Wal-Mart Settles Counterfeiting Suit With Hilfiger for $6.4 Million


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to pay $6.4 million to Tommy Hilfiger Corp. to settle a dispute in which the designer charged the discount giant with selling counterfeit clothes. Hilfiger has also been trying to keep its authentic products out of Wal-Mart. As part of the agreement, Wal-Mart will donate all of its current Hilfiger inventory to a charity that distributes goods to Third World countries.

New York-based Hilfiger first secured a court order in 1996 to stop Wal-Mart, of Bentonville, Ark., from selling counterfeit clothes. Then in June 1998, the design company brought a second suit saying that the chain had continued to sell counterfeit socks and T-shirts on its Web site and in Sam's Wholesale Club stores. Finally, in a third suit filed last October, a judge found that Wal-Mart had violated the previous orders.

In a recent statement, Wal-Mart said it has made improvements on local purchases and inventory tracking.

"Many people don't realize that counterfeiting exists not just at the level of the street vendor, but also in large retail chains," said Joel Horowitz, Hilfiger chief executive.


Online Runway: Beginning Wednesday, fashion addicts will be able to see the Paris collections online at http://www.fashionevent.com.

Event Television International is offering the exclusive Web coverage, which will deliver sneak previews of the 1999 Autumn/Winter haute couture collections of 25 designers, including Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen for Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Valentino and others.

Besides video clips from the collections, the Web site will offer a look behind the scenes with runway schedules, up-to-the-minute news and links to fashion magazines and Web sites.


Modeling Contest: MTV's "Fashionably Loud Model Mission '99" is looking for the newest face in modeling. Finalists, selected at four events in September and October, will appear in the "Fashionably Loud '99" finals, hosted by MTV "House of Style's" Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in November. The winner will receive a modeling contract with IMG Models and will appear in Mademoiselle magazine.

For rules, log on to http://modelmission.mtv.com or call (877) 406-6335. Entries must be postmarked by Aug. 9 and received by Aug. 14.


Khakis Are Fave: Though wide-leg cropped pants (above the ankle) and capris are being trumpeted by fashion magazines as summer's must-haves, women are not buying it.

According to a recent national survey by Women's Wear Daily, women are more likely to wear khakis both to work and for leisure, with 43% selecting this style over any other type of pants.

Designer jeans came in second with 29%, followed by cargo pants, which drew a 4% response, cigarette pants, 3%, wide-leg cropped pants, 2%, and capris, 1%. Fourteen percent said none of these is their choice.

Following reports of a casual revolution in the workplace, the survey indicates pants are the favorite dress item for women. The survey revealed nearly two-thirds of all women wear pants to work at least twice a week, with almost 38% wearing pants every day.


City Guides: Subscribers to Vogue, Self, Vanity Fair, Women's Sports and Fitness, the New Yorker and six other Conde Nast publications may notice something extra in their August issues: Conde Nast CitySource guides. The inserts provide information on hot neighborhoods, cuisine, hotels and more for five U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, and two European cities.

Booth Moore can be reached by e-mail at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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