Today's Fashion Headlines: Pepsi Launches Project Cobalt, Nina Ricci Heiress Convicted of Tax Fraud, NYFW Possible Venues, Retailers On-Call Shifts Ethics

Project Cobalt Pepsi
Pepsi Launches Project Cobalt
Pepsi has teamed up with All Beuys Club to fund Project Colbalt, a clothing collection designed by aspiring designers with the help of fashion veterans. This season, the emerging designers, known as the Creative Class, were Olu Alege and Edgar Garrido of Street Level Culture; Alexandra Kennedy and Samantha Giordano of Dolores Haze, and Drew Villani of Dreu. The mentors were Jeff Staple, owner of Reed Space; Liza Deyrmenjian, founder of Fashion Business Accelerator 360, and Parke & Ronen, a men’s contemporary swimwear brand. Project Cobalt is not an advertising strategy for Pepsi, but a genuine desire to engage young creatives, said Anthony Flores, project manager of Project Cobalt Style. The clothing does not feature any Pepsi branding. Project Cobalt will produce two collections each year, with designers rotating every six months. The line will be unveiled at Reed Space in New York this Wednesday, where it will be available for purchase until April 22. It will also be available on Project Cobalt’s online web shop starting Wednesday. The collection includes top coats, bomber jackets, polos, casual bottoms and graphic Ts, with prices ranging from $40 to $150.
Nina Ricci Heiress Convicted of Tax Fraud
Arlette Ricci, 73, granddaughter of Nina Ricci, was sentenced to a year in prison today by a Paris Court and ordered to pay a 1 million euro fine for tax evasion and money laundering. The fashion label heiress was found guilty of hiding millions of euros in HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland. The court also ordered that two properties worth 4 million euros be confiscated. Arlette Ricci’s daughter, Margot Vignat, 51, was also convicted and given an eight-month suspended sentence. Arlette Ricci was one of thousands of suspected tax evaders on the list leaked to French tax authorities by former HSBC employee Herve Falciani, in what is being called the Swissleaks scandal.
New York Fashion Week Possible Venues

New York Fashion Week will no longer be held at the Lincoln Center, its home for the last five years. Show organizer WME/IMG has not decided on a new venue yet, but locations in the running include Skylight at Moynihan Station in the post office at 360 West 33rd Street; Skylight Clarkson Sq, a 70,000-square-foot ground-level space at 550 Washington Street in west SoHo, or erecting a tent on a pier in TriBeCa. WME/IMG also reported that Mercedes-Benz has pulled out as the title sponsor of NYFW. By 2019, the New York shows are expected to move to the Culture Shed which is still under construction as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project.
Retailers Questioned About On-Call Shifts
Thirteen retailers, including Gap, Target and Urban Outfitters, are being question by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the ethics of on-call shifts, a practice under which workers find out just hours before their shift whether or not they need to go in to work. Schneiderman sent a letter to retailers asserting that on-call shifts do not leave enough time to make arrangements for family needs, and workers cannot compensate for lost pay on days they are not called into work. According to Schneiderman’s letter, this practice may violate a New York Law that states that employees who report for a scheduled shift on any day have to be paid for at least four hours at the basic minimum hourly wage. Schneiderman asked the retailers to provide details on the processes they follow to schedule on-call shifts and for any analysis they have conducted on the cost savings associated with on-call shifts and the impact on workers’ well being. The companies have until May 4 to respond to the letter.
– Kelcie McCurdy
Sources: WWD & AP
Photo: WWD

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