John Philips of the Washington Times reports about the news of the Italian domestic intelligence service that Chinese hackers were after the ideas of fashion houses in order to counterfeit them.
Of course, one should make a distinction between ideas (can not be protected using IPRs) and their expressions (can be protected using IPRs). I think the latter is meant in this article, since it is hard to only describe, let's say a dress, in words, and they probably mean drawings etc of the dress as well.
Read Philips' article here.
If you want to read much more about IP and fashion, go to the excellent blog Counterfeit Chic of professor Susan Scafidi.