Kering Mislabels Chinese-Made Sunglasses as "Made in Italy" Per New Lawsuit

Categories:Fashion

THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE - Your “Made in Italy” sunglasses may not be quite as Italian as you think, at least not according to a strongly-worded new lawsuit filed against Kering, the parent company of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, and Balenciaga.  

Selima Optique – which sells its own celeb-favored eyewear, as well as the designs of Kering brands, in its buzzy boutiques in New York, Santa Monica, and Paris – filed suit against the Paris-based conglomerate on Tuesday in a federal court in Manhattan. According to Selima’s lawsuit, Kering is employing a “bait-and-switch scheme” by “deliberately and falsely represent[ing] that their eyeglasses and sunglasses are ‘Made in Italy,’” when “in truth, their products, or substantially all parts of their products, are made in China, and (at best) shipped to Italy for final assembly and packaging, and then exported.” 

To be exact, Selima claims that beginning in September 2016 – shortly after Kering launched its first global sales campaign for Gucci Eyewear after bringing its eyewear production in-house two years prior – Kering began defrauding consumers by “simply replacing the ‘Made In China’ labels [that come with affixed to its eyewear] with ‘Made In Italy’ labels” before selling them to wholesalers, such as Selima, or directly to consumers.

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Not mincing words, Selima further maintains that Kering’s “misleading packaging and labeling,” which is reportedly aimed at “maintaining an air of luxury” around its brands and “justifying premium prices,” not only amounts to false advertising, unfair competition, negligent representation, and fraud. It also runs afoul of the strict Italian law that states that “only products entirely made in Italy (planning, manufacturing and packaging) are allowed to use the label ‘Made In Italy.’”

In light of such widespread “falsity and deception,” Selima has asked the court to allow a huge class of others affected by Kering’s alleged wrongdoing to join the lawsuit and share in the ultimate monetary settlement. As for who might fit into that pool of potential plaintiffs: All consumers and wholesalers that purchased Kering eyewear products “within the United States at any time from September 2016 to the present” and all of Kering’s domestic eyewear competitors to the lawsuit, as well.

Selima’s counsel opted not to comment on the matter, merely stating that its position has been set forth in the court filings.

A spokesman for Kering said, “Kering Eyewear denies all allegations made by Selima Optique, Inc.” The company further maintained that all of its “luxury products are made in Italy and are labeled in compliance with all applicable law.”

A Larger Trend?

Two things make the Selima v. Kering lawsuit particularly striking. First is the position of Kering's fashion brands at the upper echelon of the fashion totem pole - where, thanks to products' price points, consumers often assume they are made in traditional "luxury" conditions (i.e., made in their entirely in brand-owned and operated workshops in France, Italy, or the like). Second is the fact that the potentially hard-hitting allegations that Selima has lodged against Kering are likely not in any way limited to Kering brands. In fact, this type of manufacture-import-relabel production ploy is probably quite pervasive, extending to many other similarly situated brands. 

After all, Selima's suit was quickly followed up by the Guardian's recent revelation that Louis Vuitton makes all but the soles of its footwear in "well-kept secret [factories], their identity closely guarded" in Transylvania, Romania before they are "finished" in Italy and France. As noted by the Guardian, Louis Vuitton claims that its Italian footwear workshops embody “ancestral savoir-faire” in a region “revered for its fine shoe craftsmanship."

While both Kering and Louis Vuitton's parent company LVMH will likely point to one-off discrepancies in their supply chains to explain the allegations put forth in Selima's suit and the Guardian's report, it is difficult not to foresee a potential turning of tides when it comes to the blind adoration - and unabashed trust - for the claims put forth by luxury brands.

At the same time, however, the potentially more likely scenario is that nothing radical will change in the eyes of consumers at all. As Miuccia Prada - some of whose own label's garments and accessories bear tags that read "Made in Romania" or India or China or Peru - announced several years ago, it does not matter where things are made anymore. Or in her exact words, "'Made in Italy'? Who cares? You have to embrace the world if you want to live now.”

As Cathy Horyn wrote for the New York Times in September 2009, "Today, despite 'Made in Italy' promotions, a lot of manufacturing is done outside Italy — in China, Romania and dozens of other countries." And Luigi Maramotti, the chief executive of MaxMara, echoed this notion, saying, “It’s not a scandal if in 10 years clothes are made somewhere else — if we know how to do it. It’s very difficult to explain this to the world because it’s all about slogans.”

You may recall that in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2011, Ms. Prada predicted that "sooner or later, [luxury manufacturing will move en masse] because Chinese manufacturing is so good." That time might just be now. As for whether transparent labeling will follow is another matter entirely. 

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LOUIS VUITTON POPINCOURT BAG

Categories:Louis Vuitton

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Remember this bag? The Popincourt Bag? It’s back and has been modernized with a new trendy attitude. For those that are not familiar with Louis Vuitton classic handbags, the Popincourt was introduced some time ago, but was discontinued afterwards (around 2009 – 2010). This bag is still loved and carried by many fashion obsessed as it’s easy to carry, but roomy enough to store everything you need

While the original edition was released in the popular Monogram Canvas, the newest edition is added with natural leather trims. The size has also been updated as it’s bigger than the old mini vision. The style has been modernized and is now as chic as it can be. Besides the famous monogram canvas print, the edges as well as the top handles are added with fresh colors. This color creates an interesting contrast and it highlights the bag to make it more attractive. To make it more elegant, Louis Vuitton added an extra pocket with padlock. It also comes with a colorful tag and keybell. The added leather strap with collar studs can be used for shoulder carry or cross body and it can be adjusted or removed.

The design is pretty, but the functionality is flawless as well. Besides the front zip pocket, the exterior also comes with 2 large pockets for instant-access. The bottom features 4 studs so you can drop your bag without much worry.

The interior is made with a flat pocket and 2 smartphone pockets. It’s refined with shiny gold metal hardware too. The latest Popincourt Bag is perfect for the busy woman who needs to structure her stuff, but don’t need an oversized handbag. And now for the details:

Louis Vuitton Popincourt PM Bag
Size: 12.6’ x 8.3’ x 5.1’ (L x H x W) inches
Prices: $2370 USD, $3100 AUD, $3000 CAD, ¥287280 JPY

Louis Vuitton Popincourt MM Bag
Size: 14.1 x 10 x 5.7 (L x H x W) inches
Prices: $3450 AUD

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Tags: Louis Vuitton bag POPINCOURT

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Gwyneth Paltrow and Her Céline Luggage Totes

Categories:Other Brands

LUGGAGE TOTES FOREVER

Tags: Celine Luggage Totes

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MELANIA TRUMP’S CASUAL LOOKS ONLY APPEAR APPROACHABLE

Categories:Fashion

In 2008, after wearing a yellow J. Crew ensemble on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Michelle Obama caused a surge in sales for the mall brand and solidified herself as a stylish woman of the people. At the time, it was revealed that Sarah Palin had a $150,000 budget for her campaign wardrobe. Obama served as a stark differentiator and model Democrat, often championing well-priced wares for her appearances. Fast forward nearly 10 years later to First Lady Melania Trump. On the occasion of her move into the White House, the First Lady is finally sporting some more casual looks—but approachable they are not.

Returning from Camp David yesterday, Trump wore khaki colored jeans and a white denim button down—but she paired these with a white Celine Luggage Phantom bag (retail price is around $3,000) and Manolo Blahnik python sandals (retail is around $800).

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Earlier in the weekend at Camp David, the First Lady donned a simple white shirt dress by Gabriela Hearst (retail is $1,795) paired with a Michael Kors belt and brown leather flats.

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And on her first official day as a D.C inhabitant, she wore a laid-back ensemble of brown trousers and a white cotton tee—by designers Dolce & Gabbana and Bally respectively—paired with an Hermes Birkin bag (retail is around $10,000) and python Manolo Blahnik pumps.

While we’re always on board for a good designer moment, these more casual moments were a missed opportunity to show that this administration's ever-increasing wealth need not always be flaunted.

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Burberry Bridle Crossbody Bag

Categories:Other Brands

IMAGE: @WALNUTCRUST FOR BURBERRY

Burberry’s Bridle is no stranger to fans of the British label, having made its debut at Burberry’s Henry Moore-inspired runway collection previously. What’s new is this gorgeous addition to the Bridle family – the Bridle Crossbody Bag, and the fact that it comes in a size that is in-between her older sisters – the Bridle and Baby Bridle bags.

It measures some 22.5 cm x 21.5 cm, which makes it slightly smaller than the original Bridle (25.5 cm x 25.5 cm) but taller than the Baby Bridle (15 cm x 20 cm). With that said, however, its width is similar to the Baby Bridle though, with both coming in at 8 cm, a cute size that stays close to the body. Another difference? The detachable top handle is missing in this new variation, and in its place lies an adjustable strap that stays attached onto smaller loop rings, making for a much less fussy piece where you simply throw on the bag and you’re good to go.

Besides the size update, the new Bridle also comes in an all-new deerskin exterior that’s soft and lush all at once. Simple and chic, the bag is finished with a single zip pocket, embossed Burberry lettering on the outside and 3 colour options (Black, Pale Clementine and Slate Green). Retailing at SGD1975, you can find the new Bridle Crossbody at all Burberry boutiques islandwide, or simply make your purchase via Burberry’s online store if you’re way too lazy to make trip down town.

Tags: bag Burberry Crossbody Bridle

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MCM Spring 2017 Sale Continues

Categories:Other Brands

MCM continues with their Spring 2017 Sale! More items are included in the sale, with most handbags going up to 30% off. Included in the sale are the brand’s signature bags like Milla and Visetos Shopper. Small leather goods, accessories and ready-to-wear items for Men and Women are also part of the sale. Head over to MCM and check out the full items on sale!

Milla Croc Embossed Medium Tote – $777 (USD) | Was $1,110, 30% off

Milla Medium Exotic Trim Tote – $963 (USD) | Was $1,375, 30% off

Milla Small Crossbody in Park Avenue Leather – $511 (USD) | Was $730, 30% off

Milla Medium Hobo – $525 (USD) | Was $750, 30% off

Sarah Medium Hobo – $417 | Was $595, 30% off

Ella Small Boston Bag – $438 (USD) | Was $625, 30% off

Patricia Shoulder Bag in Combi Leather – $504 (USD) | Was $720, 30% off

Catherine Studs Shoulder Bag – $385 (USD) | Was $550, 30% off

Gold Visetos Top Zip Shopper – $595 (USD) | Was $850, 30% off

Ruby Jubilee X-Mini Backpack – $1,650 (USD) | Was $2,750, 40% off

Tags: MCM

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