Fashion News Alert: Balenciaga Dumps Casting Agency, US Retailers Woes, “Moonlight” Cast Lands Calvin Klein Underwear Campaign and Prabal Gurung Collaborates with Lane Bryant

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Following the 2017 Academy Award’s best movie debacle on Sunday, it was announced that Calvin Klein had pegged the cast of “Moonlight” to star in his upcoming underwear campaign. Sounds like a double win for “Moonlight.”

This new Calvin Klein “Revelation” campaign stars “Moonlight” cast members Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes. The “Revelation” campaign conjures up images of Calvin Klein 90s black and white photographs with logoed briefs.

Balenciaga fall 2016 image courtesy of

Balenciaga fall 2016 image courtesy of

Balenciaga backs up models

The fashion industry appears to be embracing a kinder, gentler attitude. Iconic fashion house Balenciaga recently fired its casting agency due to sadistic treatment of models for a casting of the iconic fashion house’s Paris Fashion Week show.

Over 150 models were forced to wait in a dark stairwell for over three hours this past Sunday. According to US casting director, James Scully, some models were locked in the stairwell while casting agents went to lunch.

“In their usual fashion they shut the door, went to lunch and turned off the lights to the stairs leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see,” Scully added. “Not only was this sadistic and cruel it was dangerous and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatized.”

Balenciaga took immediate action and fired the casting agency. Balenciaga told AFP it was “making radical changes to the casting process” after the incident, “including discontinuing the relationship with the current casting agency”.

“Balenciaga took notice of issues with the model castings carried out on that day [Sunday]. The house reacted immediately,” a statement added.

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Image courtesy of

Prabal Gurung x Lane Bryant

This past July Prabal Gurung announced his collaboration with national plus-size brand Lane Bryant. The 20-piece Prabal x Lane Bryant collection launched in stores on Monday with a collection that includes trench coats, leather jackets, wide-legged pants, color-blocked dresses, cut-and-sew sweaters, and jumpsuits.

Prabal Gurung is the fifth high-end designer to partner with Lane Bryant. Gurung follows in the footprints of Sophie Theallet, Christian Siriano, Isabel Toledo, and Lela Rose, all brands that have collaborated with Lane Bryant.

The Prabal Gurung x Lane Bryant collection is now available in Lane Bryant stores and online.

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Image courtesy of

US retail blues

According to a report from Moody’s Investor Service, the number of distressed retailers in the US has tripled since the Great Recession of 2008. Moody’s has placed 19 retailers in its retail/apparel portfolio at a Caa/Ca rating. The low trade rating is based on retailers that cumulatively owe $5 billion dollars in debt through 2021 with about 40 percent of the debt due in 2018.

“Moody’s-rated US retailers rated Caa or Ca today make up just over 13 percent of our total rated retail portfolio, which is the highest level since the Great Recession, when this group comprised 16 percent of the portfolio,” says Moody’s Vice President Charlie O’Shea, in a news statement. “And the increase comes at the same time as the broader universe of Caa rated companies is likewise growing.”

O’Shea recommends that distressed retailers take drastic measures including high promotional pricing to dig themselves out of this downward trend.

—William S.

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