WASHINGTON -- The L'Oreal controversy shifted from France to the U.S. Wednesday.
A $100 million lawsuit was filed against Cosmair Inc., L'Oreal's New York licensee, by former L'Oreal official Jean Frydman, and his brother David. Jean Frydman alleged he was ousted from L'Oreal because he is an Israeli citizen and the French cosmetics giant was cooperating with an Arab League boycott of that nation.
The filing in New York State Supreme Court came after the end of a three-year limit for legal actions in France, where the brothers unsuccessfully battled L'Oreal.
The suit centers on Jean Frydman's claim that L'Oreal removed him in 1989 as vice chairman of Paravision, a joint venture he initiated with L'Oreal. Frydman, who holds dual citizenship with France and Israel, claims the Paris-based company ousted him to win favor with the Arab League and get off its boycott list, where it was placed after its acquisition of Helena Rubinstein.
After Frydman was ousted, the Frydmans' investment in the company suffered a $100 million loss, according to the suit. A principal cause for their loss, the suit contends, was Paravision's abandonment of a deal to buy the archives of Columbia Studios for $2.5 billion.
The Frydmans allege a campaign of bribery, forgery and deceit was waged at the behest of the late Jacques Correze, Cosmair's founder and a one-time Nazi sympathizer, who died in 1991.
Responding to the suit, Cosmair issued a statement late Wednesday, distancing itself from Correze and claiming the litigation "clearly misstates" its activities.
"Jacques Correze...acted as a non-executive chairman of Cosmair," the statement said. "He was not the president nor ceo and had no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company."
Cosmair also described itself as "a U.S. company operating exclusively on the American market" and said it "has no business interest in the Middle East."
The Frydmans' cause has been embraced by Jewish organizations. In a Jan. 20 letter to Cosmair president Guy Peyrelongue, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, called on L'Oreal to build a Rubinstein factory in Israel as a good-will gesture. French-Jewish organizations claim L'Oreal shuttered its Israel factory in 1989 under Arab League pressure. The Israeli factory, said L'Oreal, was one of 25 it closed that year.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)