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Fashion Flock Yawns at Bribe Scandal

How shady is fashion?

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Were fashionistas surprised that bribes had allegedly been paid so that Marc Jacobs could have his shows in the 26th Street Armory? Not really. “If he likes the space and he wants it, what’s wrong with that?” asked Fabien Baron, the new editorial co-director of Brant Publications, at the Calvin Klein show February 7. Vanity Fair fashion editor Michael Roberts concurred. “There are no more kickbacks going on in fashion than in any other walk of life,” he said. “Anything that involves commerce and large amounts of money, there’s always kickbacks involved.” W and WWD editorial director Patrick McCarthy was equally blasé. “People pay tips for a lot of things in this world, to get into restaurants,” he said. “Am I stunned? No.” Nor was he surprised by one reported bit of payola, an exercise machine. “It means he wanted to be in shape,” said McCarthy, who admits he’s also done some shady things for fashion. Like what? “Threatened somebody: ‘If you tell so-and-so about this story, you’ll never be in the pages of WWD.’ I’ve done that many times.” Richie Rich said, “The biggest thing I was shocked about was that the Armory is only $6,000 a day. That’s a steal.”

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