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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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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ANNELOT DE WAAL POSES POOLSIDE IN SUMMER STYLES FOR TELVA MAGAZINE

Categories:Fashion


Annelot de Waal stars in TELVA Magazine's June issue

Annelot de Waal stars in TELVA Magazine’s June issue

Gracing the pages of TELVA Magazine’s June 2017 issue, Annelot de Waal is summer ready in this sun-drenched editorial. Photographer Tomás de la Fuente captures the blonde model poolside for the feature. From one-piece swimsuits to bohemian style coverups and sneakers, Annelot shines in each shot. Stylist Alicia Chapa accessorizes the blonde in cool sunglasses, glittering jewelry and large sun hats. 

EDITORIAL: ANNELOT DE WAAL BY TOMÁS DE LA FUENTE IN TELVA JUNE 2017

Photographed by Tomás de la Fuente, Annelot de Waal models summer swimsuit looksPhotographed by Tomás de la Fuente, Annelot de Waal models summer swimsuit looksModel Annelot de Waal poses in Miu Miu swimsuit with floral embellishmentsModel Annelot de Waal poses in Miu Miu swimsuit with floral embellishmentsPhotographed in black and white, Annelot de Waal wears swimsuit with side cut-outsPhotographed in black and white, Annelot de Waal wears swimsuit with side cut-outs
Posing by the pool, Annelot de Waal models a floral print swimsuit with open shouldersPosing by the pool, Annelot de Waal models a floral print swimsuit with open shouldersAnnelot de Waal models printed one-piece swimsuit with sneakersAnnelot de Waal models printed one-piece swimsuit with sneakersWearing a straw sunhat, Annelot de Waal models strapless top with printed shortsWearing a straw sunhat, Annelot de Waal models strapless top with printed shorts


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BLANCA PADILLA HAS A CASE OF WANDERLUST IN STRADIVARIUS FASHIONS

Categories:Fashion

Blanca Padilla stars in Stradivarius' Wanderlust lookbookBlanca Padilla stars in Stradivarius’ Wanderlust lookbook

Spanish fashion brand Stradivarius taps homegrown beauty Blanca Padilla for its spring-summer 2017 catalog. Photographed by Adler & Fresneda, the model heads to the sun-kissed sands in a fashion story called, ‘Wanderlust’. The brunette stunner poses in lightweight silhouettes including poplin shirts, military-inspired jackets and striped sweaters. For beauty, hair and makeup artist Sonia Peña works on Blanca’s tousled waves and sun-kissed glow.

LOOKBOOK: BLANCA PADILLA BY ADLER & FRESNEDA FOR STRADIVARIUS SPRING/SUMMER 2017

Photographed by Adler & Fresneda, Blanca Padilla poses in striped sweater from StradivariusPhotographed by Adler & Fresneda, Blanca Padilla poses in striped sweater from StradivariusPosing in the sand, Blanca Padilla models Stradivarius long-sleeve shirt and paper bag waist skirtPosing in the sand, Blanca Padilla models Stradivarius long-sleeve shirt and paper bag waist skirtBlanca Padilla poses in Stradivarius trench coat and high-waist flared trousersBlanca Padilla poses in Stradivarius trench coat and high-waist flared trousersBlanca Padilla models Stradivarius military-style jacketBlanca Padilla models Stradivarius military-style jacketModel Blanca Padilla wears Stradivarius body harness and puff sleeve poplin shirtModel Blanca Padilla wears Stradivarius body harness and puff sleeve poplin shirtBlanca Padilla poses in ruffled shirt with jeans from StradivariusBlanca Padilla poses in ruffled shirt with jeans from Stradivarius

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PATRICIA VAN DER VLIET LOOKS PRETTY IN PINK FOR ELLE ITALY

Categories:Fashion

Patricia van der Vliet models Gucci top and pants with rufflesPatricia van der Vliet models Gucci top and pants with ruffles

Gracing the pages of ELLE Italy’s May 2017 issue, model Patricia van der Vliet takes on one of the spring season’s hottest trends–pink style. The Dutch beauty heads to the beach in images captured by Enrique Badulescu. Stylist Micaela Sessa dresses Patricia in colorful designs ranging from cropped tops to flirty skirts and denim pieces. Whether posing in the sand or running on the beach, the blonde looks super chic in the designs of Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and others.

EDITORIAL: PATRICIA VAN DER VLIET STARS IN ELLE ITALY MAY 2017

Model Patricia van der Vliet poses in pink styles for the fashion editorialModel Patricia van der Vliet poses in pink styles for the fashion editorialLounging in the sand, Patricia van der Vliet models Blumarine top and leggings with Gucci sunglasses and Moncler bagLounging in the sand, Patricia van der Vliet models Blumarine top and leggings with Gucci sunglasses and Moncler bagPatricia van der Vliet poses in Love Moschino denim fringed jacket and matching cropped pantsPatricia van der Vliet poses in Love Moschino denim fringed jacket and matching cropped pants
Looking pretty in pink, Patricia van der Vliet models Dolce & Gabbana embellished shirt, shorts and sunglassesLooking pretty in pink, Patricia van der Vliet models Dolce & Gabbana embellished shirt, shorts and sunglassesSoaking up the sun, Patricia van der Vliet poses in Fendi cropped sweaterSoaking up the sun, Patricia van der Vliet poses in Fendi cropped sweaterModel Patricia van der Vliet poses in Prada skirt (worn as top) and stole with Pinko skirtModel Patricia van der Vliet poses in Prada skirt (worn as top) and stole with Pinko skirtPatricia van der Vliet models Moncler Gamme Rouge macramé lace hooded jacket and Norma Kamali swimsuitPatricia van der Vliet models Moncler Gamme Rouge macramé lace hooded jacket and Norma Kamali swimsuit

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4 ON-TREND SWIMSUIT LOOKS FROM SHOPBOP

Categories:Fashion

MINKPINK Sherbet One Piece and Ray-Ban Icons Mirrored Sunglasses

MINKPINK Sherbet One Piece and Ray-Ban Icons Mirrored Sunglasses

When it comes to beach style, finding that balance between casual and chic is absolutely essential. And with a recent lookbook, Shopbop spotlights swimsuit ensembles for that sunny day out. From printed one-pieces to cutoff denim shorts and crochet bikinis, these looks truly pop. Paired with aviator sunglasses and lace coverups, Shopbop is definitely on-trend for the spring-summer 2017 season.

SPRING 2017 SWIMSUITS AT SHOPBOP

LOVESHACKFANCY Popover Dress and For Love & Lemons Alicante Lace Triangle Top (worn underneath)

LOVESHACKFANCY Popover Dress and For Love & Lemons Alicante Lace Triangle Top (worn underneath)She Made Me Essentials Triangle Crochet Bikini Top, Levi’s Wedgie Shorts and Givenchy Aviator Sunglasses

She Made Me Essentials Triangle Crochet Bikini Top, Levi’s Wedgie Shorts and Givenchy Aviator SunglassesZimmermann Divinity Wheel Frill Top and Divinity Ruffle Triangle Bikini Set

Zimmermann Divinity Wheel Frill Top and Divinity Ruffle Triangle Bikini Set

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