The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: Swiss Shopgirl Says Oprah Winfrey is Lying About Racist Incident, H&M Removes Offensive Feather Headband From Stock, and Naeem Khan Settles Lawsuit With Former Creative Director


• A former shopgirl at Zurich’s Trois Pommes boutique is calling Oprah Winfrey a liar after the famed talk show host-cum-network mogul said she experienced racism at her hand as she was shopping for a bag on Entertainment Tonight. Winfrey was in town for Tina Turner‘s wedding, and says that the store clerk would not show her a bag she wanted to purchase, deeming it ‘too expensive’ for the billionaire. “I said, ‘But I really do just want to see that one,’ and the shopkeeper said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hurt your feelings,’ and I said, ‘Okay, thank you so much. You’re probably right, I can’t afford it.’ And I walked out of the store.” That shopkeep has come forward to Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick to say that Oprah is not telling the truth: “I don’t know why she is making these accusations. I explained to her the bags come in different sizes and materials, like I always do,” she said. “She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag. I simply told her it was like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags.”  The anonymous store associate is appalled; simply appalled that Oprah would ever accuse her of such behavior. “She is so powerful, and I am just a shop girl. I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV.” Of course, a powerful woman like Oprah doesn’t have enough going for her, that she must publicly lambast a poor humble shopkeep for sport. Both representatives from the Swiss tourism office and Trois Pommes’s owner (who, ironically, was at the wedding) have apologized to Oprah for the incident. (Gawker)

• Canadian H&M stores have pulled a feather headband they were selling as part of their summer music festival accessories options, after receiving several complaints from angry customers that the piece was offensive to First Nation peoples. The retailer promptly removed the headband from their stores, not before a rousing rendition of the old classic, ‘We Didn’t Mean No Harm by it’: “Music festivals these days are really about experimenting with fashion and dressing your personality. And they’re very heavily based on accessories, really accessorizing your look,” H&M spokeswoman Emily Scarlett said in a statement. “Of course we never want to offend anybody or come off as insensitive. We’re always about being there for our customers.” You think brands might learn to be a little more careful– Urban Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret have been in the press lately for insensitive use of Native American-inspired headdresses. But as sure as there are white models to paint black for a Vogue editorial, other retail will certainly run into similar trouble in the future. (Telegraph)

CARRIE UNDERWOOD at Billboard Music Awards

• Carrie Underwood is the latest singer to team with Nicole by OPI for a limited edition collection of 14 lacquers. Look for them in stores this January. (WWD)


• Naeem Khan has settled a suit filed by his former creative director Lionel Geneste for monies he says he was entitled to, but not paid after parting ways with the company in 2006. Geneste says that while he was employed by Khan, he was supposed to receive a 5 percent commission on sales, which were to be paid to him eight to twelve months after retailers had bought the collection. He was initially seeking $300,000, but courts ruled that he was entitled to only $125,000. It seems that both Khan and Geneste are just glad the case is over. Khan saw the whole thing as a nuisance, constantly reiterating to WWD that the ordeal was taking time away from preparing for New York Fashion Week. “The thing is, I have my collection to show Sept. 10. I want this to be over with,” he said. Khan claims that Geneste was fired because he had committed identity fraud. “He had used his boyfriend’s social security number on the tax forms he provided to my company when he was hired. In addition, he had developed a pattern of long, unexcused absences.” Geneste says that as he had not received a US visa until 2007, he didn’t have a social security number. There’s been a fair amount of mudslinging too. Witnesses taking the stand in Geneste’s defense said that he had brought Khan’s label to the next level, and that they saw he and his wife doing coke at a party back in 2006. Khan of course denies these claims: “this person [will] stop at nothing in terms of false allegations in order to damage my brand and hurt my family.” (WWD)


• Alexander McQueen has partnered with Damien Hirst to design a collection of skull-print scarves to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the label’s famed foulards. According to WWD, the scarves are a hybrid of Hirst’s “Entomology” designs, with “butterflies, bugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies worked geometrically into the shape of the McQueen skull motif.” If you’re up for the splurge, prices start at $476.50, and will be available at McQueen boutiques come mid November.(WWD)


• Lady Gaga‘s up to her usual antics, hard at work promoting her new album ARTPOP. She hit the streets and the Ryan Seacrest Show with her face made up as it is for her ‘Applause’ album artwork. (Daily Mail)



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