Betsey Bankruptcy

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 Betsey Johnson has filed for bankruptcy protection under the Chapter 11 US Bankruptcy Code. Although the designer will remain creative director of her brand, the majority of its 63 stores and 350 employees will lose their jobs.
"The decision to seek protection under Chapter 11 comes after months of rigorously pursuing alternative restructuring arrangements to address Betsey Johnson LLC's cash-flow problems," saidthe company's LLC chief financial officer, Jonathan Friedman. "After exhausting our resources and possibilities, it became apparent that neither a restructuring arrangement with a new equity investor nor a sale of the business enterprise as a going concern outside of bankruptcy was to be forthcoming. Accordingly, our board made the determination that a Chapter 11 store-closing process will likely be the best way to maximise the value of the company's assets, for the benefit of its creditors."
The label will now focus on Johnson's lower-priced line, but will still stage a catwalk show in September as planned. Johnson, who will be 70 in August, is also involved with a reality television show - which will start shooting in the near future. The company is currently owned by Boston-based equity firm Castanea Partner, who own 90 per cent, and  Steven Madden  -  who holds the remaining 10 per cent stake.
"I feel so sad for my store people and all my pink girls," Johnson toldWWD. "They live and die for me. But I need to be better. I really need to work well and be more efficient."


Gaultier takes on cannes

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Along with celebrating his 60th birthday this week, Jean Paul Gaultier has been named in the Cannes Film Festival jury line-up. With eight other panelists, the French designer will be responsible for selecting the winner of the Palme d'Or prize - the festival's highest honour. And with his passion for film and a long-standing ambition to be involved at Cannes, it seems Gaultier fits the bill perfectly.
"We have a tradition of inviting people who we know are cinephiles but who are not necessarily in cinema," said Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux.
The jury will be led by Italian director Nanni Moretti, with Diane Kruger and Ewan McGregor also taking up seats on the panel. The festival will run from 16 to 27 May.


Burberry world

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Burberry launched its latest project in Taipei last night - Burberry World Live - in which guests were invited to step inside the brand's world, with a 360-degree cylindrical space combining film, live music and interactive, simulated British weather. Leaves fell from the ceiling, following by golden rain.
"We're talking about all the different facets of the brand - fashion, design, music, weather and attitude," the brand's chief creative officer,Christopher Bailey,said  "It's all part of an immersive space that we've custom-built opposite our latest new store. It's basically the whole concept of the brand wrapped in one experience and a big celebration of the multi-faceted jewel that is Burberry. It's a celebration of Britishness all around the globe."
The sensory event, which marked the opening of the brand's new Taipei store, will be the first of many - with more lined up in Hong Kong, London and Chicago later this year. Highlights from last night's event will be available for the public to view on the brand's Facebook page later today.


The queen jewels

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The Queen's most precious diamond jewellery is set to become the subject of a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace - opening on June 30 - a celebration of her Golden Jubilee. The showcase will display both the Queen's personal jewellery, as well as pieces that have been handed down through the royal family's history. Highlights include the earrings and necklace the Queen wore at her Coronation; the tiara given to Her Majesty by Queen Mary on her 21st birthday; and Queen Victoria's diamond crown.

Taylor verdict

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After four years of hearings at the UN-backed special court for Sierra Leone in the Hague, during which Naomi Campbell testified, African warlord Charles Taylor has been found guilty of 11 charges - including murder, rape, sexual slavery and enforced amputations. The former Liberian president is expected to serve considerable time in a British prison, once he has been formally sentenced on May 30. Campbell was called as a witness during the trial in August 2010, as prosecutors attempted to prove that Taylor had given her blood diamonds. The supermodel said that she didn't know who had sent her the jewels, describing them as " dirty little pebbles". The pair met at a dinner, hosted by Nelson Mandela, in 1997.

 


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