• Fashion
  • Anne Coulter: Only on Glamwire (Vol I.)

    Our favorite chick on the planet shoots from the hip in this incredible Glamwire EXCLUSIVE column:

    Is Wall Street Liberal????

    Hello Fellow Conservative!!!!

    Do you know which special interest has given more money to the Obama and Clinton campaigns than any other?

    If you guessed “trial lawyers” — well, okay, that’s too easy. But can you guess which special interest came in second?

    Labor unions? Nope. The Green Lobby? Nope. AARP? Wrong, again. NEA? Nyet.

    Give up? Okay, here’s the answer: Wall Street.

    That’s right. According to CNNMoney.com, Wall Street securities and investment firms have given over $35 million to Democratic candidates this election cycle. And the amount they’ve given to the Clinton and Obama campaigns is nearly five times the amount they’ve given to McCain.

    If you’ve been wondering why the financial industry has been in meltdown — and taking your 401(k) or investment portfolio down with it — now you know.

    Let’s face it: The former frat boys who populate Wall Street today understand economics about as well as the pinko professors whose courses they snored through.

    That’s why betting their entire industry on “subprime” loans to people with no jobs and no collateral made sense to them — and why betting the entire U.S. economy on the likes of Hillary and Obama makes sense to them now.

    These jokers don’t even know what’s in their own self-interest, much less yours. Trusting them with your money is like trusting Bill Clinton to babysit your underage niece.

    But I know someone you can trust to manage your investments — or rather, to help you do it yourself, without paying a nickel in commissions to some Wall Street frat boy.

    His name is Dr. Mark Skousen — that’s “Dr.” as in “Ph.D. in Economics and Monetary History,” something you don’t get by playing Beer Pong with your frat buddies. For the past 28 years, subscribers to his investment newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies, have profited enormously from his uncanny ability to predict major market trends before they happen — often while the Wall Street establishment is pointing investors the other way. For instance:

    In the early ’80s, Dr. Skousen predicted that “Reaganomics will work” and said “a long decade of profits is coming.”
    He issued a “sell everything” recommendation just 41 days before the stock market crash of 1987. Then he told investors to get fully invested again several weeks later, just in time for the recovery.
    He called the Gulf War of 1990 “a turning point for U.S. stocks.” The Dow subsequently began a bull market that didn’t end for nearly ten years.
    He told subscribers in 1995 that the NASDAQ would double, and then double again. That’s exactly what it did.
    Just weeks before the NASDAQ collapsed in 2000, he warned subscribers that tech stocks were dangerously overvalued.
    In 2007, he warned subscribers about the coming dollar crisis — and showed them how to protect themselves.

    Personally, Dr. Skousen had me at “Reaganomics will work.” But it’s nice to
    see — and nicer still for his legions of loyal Forecasts & Strategies subscribers — that he’s continued to call things right ever since.

    What’s his secret? Well, if I knew, I’d be an investment advisor myself. But I think it begins with grasping the real laws of economics — not the warmed-over Marxism that today’s Wall Street frat boys imbibed with their warmed-over beer on the morning of their Econ 101 finals.

    The “bottom line,” as they say? Don’t let Democrats run the country. And don’t let Wall Street frat boys manage your investments. Do it yourself, with the genuinely expert guidance of freedom-loving economist Mark Skousen in Forecasts & Strategies.


    Ann Coulter

    Tory Burch is Looking For An Investor

    Tory Burch leathers up as she hunts for an investor earlier this year on the upper east side.

    The hot apparel and accessories firm, which is estimated to generate as much as $200 million in wholesale volume annually, is shopping around a 30 percent stake in the New York-based business, according to sources.

    The steep asking price ? a $935 million to $1 billion self-valuation for the whole company and about $300 million for the 30 percent stake ? has narrowed the field of investors down to two main bidders, TSG Consumer Partners and Bear Stearns Merchant Bank, said industry sources.

  • Fashion
  • Ebay prevails in counterfeit suit

    Fake brand names good from China, like this “North Face”light climbing parka, flooded ebay today upon the release of this breaking news.

    A federal judge in Manhattan has ruled in favor of eBay in a trademark infringement lawsuit, casting aside claims brought against the online auction house by Tiffany & Co. that counterfeits of its goods are improperly being sold through the Web site.

    The decision, entered by Judge Richard Sullivan at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, said that it is the trademark owner’s burden to police its mark. Tiffany, the ruling said, failed in its burden to prove claims that eBay was liable for trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising and unfair competition for facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods.

    EBay argued that it is merely a service through which buyers and sellers connect and cannot be held responsible for counterfeit items because it never physically possesses them.

  • Fashion
  • The Oscar Interview: With No Plans to Sell, He’s Bullish on Future

    “Not really, no. No, I have too much of an ego to think in those terms.”
    ? Oscar de la Renta, on grooming a successor.

    GLAMWIRE: There’s been a rumor in the market that your company is for sale. Could you address that issue?

    Oscar de la Renta: Let’s make it very clear that certainly our company is not for sale. I mean, five years ago, before Alex came into the mix, if somebody were to come up and say, “We’d like to buy the company, we’d like to buy the name,” probably I would say, “Gee, I’m not going to live forever, perhaps this is something I envision doing,” but now I look at it in a different way.

    Alexander Bolen: The company is absolutely not for sale. At this point, over my dead body. I have talked with Oscar about it and if Oscar tells me he wants to do something, which he has not, obviously I’ll pursue his instructions, but our best days are ahead of us. You know, we’ve been fortunate to date that we’ve been able to execute our plans with the capital budget that we have. We don’t have a big balance sheet, but we have a clean balance sheet and we have enough money to do the things that we want to do. If we were to get to the point that we didn’t have the money to do the things we want to do, we might consider bringing on a partner. But I want to emphasize that we have no discussions of any sort going on at this point.

    GLAMWIRE: We have been told that you’ve spoken to people. Is that true?

    A.B.: What I would say is that I’m a former banker and people know that, and I get calls. In general, I think it’s good to meet people, but nobody has made a bid, we have not gone to anyone with an offer, there are no specific discussions of any sort.

    GLAMWIRE: Are you fishing around?

    A.B.: Having said that, yes, in general, if somebody came along and said here is $10 billion, guess what, my first thing is that I’m going to run to Oscar’s office and say, “Let’s hand them the keys.” I have not solicited anyone for anything and, quite frankly, nobody has had a specific discussion with me. Now I do get calls and I do take meetings, but none of those are anything active, none of those are anything specific.

    GLAMWIRE: Is there an eventual goal of selling the company?

    A.B.: I would say again, no. Back to my banking background ? you sell for a lot of specific reasons. You sell when you are out of money or when you’re out of ideas, and we are certainly not out of ideas and at this point, we are not out of money. So, again, I see tremendous opportunity. When we are out of ideas, then maybe we start to think about it. The actions that we are taking, the strategies that we are executing are to build the business generally, not to position it for a sale in a couple of years.

    GLAMWIRE: Oscar, has the “R” word ? retirement from design ? ever crossed your mind?

    O.D.L.R..: When he fires me, I will.

    GLAMWIRE: Assuming he will not do that (Bolen is de la Renta’s son-in-law), have you ever thought of that?

    O.D.L.R.: Why would I do that? I love my work. I love what I do. The best time for me is when I’m in my studio working with my assistants. I have a fantastic team of assistants that I’m really proud of and I get along with well, and I love what I do.

  • Fashion
  • Aiming for China Gold: Adidas’ Beijing Flagship Kicks Off Big Expansion

    Aiming for China Gold: Adidas’ Beijing Flagship Kicks Off Big With the opening of its largest store worldwide in Beijing on Saturday, plus the biggest ad campaign ever for a single market for the city’s Summer Olympics, Adidas is stepping up the pace in its race to overtake Nike and become China’s leading activewear player.

    “The Beijing Olympic Games will serve as a platform for Adidas to become the leading sports brand in China in 2008,” declared Adidas China’s managing director, Wolfgang Bentheimer, noting that first-quarter sales in the country soared more than 70 percent year-on-year.

    And the Adidas Group overall expects China to become its number-one profit driver this year. The Olympics, for which Adidas paid an estimated $80 million to become a sponsor and for which it will bring all of its China-based staff to Beijing, are key to underscoring the company’s commitment to the country.

    “The campaign concept is about rallying the nation and showing how the entire Chinese nation is supporting their athletes and the Games themselves,” Bentheimer continued.

    “You have to see this as a huge p.r. campaign,” said Erwan Rambourg, luxury and sporting goods analyst for HSBC, noting that there are very few Olympic products. “It’s more of a long-term investment.”

    That investment includes two or more Adidas store openings a day, or around 1,000 doors this year alone, bringing the brand’s worldwide store network to 5,000 stores by yearend.

    The highlight is Adidas’ giant Beijing flagship, which, at 34,000 square feet, dethrones the brand’s 19,000-square-foot Champs-Elys? unit to become the biggest Adidas store in the world. With four floors, the flagship is like a department store in itself. The store offers the entire gamut of Adidas products, including Performance, Originals and Y-3, with the first floor and second floor devoted to men’s and children’s, while the third offers women’s and the fourth showcases collections such as Originals.

    Interactivity with consumers is a key feature. “It will take the Adidas retail experience for consumers to a new level,” Bentheimer said, “and serve as a role model for our retail activities around the world.”

    A further 1,000 stores are planned by yearend 2010, when the Adidas Group expects its total sales in China, including Adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, to top 1 billion euros, or $1.57 billion at current exchange.

    The company’s retail expansion rate isn’t overly ambitious, Adidas Group chief executive officer Herbert Hainer assured analysts in March. “I always get the question, ‘Don’t you think there are too many stores in China?’ We continue to see extremely good sell-throughs in the stores selling our products. And I just spoke to our Chinese country manager two weeks ago. He said they just can’t open new stores fast enough. And please keep in mind we are talking about a market of 1.3 billion people. If 10 percent of them can afford our products ? and our products are more easily accessible than luxury goods ? then we are talking about 130 million consumers.”

    To demonstrate China’s potential, Adidas organized an investor trip to Beijing and Shanghai last month, a first for the company. There, analysts received a breakdown of retail strategy. While Adidas generates 15 percent of its China sales in the three first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and 60 percent in first- to third-tier cities, it has begun moving into tier-six cities, which have an average population of 600,000 each, and plans to start targeting the 700 tier-seven cities with on average 400,000 inhabitants. That gives the group a reach across some 1,300 cities there, noted HSBC’s Rambourg in his post-trip analysis.

    Expanding and optimizing the distribution network fast enough for the Adidas brand, already present in 500 cities, is a major challenge, admitted Bentheimer.

    “In order to make our brand available and accessible to the relevant brand consumer all over China, we need to continuously focus our energy on further expansions,” he said.

    In China, Adidas is positioned as a premium brand in the sports and sports lifestyle sectors with products there priced broadly on a par with Europe, around 20 percent higher than in the U.S.

    Owning a pair of the brand’s three-striped sneakers is a status symbol for many, observers said. “Adidas is a luxury brand over here, in my opinion,” said Thomas Rosenke, equity analyst at Westlb AG bank. Noting that Shanghai’s minimum wage is 800 yuan, or $116.74, a month, Rambourg added: “If you look at the average pair of sneakers, it’s around 600, 700, up to 800 yuan. That’s the equivalent of a month’s salary.”