point, Vuitton will open its 28th store in Mainland China this week, in Wuxi.

Resort and Cruise Collections 2010

Giorgio Armani is all about color and geometric prints for cruise. His varied lineup featured looks ideal for city dwellers, beachgoers and garden-party hostesses alike. (See all the Giorgio Armani cruise 2010 looks.) Also, all resort 2010 collections are available online.

H&M Opens 10th Manhattan Unit

Hennes & Mauritz’s 10th store in Manhattan, a 25,758-square-foot, two-level unit, bowed Thursday on the corner of 86th Street and Lexington Avenue in the stylish new Lucida building with all the Swedish retailer’s attendant fanfare.Just inside the store, a phalanx of H&M staffers stood at the ready to whoop it up when the first customers streamed in. Meanwhile, Katy Perry held court with her Japanese fans by performing a mini concert at H&M’s Harajuku flagship to promote the fast-fashion chain’s Fashion Against AIDS collection for which Perry designed an organic cotton bodysuit.

Stores, Vendors Wrestle With Immediates

Coming off of what many consider the worst fall-winter shopping season ever, retailers had already cut back on orders for spring and were understandably even more conservative when ordering fall merchandise in February. But as consumers’ moods seem to brighten and wallets open a crack, retailers are finding shoppers are feeling an urge to buy at least some new clothes. As a result, specialty stores are running low on merchandise and are nervous that come fall, they won’t have enough either. So many are placing orders for immediate deliveries.

Brad Pitt Hits the Red Carpet in Cannes

Putting on a “glourious” impromptu show for screaming fans, Quentin Tarantino and Mélanie Laurent — his latest muse — cut some serious dance moves on the red carpet in Cannes Wednesday for the premiere of the much-hyped “Inglourious Basterds.” Even the decidedly mixed reviews for the film couldn’t distract from the main act: Brad Pitt (wearing a Tom Ford evening ensemble and who now goes by the flattering moniker “the main Basterd” after his character in the movie) and Angelina Jolie, who wore a sensual tea rose chiffon Atelier Versace dress that showcased her shoulder tattoos. (Click to see Pitt and the rest of the celebrities on the red carpet.)

WWD Back in Time: Catching the Love Bug at Studio 54

A motley crew of revelers danced the night away at Studio 54’s “I Love New York” Valentine Ball in February of 1978. Wedged between cross-dressing mascots and bartenders in face paint were model Cheryl Tiegs, “Saturday Night Live” regulars Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and John Belushi, and hockey star Pat Hickey. (Click to see all the vintage Studio 54 images.)