If Louis Vuitton Is the McDonald's of Luxury Brands, Then What Is Coach?

FASHION
• French designer Azzedine Alaïa will now be backed by fashion newcomer Compagnie Financière Richemont. [WWD]
• Louis Vuitton has banned journalist Dana Thomas from all of their future runway shows after she said that they were the "McDonald's" of luxury brands in her book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. [Fashion Week Daily]
• Michelle Parsons is indeed leaving Liz Claiborne for Coach. [WWD]

FINANCE
• Chuck Prince is in the hot seat at Citigroup, but with no one in the upper echelons ready to take his place, so the board has little choice but to keep backing Prince. [NYT]
• Victor Niederhoffer, the creator of the modern hedge fund, lost his entire portfolio in the late nineties and it looks like he may lose it once again in the subprime massacre. [NYer]
• Stan O'Neal's running into a fair amount of trouble at Merrill Lynch, though his iron grip on the company after firing tons of top execs helps keep him safe. [WSJ]

MEDIA
• Condé Nast is considering a new office tower at the Hudson Yards development, joining forces with Vornado and Durst to replace the West Side rail yard with fact-checkers and fashionistas. [WWD]
• Howard Kurtz's Reality Show, a book-length exposé of the network anchors' grudge match, has the chattering classes all atwitter. Supposedly Matt Lauer had doubts about Katie Couric's chances as an anchor, and Diane Sawyer turned down her shot at the anchor chair to avoid a repeat of New York's dueling divas coverage. [Eat the Press/HuffPo]
• Despite what the Times said last week, and despite the fact that it seems like a perfect home for the dude, Don Imus will not be going to Fox News. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

LAW
• Sidley Austin sets a precedent by settling a long-running age discrimination suit, paying $27.5 million to 32 partners who were demoted because they were too old. [New York Law Journal]
• The "most important securities case in a generation," which will decide whether banks should be held accountable for their clients' misdeeds, goes to argument before the Supreme Court tomorrow. [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Did Clarence Thomas really have so much trouble finding a job after graduating from Yale, as he claims in his new memoir? Seems kinda like he rode the Yale old-boys network straight to his seat on the high court. [NYT]