Uniqlo's Success Brings More Japanese Retail

FASHION
• Following the ultrasuccessful debut of Uniqlo, Japanese store Muji to open two stores in NYC. [WWD]
• Libertine settled its copyright-infringement suit against knockoff king Allen Schwartz. [Downtown Darling]
• Tyra Banks gains weight, laments fashion's unreasonable expectations. [People]

FINANCE
• Merrill's top brass gave themselves a big ($172 million) pat on the back for a job well done in 2006. [WSJ ]
• Venture capitalists invested $2 billion in 249 companies in the New York area last year, up 18 percent from 2005. It was the highest level of funding since 2001, when the Internet broke. [Crain's]
• If increasing the size of the biggest leverage buyout bid in history doesn't make Stephen Schwarzman sweat, the Blackstone Group should be just fine. [DealBook]

LAW
• As part of an age-discrimination suit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission wants Sidley Austin to turn over "all client complaints" about partners from 1995 to 1999. [Law Blog]
• Partners continue to ditch Dewey Ballantine after the firm's public abandonment of a potential merger with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. [Legal Times]
• They're still hashing out Bush v. Gore at Iona College, and Supreme Court justice Scalia gave the liberals in attendance their medicine: "It's water over the deck — get over it." [AP via Law.com]

MEDIA
• "A blog is not a God-given right to inflict ignorance on an unsuspecting public." So speaketh new L.A. Times editor James O'Shea, in announcing the marriage of his paper's print and online newsrooms. [E&P]
• Swedish publisher Bonnier to purchase eighteen mags, including Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and TransWorld Snowboarding, from Time Inc. The price is somewhere in the sub-$300 million range. [NYP]
• Jared Paul Stern plans to sue Ron Burkle and the Daily News. No surprises there. [LAT]