Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Disciples of Shirley Russell Alert: Bernie Dexter The Low Life Libelling Plagiarist

(I prefer to keep my business relationships and day job off of any public forum but I feel I should say something given the fact I was libelled yesterday on Bernie Dexter's Facebook page. The events that precipitated this occurred five months ago and I've said nothing about them until now.)

Though it hasn't been mentioned here on my blog, Facebook fan page or even my fashion posts, since Summer 2012 I've been selling Bernie Dexter dresses and other vintage repro both on Ebay and privately. Despite my business being a success I have chosen not to cross promote it with my blog and Pinup ventures. Tonight PST on Facebook and on her Twitter page, Bernie Dexter libelled me, falsely claiming I was "selling counterfeit dresses" on Ebay. She even spelled '"beware" as "be ware" and  "consent" as "content" which just tops it off. She later caved in and deleted the entire post because she lacks the audacity to own up to her words within a public forum. Screen grab is above.

Bernie Dexter is a Pinup model whom I believe is known solely for being a blatant Bettie Page imitator and for designing dresses which are made from mostly commercial produced Michael Miller, Alexander Henry and Robert Kaufman quilting fabrics which are found at fabrics stores across the globe and online.

Like most in vintage reproduction, Bernie Dexter's patterns are unoriginal (see last photo) and 99% of the fabrics she uses are commercially available to the public and non exclusive to her label.  Nonetheless she offers a decent factory sewn, non custom product made in the USA. This was the primary reason why selling her items appealed to me and why, in the past year I'd spent well into the lower five figures on stock including many discontinued plus size items (more on this later). Most of what I made I reinvested right back into Bernie's business by buying more dresses and building up stock. And of my own volition, without being compensated,  I praised, referenced and promoted her clothing line whenever I could because I sincerely believed in her as an inspirational, talented and decent individual.

At the end of May 2013 after a nearly year of a very clean, trouble free business relationship, out of the blue, with no warning, whatsoever, I received the following email from Bernie Dexter:

bernadette dexter 
May 26
to me

 i wondered why you are buying sample yardage of my dresses?
 BIG RED FLAG for me..
 i am sure you understand.
 but it makes me very uncomfortable…

 Positive feedback rating Thank you for an easy, pleasant transaction.Excellent buyer. A++++++. Seller: paramedic513 ( 2759Red star icon for feedback score in between 1,000 to 4,999 May-06-13 10:23 Feedback conversation
  -- (#310093199916) -- View Item
Positive feedback rating Quick response and fast payment. Perfect! THANKS!! Seller: paramedic513 ( 2759Red star icon for feedback score in between 1,000 to 4,999 May-06-13 10:23 Feedback conversation
  -- (#310093199916) -- View Item
Positive feedback rating Effortless sale; fast payment; nice customer Seller: keepingyouinstitches2012 ( 148Teal star icon for feedback score in between 100 to 499 May-03-13 07:34 Feedback conversation
  -- (#151029382692)

Yes. Bernie Dexter went into my selling partner's feedback and read through our personal purchases. While she's illegally as a vendor calling the prints her "dress fabric" as mentioned Bernie Dexter has zero exclusivity or licensing to Michael Miller fabrics.  Buying a few yards of fabric and a few dinky panels (two of which she's never made dresses from) for my own personal use is not a threat to a recognized business regardless of how niche it may be. After explaining the details and that I had no idea never purchasing Michael Miller fabrics (which I was buying at Beyond Fabrics on Columbia Road before I'd ever heard of her)  was a condition of selling her product and that I had no intention of threatening her business. Here was her response: 

"I check up on e bay periodically to see what is selling. i just happened apron (sic) those by reviewing feedbacks .
your(sic) right, i do not own Michael Miller fabrics, but you are buying the same print that you are selling of mine, find it a conflict of interest & will not be selling to you any more.

Thank you for your business,

Bernie Dexter"

Bernie Dexter did me a wonderful favour because being her  wholesale client became a nightmare.

You see what initially drew me to invest in her brand was that she made well designed larger sizes and designs that work on taller, fuller, buxom figures like my own in 100% high thread count cotton fabrics which are very hard to find.  After about 6 weeks, and after building up a clientèle including over half a dozen well endowed and/or plus size clients I was told rather unceremoniously by Bernie that she'd be "discontinuing all plus sizes because no one ever buys them."  I did not say anything at the time but I was stunned as I knew that many plus size buyers had helped build up her business.
Bernie Dexter should have had the courtesy to let me know before I became a wholesale client that she was discontinuing all plus sizes but clearly she wanted my money. 

100% cotton fabrics also require that you size up so many non-plus gals wear her 1X and 2Xs, especially if the bust line is cut small as it is on the Paris style. Justifiably there were many disappointed customers on Facebook voicing their opinions but Bernie Dexter couldn't have cared less.  As Bernie Dexter still had plus size back stock she no longer wanted,  I continued to buy what was left, carefully explaining the sizing to interested buyers and low and behold I not only started selling out but by the end of 2012 I was proportionately outselling Bernie on Ebay. I reinvested much of what I made right back into her business.

Then in Spring 2013 Bernie took all of the plus sizes down to cost on her website and with no advance notice to wholesale clients began under cutting wholesalers on even new sizes and styles by selling those too at cost (78.00 for most of the dresses, 88.00 to 100.00 for the sarongs and Jubilee respectively). This went on for weeks. Stock which, had she known how to promote via giving Plus and buxom customers a proper fit guide, would have sold above retail she practically gave away. 

An intelligent business person would have approached me to ask what my methods of selling were to be so successful and networked instead of price gutting but Bernie Dexter is not intelligent. Within a month or so my business dwindled to where I needed to move on or my business would have collapsed. As there was now nothing to reinvest,  I ceased placing orders with any dependable frequency. 

This after being a stalwart client who was honest enough to send back a duplicate order box of 10 dresses I never ordered which Bernie accidentally shipped once and to send my Pay Pal transactions to her as gifts so I covered all the fees.  It is of course the business owner's right to devalue and depreciate their own product but then that clearly comes with a cause and effect result. I feel for the sellers who are being undercut now as literally dozens of even her new items go down to cost each week. Bernie Dexter's price gutting has become much worse than when I was a client. Sellers will buy 10 units of a new design and not one piece will move because a few weeks later Bernie has decided to take it down to cost.  I also feel for the customer who buys a newer issue dress at 156.00 on Mod Cloth and then a few days later sees it for sale for 68.00 to 99.00 on her website.

So while Bernie did act unprofessional and childish over fabric, clearly her attack was over the fact that I'd out sold her on Ebay, had mostly stopped placing orders and was no longer useful. The above libel was because I'm still selling and doing well with her product and there is nothing she can do about it.  There is now a new Ebay app that allows anyone one too see what sells on Ebay and a quick glance over the past years show the plus sizes she discontinued (and which I sold)  as outselling her Ebay store. The result of this was that she back tracked and magically started offering plus size again. Not because she respects and values her loyal 1X and 2X customers whom she virtually told to fuck off last year but empirically because of greed. 

But even after Bernie's pitiful behaviour I still liked her product and respected her brand primarily because the fabrics which she did zero to create are superior and delightful to the eye (I also had over 50 pieces of stock to move.) Many nice gals I've met online wear her label and I enjoyed hunting rare issues down for clients  

But just like the image that I believe she plagiarised from the superiorly endowed and mint original icon Bettie Page (Page's licensing entity CMG Worldwide has also expressed concern about Bernie's "homage"), Bernie Dexter did nothing to create the Michael Miller et al fabrics which draws people to her brand.  We all know that without the fabrics that other designers created no one would have looked twice at Bernie Dexter's dresses.

I've moved onto fabric sales and vintage reproduction couture, enjoying the step up. Hopefully one day Bernie herself will take a step up and cease libelling and attacking individuals ( I'm one of many) on her Facebook page- which coincidentally only saw a recent growth spurt in likes because it was once attached to my own- because some of us will take legal action against her.

As for "using her image without her content (sic)", after I stopped buying wholesale I'd used her stock photos up until a few days ago with not a word from her.  It is of course my pleasure to never again use her heavily retouched and radically altered photosHad she even a modicum of class, Bernie Dexter would have simply emailed me privately and requested that I not use them any more. That was clearly a low class move on her part to give a shard of credence to her libel about counterfeiting.

Finally, I believe Bernie Dexter whom I no longer have any respect for is a dim bulb intellectually at best and at worst, a dithering two faced harpy lacking both the competency to communicate and the skills to do business properly. 


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is disappointing to read. I don't think Bernie Dexter is a bad person she's just not very bright. When she writes on Facebook it is clear that she has issues. I agree that she is a sorry imitation of a great lady. Bummer.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Levi's white sheet said...

Well written. This seems to be a recurrent theme in Bernie's life with attacking people with whom she's connected with in the retro world. I agree she looks nothing like Bettie Page as well despite heavy digital hardware and the hair do. Bernie Dexter lacks the hourglass figure, bust line the big round arse and the juicy thighs and calves. She also lacks the tact and class of the old school icons who knew when to draw the line on psychodrama.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Customer Service said...

Fully support you Super A. want

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like she did you a favour. you should start a clothing line just to piss her off!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Agreed on all counts. Thank you!

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie is nothing but a Bettie Page impersonator. If it weren't for the Dexter's INTENTIONAL reproduction of the famous Bettie Page, she would be no where...except a rockabilly groupie!

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie Dexter is nothing but a Bettie Page impersonator. If it weren't for Bettie Page, she would be a nobody...except an illiterate rockabilly groupie!

4:34 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Agreed Anon. Bernie Dexter reminds of Beatlemania but instead of being a cheesy tribute she's a rote, joyless and anti-buxom copy paste imitation of the 50s Pin Ups. The heavy retouching/photo shop she's dependent upon is the complete opposite of what true pin up is.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libel is not cool but neither is literacy shaming. Really uncool of someone who claims to be so "intellectual" and moral.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And so if you are not copying her why are you selling the exact fabrics on facebook and Etsy? She may not own them but she made them popular.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

" literacy shaming" ??? Wow, that's a new one. I think if Bernie Dexter has the time to attack people on Facebook then she certainly can work on improving her education. I also have zero respect for those who libel others-zero. As for the fabrics I sell, I had a private collection built up ages before I'd ever heard of Bernie Dexter. Many of the fabrics she uses were produced in 2008 or 2009 before she got off the ground. She did NOTHING to popularize Michael Miller fabrics either, are you on drugs? MMF fabrics are sold to tens of thousands of fabric sellers globally and come out in collections with coordinates and panels intended for dress, housewares and quilt making. There are a million quilters out there for every person who has heard of Bernie Dexter. Waste of bandwidth to go on explaining why you are delusional.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bernie can slander and defame innocent people on social media websites then she can be "shamed" for her atrocious grammar skills. Her posts are usually plagued with spelling errors as are the item descriptions on her website. It's just laziness. Perhaps she should hire an editor to proof-read her ramblings before she hits the 'enter' button. And as for the fabric situation, if Bernie is so protective of her "hand picked" Michael Miller fabrics then why the hell does she even sell them?? Her dress designs are very basic and easy to re-create so I don't understand why she would even attempt selling her left over fabric. She must of needed the money for her fibroid surgery :-0 LOL's

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it. The fabrics Bernie Dexter uses are readily available on Michael Miller's website. She's accusing you of being up to no good because you bought her unused fabric (which she was selling)when essentially ANYONE can buy them from Michael Miller. Besides, if she's that controlling of her fabrics and paranoid that someone is going to make bogus Bernie Dexter dresses then perhaps she shouldn't be selling her excess fabric. Just a thought..

12:34 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Actually Anon I don't think BD has ever sold fabric. As a pubic figure she erroneously CLAIMS they are "her dress fabrics" and she renames the prints to act as if she created them. There is one dress using the MMF Country Cottage panel which she surreptitiously describes as:

"One of the most BEAUTIFUL (sic) dresses i (sic) have created! The country cottage print (sic) It is inspired by my many trips to England."

The MMF Country Châteaux road print has nothing to do with Bernie D or her trips to soil the beautiful UK!!! It was designed for a quilt or for the millions of people out there who sew and buy Michael Miller fabrics. She had ZERO input into the design, creation and distribution of the fabric. As usual she created NOTHING.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Kay said...

Oh my gosh Amanda! You are so envious!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


All I am going to say is I'm finally happy the day has come that people can actually see her for she is AN UGLY WOLF IN PHOTOSHOP clothing! She has severe jealous and cyber bullying issues. Once she gets a sniff you're doing better than her in anyway (this goes with her friends too) she will jump online and get extra crazy with rants and raves and "feel sorry for me" post.

She likes to send out one sided stories of wrongs against her then try to destroy people's lives. This is not new behavior she has been doing this since her early days of modeling.
She accused Melinda Miles of "stealing her look" and is upset people still remember she bashed her to her own uncle.

I'm sorry you got caught up in her nonsense but seriously be grateful. Her "designs" are actual vintage pieces she sends to an illegal immigrant in California and she has her make her patterns for her. Lucy B does the same thing with this woman. This is done so she can save a buck and exploit this woman not because she has a "good heart"

Take a look on her recent Facebook rant basically trashing plus size customers claiming they are too cheap to buy expensive clothing.
That is the REAL her. She can try to rip off Bettie Page all she wants but she will never be a genuinely good person at heart. Good luck to her new PA Lol! You will see her on her chopping block next!

Again great post and glad you stood up for yourself!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Anon: Thanks for posting this. It seems like no one has a happy business experience with BD and then she plays the victim. I did see the recent attacks on fuller figured customers. It seems all based around attention getting schemes

6:58 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Kay: You are correct. I've always wanted to be a 4'11, libeling bi-polar Bettie Page tribute act.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super Amanda: Did you see the recent freak out that Bernie Dexter had on Facebook? She was blaming you for everything wrong in her life and making all these crazy lies up about you and how you are going to have to "pay up super money" because of her lawyer. All B Dexter seems capable of doing is lying and libeling. I noticed how in her rant that she left out the fact she libeled you with lies about counterfeiting her dresses. BDexter loves to play the victim role!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Super Amanda, I think you should consider taking legal action against Bernie Dexter. There was post on facebook that was borderline and claimed you were stalking her and had all these crazy psycho rubbish on it. She seems to to need to libel you and then pull down the posts after she gets enough people kissing her ass. Bernie Dexter's writing (if you can call it that) is so f'ing embarrassing to read between the bad grammar and the poor spelling it just sounds like a screaming nutcase. Bipolar is not an unfair assessment. Don't let that stupid bitch get away with it if you can help it.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Hi two anons above, cheers but I'm not responding to Bernie Dexter's latest mental breakdown/diatribe. She is the one who flouted the law as a professional brand and public figure by lying and claiming that I was "selling counterfeit dresses" and the proof of her libel is above. Proof which can't be negated simply because she deletes a post. I would not waste the time or money taking legal action against her. From what I could glean from her latest psychotic post, she incorrectly thinks I've been trolling her non stop her which could not be further from the truth. Since I stopped doing business with her almost two years ago, I contacted her once in a personal email specifically instructing her never to libel me again or I'd take legal action-that's it. She seems to think that I am the only person online who would insult her or mock her which again could not be further from the truth. Since I've posted this I have chosen not to publish a few really nasty comments from people and it is clear that as things can tend go in the indie fashion world she has more than a few enemies. Many people online hate Bernie Dexter and are disgusted by her cyberbulling, lies and then her odd back pedaling which she does for pity. Worst of all she's just cack. Boring and pathetic. If she can't handle freedom of expression she's in the wrong country. There seems to enough brain dead Rockabilly redneck idiots who back her so why she's so worried is anyone's guess.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super Amanda,

You really are super! Her recent rant proves she will do ANYTHING to throw anyone under the bus to get negative attention off of her.
This entire issue was about her ridiculous statement regarding plus size clothing & in turn she had to get the heat off of her by blaming you.
Everyone & anyone can see it. The kicker for me? How her husband went on this huge rant how she is crying & so hurt when all she did is love. Is he joking? He will not and has not vended any magic trade shows because she is literally an over bearing nut job. Speaking of trade shows, the exact same way she went after you well she did the same thing with a former friend of mine (former friend because I drank the crazy koolaide siding with BD big mistake I know)!
This friend worked a trade show with her and saw all her true colors. She never got compensation for her work, paid back for her flight & ended up being out of alot money because of BD. Not even two weeks later she was on her chopping block. Not because of anything this person did to her but because of issues with jealousy on BD'S behalf. She was jealous of how close this person had become with her "bestfriend" Instead of addressing her hurt etc she went on a full rampage against this person on every social media platform (mind you this person is more than 20 years younger than her)
She didn't bat an eye in trying to ruin her life in the end this gal ended up writing a blog post & threaten to expose her if she didn't stop well she stopped!
To this day this person has ALOT of dirt on her & past emails to back her claim it always bothered me she never posted them up now I can see why! The same way I can see why you will not waste your time on her.
She seems to think the world is out to get her when in reality she's out to bully other people.
I do feel bad for the fact mental illness runs in her family her mom has schizophrenia & is a drug addict/alcoholic. Her issues with women seem to steam from that still not excusable for her to try to ruin anyone's life.

I finally opened my eyes to her shit and moved on. I feel bad for ever defending her or siding with her. I noticed she feeds off of that and has the victim role down to a T!

Bettie Page had so many screen shots (her words and times she's tried to explain the whole bp thing how she found a pack of playing cards with her image and never paid attention to it then it changed into how she never knew who bp was then it changed into how she was one of her inspirations lots of stories lots of lies) proving she Intentionally tried to reproduce her images she was not happy when they brought this up to her in a legal setting. She had the nerve to make sweaters and shirts that said "BERNIE NOT BETTIE!" How there is is a new princess of pinup & its time for Bettie to move aside. Gotta love it! She sold this on her ebay store she can not lie about this!

FYI - she will bring up your name again now that no one has taken an interest in her. She will say she's back on fb that you didn't break her even though you're so evil etc. Again put the blame on you. She thrives off of drama and it's the constant the keep her life going!

Im glad to be done with her but i do feel bad for ever believing & siding with her. I had a hand in hurting a sweet person because of her. I have never seen any remorse from bernie when she tries to ruin other people via social media I don't think I ever will. Glad I'm not associated with her anymore and even more happy there are people like you who take a stand against people like her. I am the anon from above who informed you regarding her shady business practices in California .

Keep doing what you're doing!

9:40 PM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

The statement about plus size clients was the real Bernie. It simply can't be put down to her abysmal communication skills. That was the true brand without the phony filter. I relate to what you went through anon. I too used to be the first person to defend BD when she would post about "being copied" or "how someone slighted" her. What ends up happening is that you end up being next. Sad to read that it cost you a friendship but live and learn. It was vile to lie and claim I was selling "counterfeit Bernie Dexter" dresses simply because I was doing well on Ebay after I'd stopped being a wholesale client. She is severely delusional if she thinks I am the sole source of negativity going her way. She's hurt and attacked many people.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

The Bettie Page copy paste stuff is infuriating . She physically looks nothing like her and then younger, less culturally discerning eyes see BD and her blatant replication and think "they look alike" when Bettie Page had an entirely different body and face. More importantly Bettie Page was a mint original with a bold spirit and a maverick's will to express her dual sexuality and wholesomeness. To see the most well known work of Bernie which is a dime and a dozen copy paste ak47 photoshop portfolio at best and to think anyone would reference BP is as annoying to her diehard fans.

6:46 PM  

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