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Archives: July 2011

Roberto Cavalli Adds Animal-Print Accents to Minimalist Exercise Bike

Fashion designer and aspiring lifestyle brand Roberto Cavalli has never met an object he didn’t want to swaddle in animal-printed silk (or better yet, ponyskin). Even a minimalist exercise bike is no match for his zebra-striped ways. Behold, the “Roberto Cavalli for Ciclotte” collection, which adds a jarring touch of the jungle to the sculptural Ciclotte exercise bike. Designed by Luca Schieppati and produced by the Italian materials masterminds at Lamiflex, the Ciclotte is a one-wheeled, two-horned wonder of carbon, steel, or fiberglass that uses four gears with differentiated teeth to generate a magnetic field. This fancy “epicycloid” gear system maximizes resistance levels and recreates pedalling conditions one would encounter on a road bike (so riders can be sure they’re getting their roughly $10,000 worth). Cavalli’s collection of six models, available exclusively at the designer’s boutiques, all feature signature house touches—shinyness, animal prints—for the luxury consumer who likes to go nowhere fast atop a jaguar-patterned ponyskin seat and a wheel of gold steel. Of course, this exotic piece of gym equipment creates a wardrobe dilemma: ordinary athletic apparel clashes terribly with fuschia carbon fiber. Cavalli is on top of it with his new Roberto Cavalli Gym collection (pictured above), which is hitting stores now.
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Judge Throws Out Singer Rihanna’s Claims of Fair Use, David LaChappelle’s Lawsuit Allowed to Continue

Hot off the heals of Monday’s two posts about high-profile, design-based lawsuits moving forward, here we have yet another. You might recall that back in February, the story that singer Rihanna and her director had swiped concepts from David LaChappelle‘s photographs for one of her videos, moved quickly from internet chatter to a full-fledged lawsuit. The singer’s legal team tried to fight the suit off, claiming that usual cry of fair use, but this week, PDN reports that a federal judge “refused to dismiss David LaChapelle’s copyright claim,” and even called the decision to try and fight from that angle “misguided and ‘unavailing.’” So now, assuming Rihanna and her record label don’t just settle with the famous photographer, the case will move forward starting in mid-August. Here’s a bit:

“Both works share the frantic and surreal mood of women dominating men in a hypersaturated, claustrophobic domestic space. Thus, I find that an ordinary observer may well overlook any differences and regard the aesthetic appeal of “Striped Face” and the “Pink Room Scene” as the same,” Judge Shira A. Scheindlin wrote in her decision.

She reached the same conclusion after comparing other video scenes to particular images by LaChapelle.

Details of Alexander McQueen’s Will Released, Designer Leaves £50,000 for Care of His Dogs


The press took a bit of a break this week in talking about how insanely popular the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Met has been, helping to set all sorts of record attendance levels and forcing the museum into staying open a few extra hours here and there to accommodate the heaving throngs, to instead talk about the departed fashion designer’s will, which was released to the public this week. Most notably, beyond the usual breakdown of assets given to family, charity, and friends, the majority of the talk has been about McQueen leaving £50,000 of his £16 million estate for the care of his three dogs, Juice, Minter and Callum. Such an animal lover was McQueen that reportedly his last statement was “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee,” written sometime before he committed suicide. Furthermore, beyond the care for his dogs, the designer’s will also stipulated that two animal charities should each receive from his estate £100,000.

Kate Spade Debuts Lillian Bassman Accessories

Picture Perfect Kate Spade’s capsule collection of accessories featuring “Touch of Dew,” a 1961 photograph by Lillian Bassman.

If you’re still kicking yourself for missing out on that Tommy Hilfiger/Sam Haskins collaboration from a couple of years ago, don’t let this photoprinted merch pass you by. Kate Spade has just introduced its Lillian Bassman collection, a trio of smart accessories (leather tote, silk scarf, and zip-top pouch) printed with “Touch of Dew,” Bassman’s 1961 photo of model Lisa Fonssagrives behind the wheel of a creamy convertible. Bassman began her career as a textile designer and fashion illustrator before working under legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch at Harper’s Bazaar and finding her calling as a photographer. Now 94, she has embraced digital methods, mastered Photoshop, and is at work on a new book of photographs slated for publication in 2012.

“I love the way she photographs women,” says Kate Spade creative director Deborah Lloyd, who fell in love with Bassman’s work at a 2004 exhibition at New York’s Staley-Wise Gallery. “She beautifully captures both their femininity and their strengths.” In an interview posted yesterday on the Kate Spade blog, Bassman discusses her career, the influence of Brodovitch, summers spent with pal Richard Avedon, and her commitment to black and white photography. “It’s how I see things—in black and white,” she says. “I know that there’s color around, but it doesn’t give me the same kind of excitement that pure black and white does. I find it thrilling.”

5 Things You Need to Know This Week (NSFW)

Hello there! In this week’s episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we read a letter from Roger Ailes, discuss unwanted sexual advances, talk some football (J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!), and see Skittles in a totally different light.

Oh, and be sure to check out our brand-new video site MediabistroTV and follow us on Twitter. Thanks!

Sicilian Jail Puts Ban on Prisoners Wearing Designer Labels

If you’re a member of the mafia who is currently imprisoned in Sicily, let us first say a) thank you very, very much for reading our site and b) we’re tight-lipped and not here to cause any trouble. Let us just consider this a friendly note, shall we? In an interesting/fun story, the Telegraph reports that the new head of a jail in Palermo wants to put in place a rule that will not allow the prisoners to wear clothing or accessories from designer labels. Apparently, because prisoners are allowed to wear their own clothes, members of the mafia imprisoned there have been “showing off their status with Louis Vuitton jackets, Valentino silk shirts and Adidas and Nike trainers,” which the new head of the jail is tired of. Here’s a bit:

“Why should the authorities be allowed to dictate what my husband wears?” one woman told La Stampa newspaper.

Another complained: “My husband will have to walk around naked because he only has designer clothes, not to show off but because they’re of better quality and they last longer. Why humiliate him in this way and make me go and buy all his clothes in street markets?”

Our questions is: how do you stop it? Couldn’t the prisoners simply transition into less flashy, but still designer-made clothing, with the logos a bit more subdued? And if that happens, will their be regular fashion checks and a registry of brands that are deemed less showy? And if that list gets out, will it ruin the fashion industry?

Wanted: Designer Who Knows How to Share

zipzip.jpgWe once spent an entire Thanksgiving attempting to explain Zipcar‘s business model (“And each car has its own name!”) to some more chronologically advanced family members who are suspicious of car leasing much less vehicle sharing. The booming young company is doing a much better job than we did of conveying the appeal of “wheels when you want them.” Part of that success can be attributed to Zipcar’s crack design team, and now the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is searching for a new graphics guru. Responsibilities of the position include tuning up the Zipcar visual identity, taking directions from creative to solve design and conceptual executions, and creating compelling and memorable design pieces that solve both business and creative goals in 15 regional markets.

Driven to find a new job? Learn more about and apply for this graphic designer, Zipcar, position or view all of the current design/art/photo jobs.

Building Boom in Bentonville, Arkansas Ahead of Crystal Bridges Museum Opening

What’s the best way to pump a whole ton of money into a small town? Simple: pump a whole ton of money into building a gigantic museum with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of art that people will flock to see. Such is apparently happening in Bentonville, Arkansas on the eve of the opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The massive Moshe Safdie-designed complex, set to open in November and founded by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, is pushing the town into high gear, as the AP reports that construction will begin in September on “a luxury hotel that will be designed to host travelers” and that the city is already “upgrading water and sewer lines for the hotel.” There are already more than a dozen places to hang your hat in and around Bentonville, but the city is likely (and perhaps rightly) expecting a big uptick in visitors this winter and wanted to have something a bit nicer than the Hilton on Walton Blvd. Though given that the Wal-Mart headquarters has long called the town home, we’re sure that that Hilton was already pretty nice. We just think it would be fun to see a Four Seasons or a Ritz in a town of less than 40,000 people. Yep, that’s the sort of thing that we find fun.

It’s Hard to Keep a Rule Breaker Down: Despite Gag Order, Ai Weiwei Joins Google+


When artist Ai Weiwei was released in late June from his nearly three month incarceration by Chinese authorities, one of the only things he was able to tell the media is that he wasn’t going to be able to talk to the media, be it in the form of journalists or the social, internet variety. He was also told he wasn’t going to be allowed to leave the country. So how long did all of those stipulations of his release seem to last? Well, he started talking to the media just eight days later. Then he accepted a position at a Berlin university, which usually you have to take a flight to from Beijing, as it isn’t generally located in China. Now he’s apparently going for a solid sweep of breaking his jailor’s rules. News is circulating that Weiwei has joined Google+, the search network’s new social media venture. Penn Olson reports that the artist’s first post yesterday afternoon read simply, “Greetings. I’m here!” and that he’d gotten a bit funny in his profile, calling himself a “suspected pornography enthusiast and tax evader.” ArtInfo offers up a nice recap of all the buzz these few social updates has spawned, with most people they spoke with believing that it’s not really such a dangerous move after all, given that Google+ is blocked in China. That is, of course, assuming that it doesn’t become Weiwei’s sole outlet to the world and he starts rabble rousing again. In which case, we’re probably all making it a lot worse in posts like this one by essentially yelling to the Chinese government: “Hey look over here! He’s breaking the rules!”

This Week on the Job Board: HSN, XXL Magazine, Pennsylvania Ballet

If you’re an art director, you’re in luck. HSN is looking for one in its St. Petersburg, Fla. office, while XXL magazine is also in the market for a candidate with serious design and production skills. Graphic designers should rejoice, too, as the Pennsylvania Ballet and Washington Life magazine are both hiring. Check out these art and design jobs below, and find many more listings on

For more job listings, go to the Mediabistro job board, and to post a job, visit our employer page. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.