March 2nd, 2015

MatchesFashion.com in breach of National Minimum Wage legislation

As reported by Drapers last week, retailers should beware of HMRC who is taking action when they identify those who are failing to pay the national minimum wageMatchesFashion.com was the latest fashion retailer to be ‘named and shamed’ by the Government, along with 69 other employers, for failing to pay two of its workers the National Minimum Wage, currently an hourly rate of £6.50 for those aged 21 and over, £5.13 for 18-20 year olds and £3.79 for under 18s. This is not the first time that a fashion retailer has fallen foul of the legislation. In January 2015, H&M was also named as having failed to meet the minimum requirements, which it blamed on a problem with time logging.  Matchesfashion.com has similarly stated that the issue was caused by an administrative error and that it promptly paid out the amounts and voluntarily alerted HMRC.

The Government appears intent on ramping up its enforcement of the legislation, announcing plans to increase funding by a further £3 million to cover the cost of employing more compliance officers.  In a statement, the Government said that “naming and shaming gives a clear warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000 if they don’t pay the minimum wage” and described any failure to pay the minimum wage as “illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable”.

 Whilst in this case MatchesFashion.com was only ordered to pay a fine of £93 for failure to pay £375.61 to two workers, the cost of reputational damage is undoubtedly far higher.

 

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As Fashionista-in-Law has previously reported here, in 2013 Rihanna succeeded in preventing Topshop from selling t-shirts bearing the pop star’s image based on a claim of passing off. The High Court (Justice Birss) held that Rihanna had demonstrated a reputation and goodwill in connection with her business activities relating to her image as a style […]

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December 1st, 2014

Vloggers beware!

As Fashionista has previously reported here, the ASA (“Advertising Standards Authority”) takes a strict view on marketing communications in social media and online. The latest ASA ruling on this topic (on 26 November 2014) upheld a complaint made in respect of a series of five YouTube videos uploaded by YouTube “vloggers” (video-bloggers) in relation to […]

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Fashionista recently attended a FashTech event called “The Future of Retail: Shaping Shopping with Visual Search” and was introduced to Cortexica, a visual search company based in San Francisco and London, which is making it its aim to revolutionise the way in which we shop. Powered by the belief that text search is slowly becoming […]

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Until now, technology companies’ attempts at creating wearable technology have been met with cynicism and horror as consumers have been presented with bulky and unattractive products. Technology companies have arguably been focusing on the “technology” element, forgetting that fashion is driven by desire, beauty, exclusivity and aspiration. Apple’s recent decision to showcase its smartwatch on […]

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It has been brought to Fashionista’s attention that the recently introduced Intellectual Property Act 2014 (the “IPA”) brings into force a controversial first for UK legislation, namely a criminal offence of intentional copying of a registered design, liable to a ten year prison sentence or a fine (or both). Under the new offence, a person […]

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London Fashion Week 2014 witnessed the further amalgamation between technology and fashion. Bolstered by the British Fashion Council’s Innovation and Digital Pillar, whose aim was “to support the British fashion industry to become the world leader in creativity, business and innovation”, London Fashion Week 2014 made great moves towards solidifying London’s status as a dynamic, […]

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The High Court of England and Wales has ruled in favour of Thomas Pink, the UK luxury shirt-maker, in its claim for trade mark infringement against US lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret regarding the use of the mark PINK. In a judgment delivered by Mr Justice Colin Birss yesterday, Victoria’s Secret was found to have infringed […]

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Fashionista was delighted to read the judgment of European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the latest fashion copycat case concerning Karen Millen and Irish retailer Dunnes Stores, as it reinforces the rights of those whgo originate and create designs. As some of you may recall, back in 2005, Karen Millen designed and offered for sale a […]

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Clothing brands often use graphic logos on garments, such as on the left breast of shirt or jumper.  Some of these graphic logos are instantly recognisable as denoting a particular brand and registered as trade marks.  Well known examples include the Lacoste crocodile, the Original Penguin and the Ralph Lauren polo player. Use of a […]

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